Lens Heater Project – Part One…

Living in the UK, humidity and cold is as common as red phone boxes (not actually that common anymore) and a nice cup of tea, unfortunately this has it’s downsides in that when out in the cold it is not uncommon for dew to form on the front element of your camera lens causing fogging issues and ruined images, which as you can imagine is very frustrating when nearing the end of a 3 hour timelapse!

In order to combat this i have programmed and build a thermostatically controlled Arduino powered heating element to provide a bit of warmth to the lens to hopefully prevent this from happening…

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So, the project began with an Arduino Uno, a couple of heating elements and a 16×2 LCD…

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I then added two DS18B20 digital temperature sensors, one to measure the outside air temperature and another to measure the heat being produced by the heating element…

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Unfortunatley one of my heating elements was DOA, but with further thought one element under the lens (heat rises after all) will be enough to get the job done, we only need to be able to keep the lens a couple of degrees above the ambient air temperature…

I then ported the code over to an Arduino Nano to keep the project more compact, i have yet to decide what kind of enclosure the display and/or battery will be kept in, the battery in use is a 3S 2200mah Lipo, this is yet to be tested to see how long it’ll be able to power the project, measuring current draw on something that turns a heating element on and off several times a minute isn’t a simple task so field testing will soon highlight if i need a larger capacity, i can always run 2 in parallel for 4400mah…

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I created a long wiring loom for the heating element and lens temperature sensor so that i can hide in the warm on particularly cold timelapses and still keep an eye on things…

Some voltage regulators i have been waiting for have been delivered this morning so expect a part two soon where I will solder the components to a board and be able to remove USB power from the Arduino so that field testing can begin, i’m also planning to post schematics and the Arduino code at a later date…

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