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Shutter control cable for Canon 400D - current suppliers and/or designs

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I am just getting back into imaging, after a brief introduction a few years ago. I have had some great advice so far, especially from Malcolm and I am still making plans to get some guiding in place.

I have an ASI224, but last night I tried using an old Canon 400D with NINA, and managed to get the basic setup working (shot some sequences and stacked in DSS), but encountered the 30 second maximum exposure issue (i.e. that the USB cannot be used to get an exposure of more than 30 seconds). Setup is SW Explorer 200P on an EQ5 (which I will probably look to upgrade, once I get a bit more familiarised with imaging).

Having read up on I can see that there are some designs out there for a DIY serial cable, and it looks like currently there are no sources to buy one (at least in the UK).

I would be OK building a cable, but just wondered if anybody knows any current suppliers in the UK and/or whether there is a cable design that is most recommended.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated

Edited by Chickpea
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Posted (edited)

Thanks Philip. I had a look on Lindy, but couldn't see a suitable cable and also couldn't find any mention of bespoke cables, but I probably looking in the wrong place.

I found some information about linking the camera to APT and also linking a Nikon to NINA.


I had a look at NINA with the Canon plugged in and it has the options shown in the picture below.

I am going to try this DIY "USB relay" cable, and have bought the parts today


I am not sure if NINA will be able to us that via the Serial Relay option, or whether it would need a serial cable design instead (which I would connect with a USB-Serial connector as my PC has no serial port). Something like this


So, if the "USB Cable Relay" works for NINA, then great. If not I wil move to the second design (which doesn't seem much more complicated), or perhaps I will have a look at using APT instead.


serial relay.png

Edited by Chickpea
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Quick update on this. I made up the cable today and, as expected, it is detected and works fine in APT.

Unfortunately it does not work in NINA. I am going to move forward with creating the second type of cable, but I am also going to see if I can make the USB Relay a virtual COM port in the hope that NINA can then detect and use it.

I understand there is also the ability to create scripts in NINA, which may enable me to tie in firing via the USB relay. Will update here as I learn more.

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  • 1 month later...

I just wanted to post a further update on this, in case it is useful for others.

The USB Serial Relay has been working well in APT, and I spoke with members on the NINA discord channel, who confirmed that the USB Relay options is definitely not supported in NINA for Canon cameras (it is supported for Nikon).

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Posted (edited)

Been there got the T-Shirt.  Quite frankly the response from those developing NINA was to stop using an obsolete camera and buy a new one.  My argument was that if they originally considered doing that option, but then later chose not to support a serial camera cable then why leave the option in the GUI.   They were so arrogant I deleted my account, uninstalled NINA and went back to the tried and tested EQMOD and APT.

APT supports serial shutter release cables from day one...  and still continues to do so....

I built my cable for my Canon D400 based on this circuit



I then use a Belkin USB to (true) RS232 serial adapter.  - Been working for the past 12 years without issue, as has my "obsolete" D400 :) 

Edited by malc-c
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