Author Topic: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...  (Read 22953 times)

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Online Marco

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2015, 05:43:05 pm »
I don't think the government needs to be involved. But I think the platforms should bear some responsibility for fully vetting the creators of projects. And perhaps they should offer a form of "crowd funding insurance"

Mandatory insurance is the best way, it creates a single party with a claim on the project starters (which keeps them honest) and with a monetary incentive to vet them beforehand (which keeps the crowd funding site honest).
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2015, 06:38:21 pm »
Just another reason that crowdfunding needs to be regulated.

Why? Gambling, poker and stock markets still exist, It's just another way to make or lose money, depending on luck and expierience.
I'm sure some see it as placing a bet. I also think the 1,971 backers learnt something here, and aren't broke.
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Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2015, 06:46:07 pm »
Civilized society works on trust, so it's important trust is maintained. If people can't play nice, then government will step in.

Crowd funding is a new thing for everyone, they exist in a legal loophole between regulated investments and consumer protection laws. Outright fraud is obviously illegal, but the majority of business ventures fail, even if they are done with the best intention. The general public have no idea about viable business plans.

The problem is one of learning and perception. Eventually people will learn that crowdfunding is quite risky, and is effectively like gambling. Some good quotes from the comments:

A backer:
Quote
I must say that I'm very disappointed. I backed this project after supporting the original triggertrap and assumed that the management had learned from their previous mistakes and experience. Apparently that is not the case. My read of the terms of service does suggest that a full refund is indeed due and I will be asking Kickstarter to make a formal decision on what type of refund is appropriate in this circumstance.

From Kickstarter staff:
Quote
Kickstarter is built around minimizing that risk through all-or-nothing funding, which allows the collective voice of the people to decide which projects reach their goal. On our end, we review projects, uphold our rules (link to kickstarter.com/rules), practice careful governance, and use anti-fraud filtering. The foundation of the entire system, however, is the collective wisdom of the people who back projects.

So basically projects get the money if people vote for it, and if people are stupid, then tough. And most are stupid (or ignorant, innocent or naive if you prefer).

It seems inevitable that crowdfunding will get regulated when they have pissed enough people off, and authorities can work out to actually regulate it. In the meantime, KS could help themselves a lot by putting up a big message saying "NO REFUNDS. NO GUARANTEES. YOU RISK LOSING ALL YOUR PLEDGE. DO NOT BACK IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO LOSE THE PLEDGE". Of course they might get less backers, but it would be difficult to claim they weren't warned.

But, while there is an almost limitless supply of fools with money, KS, scammers and legitimate businesses alike will continue to gather funds from unsuspecting people who don''t know any better.

Does anyone know if the lawsuits over failed projects have ever got any money back? Or is that just throwing good money after bad?
Bob
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2015, 06:48:26 pm »
I don't think the government needs to be involved. But I think the platforms should bear some responsibility for fully vetting the creators of projects. And perhaps they should offer a form of "crowd funding insurance"

Mandatory insurance is the best way, it creates a single party with a claim on the project starters (which keeps them honest) and with a monetary incentive to vet them beforehand (which keeps the crowd funding site honest).
Can't see how that could work (other than for traditional risks like team members dying etc.)- premiums would be too high to be viable. 
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Offline AndreasF

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2015, 08:04:07 pm »
...

Crowd funding is a new thing for everyone, they exist in a legal loophole between regulated investments and consumer protection laws. Outright fraud is obviously illegal, but the majority of business ventures fail, even if they are done with the best intention. The general public have no idea about viable business plans.

The problem is one of learning and perception. Eventually people will learn that crowdfunding is quite risky, and is effectively like gambling. Some good quotes from the comments:

...

I agree 100%. Crowdfunding is the new cool thing and too many people treat it as a pre-order system. Once they got bitten, they might re-consider backing a project next time around. If not - tough luck!

my random ramblings mind-dump.net
 

Offline max_torque

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2015, 09:21:30 pm »
The bit i don't get is that if you have a genuinely commercially viable idea, why do you need crowd funding, and if it isn't commercially viable, how is it going to work just because it is crowd funded??
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2015, 09:23:56 pm »
Just another reason that crowdfunding needs to be regulated.

Why? Gambling, poker and stock markets still exist, It's just another way to make or lose money, depending on luck and expierience.
I'm sure some see it as placing a bet. I also think the 1,971 backers learnt something here, and aren't broke.

I'm sure some do see it like placing a bet.

But a much larger majority actually think they are backing a project which is at the point claimed by the creators.  Look @ Mu Optics - they claimed they were essentially done but just needed to go to production.  The Triggertrap guys also made some claims in their proposal that appear to be patently false. 

That's not gambling.  That's swindling.  Not to mention, when you walk into a casino, it's pretty clear that it's a game of chance and there are no refunds.  KS tells users that creators must either deliver or refund - but when the creator says "lol.. no", KS disclaims any responsibility. 
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Offline eas

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2015, 09:26:37 pm »
On another forum, there was a discussion of millennials, and how they are way overconfident and way underexperienced.  I've seen that in my own line of work... 20-something people who have spent a year or two working somewhere and believe they are experts at developing products and running businesses.

Some young people are cocky and overconfident. This is news? No, no, it isn't. That you think it is suggests your own experience, or your ability to learn from it is lacking.
Some older people thing that kids today are X & Y (where X & Y are unfavorable). Also not news.

While kickstarters like this seem like slow-motion trainwrecks, what's the harm, really? So, a bunch of people are out an average of, what $150 or so after refunds are paid out? Yeah, that sucks, and if it were me, I'd feel shitty about it, but, on the other hand, this is a tool for people doing high-speed photography, not exactly a cheap profession or a hobby. I doubt $150 is a very significant loss.

And lets compare kickstarter to some of the other things people spend their money on: Skying: I haven't been in quite a while, but I gather equipment still costs hundreds, lift tickets cost quite a bit, travel and lodging (if needed) add up, and there is always the risk that you'll injure yourself, that the snow will suck, or that the weather is too bad to ski.

Perhaps a better comparison would be professional sports. People spend hours watching games on TV, they buy big TVs, and pay for expensive satellite dish or cable service. Some buy logo-wear to show their devotion. Some buy season tickets, or maybe they just go to a couple of games. How much does that cost? Particularly if they get a hot dog and a beer.  They get emotionally invested, and at the end of the season, they have almost certainly suffered a bunch of disappointment, even if their team ends up triumphing.  With kickstarter you might get to see "your team" triumph too, and get what you paid for to boot; or you might be disappointed.

Contributors should go into these things with their eyes wide open: the project may be late, or fall short of promises, or not deliver at all. The funding platforms should educate people on risks, and be proactive about dealing with fraudulent projects and maniacs.

This didn't seem like fraud or mania though, just too much foolishness, and to their credit, they finally figured out for themselves that it wasn't going to work, before they ran of money AND they decided to quit, rather than doubling down and refund the remaining funds.

As for regulation, it may be called for at higher dollar amounts, particularly if the contributors are actually investors, rather than just customers/fans and the promise includes a large financial return, rather than just the product being developed.

Oh, and back to the topic of experience, or the lack of it. People learn as much from failed projects as successful ones, sometimes more. I don't have a problem with a world where people can raise modest amounts of money from a few thousand people and succeed or fail, and try again.
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2015, 09:29:58 pm »
Does anyone know if the lawsuits over failed projects have ever got any money back? Or is that just throwing good money after bad?

There was at least one well publicized case for some type of gooseneck iPad stand where one of the backers sued the creator and won.  The article ended, IIRC, with the creator having gone into bankruptcy.

It may seem harsh, but that is the right outcome when you take people's money and fail to deliver.  It's like ponzi schemes... you bilk a lot of people out of a small amount of money.  The transgression upon any individual is small, but due to the quantity of victims, it's huge and winds up being a serious liability (criminal or civil).  It's shameful that these Triggertrap fools can say "yeah, we just realized we didn't have enough $$ and soaked too much of it up in salary that there wasn't enough left to manufacture.  But we ain't gonna risk our existing profit center, so you guys just lots all your $$".

In a court of law (at least in the USA, and I bet in the UK too), they would be civilly liable for refunding the full amount.  The question will be whether anyone takes them to task on it.  If their existing business is as sizeable as they say, I'd think a motivated and hungry lawyer could file suit on behalf of the aggrieved investors and work out a nice little settlement.
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Offline chicken

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2015, 09:41:16 pm »
There's more detail about how Triggertrap failed in this earlier post by their CEO - they hadn't given up yet at that point:
https://medium.com/@Haje/hardware-is-hard-getting-a-kickstarter-project-shipped-59c9596bdd7f

 

Offline Smokey

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2015, 10:33:48 pm »
The bit i don't get is that if you have a genuinely commercially viable idea, why do you need crowd funding, and if it isn't commercially viable, how is it going to work just because it is crowd funded??

I see kickstarter more as a marketing and pre-order system than anything else.  Having your project on the site gets it exposure, and essentially pre-selling units lets you build intelligent batches without a lot of overstock. 
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2015, 11:21:29 pm »
Civilized society works on trust, so it's important trust is maintained. If people can't play nice, then government will step in.
That one government that can be trusted, right. Keep it out, makes it worse.
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Offline IanB

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2015, 11:32:25 pm »
wait a minute ... if these blokes outsourced everything to the "real" people who actually designed more of it than they did ... then what have they been doing?  :palm:

There's a common way of thinking that "ideas" are much more important than execution. If you have a brilliant idea you can just pay some techno-dweebs to do all the boring work of design, prototyping, testing and manufacturing (which of course is a purely mundane detail) while you pay them as little as possible and reap all the profits of your brilliance  ::)
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2015, 06:02:32 am »
Some young people are cocky and overconfident. This is news? No, no, it isn't. That you think it is suggests your own experience, or your ability to learn from it is lacking.
Some older people thing that kids today are X & Y (where X & Y are unfavorable). Also not news.

Who said it was news?  It's not - it's simply an observation.  Your inability to separate one from the other while drawing incorrect conclusions from it suggests you suffer from the very problem I highlighted.

The forum in question is populated mostly by successful business owners ranging from 20's to 70's in age and most employ several dozen people.  Out of 100+ people discussing, I don't think there was a single one who disagreed with the premise.

Quote
While kickstarters like this seem like slow-motion trainwrecks, what's the harm, really? So, a bunch of people are out an average of, what $150 or so after refunds are paid out? Yeah, that sucks, and if it were me, I'd feel shitty about it, but, on the other hand, this is a tool for people doing high-speed photography, not exactly a cheap profession or a hobby. I doubt $150 is a very significant loss.

And lets compare kickstarter to some of the other things people spend their money on: Skying: I haven't been in quite a while, but I gather equipment still costs hundreds, lift tickets cost quite a bit, travel and lodging (if needed) add up, and there is always the risk that you'll injure yourself, that the snow will suck, or that the weather is too bad to ski.

So it's OK to be lackadaisical and careless with other people's money because, hey, they are rich people and they can afford to lose it, eh?

Quote
This didn't seem like fraud or mania though, just too much foolishness, and to their credit, they finally figured out for themselves that it wasn't going to work, before they ran of money AND they decided to quit, rather than doubling down and refund the remaining funds.

What credit are they due?  They claimed they could do it with 50k.. ended up getting 300k, and burned through 240k of it before getting a quote on manufacturing and realizing they couldn't pay for it.  It appears Triggertrap shares your ideas about the responsibility one takes on when taking hundreds of thousands from people to accomplish a task.


Quote
Oh, and back to the topic of experience, or the lack of it. People learn as much from failed projects as successful ones, sometimes more. I don't have a problem with a world where people can raise modest amounts of money from a few thousand people and succeed or fail, and try again.

Oh, well, as long as they learned something... it's all good then.  ::)
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2015, 06:06:17 am »

There's a common way of thinking that "ideas" are much more important than execution. If you have a brilliant idea you can just pay some techno-dweebs to do all the boring work of design, prototyping, testing and manufacturing (which of course is a purely mundane detail) while you pay them as little as possible and reap all the profits of your brilliance  ::)

Well said.

One of the most shocking reality checks for would-be entrepreneurs when dealing with "real" investment capital is that their idea isn't worth shit.  There are countless bitter self-titled 'entrepreneurs' out there who feel that the investment world failed them because it didn't recognize the brilliance of their idea and give them millions in VC money for a minority share in their greatness.

Meanwhile, one look at the success rate of hardware projects on KS or (especially) IGG shows what happens when those peopl DO get the $$ without the risk.  It usually goes to shit pretty quickly.
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Offline JuKu

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2015, 09:55:38 am »
One of the most shocking reality checks for would-be entrepreneurs when dealing with "real" investment capital is that their idea isn't worth shit.  There are countless bitter self-titled 'entrepreneurs' out there who feel that the investment world failed them because it didn't recognize the brilliance of their idea and give them millions in VC money for a minority share in their greatness.
There are also those ideas that are worth something. An investor wants to see xM$ in, 5xM$ out (at minimum). There are also truly worthless ideas, but there are also ideas in the 100k$ in, 250k$ out range. Worth of doing, but not with investors. Tough spot if you don't have the 100k and can't give guarantees to a bank. Crowdfunding works in this field. But...

If you limit it to people who already know how to do this and have a track record of success, then you wipe out 95% of kickstarter projects and essentially the entire concept along with it.
People who already know how to do this and have a track record of success don't need kickstart, they either already have the money or can access cheaper funds. Therefore, kickstarter projects are by definition run by people who don't have the track record. Kickstarter doesn't make it clear enough that you are making a bet, not a pre-order.
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Online Marco

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2015, 03:52:45 pm »
Kickstarter makes it perfectly clear, legally it's a pre-order ... the rest is just fluff. If you don't fulfil it's at your own risk, you might get taken to the cleaners in a class action or by an ambitious state AG if you're American.

Really more of the fulfilment risk needs to be put on project starters through legal means, there is way too much moral hazard at the moment.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 04:09:41 pm by Marco »
 

Offline all_repair

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2015, 04:51:12 pm »
Kickstarter makes it perfectly clear, legally it's a pre-order ...
Yes.  Anything more, they have to be selling part of their equity with the fund raising.  From their billing, they were clearly misusing the fund. 
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 04:53:51 pm by all_repair »
 

Offline workwithme

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #43 on: March 05, 2015, 10:02:53 pm »
That's unfortunate. Hopefully the backers appreciate the honesty from the Triggertrap team. 
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2015, 11:02:18 pm »
There are also those ideas that are worth something. An investor wants to see xM$ in, 5xM$ out (at minimum). There are also truly worthless ideas, but there are also ideas in the 100k$ in, 250k$ out range. Worth of doing, but not with investors. Tough spot if you don't have the 100k and can't give guarantees to a bank. Crowdfunding works in this field. But...

I'd have to disagree on that... I don't think there are ideas that are valuable.  I don't know of anyone who ever sold an idea alone.  Even if you look at companies which have generated massive value, like Whatsapp or PayPal - great ideas, but the idea of "we will make a virtual currency" or "we'll make a low cost communication system" are worthless.  It's the implementation of the idea that is valuable. 

As far as investors, they are looking for a minimum of a 10x multiple on their investment.  Out of 10 deals, 7 will return nothing.  2 will return around what was put in.  The last one will return a lot more.  They don't want "around" 10x (like they would be OK with 7x), they really want a minimum of 10x, or it's just not worth doing.  There is no shortage of deals available, so it's really about picking the best ones with highest likelihood of success. 

The 100k deals are where angel investors come in.  They do deals below the traditional VC level but outside of more traditional financing (i.e. debt).  If the deal is solid enough, getting funding is no problem.  But for only a 2.5 ROI, it would have to be tantamount to a guaranteed return.  Look at all the deals on KS/IGG.  In the mind of the creator, they are all solid - almost a guaranteed return.  Yet most of them flounder and very few make $$.  In other words, thinking your deal is solid and a sure-thing is a lot different than it actually being so, or being able to convince an investor of that :)

People who already know how to do this and have a track record of success don't need kickstart, they either already have the money or can access cheaper funds. Therefore, kickstarter projects are by definition run by people who don't have the track record. Kickstarter doesn't make it clear enough that you are making a bet, not a pre-order.

Having a track record of success doesn't preclude using KS.  Why would a company sell equity or take on debt if they can just get money for the promise to try to deliver something?  It's the greatest deal in the world (for the creator).  Unfortunately it's a crappy deal for the backers - no control, no accreditation and no tools to properly evaluate projects.  I completely agree that KS doesn't make it clear what backers are getting into.  Reading the comments makes it clear people thought it was a much different deal than it was.  KS even lists TOS that they don't do anything to enforce. 

For backers, it's like betting on a shell game in the subway in Rome  >:D
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Offline Bassman59

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #45 on: March 09, 2015, 04:29:30 pm »
The bit i don't get is that if you have a genuinely commercially viable idea, why do you need crowd funding, and if it isn't commercially viable, how is it going to work just because it is crowd funded??

The only reasons which make sense to me are:

a) a creator (and what a silly term that is!) has a product idea which has been prototyped and debugged and is ready to go into production, but the creator lacks the funds to start the production line (not independently wealthy, don't want to/can't max out credit cards, banks won't give a loan to someone without a track record, whatever), and

b) to gauge whether an idea which has been prototyped and debugged and is ready to go into production is viable. In other words, if nobody is interested in the product idea, the creator won't spend $50K and have boxes of unwanted things lying around the garage.
 

Offline matkar

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #46 on: March 16, 2015, 01:27:01 pm »
The bit i don't get is that if you have a genuinely commercially viable idea, why do you need crowd funding, and if it isn't commercially viable, how is it going to work just because it is crowd funded??

The only reasons which make sense to me are:

a) a creator (and what a silly term that is!) has a product idea which has been prototyped and debugged and is ready to go into production, but the creator lacks the funds to start the production line (not independently wealthy, don't want to/can't max out credit cards, banks won't give a loan to someone without a track record, whatever), and

b) to gauge whether an idea which has been prototyped and debugged and is ready to go into production is viable. In other words, if nobody is interested in the product idea, the creator won't spend $50K and have boxes of unwanted things lying around the garage.
Don't forget the significance of promotion KS/IGG offer to the creator. If you create a product and even have funds to start the production, who to and how will you sell your niche product? Where will you advertise? If you are a newcomer, where are your references? Who knows you?
KS/IGG present your idea to masses and allow cummulative euforia. Therefore you stand a chance to get the initial kick.
Yes, KS/IGG campaigns make commercially unviable (in normal circumstances) ideas commercially viable. At least for a short time :)
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #47 on: March 16, 2015, 05:52:15 pm »
They should open source and publish whatever they've done to this point.

it will turn out to be based on some industrial PC104 style ARM7 $500 board :) this is what you get when you outsource product design with no clue
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Offline Smokey

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #48 on: March 16, 2015, 07:25:14 pm »
The funny thing is that in this case strapping some sensors on an Arduino would probably have been all they really need  :(
 

Offline Warhawk

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2015, 07:50:36 pm »
The funny thing is that in this case strapping some sensors on an Arduino would probably have been all they really need  :(

This is a way easier device but works very well. Some people in this thread may like it.
I made my own , however I've already sold my DSLR.  ::)

edit: Eh, I forgot to add a link:
http://www.doc-diy.net/photo/smatrig21/
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 07:03:30 am by Warhawk »
 


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