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Unlike our other products, gentWIRE-USB, gentWIRE-USB2, clickPAN-USB, and clickPAN-SDM, require a firmware enhancement called SDM or CHDK to be installed in your Canon camera. This page is designed to help you with this, so you can successfully use our products with your camera. 

We maintain a list of compatible cameras but with three variants of SDM/CHDK/CHDK-DE and multiple camera revisions not every combination is possible. For full compatibility details and latest camera additions check:

Getting SDM or CHDK...

There are 2 variants of CHDK, called CHDK and SDM. We recommend using SDM. The developers have concentrated more on what photographers need rather than what is possible. The feature set is therefore tailored to what are the requirements for Stereo Photography and remote photography. All products will run with both products except clickPAN-SDM, which must use SDM.

SDM (and CHDK) reside on the SD card in your camera so enabling the camera is all about the SD card. There are various ways to make this work but we think this is the easiest. Note that you must have a card reader, it is not possible to install SDM (or CHDK) by plugging the camera directly into the computer.

The simplest way of installing SDM is to use the ASSIST application. This is a java program which runs under Windows, Mac OSX or Linux (Ubuntu at least). All you have to do is drag an unedited photo taken with your camera and drop it on the ASSIST window. It will determine what build of SDM your camera needs, download it for you and install it onto an SD card, all with just a few button clicks.

Once you have prepared the card you need to lock it (by moving the small slider on the left-hand edge), insert it in the camera and switch on.

There's a very similar application, STICK that will do the same job for CHDK.

To test it works take a USB cable plugged into a powered computer and briefly plug the cable into the camera, it should take a picture if SDM was installed correctly. You can now use gentWIRE-USB and clickPAN-USB

To use gentWIRE-USB2 and clickPAN-SDM you will need to run a "script" in the camera, to do that read on...

Operation without scripts...

SDM & CHDK can be used without the added complexity of using scripts, but only to fire the shutter. So, as installed, with no further configuration, the shutter will fire at the end of the trigger signal to the camera. For the fastest shutter release you need to make only one change in the SDM menus - in the Bracketing\Overrides menu, set 'focus_mode' to Manual.

Scripts for starters...

These scripts add remote control functionality above the basic shutter release:

The Remoteshutter.bas Script 
 allows a simple shutter release functionality to be added to your camera. Note that the latest builds of CHDK and SDM have this functionality built in - i.e. You don't need a script to take a picture but this script is included to give an idea of how scripts work. 

The MoviePhoto.bas Script 
demonstrates the power of CHDK and SDM products, allowing a gentWIRE-USB2 to take stills or video depending on the command from the remote.

The SimpleZoomNShoot.bas Script 
is used with CHDK2 products, making joystick 1 click the shutter and joystick 2 control the camera's zoom. This script will work fine on A-series or SD/IXUS-series cameras which have 3* or 4* zooms with 8 or 14 zoom steps. Each joystick movement will move the zoom to the next step. However, S-series cameras such as the S3 IS have more powerful 12* zooms with 128 steps, so although this script will work on such cameras, it will take a lot of joystick movements to do any useful zooming.

The ZoomNShoot.bas Script 
This script should work on all CHDK-cameras that have zooms. It provides a run-time parameter, c, which if set to 0 (the default) will provide zooming for A- and SD/IXUS- cameras, while if it's set to 1 will work on S-series cameras. In either case moving the joystick will move the zoom a reasonable distance. The script uses the set_zoom_rel function to move the zoom by a number of steps, 2 steps for A and SD/IXUS cameras and 25 for the S-series.

The CHDK2Tester.bas Script
This simple script is designed to let you test that your Gentled gentWIRE-USB2 is working correctly. When you run the script by clicking the shutter button it will run until you click the shutter button again, and while it's running you should see the camera's LCD display appropriate messages as the transmitter joysticks are moved.

Writing your own Scripts
gentWIRE-USB lets you connect one RC channel to the USB port of a CHDK-enabled camera. Either a 400mS long pulse, or a continuous pulse is sent as long as a single joystick is held over. 

gentWIRE-USB2 lets you connect two servo channels to the USB port of a CHDK-enabled Canon camera. Scripts running in the camera can detect joystick movements on the two channels and carry out a variety of actions in response.
A CHDK script can detect when power is applied to the USB port and for how long that power is applied. The CHDK2 uses this to send USB power signals of six different durations:

  • 30 mS signal when joystick 1 is moved up
  • 60mS signal when joystick 1 is centered
  • 90mS signal when joystick 1 is moved down
  • 120 mS signal when joystick 2 is moved up
  • 150mS signal when joystick 2 is centered
  • 180mS signal when joystick 2 is moved down

The get_usb_power CHDK script function returns the time power was applied in 10ms units, so an "up" movement of joystick 2 will return a value of 12 (or possibly 13 since it's not possible for the system to be exactly precise). By using this function a script can determine which joystick was moved and in which direction and use this to carry out an appropriate action.

The essence of the script is an if statement which passes control to one of six subroutines depending on the value returned by get_usb_power. It's relatively simple to modify the script by inserting camera actions in the appropriate subroutines. 

Important Note 
When assigning an action to the joystick middle position, bear in mind that it's not possible to move a joystick from the up position to the down position without going through the middle position. 

Thanks to Dave Mitchell (see his helpful tutorial here and here) for his scripting expertise and development of the example scripts provided above.

NOTE: Gentles Limited cannot accept responsibility for the 3rd party firmware enhancements required to use this product.

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