Convert Zap-Shot to 10pin Nikon
By Ed Baumgarten

The great folks at Zap-Shot (www.zap-shot.com) have a REALLY nice radio remote for Canon cameras. Unfortunately, the connector on the Zap-Shot is a single pin, 3 conductor plug. I emailed them to ask if they planned a Nikon version and they replied that was not in the works, but with some careful checking I could probably modify the existing unit to work.......

First, a disclaimer. As with all hacks - DON'T attempt this if you're not willing to risk frying your Zap-Shot or camera. Although mine works fine on my D2x, if you mis-wire it and cook either unit, don't call me. Modifier Beware! I'm going to assume that if you're willing to take on this project you're familiar with soldering/desoldering techniques and have basic knowledge of an ohm meter or continuity tester.

That being said............

You'll need a Zap-Shot, a small soldering iron, some solder, an ohmeter, a decent wire cutter/stripper and a cheap Adidt 10 pin Nikon remote off of ebay. Buy the shortest cabled one you can get to save some cash, you won't need much wire on it. Mine was labeled 'M1'. A search on ebay should reveal several.zapshot internal

Begin by opening the case on the Zap-Shot. It simply snaps together so prying gently on the seam with a small screwdriver near where the cable enters the unit should pop it right open. Once opened, remove the battery and gently pull out the PC Board along with the cable.zapshot showing solder pads

Desolder the factory cable from the PC Board. There are 3 wires and the PC Board is marked 'C' for common, 'SH' for shutter and 'AF' for auto-focus.

Cut the 10 pin connector off the Adidt remote leaving about 8" of cable (hold it next to the Zap-Shot cable and/or adjust your cable length to suit. You might want to mock up the length of the cable you'll need depending on how you plan to fasten the Zap-Shot to you camera.)

Remove the strain relief from the factory Zap-Shot cable that you've desoldered and slide it over the Adit cable that you've just cut. It might be a bit tight but a little soap on the cable will make it slide right on. Strip the outer insulation of the Adidt cable back 3/4 of an inch or so and strip the individual conductors an 1/8 or so.
nikon 10 pin pin out

Although the remote shown in the pictures has Red Black and White conductors, I have had Adidt remotes with different colors so don't count on having a color code. Using an ohmmeter, clip one lead to one of the stripped wires and probe the 10 pin connector to find out which lead it is with the other lead using the pinout in the picture. Make a note of the color and which pin it attaches to (C, SH or AF) and do the same with the other two. You now know exactly which lead should be soldered to which pad inside the Zap-Shot. That whole thing probably reads much more complicated than it actually is...........just try it. Double check your work to make sure it's right, misfiring here could probably fry something.......BE CAREFUL and DOUBLE CHECK YOUR WORK. Carefully solder the correct leads into the correct pads on the Zap-Shot. Be careful not to overcook the pads as they will come off the board if you get them too hot.



 

 

 

completed zapshot hack
That's really about it. Reinsert the PC board in the case, put the strain relief back in it's hole, put the battery in and reassemble your Zap-Shot and give it a try. The autofocus button should turn on the autofocus and the shutter button should fire the shutter. I velcro'ed mine to the side of my pocketwizard as shown. Works great.
zapshot velcro pocketwizard

 
   


Why the Zap-Shot and not a PW trigger cable?

The 2 button key fob trigger that comes with the Zap-Shot is small and very easy to carry. I wear mine on one of those 'Janitor Retracting Cord Belt Mounted Key Holder' thingies. Put it on your belt first thing in the morning and it's always right by your side. Once you get the shot you simply let go of the fob and it zips itself right back to your belt, ready for the next time you need it.