information and inspiration
for students, teachers and hobbyists
About Tools Products Activities Galleries Projects Links Contact Facebook LinkedIn  flickr


The WorkShop




Crossed-Beam Photogate Breadboard Kit, unassembled



The breadboard version of our crossed-beam photogate kit has been discontinued. For the project box version, click here.

The crossed-beam photogate uses a pair of infrared photogates oriented at right angles to each other. This type of photogate can be used to automatically actuate a camera shutter when an object passes through the beam intersection. This makes it useful for photographing birds and insects. If a camera is centered and focused at the beam crossing, the shutter will be actuated only when the object moves through the point of focus.


There are three parts to a crossed-beam photogate system:

Bird passing through crossed-beam photogate

Click here or on the photo to enlarge and show the photogate circuit.

Electronics: We provide a kit (CBP-O) for the detection and triggering circuitry. A breadboard and all electronic components and hookup wire are included. Assembly is required.


Photogate framework: We provide a kit (CBP-F) with pre-cut and pre-drilled sections of tubing so that you can quickly assemble a framework and align the photogates. The assembled gate shown above is 10" square (inner dimension), large enough for insects and small birds. You don't need this kit if you're planning to make a framework of your own design.


Shutter cord: You'll need a cord to connect the output of the trigger circuit to your camera shutter. We have a variety of cords available.


Online tutorials--both video and text/image--are available to help in building and using the crossed-beam photogate. You may wish to view the instructions before purchasing in order to see what's involved.


While triggering a camera is the most common application for the crossed-beam photogate, the circuit can also trigger low-voltage (<80 V) flash units and wireless transceivers and can be connected to the external input of a Multi-Trigger in order to use the delay timer.

Shutter Cables


We provide shutter cables for most camera makes/models for use with our triggers. When you order a shutter cable, we include an extension cable and adapter, if needed, to convert the cable for use with the 3.5mm stereo jack on our triggers.


Select your camera make/model below and note the corresponding ID. If you don't find your model listed, compare the socket on your camera to the photos below. The photos will enlarge by clicking on them. If you are still unable to determine the type of plug that you need, please contact us. If you already have a shutter release and want to convert it for use with our triggers, this page may help.


All shutter cables, which include extension cords and adapters (if needed), are $12.95.

Plug ID

Plug ID

Camera Make/Model Plug



Canon EOS Rebel series, T/X series, EOS 60D, 70D, 100D, 300D, 350D, 400D, 450D, 500D, 550D, 1000D, Powershot G series; Pentax K10D, K20D, K3, K5, K7 RS-60E3 plug



Canon EOS 5D Mark II/III, 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D, D30, D60, 5D/6D/7D, 1D/1DX, 1D/1DS Mark III, 1D Mark III, 1D Mark IV RS-80N3 plug



Nikon D1/D2/D3/D/D4/D5 series, D100, D200, D300, D300s, D500, D700, D800, D800E, D810, D810A, D850, F5, F100, F90, F90x; Kodak DCS-14N; Fuji Finepix S3pro, S5pro Nikon MC30 plug



Nikon D90, Df, D610/750/3100/3200/3300/5200/5300/7100, Coolpix 7700/7800, Coolpix A Nikon MCDC2 plug
S1 Sony Alpha A99, A100, A200 ,A290, A300, A350 ,A380 ,A390, A450, A500, A550, A580, A700, A850, A900SLT-A33, A55, A65, Minolta Maxxum 5D, 7D, 7, 9xi, 7xi, 5xi Sony S1 plug
S2 Sony ILCE-7 / A7R / NEX-3NL / A5000 / A6000 / A58 / A3000 / HX300 / RX100II Sony S2 plug
CB1 Olympus E1, E3, E5, E10, E20, E300, C7070, C8080 Olympus CB1 plug
UC1 Olympus E620/E520/E510/E420/E410/E400,
SP-510UZ / SP550UZ / SP-560UZ / SP-565UZ / SP-570UZ / SP-590UZ / SP-810UZ
XZ-1 / SZ-30MR / SZ-20/SZ-11 /
E-P1 / E-P2 / E-P3 / E-PL1 / E-PL2/E-PL3 / E-PM1 / E-PM2 / E-PM3 / E30 / EM-5 / EM-1
Olympus UC1plug

About Tools Products Activities Galleries Projects Links Contact Facebook LinkedIn flickr
copyright © 1995-2020