My Hacker Spirit Remains Alive

TL-MR3040-V2-04The word ‘hacker’ has acquired a bad reputation. Hackers steal. Hackers deface. Hackers take down.

I’m a hacker. Not that kind.

As a kid I took apart our family’s telephones (and reassembled them) to see what made them work. When computers first arrived I bought one, even though it could do next to nothing. I’m that kind of hacker.

I am fascinated by making things do tasks they weren’t designed to do. Sometimes that means circumventing controls, like jailbreaking a phone.

I did a little hacking this weekend. My Canon 7D camera (aka, “Clicky”) can now be operated remotely from my tablet or cellphone. This all came about after looking at a website posting titled, “TP-LINK TL-MR3040 wireless field monitor with DSLR controller.”

The MR3040 is a neat little wireless router made for road warriors. It gives folks with a USB cell modem the ability to use it with many devices at once.

DSLR Controller  BETA    Android Apps on Google PlayThe hack I found loads new firmware into the modem. Now, instead of a router the little white box becomes a ‘wireless cable,’ attaching my camera to my tablet. From there an Android app, DSLRController, takes over. Most of the controls on the camera now become accessible from the tablet.

Loading unauthorized firmware nearly always voids the warranty. There’s a chance the unit might get ‘bricked.’ The router was $30 with shipping on Amazon. I took a chance.

DSLRController itself is a hack, adding functions Canon left out!

I want to get more involved in using my 7D for video. This seems like an excellent step in that direction.