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Photo Booth Relay Control



photo booth relay finishedRelay control is one of our favorite features in SnapShot Studio™ Professional Edition. In this article, I will share how I use relay control and how to wire your own.

If you are uncomfortable or not capable of working with electrical wires, please do not attempt to replicate the information given in this article. Ask someone who is experienced with basic electrical wiring to avoid possible injury.


What is a relay?
The basic function of a relay is a switch, which has two states: on or off. With the Phidgets 1014 relay, we can control when the switch should be on or off. This allows you to control the flow of power to any external device that requires electricity.

With the 1014, there are a total of four switches we can control. The 1014/1014_2 is made to handle higher voltage devices, such as incandescent lights. Both AC and DC devices can be used with the 1014 Relay.

1014 Relay Driversphoto booth relay back
You'll need to download and install the Phidget 1014 Relay drivers, which can be found here.

Relay Usage
A good example of what you may use a relay for would be to control lighting. For our booth, we've outfitted it with LED accent lighting, a light for the print drop, and a modeling light.
We've tied each to a switch on the relay:

  • Accent Lighting: Switch 1
  • Modeling Light: Switch 2
  • Print Drop Light: Switch 3

    First, I'll set the modeling light to turn on when a session begins. I have the choice of turning the modeling light on when the Capture Screen opens, but I will wait and have it turn on when a user actually starts the session. To do this, I will choose "Capture Screen", then select the "Switch 2" check box in the "On Select" section. I will also select "Switch 2" in the "On Close" section. This will keep the modeling lights on until the Thank You Screen appears.

    photo booth relay back closeupWhen we start the booth, I want the accent lighting to turn on and I want it to stay on for as long as my event is supposed to run. When it turns off, it lets me know to start wrapping things up.
    To do this, I'll set switch 1 (accent lighting) to operate on a timer in the Timed Switching section (bottom):

  • Switch 1
  • Where: Photo Booth Launch
  • Duration: 2 hrs

    Finally, I want my Print Drop Light to turn on when the print is sent to the printer and I want it to remain on for 40 seconds. We will use the Timed Switching section again:

  • Switch 3
  • Where: Thank You Screen
  • When: On Print
  • Duration: 40 seconds

    Building Your Relay System
    I wanted to make my relay as simple as possible, so I decided to use four Electrical Outlet Receptacles (GFI Receptacles would be an even better choice). I basically built a power strip that is controlled by my relay.
    The graphic below illustrates the wiring schematic that I used for the electrical receptacles. I've labeled positive (+) and negative (-) in the event that you wish to use the schematic with a DC power source. It will work equally as well with AC power.

    photo booth relay wiring

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