Cross Beam Sensor Set

The cross beam sensor adds another whole dimension to your triggering capability - literally. This sensor was designed for triggering on flying insects or birds. For these applications having a one dimensional trigger just won't get you that killer insect in flight picture. The cross beam sensors can not only be used in a cross beam configuration but also be configured to give you directional triggering. They can be configured to allow either AND or OR logic to the two beams. They are extremely flexible.

Cross Beam Sensor With Lasers

Two Flavors - Infra-Red or Laser

The cross beam sensor is available in two different versions - Laser and Infrared. Each of the transmitter types has its own advantages depending on what type of subject you are trying to capture. Lasers are much more adept at capturing extremely small objects (like fruit flies) and are better for long distances. IR has the advantage of being invisible, this is a distinct advantage if you are working in the dark with your camera shutter open. Pictured above is the laser sensor with the diffusers (included) installed on the receivers. The receivers for both sets are identical with exception of the front element on the receiver. This element is user replaceable. For the laser transmitter there is a diffuser/filter that is placed in front of the receiver to improve performance in bright sunlight. For the IR sensor the front element is left open. If you need both the laser and IR cross beam sets you can do this without purchasing two complete sets. You can purchase one set and then just the transmitters for the other.

Infra-Red Cross Beam Sensor Set

The IR Cross Beam Sensor Set is the best choice for ballistics and indoor studio work. The IR transmitters have an invisible beam that has a larger beam width (active area) than the laser transmitters. This larger beam makes it easier to align when working with fast moving projectiles. The IR sensors are also the best choice for water or other clear fluids. For more information about the ballistics mode and setup visit our Ballistics How To page. The IR Cross Beam Sensor Set has a range of about 30 cm without the IR lens assembly attached to the transmitters. With the included IR lens assembly the range is increased to about 2 m. The IR sensors are not suitable for work in sunlight.

Laser Cross Beam Sensor Set

The Laser Cross Beam Sensor Set is the best choice for outdoor work including trail photography and birds and insects in-flight. The laser transmitters have a beam that can be focused to a very small diameter allowing insects as small as a fruit fly to be reliably photographed. See the example here: Durmphoto. The laser transmitters have a visible red beam that makes alignment outdoors much easier. StopShot has the capability to turn off the beam before the photograph is captured to prevent the red laser dots from showing up in your photographs. The laser sensor set also works very well in bright sunlight. The Laser Cross Beam Sensor Set has a range that is limited more by the stability of your setup than the range of the laser beam. We have tested the lasers as far as 10 m apart from the receivers but this is certainly not the limit. If you need to place the laser transmitter and receiver further apart than the 2 m cable allows for you can power up the laser transmitter with a Laser Transmitter Battery Pack for each laser transmitter.

Insect Rig with Laser Cross Beam Sensors Moth Captured with the Laser Cross Beam Set

The image of the moth in flight above was captured with the laser cross beam sensor set mounted on the front of the Cognisys Insect Rig. In this application StopShot coordinates the cross beam sensors, camera shutter, High Speed Shutter, and flashes to capture insects in flight.

The Ultimate in Flexibility

Both the laser and cross beam sets can be used with all of the cross beam modes listed below as well as ballistics mode. These sensors offer great flexibility for mounting and triggering. There is an indicator light on one of the receivers that will aid in sensor alignment. StopShot is configured to read the sensors in one of several different modes, these sensors can be operated in:

A & B = A and B Both A and B must be interrupted before the output is activated
A -> B = A followed by B A must be crossed before B before the output is activated
B -> A = B followed by A Same as above but B must happen before A
A | B = A or B Either A or B will activate the appropriate output


With this flexibility in triggering you can configure StopShot to catch very specific events. For example, you can trigger the flash or camera only when your target is moving is a specific direction. For the "A -> B" and "B -> A" modes. You can also use a configurable time out may be used to reset the trigger if the second event does not occur. This option minimizes user-intervention for each shot and allows you to capture pictures only when your specific conditions are met.

Because we could not possibly come up with a mounting configuration that would fit all of the different applications, all of our sensors are designed to be attached to PVC, or electrical conduit tubing for easy design of custom brackets. The sensor sets are also provided with standard tripod mounts - (1/4" x 20 Threads). Custom cables are also very easy to make for our system. We use all standard cables that can be purchased at your local Audio Video Store.

What you can do with the Cross Beam Sensors

Click on the image for a larger version.

Check out our videos on using the cross beam sensors.

Find The Cross Beam Sensor Sets in the store.