The smoking solder iron - DIY group

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by stormpetrel, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. stormpetrel

    stormpetrel Member

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  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    This sounds an interesting group and can I ask if it is possible to make an electronic kit to connect 3 or 4 or more standard flashguns together, to act as a strobe? With perhaps a variable timer between each flash, that allows each gun to reach its recycling time for full power between being fired. Such a bit of kit would be very useful and for all I know it may already exist. My students would find this useful.
     
  3. stormpetrel

    stormpetrel Member

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    yes sure!
     
  4. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    This would be great, as you can buy flash guns dirt cheap from charity shops.
     
  5. ArtO

    ArtO Member

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    Looks interesting. While I have nothing to add at this time, I signed up.
     
  6. micwag2

    micwag2 Member

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    I just joined and left a post at the group. I am a soldering/test technician for a living so I'd like to participate and see where this goes.
     
  7. AgX

    AgX Member

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    There once was marketed a hot-shoe delay device that after a first flash triggered staggered flashing with a choice between 1, 3 or 5 flashes in total. However it does not trigger several flash lights apart.
     
  8. stormpetrel

    stormpetrel Member

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    There are many ways to do that. The cheapest way would involve a PC-laptop, a $10 USB/parallel port (most of the parallel port can be used as TTL I/O port), a home brewed software and some extra components depending on the flashguns you want to use.

    If you don't want to use a PC-laptop, the next option would involve the use of a multipurpose commercial micro-controller board (e.g. adruino).
    Third option, make a dedicated board (micro-controller based).
    You might also do it in an analog way with monostable (NE555 circuits) but I don't recommend this solution

    If you have no experience with software programming and electronic it won't be an easy project , however if you are happy with the first solution I might help you with writing a piece of code to control your flashguns through the parallel port.

    Dom
     
  9. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    It only requires an optical trigger for each flash to fire multiple guns simultaneously. I bought some Metz potato masher type flash for this purpose. I know there is a specially made PC connector with one male port and 4 female port. I'm not sure how that'll work as all flash trigger will be connected in parallel with no isolation between them.

    I can think of an easy way to do TWO flash alternating with latching relays but more than one, I am not sure.... We probably don't want to over-complicate it for it will have to work reliably every time - and in less than optimal conditions. I can't think of how timer'ed approach is useful.... is that going to be like an intergovernmental type installation??
     
  10. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I don't understand electronics or what you describe, but are you saying with a lap top this could be done for about $10 with multiple flash guns?
     
  11. stormpetrel

    stormpetrel Member

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    My parallel port solution might have been a good solution with a real parallel port (not USB a adapter) during the windows XP era, but forget it as I have just discovered it would be not as straightforward to implement with new windows.

    The good news it can be easily done with a Arduino Board Nano! The board cost less than $30 on mouser.com but you will have to add extra components (relays to protect your computer and a darlington transistor network chip to drive those relays). The final board would be less than $60.
    Any piece of software which can access to the serial ports can communicate with this arduino board so it is very easy to write a software as it does not require to implement special driver!
    I will have a close look this weekend and let you know.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2013