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  1. #1

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    Triggering multiple flash with cord

    I'd like to fire more than one flash simultaneously.

    I have two Metz 45CT-3 and I intend to use it in manual mode. My intention is to create a portable lighting kit with umbrellas. For this, I need to fire them simultaneously. I do not want to use a wireless setup or optical slaves but I do want to take one cord from each and fire it together.

    I thought about using optical isolators or reed relays and actuate both from X sync terminal but I know there are adapters that sits in the hot shoe and have aux terminals. The size tells me there can't be much or any electronics in these devices.

    Are these simply connecting flashes in parallel? I measured the trigger voltage on these Metz flashes and they are at 5 Volts or so. So damage by high trigger voltage isn't an issue.

    Has anyone done this?
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #2
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    I think they are just parallel connections. If the two flashes are the same then you shouldn't have any problems. Even if they don't fire (which I'm sure they will) you will not do any damage to them.


    Steve.

  3. #3

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    They’re simply multiple connectors. They were sold by many suppliers.

    For example:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...x_Adapter.html

  4. #4

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    Oh wow.... I have not seen that. Now I don't have to make one. Thank you.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  5. #5
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Trigger voltage concerns?

    Would use of two or three flashes and one of those multi-synch adapters increase the concern with high trigger voltage flashes and newer electronic cameras?

    Would they decrease that concern?

    Would there be no effective difference?

    I certainly don't know the answer, but would like to.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  6. #6
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    What about "slave triggers? I have a number of them that I use with multiple flashes. They're reall not to expnsive, and they're pretty fool proof. Then all you need is a decent flash meter. I have one of those adapters pictured, but not sure what "BOX O STUFF" it's in. Since I started using the slave triggers, I've not needed it.

  7. #7

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    I doubt it, Matt....

    If you connect two voltage sources in parallel, the combined voltage will not exceed the highest voltage source. If there are any difference in two, the lower one will SINK (obsorbe) the higher one resulting in combined voltage in between the two.

    In my particular case, it *should* be safe, especially when each only produces 5 volts or so.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  8. #8
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    If you parallel connect two or more different flashes then the sync voltage will eventually rise to that of the highest voltage flash. The sync voltage is usually derived from the flashes main high voltage source via a high value resistor charging a small capacitor. When the flash is fired this capacitor is discharged into a trigger transformer to produce a trigger voltage to the tube.

    If multiple flashes are paralled together then these trigger charges are not independent any more and the same charge will be applied simultaneously to all of the trigger transformers. It is more than likely that all the flashes will fire o.k. but there is a possibility that one transformer could have a significantly lower primary resistance than the others and take more than its fair share of the charge causing the other(s) to misfire.

    Again, I don't think any damage would occur.

    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    If there are any difference in two, the lower one will SINK (obsorbe) the higher one resulting in combined voltage in between the two.
    As the only thing which could sink the voltage is the capacitors, they are both going to end up charged to the higher of the two voltages rather than to a mid point.


    Steve.

  9. #9

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    Steve,

    I was only thinking in terms of internal and equivalent resistance/impedance at the connector and more generically to a circuit with parallel power sources and one load.

    Your explanation of the internal trigger circuit makes sense. When I measured voltage with my old VOM (with relatively low internal resistance), the voltage measured somewhere less than 2 volts. When I did the same with an O-scope with 10x probe (I think it's 10MOhm internal resistance?), it measured 5 volts - indicating that impedance is pretty high.

    Do you have an actual diagram? If a small cap is being charged with high impedance source at the primary side, how would it build up such a high energy enough to generate a flash? Somehow, I'd think the trigger circuit is separate from charging circuit.

    Geez, it's cold here... my fingers don't move smoothly! (and I'm in Florida!)
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  10. #10
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Yes. Between 1M and 10M for the source resistance and probably about 10nF for the trigger capacitance.

    Because of this, when measuring the sync voltage with a multi-meter, the voltage measured will be significantly lower than the actual voltage due to the internal resistance of the meter loading the circuit.


    Steve.
    Last edited by Steve Smith; 12-27-2010 at 01:48 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Errant lower case letter at the start of a sentence!

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