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  1. #1
    Ara Ghajanian's Avatar
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    Problem with my Nikons and a Speedotron power pack...

    I really don't know where to ask this question. I've had this Speedotron D402 (the Brown-Line) power pack for around 15 years (bought it new) and it's worked perfectly up until the last year. I noticed it started miss-firing, i.e. not firing every once in a while through out a roll of film. I've missed some great shots and it's been a bit of an embarassment during photo shoots. Today I took all my cameras and hooked each one up to do tests to see if it's camera specific. I tried a Nikon F100, two F3s, a Hasselblad 500CM and a Rollei TLR. The Blad and the Rollei fired the strobes every time, the Nikons were another story. Every once in a while, with no apparent pattern, they wouldn't fire the power pack. I'm using a Paramount sync cord connected to the extension cord the kit came with. This setup hasn't received heavy useage over the years, I'd say moderate with good care. Could it be that the Nikons require a more specialized sync cord? I'm not sure where to begin. Any advice would be helpful...
    Ara
    Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

  2. #2
    rbarker's Avatar
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    If the Nikons weren't firing at all, I'd suspect a cord polarity issue. Based on the fact that they are firing intermitantly,however, my guess would be that the sync cord isn't fitting tightly enough. There are little PC connector reshaping tools that might do the trick for you.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
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  3. #3

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    hi ara

    i have a nikon body that i won't mention, but i use the hot shoe with an adapter for my pc plug. i had an off-brand adapter, but it didn't have all 6 or 5 connection pins, just a few, and my lumedye and speedlight both misfired or didn't fire at all. there is a heavy cord with an adapter you might want to look at - it has all the pins ... i got mine down the road from you at sbi ...

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  4. #4
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Note that the extra pins on the hot shoe are needed only for TTL and other "advanced" functions. For straight flash, only the center pin on hot shoe, along with the edge (ground) are required. There is no industry-wide standard for the use of the additional hot shoe pins, and different manufacturers use them for different purposes - a fact that prompted the SCA standards and the adapter modules that Metz sells for various cameras. As such, using multi-pin adapter cords can be a bit risky unless you know what the pinout represents.

    The Nikon hot-shoe-to-PC adapter (AS-10?) should work fine for straight flash sync, though.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
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  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Could it be the trigger voltage of the Speedo pack messing with the electronics in the Nikons? You might try using a Wein Safe-Sync between the camera and the pack just to eliminate that variable and to protect the cameras, just in case. On my little Nikon digigizmo, I use a Wein Safe-Sync HS, which has a PC out and attaches to the Nikon's hot shoe adapter, and I haven't had a problem with that and any of my Normans.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  6. #6
    Ara Ghajanian's Avatar
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    I tried this test again, but this time with a Minolta SRT101. Same thing was happening. Do you think the voltage from a 35mm camera varies and at times is not enough to trigger the strobe. I personally doubt it because the Nikons all have batteries and the Blad and Rollei don't. I just figured I'd ask the question.

    As far as the Safe-Sync, do they make a version for PC outlets since my F3s need an adapter to have a hot shoe?
    Ara
    Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

  7. #7
    blansky's Avatar
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    I'd start off the easy way. The least expensive part is always the one to shut down the works.

    Get another sync cord or a couple and experiment. The ends of these things do spread and affect firing.


    Michael
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  8. #8

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    Ara
    Voltage in camera is of no consequence. All the PC connetion is, is open ends tied to a switch. When the shutter opens completly the switch closes & you (usually) have light.
    As Blansky suggests the most failure prone part of the system is the synch cord.
    Since some of the newer cameras may have polarity problems you may try reversing the synch cord at the PS. If the Speedotron unit's got the 1/4" plug it gets harder.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  9. #9

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    For less then a safe sync you can get a radio setup from Ebay. It'll protect the camera from the pack voltage. Will give you more range then the sync cord. But does the pack have a H plug? Or a PC connector?

    Sounds like you've got two cables connected together. Start by using only one and see if that works. If it does you could just replace the one cable that didn't work. Sure is the cheapest option.

  10. #10

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    Nick,
    That's the way the Speedotrons were set up, They came with an extension type cord & you plugged the synch cord into it.
    I haven't looked at Ebay for radio setup but a safe-synch is less than $50.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

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