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El-cheepo Nauticam Optical trigger


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#1 Bevanj

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 08:12 PM

Hi All, 

I know that I'm relatively new here, but I thought I'd check if anyone is interested in a super simple LED trigger for their CANON Nauticam housing? 

I set out to design a board for a simple optical trigger to fit to my NA-5DSR housing powered by two CR1632 batteries.

If there is interest, I could knock up a few more. They may make a good backup for those of you shooting with more expensive optical triggers.

Since it's very simple, it only does 1st curtain sync, and manual strobe adjustment. 

It has no trouble triggering my new Z-330s (Thanks Peter Mooney!). I'll try and see if I can test it with a friends YS-D2s sometime in the next week or two. Hopefully it should be fine - I'm using 15 degree beam angle CREE LEDs, and they're incredibly bright.

With the board installed, there are two 10mm tall spacers between it and the housing with longer M3 screws for mounting. I've got some proper stainless ones on the way.

I'm not a business, I'm not commercial. I'll simply be making these on my desk in the spare room if there is interest. Hopefully this doesn't violate the Ts&Cs of the classifieds forum. 

Bevan

Attached Images

  • 20181009_164830 (2).jpg
  • 20181009_165420 (1).jpg
  • 20181009_164820 (2).jpg

Edited by Bevanj, 09 October 2018 - 12:49 PM.


#2 Bevanj

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 08:14 PM

Then again, this would probably work with Nikon too, if there is someone out there that can ring out their Nauticam supplied Nikon hot shoe cable for me with a multimeter.



#3 makar0n

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 07:03 AM

m4/3 user here (so no need for a SLR trigger :D ), but that is some great design :)

You might want to perhaps share it in the "Lights, Strobes, and Lighting Technique" - in classifieds it will disappear pretty quickly off the "front" page... Also, if you are trying to sell it, perhaps a guidance price would be useful for all the folks out there.



#4 TimG

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 07:28 AM

Good idea, makar0n (love that name!). I'll move it.....


Tim
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Nikon D500, Nikkors 105mm and 8-15mm, Tokina 10-17mm,  Subal housing

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#5 TimG

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 07:30 AM

Done!


Tim
(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D500, Nikkors 105mm and 8-15mm, Tokina 10-17mm,  Subal housing

http://www.timsimages.uk
Latest images: http://www.shutterst...lery_id=1940957


#6 scubaslr

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 08:00 AM

Hi Bevanj,

 

I am very interested in your trigger. I've been trying to build one myself but unsuccessfully so far. I have a Nauticam NA-7D housing (Canon 7D) and have built a similar circuit. Although I am using VERY strong LEDs I cannot trigger the strobes through the prisms. I can trigger them fine if I shine the LEDs directly at the optical fibre cables, but not through the prisms inside the housing. I have cleaned them thoroughly but they still don't work.

 

I noticed that your LEDs go straight into the holes where my prisms are fitted. Have you modified your housing or does it have no prisms?

 

Many thanks,

John



#7 Kraken de Mabini

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 12:16 PM

Hi, I like this project.  I have a Nauticam NA-D500 housing and Nikon D500 (also Nikon D800 and D7100) cameras.  Please tell me how to go about the multimeter measurements.  I can be contacted here or via my email.

Cheers!



#8 Bevanj

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 12:26 PM

Kraken, 

So long as it buzzes out as follows from the Nikon hotshoe connector to the pins on the round micro-din connector, it should be fine. I can't see the pinouts being any different, as they connect to the same bulkheads. The ground is the side contact on the main hotshoe metal bit, the bit CTR is the pin that contacts the center pin in the hotshoe.
 

I can probably make these for anyone who wants one in the realm of $45USD shipped worldwide, but will need to get some more PCBs cut first.

 

Bevan

Attached Images

  • 20181010_092034.jpg

Edited by Bevanj, 09 October 2018 - 12:44 PM.


#9 Bevanj

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 12:42 PM

Scubaslr, 

Yes, the prism is removed from my housing. I've attached some photos of it. It's a piece of cake to remove - 3 hex screws, and comes out in two pieces - there's the prism, and a prism mount. 

One screw holds the prism onto the prism mount, and it has some feet that latch in at the top. The prism mount is held onto the aluminium housing by 2 screws.

For anyone else going the DIY route - the screws are M3.

Hope it helps. 

Bevan

Attached Images

  • 20181010_093634.jpg
  • 20181010_093555.jpg

Edited by Bevanj, 09 October 2018 - 12:51 PM.


#10 scubaslr

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 09:45 PM

Thanks for the reply Bevan.

My housing doesnt have a trapezoidal prism like yours but two cylindrical ones that sit tightly in the ports where you fit your LEDs (see attached photo). I dont know if they are removable, hope that somebody who knows will post a reply.BB36354F-8A89-4447-BC50-610D06FA7A4D.jpeg

#11 Kraken de Mabini

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 09:14 AM

Hi Bevanj:

  My housIng is the Nauticam NA-D500.  I measured the conductance between the hot shoe metal plate and the 4 pins, and there was none.  However, the pin sort of in the middle, #3 counting from the left, is positive for 5.8V

  The bulkheads have the LEDs built into them and appear to be hardwired to the circuit board..  Attached are two photos, please let me know if you need more information.

 

A.JPG

B.JPG



#12 Bevanj

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 01:23 PM

Kraken, 
I meant the OEM Nauticam Nikon hot shoe cable that links it with a tiny round connector to their OEM Nikonos connectors. That new fancy TTL board which they come with is different.  
The one I was meaning for a continuity check looks like this... 
https://www.backscat...le-Nikonos-Conn

Scubaslr, 
I take it that is the NA-7D MK1? You could ask a Nauticam dealer if those tiny integrated prisms are removable? 

Bevan


Edited by Bevanj, 10 October 2018 - 02:12 PM.


#13 scubaslr

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 10:04 PM

Apparently the cylindrical prisms are not removable. Nauticam sells replacement bulkheads without them, they cost $100 each.

#14 jviss

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 02:21 PM

Hi All, 

I know that I'm relatively new here, but I thought I'd check if anyone is interested in a super simple LED trigger for their CANON Nauticam housing? 

I set out to design a board for a simple optical trigger to fit to my NA-5DSR housing powered by two CR1632 batteries.

If there is interest, I could knock up a few more. They may make a good backup for those of you shooting with more expensive optical triggers.

Since it's very simple, it only does 1st curtain sync, and manual strobe adjustment. 

It has no trouble triggering my new Z-330s (Thanks Peter Mooney!). I'll try and see if I can test it with a friends YS-D2s sometime in the next week or two. Hopefully it should be fine - I'm using 15 degree beam angle CREE LEDs, and they're incredibly bright.

With the board installed, there are two 10mm tall spacers between it and the housing with longer M3 screws for mounting. I've got some proper stainless ones on the way.

I'm not a business, I'm not commercial. I'll simply be making these on my desk in the spare room if there is interest. Hopefully this doesn't violate the Ts&Cs of the classifieds forum. 

Bevan

That's really excellent, nice job!  Thanks for sharing.



#15 scubaslr

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Posted 02 November 2018 - 05:24 AM

I was eventually able to mount @Bevanj's flash trigger in my NA-7D (Mark I) housing.  The cylindrical prisms cannot be removed from the bulkheads to allow the LED's in, but if you get the LED's to line up at exactly the right angle it works like a charm. Some BluTack came in handy...

 

Thank you @Bevanj!

 

IMG_2238r.jpg

IMG_2238.jpg?dl=0



#16 Bevanj

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 03:07 PM

Well, 

I changed the design. Now, no matter how long you've got the shutter open for, the LEDs will pulse ~2 milliseconds regardless, instead of staying on for the entire shutter duration. It also has incredibly low current draw when in storage still. The result is that the batteries should last over a hundred years in storage, or over a million shots. I suspect the batteries will corrode before they go flat. 

I can still make them for $45USD. Right now I've got 3 assembled and sitting in front of me. 

 

Cheers,
Bevan

I've also got another design in the works which should fit housings with a smaller prism area.

Attached Images

  • IMG_9179.JPG
  • IMG_9178.JPG


#17 g3cko

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 05:14 PM

Very cool!  

 

You mention, it only works for 1st curtain?  How does rear curtain change this?  I would have assumed (I'm guessing incorrectly) that rear is just at the end of the exposure, and that as far as the flash is concerned, exactly the same as front.  



#18 Bevanj

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 02:12 AM

g3cko, yes. 1st curtain only. Rear curtain is as you say - right at the end of the exposure. Canon have locked things down - you can only do second curtain if the camera detects a genuine Canon speedlight on the camera. I'm in the middle of reverse engineering the Canon ETTL2 protocol. I'd say I'm 95% of the way there. 

Bevan


Edited by Bevanj, 22 November 2018 - 02:12 AM.


#19 guzy

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 02:30 AM

Nice work Bevan! Is it possible to make sony version?


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#20 Bevanj

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 06:41 AM

I believe it should work with Sony. Next time I catch up with a friend who has an A7RII, I'll see if he minds if I try it on his camera. 

Oh, and I tried the V5.6 board shown above with the YSD2 - they fire just fine! :D 

Bevan