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DIY Flash Sync Cable


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#1 Gordium7

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 09:21 AM

Last summer I picked up a Sony W5 and factory enclosure, and an external Sunpack G-Flash strobe.

On my first dive trip with it I had certain shots (~ 10%) where there wasn't enough light bounce back to trigger the external strobe -- typically objects at a distance (3+ feet) with little or no immediate background objects, or other 'artsy' shots.

The obvious solution is a sync cable right?

Looking for one turned up a fiber optic cable that fit the Sunpack G-Flash (or twin Epoque D+ES-150) -- only trouble was that they want $50 - $60 for the silly thing. A significant fraction of the cost of the oriignal flash.

Since I abhor highway robbery, I have some up with the $5 solution based on a 20" fiber optic light-pipe attachment for AAA Mini-Mag-Lite by Nite Ize. While mine is for the Sunpack, the general approach could be used for other strobes that rely on a light sensor trigger.

I know this is low-end stuff, but is anyone interested in the details? :)

-- Steve

#2 kthan

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 12:45 AM

yes please steve....i notice a cut in my cable plastic casing recently :)

#3 MikeO

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 05:46 AM

As long as you can figure out a way to attach the end of the cable to the strobe and housing, you can get many different sizes of fiber optic cable very cheap. When I was using my C5050z and the Ikelite TTL slave sensors, I rigged up a fiber connection for about $5 in parts and some waterproof glue . . . .

Here is how I attached the fiber to the slave sensor:

Posted Image

Here is a picture of the stuff on the camera (only using one strobe in the picture but if you look, there are two fiber cables). I made a flash blocker attachment out of a sheet of polyethylene and some plastic weld glue.

Posted Image

Mike Oelrich
Canon EOS 40D in Seatool housing, 100mm macro, Tokina 10-17, INON Z-240s.


#4 Gordium7

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 10:22 AM

I have the project completed. I will post pics of the final configuration tomorrow. It has worked out really well.

kthan - have you considered using some heat shrink tubing (used in electronics) to repair and reenforce your cut cable?

#5 Gordium7

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 10:21 PM

One of the tough parts was finding some inexpense usable fiber optic line. After a bit of searching, I found a flashlight attachment (www.niteize.com) that seemed to fit the bill. I ended up ordering it online from www.pockits.com and recieved it in a few days ($5.00+shipping). Picture below. After a bit of simple pressure, it disassembles into the flashlight cup and the fiber optic stem -- note the brass grommet that was simply press fitted into the rubbery flashlight cup.

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#6 Gordium7

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 10:36 PM

The next step was to find a way of attaching to either end -- on the camera housing and the flash unit. The sensor on the flash has a 9 mm diameter plastic window that protrudes 4-5 mm above the face. My solution was to use a brass pistol cartridge case (380 auto, but a 9mm parabellum would work) that has a hole drilled through the diameter of that brass grommet. For the other end, I found a plastic shelving peg -- I milled one side flat, and drilled a hole the same diameter as the non-grommeted end of the fiber optic line. Plastic grommets used in electronics and a couple of O-rings help keep everything neat.

The flash end of the connection simply slips over the sensor knob. It looks like like so....

Hmm seems I can't attach anymore photos.... I will try and add to this later.