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Fiber optic UW strobe modification


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#21 pmerc

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 02:27 AM

So Phil have you been down to the patents office yet?

Cheers,
Jim.




Been thinking about it, you wanna go into business together then?
:D

#22 davelew

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 05:51 PM

So Phil have you been down to the patents office yet?


The fibersnoot is a very cool idea, and certainly innovative enough that Phil would have a good case with any patent office, at least in my opinion.

On the other hand, the cost of patents can be a problem for individual inventors. At least in the US, the patent system is geared to protecting large companies that spend millions on R&D, companies that can afford to spend $50,000 or more on a patent. You can save some money by doing things yourself instead of hiring a lawyer, but you still end up paying a lot in filing fees and maintenance fees.

#23 Ryan

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 08:07 AM

Fine work Phil.

Someone built a fiber optic ring flash for a compact in a clear plastic housing and posted pictures on digitaldiver.net way back in 2005 or 2006, but I can't locate them now. Jens Birch actually sounds right... I know there are a few similar snoot ideas kicking around (one on my desk), but convergent design certainly happens.

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#24 DryDuck

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 03:24 PM

"You should try the CHDK firmware it gives you a whole new level of control over your IXUS 980 among other things it lets you shoot in RAW "

Thanks for the link, but I think I checked a while back and it was not for our specific camera, if it is then that would be awesome!

There are CHDK versions available for both the 1.00E and 1.01B firmware versions of the IXUS 980. I use it with great results on my IXUS (firmware 1.01B) specially when making long exposure all natural light wreck photos.

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#25 pmerc

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 01:31 AM

The fibersnoot is a very cool idea, and certainly innovative enough that Phil would have a good case with any patent office, at least in my opinion.

On the other hand, the cost of patents can be a problem for individual inventors. At least in the US, the patent system is geared to protecting large companies that spend millions on R&D, companies that can afford to spend $50,000 or more on a patent. You can save some money by doing things yourself instead of hiring a lawyer, but you still end up paying a lot in filing fees and maintenance fees.


Very true. I did however look into the cost of protecting and to start the process it is not too bad, just a couple of hundred here in Oz.
I think the majority of the costs lay when you have to specify which countries to protect in. We went through patent process at a previous job.

There are CHDK versions available for both the 1.00E and 1.01B firmware versions of the IXUS 980. I use it with great results on my IXUS (firmware 1.01B) specially when making long exposure all natural light wreck photos.

DryDuck!


Ah thanks again for that. I had a look and will PM you with a few questions I have about your experiences.
Cheers, Phil


P.S. Thank you again everyone for the great comments!

#26 bvanant

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 09:54 AM

Very true. I did however look into the cost of protecting and to start the process it is not too bad, just a couple of hundred here in Oz.
I think the majority of the costs lay when you have to specify which countries to protect in. We went through patent process at a previous job.



Remember that having a patent doesn't mean that you can DO something, it only means that you can stop someone else from doing it.
Also, not to be a spoilsport but U.S. patent 7,712,906, just recently issued pretty much claims the same things you are talking about (not underwater though) and in the new world of U.S. patent law, obviousness has become much more difficult to circumvent.

If you are interested in patents, the two countries most useful for UW stuff are the U.S. and Japan, with Europe a close third, since most strobes are made there. Having an Australian patent will pretty much be useless since there are no manufacturers there and Australia divers could always buy from somewhere else.

Bill

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#27 mshohman

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 04:46 PM

Regardless of any patent noise, seems to me that the savvy businessman will get the most share of profits to be had from a line of commercial products based on the Fibersnoot. Phil, have you got a draft of the business plan yet? All sorts of different ways to monetize this...

Meanwhile, if you have any beta versions, would love to try them out before getting my hands on a production model.

Thanks for this!

Mike
Nikon D300 in S&S housing and YS110 strobes...Nikkor VR105mm, Tokina 10-17 Fisheye

#28 divegypsy

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 07:59 AM

Fibersnoot sounds a bit like a dietary problem, I suggest that Phil call his invention the PRO-boscis.

Fred

#29 Viz'art

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:20 AM

Just back from the digital shootout and couldn't help notice how many where schlepping around various versions of snoots, including optical fiber variants, given the simple nature of them and the fact that most of them can be made out from "off the shelves" components, I would say it would be difficult to come up with a viable and economical snoot system to market and sell, be it optical or just plain classic. from what I saw, it is somehow clear to me that most individual willing to go to the complication of shooting snoots are also more than willing to try experimenting with the plumbing supply section of the local Home Depot and Optical fiber supplier, while the other group tends to take a KISS approach and forego the complication of lighting subject with snoots and the hassle of making them in the first place. while not a scientific market study in itself, I think that my experience in marketing is on the button in this case.
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#30 Otara

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 05:44 PM

Scuba symphony sold out their first run of snoots very quickly, and seem to be selling well again.

Its likely to be a niche activity but theres probably some market for this, I like to experiment with stuff but am not really a handyperson type. A buyable optical fibre version would be an great option as far as Im concerned.

Otaa

#31 Viz'art

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 06:28 PM

Scuba Symphony uses an off the shelf aluminum snoot available for economical studio equipment (I used to sell theses ) and makes an appendage to adapt it to various strobes. same with the Plastic Sea & Sea proposal, if still available, (of which I did sell tons off also as well as used some myself top and under), given the size of the underwater photography market, it mean using as much ''already made'' items as possible, that also mean that the money is going somewhere else such as to the economical studio system manufacturer, the plumbing supplier or/and the optical fiber supplier and all you have left is trying to make a living off making adapters to fit those for various strobes, hardly a fortune maker, sorry to sound bleak, just don't see a Snoot Emporium on the horizon, it make senses if you already manufacture a line of strobes as it might motivate user to go into your product, but as a stand alone product, too easy to make, copy or knock off by basement operator.

Still I agree with you Otaa, it's definitely a niche product and if well polished, then some people will go for it (me the first) I have in horror the duct tape, hose clamp, tie wrap and glop of silicone sealer, call it a professional deformation, but when I get something (whether I make it or buy it) it's gotta look slick and pro, not like I walked away with my toilet plumbing :)

Edited by Viz'art, 29 June 2010 - 06:30 PM.

Jean Bruneau / Aquatica Technical Advisor

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#32 gobiodon

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 11:33 PM

Hi Phil,

It's a great DIY project, congratulations. I had a similar system few years back for topside macro, which I called light-tentacles:
http://farm3.static...._e793d81a15.jpg
I always wanted to build something similar for underwater, but I've never found enough motivation.
Actually I wanted to combine fiber optics with ring-flash adapter system. I also have one ring flash adapter for non-UW but a similar system would be too cumbersome underwater:
http://farm3.static...._9c938c64c5.jpg
Now the ideas are spinning around in my brain to combine these two and perhaps I will also start a new DIY project.

Thanks for the motivation!

Cheers

Marcell
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#33 Neopreneninja

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:14 AM

Superb idear and great results!

Love your thinking....now everyone with a singel Strobe set up can get that extra light for macro...

As said above the wetpixel Forum is a treasure trove of Idears!!!

Happy hunting!

:)
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#34 wizbowes

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 01:18 PM

I'm envisaging controllable aperatures before the light travels down the arms, to determine the number of optical fibres transmitting light.

I've made a quick diagram to illustrate what i mean. Finding a suitable aperature/iris mechanism thats ocean proof might be an issue though. Anyone know if camera's use metal or plastic diaphrams?


I mentioned in a similar thread that I'd found these spagetti measures http://www.onthetabl...sproductID=1198. which may or may not do the job. Not sure if they'd block enough light or that they close down far enough.

How about a rotating disc with set of drilled holes instead - more like this spagetti measure: http://www.casawares.co.uk/Casawares/Pasta...rivet/2293/2479

One day I WILL make something for diving that's based on a pasta portioning device.

#35 MeRodent

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 12:39 PM

Since you want to adjust output from a fibre source the easiest way is to use a flat plane shutter (or alternatively a dagger blade type) and make sure the fibre bundle is incoherent (ie not lined up in a grid), though I suspect this won't matter either.
This will result in fewer fibres being lit and therefore a lower power output from the side the shutter is on.
KISS!

#36 pmerc

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 06:20 PM

Thanks for all the kind words and encourangement.
Very cool to see other fiber optic options showcased by other DIY people on here and of course on
the wetpixel DEMA article.
Cheers,
Phil