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chrisdarke

DIY fiber optic writeup with parts

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Sorry to bump this thread, but which thickness end glow works best? I've got one cheapo cable and a sea and sea which is busted now. I did consider going sync cord for a bit but I'd have to buy a new module and a cable! 

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The inner or light conducting core of Toslink is a bit over 1 mm in diameter, outer diameter 3 to 4 mm,  from eBay or Amazon. I cut it with a sharp razor. and it has worked consistently well over 4 years.

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In Inon strobes, the fiber optic cable has a 7 mm Sea&Sea type plugged into a cable adapter, which screws on the strobe's optical trigger.  
 
1.JPG.da7d12183a473a6744b421fce55dc6d1.JPG
 
This cable adapter sells for $11 + $5 shipping from HongKong or from eBay or  Reef Wreck and Critter, Australia, for $9 + tax + shipping.  In the U.S. one can buy the f.o. cable with cable adapter from Backscatter for about $120 plus tax and shipping.
 
Or, one can make this cable adapter for a few pennies from heat shrink tubing. One uses a short length of heavy wall heat shrink tubing, 18 mm diam. (3/4 inch) from the local hardware store, and paper matches to heat the tubing.
 
Heat one end of the heat shrink tube all around its edge, then immediately push and screw the tubing onto the strobe's sensor.  After a few seconds, unscrew the tube, reheat, and again screw it on the sensor.  Repeat several times until it screws on firmly. 
 
2020245733_1_resize.JPG.d168f8685f8552a60bc07ec7ec719481.JPG
 
  Now cut the tube to 30 mm long. Heat the other end all around to shrink it evenly and concentrically.  Concentric shrinking is needed so the light from the f.o. cable hits the sensor's center. Once the the tubing has shrunk to about 7 mm, plug in the Sea&Sea cable adapter, and continue to heat until the shrink tubing holds the S&S plug firmly.  My cable adapter took me about 10 minutes and 7 or 8 paper matches.
Edited by Kraken de Mabini
edit

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Does anyone know if the Toslink cable that was mentioned in the beginning has a high enough transmission rate for LED triggers?
(Or similar transmission rate like original cables, for example from Inon?)

If not, does anyone have a link to buy 613 core cable by the metre? 

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 I have used and continue to use Toslink single strand fiber-optic cables with a Nauticam NA-D500 housing, Subal ND800, 7100 and 500 housings, all with excellent performance.  The Nauticam NA-D500 and Subal ND500 housings have LED triggers; and with Toslink fiber optic cables they have consistently, without problem, fired the Sea&Sea YS-D2 and -D2J, and Inon D2000, Z240 and Z300 strobes. 

Older models of housings with LED triggers (such as Nauticam) may have weaker trigger LEDs which emit insufficient light to trigger the strobes. This may be why some recommend the multi strand fiber optic cables, which do conduct more light and will be needed with weak LED's.

Another solution would be to replace the old weak LED's in older triggers with new high intensity red LED's, which are inexpensive and easy to replace with a small soldering iron. But thus far I have not been able to find where to buy them, and information on a reliable source will be appreciated..

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9 hours ago, Kraken de Mabini said:

 Another solution would be to replace the old weak LED's in older triggers with new high intensity red LED's, which are inexpensive and easy to replace with a small soldering iron. But thus far I have not been able to find where to buy them, and information on a reliable source will be appreciated..

 

You may have already checked here, but have you tried suppliers like DigiKey and Mouser electronics?  Those are my go-to vendors for electronic parts.

 

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I've been using something like this for years now with both Inon and Ikelite (with optical trigger adapter) for years now.  2 or 3mm side/end glow cable.  Available on Ebay for about $7 for 5 meters.  It's tough, durable, easy to work with.  The transparent sheath it's in make for an interesting look too, you can see the red led trigger glow though the cable if you look carefully.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2mm-3mm-Car-Home-12v-LED-Light-Lamp-Decoration-Side-Glow-Fiber-Optic-Cable-DIY/183502421631?hash=item2ab998be7f:g:IZcAAOSwHgRb0Vf3

 

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Digikey and Mouser Electroncis, excellent suggestions.  I will add super bright red LED's to my electronic parts shopping list.
Thank you.
ps. Previously I had bought from three eBay sellers, whose "super bright" turned out to be, no surprise, "super weak" LED's.   

 

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I can not get the Toslink fiber to reliably trigger most strobes from the Nauticam LED trigger. You can get multi-core fiber by the meter at Industrial Fiber Optics. 

Bill

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Hi Bill:  I looked up Industrial Fiber Optics and they sell several makes and models of multi-strand f.o. cable.

Which one do you recommend?  Thank you. Elias A.

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On 6/30/2020 at 7:04 PM, bvanant said:

You want the Asahi stuff MCQ 1000

https://www.i-fiberoptics.com/fiber-detail-asahi.php?id=3355&sum=166

 

Now it is $7.50 per meter.

Bill

 

Does anybody know where to get this Asahi MCQ 1000 cable someplace else, maybe Europe. i-fiberoptics does sent it to Finland, shipping with UPS costs 150$.

Or does someone know a good alternative? I have a new Nauticam Mini Flash Trigger for Olympus and it will not fire INON Z-240's with single core 1mm cable (custom made).

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I can certainly buy you some fiber and ship it to you via USPS. Should cost about $23 or so for an large envelope full.

Bill

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17 minutes ago, bvanant said:

I can certainly buy you some fiber and ship it to you via USPS. Should cost about $23 or so for an large envelope full.

Bill

I sent you a message!

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These will work with Inon strobes, but not likely with Sea and Sea. Also they are big (5 mm is quite large). It also depends a lot on the exact placement of the LED trigger (at least mine is quite sensitive to left-right alignment.

Bill

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13 hours ago, bvanant said:

These will work with Inon strobes, but not likely with Sea and Sea. Also they are big (5 mm is quite large). It also depends a lot on the exact placement of the LED trigger (at least mine is quite sensitive to left-right alignment.

Bill

I said 2mm.  You can select from 1 - 5 mm.  The person I replied to has Inon 240s.  It will work just fine.

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Great topic guys, really informative!

Can i ask for guidance as i am struggling to "bend" my 2.2mm 613 core fibre optic cable (one i purchased from a photo retailer), so that it fits in the S&S adaptor i have (brand is Howshot). See the photo attached.

Basically the shape of the groove is too curved for me to succeed in fitting the cable. Reading the above, i was thinking maybe i should first soak the cable into warm water, to make it more flexible. Would that help? I don't want to damage my cable neither :-)

 

On another note, as i have the Nauticam red LED flash trigger, and picky strobes (e.g. the Backscatter MF-1), i need to be wary about cable  quality if i am to follow you guys in some experimentation. One question i had: do you think the distance between the end of the cable and the actual "window" whereby the red light comes out of the Nauticam housing matters? I am asking because different Nauticam-to-sea&sea adapters have different heights...

D540AF1B-DE9E-42AF-A3C7-98119649E524.jpeg

Edited by Nicool
Forgot photo

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I would think warm water would help you bend it, the recommended method to set fibre in a coil is to coil it on a form and dip it in very hot water and let it cool.  You could bend around a form of the right radius first and let it cool then fit it to adapter. 

The photo of the adapter is not showing up BTW. 

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Can you try something like this from Ebay?  It says free world wide shipping.
I use the fiber like this (2mm version) with my Nauticam trigger and Inon 330's. 
 
https://www.ebay.com/itm/5m-Black-Plastic-Pmma-End-Glow-Fiber-Optic-Cable-Light-Inner-Diameter-1mm-6mm/373009104276?hash=item56d9133d94:g:YIkAAOSw5BVehWPR
 
Sorry. I wrote and ask them. How long are these?

Sent from my XQ-AT52 using Tapatalk

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3 hours ago, hellhole said:

Sorry. I wrote and ask them. How long are these?

Sent from my XQ-AT52 using Tapatalk
 

5 meters

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10 hours ago, Nicool said:

Great topic guys, really informative!

Can i ask for guidance as i am struggling to "bend" my 2.2mm 613 core fibre optic cable (one i purchased from a photo retailer), so that it fits in the S&S adaptor i have (brand is Howshot). See the photo attached.

Basically the shape of the groove is too curved for me to succeed in fitting the cable. Reading the above, i was thinking maybe i should first soak the cable into warm water, to make it more flexible. Would that help? I don't want to damage my cable neither :-)

Hi Nicool

Although there's no pic attached, I think I know what you mean by the Howshot fitting you are using and the bend that's needed. I bought the fitting too some time ago.

I was able to get Toslink fibre cable to fit with a bit of a push and squeeze - eventually. As Chris says, some hot water should help with that too (as well as the "coiling"). 

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11 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

I would think warm water would help you bend it, the recommended method to set fibre in a coil is to coil it on a form and dip it in very hot water and let it cool.  You could bend around a form of the right radius first and let it cool then fit it to adapter. 

The photo of the adapter is not showing up BTW. 

 

4 hours ago, TimG said:

Hi Nicool

Although there's no pic attached, I think I know what you mean by the Howshot fitting you are using and the bend that's needed. I bought the fitting too some time ago.

I was able to get Toslink fibre cable to fit with a bit of a push and squeeze - eventually. As Chris says, some hot water should help with that too (as well as the "coiling"). 

Thanks both! I just re-added the photo.

Will try the boiling water. I really like the shape of the angled Howshot s&s adapter, will be easy to plug/unplug underwater, which is my intent as i will be juggling more strobes in the future.

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Warm water helps as does a moderate heating with a heat gun, but be careful. Certain fibers have minimum bend radii that are much bigger than the Howshot and you will lose lots of light. The multi-fibers are not a worry, they can bend over a 1 mm radius, but some of the  larger fibers like the 2mm end glow have 80 mm minimum bend radius for an 11% (0.5 dB) loss. 

Bill

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