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Old Jun 6, 2003, 11:25 PM   #1
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Default Why won't these 2 flashes work on my SONY DSC-D770?

Hello...I just purchased used - 2 electronic flash units. Pretty much got a deal on the prices.

However I am trying to use them on my D770 because the built-in flash is intermittantly not working then does and then doesn't.

I read from an extensive internet search of my camera ; like reviews. Within one of these searches ; I found an article where a person ; owned this (oldie) " SunPak SoftLite 1400M " flash unit.

They plugged it in on the hotshoe of their D770...disabled the internal flash by setting up the " external flash " and it worked perfectly ; right off the bat.

I bought one : the SunPak Softlite 1400M and setup the flash to be external..flash didn't fire..?? I pre test the flash using it's test button ( works perfectly.) It didn't have any manual.

Understandably this is " not " actually new of a flash device to probably be even considered for this camera...or digital for that matter....BUT this story in the article...the user ; was amazed and glad ; that his Sunpak Softlite 1400M worked so easily when connected to his Sony DSC-D770 camera.

Any ideas.?? also..I have another flash that Is able to ( it says in manual..to setup as NON Dedicated flash..manual mode ; it won't work either...but passed the test firing of it...

This model is a " SPECTRUM 350MD "...any reasons why that won't work..? The instructions state if using on a camera wiith ONLY 1 center hotshot contact...select the " NON-DEDICATED " setting which I did.

Any help would be appreciated...(DO I have to manually set the D700 ; under the shutter prioritry mode ; setup up a slower or specific flash shutter sync speed??)

Any help and / or comments would be appreciated....Thanks in advance...Ed~
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Old Jun 6, 2003, 11:47 PM   #2
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Default Here's the link to the articles...

http://catcode.com/sony_d770/pics1/comments.html

See ; down the page where the person used his Sony DSC-D770 with the " SunPak SoftLite 1400M " electronic unit...

Let me know what you think as to why it " wouldn't " therefore work on mine....Also the D770..??

Thanks Ed~
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Old Jun 7, 2003, 12:06 AM   #3
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I don’t have the 770, but see that it have a standard hot shoe, so it should work. Some of my comments:
1) First, make sure the trigger voltage is within the permitted level of your camera hot shoe ( check the max value with Sony) .
Regarding the flash side, you can measure the voltage with a digital multimeter at the flash contacts. “Oldie” flash often have very high trigger voltage, could be damageable to your cam’s hotshoe circuitry.

2) If your flash past the manual button test, go for a real contact test: short the contacts to see if it flashes, it should. There are no danger for the flash itself , but be careful since you can get a tiny shock if it’s a high trigger voltage . If it doesn’t flash, then there is a wiring problem inside the flash (minor) . [This is unlikely the case since the same problem happened with both flash]

3) If the above test ( 2) ) pass (the flash fired) , then the issue is on the hotshoe side:
3a) The hot shoe circuit is fried ( probably the SRC or another semi-conductor device is “blown” ) >>> return to Sony for repair
3b) The conduction polarity of the hotshoe does not match the polarity of the flash triggering voltage , find a way to invert them (DO NOT attempt this if you have no idea about electronics)
[this is unlikely the case too since others had operate the same flash on the same camera]

To sort out what happened to your hot shoe, you can do this: connect a ANALOG ohmmeter (those multimeter with a needle ) to the hotshoe contacts (one to the outer grip, and one to the center contact) and shoot , normaly , you can see the needle briefly move , if not , invert the 2 wires , shoot again.
If nothing happened , probably the circuitry is blown for good. For this test, do not use a digital multimeter, you won’t be able to detect the brief conduction on the display.

I think that to this point, you can have much more clues .
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Old Jun 7, 2003, 12:10 AM   #4
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PS:
I can't comment on your cam settings since I don't know it, I assume that the setting is correct for operating an external flash
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Old Jun 7, 2003, 1:12 AM   #5
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Default Results..(Well some of the test were performed)SUNPAK Flash!

Thanks... KCan...You surely listed a page of homework..;-)

Hope I have the test performed correctly...

1) I measured the voltage ( digital voltmeter) between the side contact and the center ( only) flash contact. + 161.7 VDC WHOA!!
(This voltage was measured with the flash turned on.)

2) I rigged up a " shorting " device to the flash (it flashed)!! Good sign there..

3) I can't locate the only ANALOG Ohm/Voltmeter I had ; at this time..bummer..I " set it aside I believe " to use the digital (OH sure digital ISN'T ALWAYS the best huh?) :lol:

At this hour ; Sat. 2:03 a.m. (EST) I can't call upon a few relatives that may have one.

I do KNOW that I questioned the previous owner in regards to the " camera being sold " used to me ; and FLASH itself ; intermitently would flash then not then would.
I asked the person ; did they " try " to see if the " external " flash idea worked . They said that they plugged " their " external flash onto the hotshoe..but NO did not work...

GEEZZZ Now reading and (I'm learning) about the " frying of the hotshoe " circuitry that's a possible from the other owner's attempt.

Ok..KCan...What Else can I try ( do I now move to testing ; flash # 2 ? : Spectrum 350MD ?

Thanks for your help...(Do you happen to also know somethings about Li-Ion NP-F550 rechargeable batteries.?) And charger..;-)

If so ; I'll be posting questions there in that area too..Take care Bye for now Ed~
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Old Jun 7, 2003, 5:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
1) I measured the voltage ( digital voltmeter) between the side contact and the center ( only) flash contact. + 161.7 VDC WHOA!!
(This voltage was measured with the flash turned on.)
This is bad … I doubt Sony would say it’s safe for the camera, worth a call to Sony IMO.
You are right, I forgot to mention the flash must be on to measure the trigger voltage

Quote:
2) I rigged up a " shorting " device to the flash (it flashed)!! Good sign there..
OK, at least , we know that the flash is OK 100%

Quote:
3) I can't locate the only ANALOG Ohm/Voltmeter I had ; at this time..bummer..I " set it aside I believe " to use the digital (OH sure digital ISN'T ALWAYS the best huh?)
I do KNOW that I questioned the previous owner in regards to the " camera being sold " used to me ; and FLASH itself ; intermitently would flash then not then would.
I asked the person ; did they " try " to see if the " external " flash idea worked . They said that they plugged " their " external flash onto the hotshoe..but NO did not work... GEEZZZ Now reading and (I'm learning) about the " frying of the hotshoe " circuitry that's a possible from the other owner's attempt.
Each tool has it’s own characteristics , that’s why we have rubber head and steel head hammers
I think that the hotshoe circuitry was fried already after the first owner’s tests , but to be 100% sure, make the Analog ohmmeter test.

Quote:
Ok..KCan...What Else can I try ( do I now move to testing ; flash # 2 ? : Spectrum 350MD ?
You can verify the trigger voltage of this flash, for your own records. I can’t find any info about this flash. But I guess the issue is in your camera’s hot shoe , let see after the analog ohm test .


Quote:
...(Do you happen to also know somethings about Li-Ion NP-F550 rechargeable batteries.?) And charger..
take a look at the Batteries forum or post your question there , sure there are a lot of users knowing about this.
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Old Jun 7, 2003, 6:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
However I am trying to use them on my D770 because the built-in flash is intermittantly not working then does and then doesn't.
This was how you started your post. I think I'd start finding out why the internal flash was faulty, since it's very likely that your camera trigger and firing is malfunctioning - so why would you start suspecting the external flash unit first?

The electronic contact closer on a hot shoe may be quite fast, a digital meter is no good as likely too slow to show change (except possibly on circuit buzzer test). You might capture this with a logic probe though.
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Old Jun 7, 2003, 7:04 PM   #8
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Default External Flash-Hi KCan and voxmagna , THANKS for the replies

Hi KCan and voxmagna , THANKS for the replies

The only reason to choose the external ( was I thought) there's a chance that on the Sony DSC-D770 ; there's a selection within the cameras menus ; for " AUTO , ON , OFF , EXTERNAL ".

In my thoughts ( not any instruction manual) ; by choosing the " EXTERNAL " that would switch all flash ; triggering ; etc. circuitry to the hotshoe ; hence into the externally mounted flash.

If I take a picture of something that requires the flash...and I THEN On purpose photograph the exact same subject with the same ambient lighting ; etc..TURNING the FLASH to OFF ( it doesn't flash)..

I figured then from that ; by selecting the "EXTERNAL " setting it would BYPASS every bit of the internal flash...

Maybe wrong..I have been before :?

I am once again KCan ; trying to make sure I understand you..What setting to set the (ANALOG) voltmeter on DCV correct? Or Ohms?? Or...??

Then do what Sounds like set the camera's flash selection menu to the " EXTERNAL " hence measuring the contact CENTER ( only 1) and the grounding clip case right?

THANKS for all your help ; both ; I appreciate it..HOPE to hear back soon....

Another poster NAMED : ( reader ) here (posted in the SONY D770 Digital SLR section) that they too had this trouble with the flash on their D770...

Loose or broken connection (I believe that there's a switch relay or is wiring ( flexing ) make / break in the flash heads; area..or close.

Bye for now..Talk again...More advice & Comments Welcomed. Ed~
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Old Jun 7, 2003, 10:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: External Flash-Hi KCan and voxmagna , THANKS for the rep

Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Eye_Ed
trying to make sure I understand you..What setting to set the (ANALOG) voltmeter on DCV correct? Or Ohms?? Or...??
Then do what Sounds like set the camera's flash selection menu to the " EXTERNAL " hence measuring the contact CENTER ( only 1) and the grounding clip case right?
The analog multimeter has to be set as an ohmmeter , you probably have several scales like x1, x10, x100, x1K etc …
As ohmmeter , the needle will jump full scale when you short the 2 leads ( the 2 testing probes) .
Connecting these 2 probes to the ground grip (as you said) and the center contact allow you to see the brief contact used to trigger the flash , said another way, the camera circuitry “shorten” these contact to fire the external flash. However, because of the brief contact , the needle will have just a little movement , but perceptible .

A logic probe as suggested by Voxmagna is certainly able to detect the shorting pulse , but need a bit wiring job to feed a “hi” level signal. But sometimes , this is not a that good idea because of the extreme sensitivity of logic probes. You can detect a signal coming from other circuitry and mislead to a “working ok condition” conclusion.

Regarding the on board flash intermittent operation, I don’t know if it can be related in anyway to the external hotshoe triggering .
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Old Jun 7, 2003, 10:42 PM   #10
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Default Set Flash Menu on External mode? CORRECT?

Hi KCan - Surely feels great to have a "almost " live interactive conversation ; with you and others that are helping. (Thanks) ;-)

Ok you want me to setup the FLASH parameter mode of " EXTERNAL FLASH " correct..? Then simply keep shooting away?? Noting the (if any movements) of the ohmmeter " jumping " reading the center contact and ground clips.

That's pretty easy...Now ; if there's movement I will " try " to record the " specs " at where the needle moves to..but doesn't sound like it will move hardly at all.

If there's in fact movement ; I believe that will be to the " good " side of the testing..and then what does that mean next? (If there's a next) ..usually there's always...a next...

The Spectrum 350MD Flash unit...I couldn't find anything online either. Here's the results of the repeated tests.
1) Voltage found ONLY : + 3.19 VDC (HUGE Difference)!
2) Flash did fire ; by shorting the contact to ground clip..

Then there's the now ANALOG tests to be done....this sounds like a momentary switch deal...( close ) fires flash..opens ...close fires flash....Ok..Thanks again...Ed~
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