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Old Jul 5, 2009, 12:36 AM   #1
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Default DIY Slave Flash Trigger success

I just finished a DIY project to make an intelligent slave flash trigger. Thought I'd share the results on this forum because I'm very impressed with it. Some members will have the tools to make one for themselves.

I made this device so I could reuse my great old Minolta flash as a powerful slave unit. This means I don't need to buy a new flash that's more powerful than the inbuilt one in the camera. Nice saving of money there.

It's based on this guys very good and free PIC project. All credit to him for creating a free project that works so well. Thanks Pavel.
http://www.fancon.cz/slave-flash-tri...-flash-en.html

I've modified it slightly to use a light sensor available locally, also modified it to work with a low trigger voltage flash (Minolta 280PX).

The sensor is now a BPT-BP2334 photo transistor, and it's load resistor is now 62k. The SCR is gone, and replaced with a BC548 transistor and R4 deleted, added a 100K pull up from the collector to PIC pin 2 though. R2 is also gone, it's not required as the PIC will limit LED current nicely to 20mA.

Heck it works well, it won't false trigger on my dSLR's red-eye setting AND it won't false trigger on it's AF assist flash setting, no matter how hard the cameras flash flickers away while focusing. Works in sunlight, works in total dark too. Just works....
Can't wait for my next underground caving trip, should be some nicely lit up cavern panorama shots coming. Yes, I'm impressed

Here's a picture of my old flash with the slave box fitted and working.

Cheers,
Martin
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Last edited by mr.sneezy; Jul 5, 2009 at 12:40 AM.
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Old Jul 10, 2009, 9:26 AM   #2
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Thanks.

A. C.
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Old Aug 7, 2009, 10:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ac.smith View Post
Thanks.

A. C.
Your welcome.
I have been using it regularly now for desktop photography, mainly of electronics I'm working on and documenting. The slave is great for that, as I can get side lighting on the subject, and what a difference that makes.
I bought a $5 flash stand off Ebay for it too now so it can sit on the table or on a tripod. My wife also uses it with her Fuji P&S camera for photographing Quilts she designs, again the slave adds light nicely to even out the exposures towards the background.
Battery life in the coin cell seems to be good, haven't changed it yet.
Martin
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Old Dec 16, 2009, 7:42 AM   #4
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Default help me please

please help me
I used the design from Pavel Janko http://www.fancon.cz/slave-flash-tri...-flash-en.html
write hex in microcontroler led is working described but not output
i am measure pin7 and ground with the analog device no digital or osciloscope
is possible to working??? actualy i not have Slave Flash for prove this
schematic
please help me sorry for my english

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Old Dec 16, 2009, 8:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian99fm View Post
please help me
I used the design from Pavel Janko http://www.fancon.cz/slave-flash-tri...-flash-en.html
write hex in microcontroler led is working described but not output
i am measure pin7 and ground with the analog device no digital or osciloscope
is possible to working??? actualy i not have Slave Flash for prove this
schematic
please help me sorry for my english

[email protected]
Hard to help remotely but...

Does the LED light up when you trigger the input by a flash ?
If not then your trigger input circuit may be the problem. Depending on what device you bought to use as a trigger, you may need to vary the value of the resistor R1. Get the trigger LED to work first, then worry about the output.
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 5:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian99fm View Post
please help me
I used the design from Pavel Janko http://www.fancon.cz/slave-flash-tri...-flash-en.html
write hex in microcontroler led is working described but not output
i am measure pin7 and ground with the analog device no digital or osciloscope
is possible to working??? actually i not have Slave Flash for prove this
schematic
please help me sorry for my english

[email protected]
I have built several slaves based on this design. If you are using a Canon EX flash it will more than likely not trigger. I have successfully replaced the SCR with a HV transistor 2N6517 and it triggers the EX. But the unit is now incompatible with most other flashes.

To make sure the LED lights, take a close up flash picture of it.

Good Luck!

Rolf
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 7:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.sneezy View Post
I just finished a DIY project to make an intelligent slave flash trigger. Thought I'd share the results on this forum because I'm very impressed with it. Some members will have the tools to make one for themselves.
{snip}


Cheers,
Martin

I would also like to share my version of this unit. My code doesn't require any "learning", it is ready as soon as it is turned ON.
The circuit has also been changed to make it less likely to false triggers by changing the opto sensor's coupling to AC.
Here is the info as published on another web site:
http://www.diyphotography.net/very_c...cal_slave_unit

Have fun!

Rolf

Last edited by Rolf_K; Mar 13, 2010 at 8:01 PM.
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Old Feb 15, 2015, 8:22 AM   #8
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I can't seem to get the Pavel Janko slave trigger to work. When in the learn mode, I trigger my flash (single), a few seconds later the led flashes twice. It should only flash once. If I trigger my flash again I get no output from slave. If I shut circuit off and back on again, the led flashes 3 times. If I didn't see the post that Mr. Sneezy got it to work, I would say there is a problem with the code. Anybody else having this same problem?
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Old Feb 16, 2015, 2:34 AM   #9
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Mines still working, on the original button cell and all.

I recall having to play with values of the trigger path components. Also, it doesn't like working in a very dark environment, probably the background threshold level is too low for it. Might be fixed with more component tweaks and a switch for normal to low light.

In the meantime I now have a Metz 48 AF-1 and all Olympus cameras, the remote control triggering is inbuilt in all of them. So the DIY trigger does not get much use now.
Martin
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Old Feb 19, 2015, 7:37 AM   #10
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Does Rolf_K post on this forum anymore? I'm looking to get the hex file for version 3 of his slave trigger.
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