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Old Dec 25, 2005, 3:16 PM   #1
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I would like a more powerful strobe for my DSLR. I am not really interested in the TTL automatic features. Can I use a "generic" hot-shoe unit like a VIV-283 on any hot-shoe? My camera also has a PC socket. (Olympus E-10) ....any advice? ...Thanks - Mark
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Old Dec 26, 2005, 7:23 AM   #2
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Mark,

Check out the flash units at

http://stores.ebay.com/magneflash

Bill
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Old Dec 26, 2005, 10:38 AM   #3
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The one thing you want to be sure of is what`s known as flash"trigger voltage" rating for the camera. The flash trigger voltageshould be listed in the owners manual. If it isn`t, you should contact Olympus first and find out before using an external flash. If the flash unit has a highertrigger voltage than allowed by Olympus, the flash unitcould damage the camera!!!

You shouldcontact the flash manufacturer and find out what the trigger voltage is for the flash. If you already have the flash unit, it`s easy to check the trigger voltage yourself with a simple volt meter. To check the flash trigger voltage, take the unmounted flash unitand turn it on. When the flash unit is fully charged and ready to fire, set the volt meter to the highestDC volt setting.Put one volt meter lead to the contact on the bottom of the flash. Take the other volt meter lead and put it on the contact that is located in the flash mounting groove there on the flash unit. You`ll then have the flash trigger voltage displayed on the meter. To be really accurate, gradualy adjust the volt meter DC voltage scale setting downward until the reading exceeds that scale, and then go back up one notch on the scale, and that will be the most accurate reading.

I use a Vivitar 285HV flashunit with my Pannasonic FZ20. The maximum flash trigger voltage for my `20 is listed in the manual as 24 volts. I checked my old 285 flash unit, which has served me well for nearly 10 years,using the method above.I foundthe trigger voltage on the unitto be 12 volts, so I knew I was well within trigger voltage limits. I`ve taken hundreds of pics with the 285 &`20 combination and I`ve had no problems at all.

Have fun!, JH
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Old Dec 26, 2005, 7:25 PM   #4
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Ashort while ago I remembered that I have a very, very, old Vivitar 283 flash unit, from the late 1970`s! I dug it out , put in fresh batteries, charged it up, and did a trigger voltage reading on it. Please note the meter lead position. The black (negative) lead is on the tiny metal contact located within the mounting groove, and the red (positive) lead is on the bottom and touching the contact there. The meter is set on the 200 DC volt scale. I do believe if that I had used this particular flash unit with my Pannasonic FZ20, with it`s maximum24 DC volt flash trigger voltage, well...it would be...."AYE, CARUMBA!!!" time!

So boys and girls, that`s how ya check flash trigger voltage.

S`later, JH :G
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Old Dec 26, 2005, 8:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info John.....I will get out my voltmeter!

Mark
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Old Dec 26, 2005, 10:09 PM   #6
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You're lucky, John. My old (vintage 1977) Vivitar 283 measures over 250 volts at the contacts. It should work fine with a safe-sync, however.
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Old Dec 27, 2005, 2:56 AM   #7
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There are many safe sync adaptors on the forum to be made by the handyman. They cost peanuts compared wirh comercial adaptors. I have made 5 versions of same, using different power sources. Remember all of the new SLR`s require a safe sync.
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Old May 18, 2006, 10:31 AM   #8
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Hi!

NO for certain...as my example I acquired at Tel-Aviv; Flea Marked a Metz 32-MZ-3, for a mere $:15.00. I check with my Fluke 77 DMM & measure a barely 4.9 volts dc, my other two stobes a Vivitar 3700 measure 9.3 volts dc & my Sunpak Auto 433 AF 7.6 volts dc, seems me that till 10-11...volts trigger voltage...it's safe!

I own today a Panasonic FZ-20 (Upper limit 43 volts at the hot shoe), & a KM Dynax 7D DSLR (Don't cognized the maximum), as submit by Canon & Nikon till 10-12 it's safe), so all my strobes are below 10 so till today NO damaged to my lovely KM 7D body!

Cheers,

Alex 007:|
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