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Old Jul 20, 2005, 4:59 PM   #1
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I'm using a multimeter to measure the DC voltage going through my newly Ebay acquired Vivitar 283. My Micronta multimeter has DC in ranges of 15V, 150V and 1000V. I'm a little unsure of how to interpret the results.

On the 15V range, the reading gives me about 4.5-5.0 V when charged.
On the 150V range, the reading gives me about 45 V when charged.
On the 1000 V range, the reading gives me about 150 V when charged.

Any suggestions on what's actually going on?
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Old Jul 20, 2005, 10:32 PM   #2
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This has nothing to do with your question per se, but I have a Vivitar 283 also, and a month or so back I asked a guy at a local camera repair shop if he could tell me whether I could use this flash on my Nikon Coolpix 5700 without frying the camera.
He dug out a paper that said that the synch voltage for the Vivitar was somewhere around 240 volts -- I don't remember the exact figure, but this was wayyyy outside the synch voltage that the camera is supposed to have.
So, I guess that I have to use it with a slave arrangement if I want to use it at all.
If you're thinking of hooking yours up directly to a digital camera, you had better find out from the manufacturer what the maximum synch voltage is for the camera.
Most of the more modern flashes designed for digital cameras have very low synch voltages.
Be careful!
Grant
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Old Jul 20, 2005, 10:41 PM   #3
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Yep, that's why I'm trying to figure out the flash voltage of this specific Vivitar 283. Some are manufactured more recently (1995 onwards or so), and have under 10V ratings, while older models are significantly higher. You should measure yours as well, it could very well be that your model is one of the recent ones, and that you are able to use it with a digital camera.
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Old Jul 21, 2005, 12:27 AM   #4
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I think the new model is made in China amd does not have a transformer socket fitted. The older model does. Mine measured 320 volts.


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Old Jul 21, 2005, 12:33 AM   #5
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I cannot understand why you did not blow your meter up. When in doubt always start with the highest range and work down.
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Old Jul 21, 2005, 8:33 AM   #6
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Well, my problem is that although the 1000V range is showing 150V, when I try the 150V, it only shows 45V and doesn't max out. And similarly, when I go down to the 15V, it should be maxed out, but only shows 5V. Extremely confusing!
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Old Jul 21, 2005, 10:30 PM   #7
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Check out this link:
http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html
This site lists trigger voltages for quite a few flashes -- and I believe that they even tell you how to get accurate readings.
I don't think the Vivitar is on there -- too old. Maybe you can get some archived pages.
My 283 predates '95.
Grant
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Old Jul 22, 2005, 3:12 AM   #8
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Got my hands on a digital voltmeter, and it's giving me a pretty consistent reading of 105V. Unfortunately, far too high for my FZ20 to take. I guess my options are: buy another flash; buy the Weins safe sync hot shoe (not likely since it's ridiculously overpriced); or modify the flash circuitry to decrease voltage to the hot shoe (most likely would go this route).
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Old Jul 22, 2005, 7:47 AM   #9
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That route is a dead end. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
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Old Jul 22, 2005, 7:49 AM   #10
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Have words with your countryman, KCan
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