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Old Jun 10, 2010, 7:21 PM   #1
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Default New, old Macro flash...

Hey guys,
Last weekend, while we were visiting the kids, My son in-law gave me some old camera gear. A Nikon N2020 body, a Canon AE1 body and a Canon ML-1 macro flash.



The flash didn't work when I put fresh batteries in it so, I set it aside until this evening and decided to take it apart to see if it could be fixed. After some tinkering and testing with my volt meter, I determined it wasn't getting power so, I cleaned up the contacts, popped in fresh batteries and wa'la! it worked. Now I need to find out what the trigger voltage is, or get a Wein hot shoe safe sync. Does anybody know anything about them or a good alternative?
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Old Jun 10, 2010, 10:21 PM   #2
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Maybe there is a way to slave it off camera? Mount the shoe in an off camera remote shoe mount that can be triggered by the onboard flash, while the flash head is mounted on your lens.
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Old Jun 11, 2010, 2:17 AM   #3
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You lucky *mumble mumble*!!!

This is very odd as I was looking at one of these on eBay last night trying to figure out the same thing. I have a cheap 3 optical trigger from China and thought of using that to trigger it from the onboard flash set to it's lowest output.
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Old Jun 11, 2010, 8:36 PM   #4
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Yeah, I'm sure it can be done, just wondering bout how practical it would be.
I'll come up with something, more for the fun of trying different things.

LOL, I know, Ash. Usually I'm the one envious of the good deals that others get.
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Old Jun 11, 2010, 9:08 PM   #5
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Trigger voltage is read at the center pin, when the flash is charged and ready to go. Since you have a voltmeter, it shouldn't be too tough. Most cases, the ground is the the foot itself, if metal, or a contact point in the groove, if a plastic foot. There is also a thread in the flash forum, about trigger voltages, with links.

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Old Jun 11, 2010, 10:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
Trigger voltage is read at the center pin, when the flash is charged and ready to go. Since you have a voltmeter, it shouldn't be too tough. Most cases, the ground is the the foot itself, if metal, or a contact point in the groove, if a plastic foot. There is also a thread in the flash forum, about trigger voltages, with links.

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Hey Brain,
I remember reading somewhere about how to check the voltage but, couldn't remember exactly how to do it. If I understand correctly, I charge the flash, place the positive probe on the center pin and the negative probe on either of the other two pins and the reading I get is the trigger voltage? If that's the case, I'm really a happy camper because I only get 6volts, and that should be plenty safe! Now... is there any problem I might encounter with the 3 pin set up? here's a quick shot of the mount.
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Old Jun 12, 2010, 12:17 AM   #7
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I think that those two pins are for the Data and Ready signals. The ground should be where the box slides on to the hotshoe. If the case is metal, that should be the ground. I'm not at all familiar with Nikon flash setup, though. 6 volts sounds about right - there are two basic ways of triggering the flash - one uses the low voltage (battery voltage) level, and that seems to be what you have. My guess would be that you would only find high voltage triggering on older flashes that don't have anything other than the center pin.

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Old Jun 12, 2010, 11:01 AM   #8
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Yes, you're correct Brian. Now that I understand how the hot shoe works, the other pins have to be for data. I tested the way I was supposed to and I get 5V between center and ground. So, feeling brave... I went ahead and tried it on camera. It wouldn't fire, so I'm guessing the data pins are feeding wrong info to the camera and wont let it fire.
Since those pins are useless with my camera anyway, I'm going to try modifying the mount to disable those pins and see what happens.
Thanks for your help.

Oh, BTW. its a Canon flash not Nikon.
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Old Jun 12, 2010, 12:30 PM   #9
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Try shorting the contacts with a screwdriver, see if the flash definitely fires from the hot shoe.
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Old Jun 12, 2010, 2:44 PM   #10
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Looks like a great flash, sorry I can't help you with the voltage.
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