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Variable Vivitar 283-285 - follow up

TODO: Pull subtitle into page object
Wires running into the sensor of a Vivitar 285 camera flash

After confirming that this worked, I bent the pins on the potentiometer and socketed it directly.

(Technically, the potentiometer is really being used as a rheostat since only two of its three pins are connected.)

Potentiometer plugged directly into a Vivitar 285 Camera Flash

All that's left now is to epoxy the parts together and you end up with a handy-dandy continuously variable manual strobe.

In testing, with the dial in place, the max output of the strobe was about one stop under what it was without modification. Looking up online, one unofficial site has the resistance settings listed as 1/16 power at 24k, 1/4 power at 92k, 1/2 power at 168k, and an open circuit for full power.

I'm not sure, but I think this means that using a 200k Ohm potentiometer instead of a 100k Ohm will get you back to full steam.

So, last night while I was trying to go to sleep my mind kinda latch onto this and would let go. A potential next step would be to replace the potentiometer with a microcotroller and a set of resistors.

The microcotroller could be setup to be run by remote control to choose a specific resistor set thereby providing the ability to adjust flash output without having to mess with the flash setup itself.

By assigning each flash/controller setup a unique number, it would then be possible to setup lighting patters and easily switch between them. The specific application I'm thinking of would be shooting a band on stage. You could have a bunch of flashes setup around and above the stage before the show then switch out the lighting patterns during the performance from the floor.

I'm envisioning the master controller being driving by a Treo or something with a touch screen so you could just tap "pattern 1" and it would light the lead singer from the side with a little back light.

I've shot in a lot of bars with shitty lighting. Getting a setup like this would mean that given a little time, a ladder, and permission of the owner and band, you could get some really well lit shots.

Debugging Stuff

I'm moving stuff around right now. All this below is helping me figure out where to put stuff

        -- title

Variable Vivitar 283-285 - follow up

TODO: Link prior post (TKTKTK)

Yep. It works.

I stopped by radio shack on the way home yesterday and picked 
up a box of assorted resistors (my local shop didn't have a 
single 100k Ohm potentiometer by itself). My flash is a 285 
which has a little different pin out for the sensor. If you are 
looking directly at the flash, the resistor should be wired into 
the lowest socket in the center and the lower one on the left.

Here is a shot of my first test using gator clips to wire up the 
flash.

-- image
-- vivitar_285_hack_20060710_212242_01
-- alt: Wires running into the sensor of a Vivitar 285 camera flash

-- p

After confirming that this worked, I bent the pins on the 
potentiometer and socketed it directly.

(Technically, the potentiometer is really being used as a rheostat 
since only two of its three pins are connected.)

-- image
-- vivitar_285_hack_2_20060710_212406_01
-- alt: Potentiometer plugged directly into a Vivitar 285 Camera Flash

-- p

All that's left now is to epoxy the parts together and you end up 
with a handy-dandy continuously variable manual strobe.

In testing, with the dial in place, the max output of the 
strobe was about one stop under what it was without modification. 
Looking up online, one unofficial site has the resistance settings 
listed as 1/16 power at 24k, 1/4 power at 92k, 1/2 power at 168k, 
and an open circuit for full power.

I'm not sure, but I think this means that using a 200k 
Ohm potentiometer instead of a 100k Ohm will get you back to 
full steam.

So, last night while I was trying to go to sleep my mind kinda 
latch onto this and would let go. A potential next step would be 
to replace the potentiometer with a 
<<link|microcotroller|https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcontroller>> 
and a set of resistors. 

The microcotroller could be setup to be run by remote control to 
choose a specific resistor set thereby providing the ability to 
adjust flash output without having to mess with the flash setup itself.

By assigning each flash/controller setup a unique number, it 
would then be possible to setup lighting patters and easily switch 
between them. The specific application I'm thinking of would be 
shooting a band on stage. You could have a bunch of flashes setup 
around and above the stage before the show then switch out the 
lighting patterns during the performance from the floor.

I'm envisioning the master controller being driving by a Treo or 
something with a touch screen so you could just tap "pattern 1" and 
it would light the lead singer from the side with a little back light.

I've shot in a lot of bars with shitty lighting. Getting a setup 
like this would mean that given a little time, a ladder, and 
permission of the owner and band, you could get some really well 
lit shots.

-- metadata
-- date: 2006-07-11 00:00:00
-- id: 20eloo1u
-- status: published
-- type: photography 
-- site: aws