Ok, so the blank boards show up. As it turns out, the footprint I chose for the optoisolator was too small for the parts I ordered, which I only discover when I place them next to the board. Doh! That’s what happens when you don’t have parts in hand and check them against a full scale print on paper of the board design…
Oh, well, it’s easily fixed. A search through Digikey turns up different optoisolators that should drop in place without bending anything and just shorting over one pin. Here is the finished first board with a mangled MOC3023 soldered down. It’s the biggest part on the little green board with 6 legs.
The PCBs for the low voltage adapter for the Norman 200Bs have finally arrived! (See this post for the schematic and layout.)
Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! I’ve never ordered before from BatchPCB.com, but it would seem that if your board is small enough, they’ll fill out extra panel space with your board and just send it to you when they’re done. I’d ordered 4 and got 14 in the mail. Wah hoo! I was expecting to have to order more but now I won’t have to. The per board cost comes down from over $5 each to about $1.65.
Here’s a photo the pile of finished boards that I can’t build up until tomorrow:
A recent previous post detailed the first and second passes at converting Norman 200B strobe packs to low voltage so as to be compatible with modern cameras. Those were not quite up to snuff because the first pass stole too much voltage to be usable and the second allowed 20mA of current to flow through the camera or trigger it was connected to.
After doing some reading about the subject, it would appear that at least for some older cameras, the trigger circuitry used an SCR, in which case the 2nd implementation above would fail because the constant 20mA would keep the SCR latched on. It might also be way too much current for the trigger circuitry to handle. The numbers I recall were 1.5mA max trigger current that decayed to something under 750uA.
So, back to the drawing board… Here’s what I came up with:
Posted March 5th, 2013. 1 comment
During the presentation Kevin Kubota gave on CreativeLive.com several months back, he mentioned DIY scrims he had built that were sized to fitPhotoflex Litepanel covers. He even made a video detailing the construction.
So, how could I help myself? I had to make some, but with some enhancements of my own…
Not having any Photoflex panels, I was not constrained to a certain size so kept things simple. I maximized the material usage by cutting all the 3/4″ PVC pipe to 39″ in length. I also used electrical PVC conduit because it was slightly cheaper than the same size plumbing PVC pipe. Instead of using a hack saw like Kevin Kubota, I used a PVC pipe cutter. They are much simpler to use and so much less messy than sawing – I highly recommend getting one. It’s definitely worth the money.
Seven lengths of pipe are required for each panel. Instead of running bungie cord through them, I opted to leave them separate. I just glued the elbows and Tees to all the horizontal pipes. This lets me know which joints come apart without having to mark anything. It also prevents the loss of any of the fittings while in transit or during storage. Additionally, no bungie means the panel pieces can be configured into a light tent using four end pieces (elbows) and four plain lengths of pipe, similar to the one detailed in this blog post.
One panel breaks down into these pieces:
Posted February 28th, 2013. Add a comment
Recently, I came across a nifty light modifier for small battery flashes called the Saberstrip. It’s a tube with a mount for the flash at one end, and a mirror at the other end, and a long window covered with diffusion fabric. The long linear light source makes a diffuse shadow in one direction. They can be doubled up and oriented as an “L” to give a look closer to an umbrella or soft. One big advantage of the Saberstrip is that it’s not a big sail that’ll catch the wind out on location. At US$135 plus another 15 for shipping, though, it’s rather expensive for the hobbyist.
Posted February 3rd, 2013. 7 comments