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homemade flash/shutter triggers

jared martin , Feb 06, 2004; 09:40 a.m.

Hi all... I have a Minolta Maxxum 7 camera with the 5600 HS flash unit. After seeing the HiViz trigger systems online (www.hiviz.com) I'd like to see if I can get these to work. My question(s) are:

1. Does anyone know of a cable that I could buy that would fit into the PC connector (is that what its called?) on my flash unit that I could modify to splice into the trigger that isn't Minolta (i.e. a compatible one?) I'd rather experiment with a cable that isn't 30-some dollars :) I saw a lot of cables on BHPhoto for like 7.95 but can't seem to find a definite compatible one (if one even exists).

2. Does anyone know that specs (pinouts) on the flash connector and/or the pinouts on the remote shutter release cable? I've been trying to find it online so I would know what leads to trip to cause the flash and shutter to trip.

I recently purchased the Digital Rebel camera too so if anyone knows how to do a similar shutter trigger with that camera as well, I'd love to hear.

Thanks for any help! Jared


Michael Hohner , Feb 06, 2004; 10:16 a.m.

Why not buy a used Minolta IR-1n remote release from eBay? It works and will not damage your camera or flash.

The Minolta cables, connectors and connection protocola are all proprietary. I doubt you will be able to produce any homemade solutions for this system.

jared martin , Feb 06, 2004; 12:06 p.m.

Michael: Is this just a way to remotely trip the shutter by hand? I have the corded remote release - I am looking for a way to have an external source trip it (i.e. a bird flying through a infrared beam, etc).

csab' józsa , Feb 06, 2004; 04:31 p.m.

my 2 fillér's

Jared: on its small brother, the dynax.maxxum5, there are 3 pins for the cable release, one is "common", one is for focusing and one is for shutter release. If you connect common to focus, he will focus. If you connect common to focus AND shutter, he will take the picture. The cable release they sell is a simple switch connecting these pins at the end of the cable. I made such a cable release myself,it works perfectly.
I'm quite sure the 7 has the same plug/pin construction, since the same cable release works. Dunno anything about the flash system.

As to your last question, i guess you could use a small photodiode (buy it at an electronics components stuff shop) as a light sensitive "switch" and shine some kind of small diode laser, or LED light...whatever, to switch it on. Good luck.

csab' józsa , Feb 06, 2004; 04:37 p.m.

By the way, i'd be more careful with tinkering with the flash and flash terminal. Firing a flash releases quite a large amount of charges (big current pulse) inside the flash's electronics, and can evaporate fine camera electronics in 1/8000 of a second, if connected to the wrong place:)

Jared Martin , Feb 06, 2004; 06:22 p.m.

Csab' You were correct - when I got home from work today I took apart my cable release and figured out which two focused and which two tripped the shutter. Thanks for the info! Yes, I figured the flash would be tricky - I wont' be connecting the flash to the camera - it'll just be connected to the breadboard circuit with the trigger - so if I fry anything it'll just be the breadboard and the $5.00 worth of components on it. Well, of course, knock on wood that I don't fry the flash itself too. :)

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