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Old 18-11-08
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Lightbulb A Flash of Inspiration

I've always wanted one of those really big ring flash units, but as I'd only use it on rare occasions, I thought I'd have a "play" with some old disposable cameras.

So far from 20+ disposables, I've managed to get 12 that work. Two went up in smoke during testing, several didn't work at all and most had to be repaired to get them to work. I hasten to add that these were all originally sold as working cameras. So as another warning, don't buy cheap disposables (not that any of you would)

The batteries are from a BLM-1 that wouldn't work. The cells are great, just the circuit was dead. I was amazed to find I can get 18Amps out of them.

Anyway, this is the current stage of the production having just fired it for the first time. One of the units is smoking so will need to be changed but the flash it puts out is quite something.

Once I finish it, I'll fire it at something/body and post the results.

I'd better put in here a word of warning. What you see here could quite easily kill

There is 225V across the firing contacts with a lot of energy stored in those capacitors.


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Old 18-11-08
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Re: A Flash of Inspiration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
I've always wanted one of those really big ring flash units, but as I'd only use it on rare occasions, I thought I'd have a "play" with some old disposable cameras.

So far from 20+ disposables, I've managed to get 12 that work. Two went up in smoke during testing, several didn't work at all and most had to be repaired to get them to work. I hasten to add that these were all originally sold as working cameras. So as another warning, don't buy cheap disposables (not that any of you would)

The batteries are from a BLM-1 that wouldn't work. The cells are great, just the circuit was dead. I was amazed to find I can get 18Amps out of them.

Anyway, this is the current stage of the production having just fired it for the first time. One of the units is smoking so will need to be changed but the flash it puts out is quite something.

Once I finish it, I'll fire it at something/body and post the results.

I'd better put in here a word of warning. What you see here could quite easily kill

There is 225V across the firing contacts with a lot of energy stored in those capacitors.


Wouldn't it be safer to hire one from Calumet on the odd occasions you need one?

Patrick
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Old 18-11-08
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Re: A Flash of Inspiration

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Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Wouldn't it be safer to hire one from Calumet on the odd occasions you need one?

Patrick
Absolutly... but where's the fun in that
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Old 18-11-08
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Re: A Flash of Inspiration

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Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Wouldn't it be safer to hire one from Calumet on the odd occasions you need one?

Patrick
Haha!

Graham is a retired engineer - what do you expect!

Ian
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Old 18-11-08
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Re: A Flash of Inspiration

That looks lethal but i can't wait to see the resulting pic
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Old 18-11-08
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Re: A Flash of Inspiration

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Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
Absolutly... but where's the fun in that
OK then, just make sure you and your model stand on a rubber mats, and that fire fighting gear is on hand.

Patrick

PS Check the life insurance.
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Old 18-11-08
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Re: A Flash of Inspiration

Graham, hello - Graham are you there!

Please sign in and let us know all is OK

Barr1e

ps November 5th you have missed.
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Old 18-11-08
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Re: A Flash of Inspiration

Gordon Bennett! Can you come round and sort out our medley of Christmas tree lights please Graham

jo
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Old 19-11-08
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Re: A Flash of Inspiration

I have visions of 'The Mad Professor'!

Cant wait to see the results!
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Old 28-11-09
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Re: A Flash of Inspiration

As some of you may recall, a while back I played about with 12 disposable camera flashes to cobble together a ring flash.



While it worked (I use that word loosely) it was a tad unreliable and smoke would issue forth at regular intervals

SO: I put it to one side (along with my many other "experiments") and some while later, during some particularly poor weather, set about building the MkII





This was all together a leap in engineering, as now the 12 tubes were all mounted in a purpose built reflector housing (OK! so it's a Bun Ring Mould , but you have to credit me with the ingenuity) With the power pack and thyrister controls ( impressed now arn't you ) made out of a modified Vivitar gun. An additional capacitor bank was also constructed with a truly lethal 1440 mF capacitance running at 360 Volts.

Once again, the reliability was an issue with component failures (disposable cameras really are made of rubbish bits) being a regular feature.

For those still reading this... you have to remember that it was horrible weather and I enjoy "Playing" with things like this...

Finally I consigned the whole thing to the bin, both out of frustration with the failures of tubes, etc., and the thoughts that this thing was damaging the ozone layer, would give models reasons to sue me (more so than normal ) and the EMP it generates may well fry the camera ...

To be serious, and as a warning to others, messing about with these things is VERY DANGEROUS - and could KILL

Will there be a MKIII Oh Yes The heads have been delivered & tested and the control gear is on route from Hong Kong.

Once I've completed it, I'll post the next installment
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