How does a Sync port work?

Started Sep 26, 2016 | Discussions
OP OmarAl New Member • Posts: 21
Re: How does a Sync port work?

Klaus dk wrote:

I may have misunderstood your question, but the "signal" is not coming from the ground pin, it is the short from the flash circuit to ground that triggers the flash. It can be implemented with a simple morse key or doorbell pushbutton, or any circuit that will allow the necessary current through.

Ahhh okay, sorry I might've mixed things up a bit. So this "short" coming from the ground pin is like an electrical pulse which is sent from the camera to the flash circuit to trigger the flash then? I really hore I got this right!

iancrowe wrote:

I can't help thinking that you would find is easier, safer and possibly cheaper to invest in something like the Yongnuo YN-560 Mk. IV flash.

The YN-560 comes with a built in PC sync socket, optical triggering (capable of ignoring pre-flash), variable power output, a zoomable tilt swivel head and built in radio transmitter and receiver for wireless remote triggering. All for about the cost of the components and casing required for the above circuit.

Ian

I understand where you are coming from, but either way the Yongnuo 560 (despite being really good) is still not a strong enough light for serious photography (you will need at least 3-4 of those I believe), but hey, if someone did want to give it a go (building one which is what I'm gathering from you?) basing off the article showing you how to build a flash with an optical slave that I linked in a previous post...then why not?

...I mean the only thing concerns me is thaat of the lightbulb, of course the Xeon/halogen lightbulbs really do pack a punch which is essential to studio photography (or any that needs a lot of exposure) but despite that...could any lightbulb be used in this matter??

Klaus dk
Klaus dk Veteran Member • Posts: 7,119
Re: How does a Sync port work?

OmarAl wrote:

Klaus dk wrote:

I may have misunderstood your question, but the "signal" is not coming from the ground pin, it is the short from the flash circuit to ground that triggers the flash. It can be implemented with a simple morse key or doorbell pushbutton, or any circuit that will allow the necessary current through.

Ahhh okay, sorry I might've mixed things up a bit. So this "short" coming from the ground pin is like an electrical pulse which is sent from the camera to the flash circuit to trigger the flash then? I really hore I got this right!

I'm not an electrical engineer, so my wording may be wrong, but the flash connects to the camera with two wires, one of them ground, one live. In the camera, a contact closes to short those two wires when the camera wants the flash to fire. When this system was concipated, there were no microelectronics to speak off, so it was purely mechanical. The cameras had no batteries and communication between flash and camera was very primitive.

 Klaus dk's gear list:Klaus dk's gear list
Sony RX100 II Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS R Canon EF 135mm F2.8 SF Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM +15 more
PhotoTeach2 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,403
Re: Maybe not the best idea

Klaus dk wrote:

OmarAl wrote:

Leonard Migliore wrote:

OmarAl wrote:

That is absolutely fantastic to hear, I'll definitely be checking out ISO 10330 standard for Photography, probably can get a better sense out of it

Although still relevant, since I have a better understanding how or where the signal for the flash originates from i.e. the Ground contact (or signal within the camera?) of a hot shoe which is also technically identical to the Sync port, where does that actually go within the Flash device? What is it inside that would need for it to set the light bulb to emit??
For example, if I was to take a Flash device apart to have complete access to the circuit board, could I set off a flash by touching some pins/contacts or something like that perhaps?

Note that electronic flash units use high voltage to fire the flashtube. It can be quite dangerous to disassemble a flash unit and then power it up to try to fire it, especially if you're poking around it at random.

http://www.sciforums.com/threads/shock-from-a-camera-flash-is-lethal.40865/

Heey guys, sorry once again for the late reply, I didn't get to see your replies when you've made them before I went to A&E with some minor burns on my fingers when handling my friend's 430EX Speedlite when poking around whilst seeing if I can repair it, really regret not coming back here sooner when you guys mentioned the amount of voltage a cap can contain which really surprised me after...

...JOKING!!!

I am very aware of the hazard if one does commit such an act and would never attempt it lightheartedly! I also don't intend to do so either as I merely (for now) just want to understand how this all works, everything being said so far has really been helpful and I'm sure it would be beneficial for others too.

Therefore I was wondering, I came across an article showing you how to build a flash with an optical slave:

http://www.diyphotography.net/how-to-build-a-flash-with-an-optical-slave/

Check it out, it's very interesting stuff, very similar to a disposable camera circuit, no?

Anyway this got me thinking, since the signal for the triggering the flash comes from the ground pin (or the circuit?), could this signal be used to trigger flash from such a build if it was hooked in the right places perhaps??

I may have misunderstood your question, but the "signal" is not coming from the ground pin, it is the short from the flash circuit to ground that triggers the flash. It can be implemented with a simple morse key or doorbell pushbutton, or any circuit that will allow the necessary current through.

Yes ... years ago it indeed was just a mechanical shorting of two-wires, from the center pin of wire/connector from flash unit to the (outer) ground cylinder of the plug.

Today it is done via triggering an "SCR" type device in camera, and therefore subject to being blown by too-high voltage from the flash unit.

PhotoTeach2 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,403
Re: How does a Sync port work?

Klaus dk wrote:

OmarAl wrote:

Klaus dk wrote:

I may have misunderstood your question, but the "signal" is not coming from the ground pin, it is the short from the flash circuit to ground that triggers the flash. It can be implemented with a simple morse key or doorbell pushbutton, or any circuit that will allow the necessary current through.

Ahhh okay, sorry I might've mixed things up a bit. So this "short" coming from the ground pin is like an electrical pulse which is sent from the camera to the flash circuit to trigger the flash then? I really hore I got this right!

I'm not an electrical engineer, so my wording may be wrong, but the flash connects to the camera with two wires, one of them ground, one live. In the camera, a contact closes to short those two wires when the camera wants the flash to fire. When this system was concipated, there were no microelectronics to speak off, so it was purely mechanical. The cameras had no batteries and communication between flash and camera was very primitive.

YES ... you are very accurate ... (are you sure you are not a EE ???).

They used to be very basic mechanical contacts that shorted the center pic to ground.

Now it is done by triggering some type of "SCR" device in the camera, and thus subject to be blown by too-high voltage from the flash unit.

(SCR = Silicon Controlled Rectifier)

Klaus dk
Klaus dk Veteran Member • Posts: 7,119
Serious?

OmarAl wrote:

Klaus dk wrote:

I may have misunderstood your question, but the "signal" is not coming from the ground pin, it is the short from the flash circuit to ground that triggers the flash. It can be implemented with a simple morse key or doorbell pushbutton, or any circuit that will allow the necessary current through.

Ahhh okay, sorry I might've mixed things up a bit. So this "short" coming from the ground pin is like an electrical pulse which is sent from the camera to the flash circuit to trigger the flash then? I really hore I got this right!

iancrowe wrote:

I can't help thinking that you would find is easier, safer and possibly cheaper to invest in something like the Yongnuo YN-560 Mk. IV flash.

The YN-560 comes with a built in PC sync socket, optical triggering (capable of ignoring pre-flash), variable power output, a zoomable tilt swivel head and built in radio transmitter and receiver for wireless remote triggering. All for about the cost of the components and casing required for the above circuit.

Ian

I understand where you are coming from, but either way the Yongnuo 560 (despite being really good) is still not a strong enough light for serious photography (you will need at least 3-4 of those I believe), but hey, if someone did want to give it a go (building one which is what I'm gathering from you?) basing off the article showing you how to build a flash with an optical slave that I linked in a previous post...then why not?

...I mean the only thing concerns me is thaat of the lightbulb, of course the Xeon/halogen lightbulbs really do pack a punch which is essential to studio photography (or any that needs a lot of exposure) but despite that...could any lightbulb be used in this matter??

The DIY project has some serious shortcomings.

First, there's the question of power variability. Modern strobes are variable from 1/1 to 1/256, covering nine stops in 1/10th or 1/3rd stops increments. I would not recommend anything with less than five stops.

Second, the most compelling reason for using studio strobes is the modeling light. You would need an addition to the circuit to drive those. A common feature is the ability to have the modeling lights turn off with the firing of the flash and not come on again before it is fully charged. Another is the ability to vary the power of the modeling light with the power setting of the strobe.

Another thing is your speaking of light bulbs. Flash tubes are very different beasts, and the fact that you confuse them suggests that you may have less understanding of this subject than needed.

If you think speedlights are insufficient for serious photography, your definition of serious is different from mine. If you haven't read The Strobist's 101 and 102 on lighting, now's the time before you attempt to give more lectures on serious photography.

 Klaus dk's gear list:Klaus dk's gear list
Sony RX100 II Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS R Canon EF 135mm F2.8 SF Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM +15 more
PhotoTeach2 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,403
Re: Maybe not the best idea
1

OmarAl wrote:

Leonard Migliore wrote:

OmarAl wrote:

That is absolutely fantastic to hear, I'll definitely be checking out ISO 10330 standard for Photography, probably can get a better sense out of it

Although still relevant, since I have a better understanding how or where the signal for the flash originates from i.e. the Ground contact (or signal within the camera?) of a hot shoe which is also technically identical to the Sync port, where does that actually go within the Flash device? What is it inside that would need for it to set the light bulb to emit??
For example, if I was to take a Flash device apart to have complete access to the circuit board, could I set off a flash by touching some pins/contacts or something like that perhaps?

Note that electronic flash units use high voltage to fire the flashtube. It can be quite dangerous to disassemble a flash unit and then power it up to try to fire it, especially if you're poking around it at random.

http://www.sciforums.com/threads/shock-from-a-camera-flash-is-lethal.40865/

Heey guys, sorry once again for the late reply, I didn't get to see your replies when you've made them before I went to A&E with some minor burns on my fingers when handling my friend's 430EX Speedlite when poking around whilst seeing if I can repair it, really regret not coming back here sooner when you guys mentioned the amount of voltage a cap can contain which really surprised me after...

...JOKING!!!

I am very aware of the hazard if one does commit such an act and would never attempt it lightheartedly! I also don't intend to do so either as I merely (for now) just want to understand how this all works, everything being said so far has really been helpful and I'm sure it would be beneficial for others too.

Therefore I was wondering, I came across an article showing you how to build a flash with an optical slave:

http://www.diyphotography.net/how-to-build-a-flash-with-an-optical-slave/

Check it out, it's very interesting stuff, very similar to a disposable camera circuit, no?

Anyway this got me thinking, since the signal for the triggering the flash comes from the ground pin (or the circuit?), could this signal be used to trigger flash from such a build if it was hooked in the right places perhaps??

I am an electronic engineer and indeed have taken-apart/played-with LOTS of "disposable" cameras, w/ flash.  I loved to charge them up and then they would sound like a shotgun when you "shorted" the capacitor, (with 300v+++)

But I would NEVER recommend building the above.   IT IS VERY DANGEROUS.

But modern flash units are much more complicated than this, with many additional features.  Just NOT WORTH IT.

But also consider this article ... the capacitors can indeed be LETHAL.

OP OmarAl New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Maybe not the best idea

Klaus dk wrote:

I'm not an electrical engineer, so my wording may be wrong, but the flash connects to the camera with two wires, one of them ground, one live. In the camera, a contact closes to short those two wires when the camera wants the flash to fire. When this system was concipated, there were no microelectronics to speak off, so it was purely mechanical. The cameras had no batteries and communication between flash and camera was very primitive.

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

Yes ... years ago it indeed was just a mechanical shorting of two-wires, from the center pin of wire/connector from flash unit to the (outer) ground cylinder of the plug.

Today it is done via triggering an "SCR" type device in camera, and therefore subject to being blown by too-high voltage from the flash unit.

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

YES ... you are very accurate ... (are you sure you are not a EE ???).

They used to be very basic mechanical contacts that shorted the center pic to ground.

Now it is done by triggering some type of "SCR" device in the camera, and thus subject to be blown by too-high voltage from the flash unit.

(SCR = Silicon Controlled Rectifier)

Klaus dk wrote:

The DIY project has some serious shortcomings.

First, there's the question of power variability. Modern strobes are variable from 1/1 to 1/256, covering nine stops in 1/10th or 1/3rd stops increments. I would not recommend anything with less than five stops.

Second, the most compelling reason for using studio strobes is the modeling light. You would need an addition to the circuit to drive those. A common feature is the ability to have the modeling lights turn off with the firing of the flash and not come on again before it is fully charged. Another is the ability to vary the power of the modeling light with the power setting of the strobe.

Another thing is your speaking of light bulbs. Flash tubes are very different beasts, and the fact that you confuse them suggests that you may have less understanding of this subject than needed.

If you think speedlights are insufficient for serious photography, your definition of serious is different from mine. If you haven't read The Strobist's 101 and 102 on lighting, now's the time before you attempt to give more lectures on serious photography.

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

I am an electronic engineer and indeed have taken-apart/played-with LOTS of "disposable" cameras, w/ flash. I loved to charge them up and then they would sound like a shotgun when you "shorted" the capacitor, (with 300v+++)

But I would NEVER recommend building the above. IT IS VERY DANGEROUS.

But modern flash units are much more complicated than this, with many additional features. Just NOT WORTH IT.

But also consider this article ... the capacitors can indeed be LETHAL.

Gentlemen...gentlemen, I can assure you I am NOT going to be building the aforementioned flash unit! I'm sorry if I may have scared all of you but the article I linked previously was merely to use as an example, that being (to refresh) theoretically could the short coming from the camera's center pin (and Sync Port?) be hooked up to such circuit and trigger the flashtube on the build?? That was just a question.

This is something now I am trying to understand, back when cameras were more mechanical, the flash was triggered by a short from the ground and live wires that is traveled to the flashtube's circuit where it will set off the 300v capacitor to create an electrical arc in the xenon flashtube (Am I right in this matter?)
Therefore, is any of this still relevant with modern cameras and flashes with microelectronics that you speak of?

Modelling lights in strobes are definitely a worthwhile feature to have and is extremely helpful (just a piece of continuous lighting goes a looong way ).
I would like to point out that although what I did say about Speedlites can't be used used for serious photography (because that definitely can!) I was merely drawing it in comparison to Studio strobes, they simply cannot output that kind of power on its own, you will need at least four of them to be put together and sychronised to set off at once, and sometimes this is not practical. I just wanted to make that clear

When I mentioned lightbulb, I didn't really explain myself properly so I do apologise for that, but what I was trying to say was (in regards to a DIY build), if one was to take the short created from the camera and use it to discharge a charged up capacitor with a standard lightbulb (i.e. to act like a flashtube), would that have been a possibility? However I probably answered that myself during the time from then, since it would probably dim from lit as it's only passing through voltage. It's hard to explain, but please do correct me if I am wrong here!

I know I could probably come across annoying or a bit repetitive here, but I am really just trying to understand all of this and of course highly appreciative of all your posts too!

PhotoTeach2 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,403
Re: Maybe not the best idea

OmarAl wrote:

Klaus dk wrote:

I'm not an electrical engineer, so my wording may be wrong, but the flash connects to the camera with two wires, one of them ground, one live. In the camera, a contact closes to short those two wires when the camera wants the flash to fire. When this system was concipated, there were no microelectronics to speak off, so it was purely mechanical. The cameras had no batteries and communication between flash and camera was very primitive.

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

Yes ... years ago it indeed was just a mechanical shorting of two-wires, from the center pin of wire/connector from flash unit to the (outer) ground cylinder of the plug.

Today it is done via triggering an "SCR" type device in camera, and therefore subject to being blown by too-high voltage from the flash unit.

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

YES ... you are very accurate ... (are you sure you are not a EE ???).

They used to be very basic mechanical contacts that shorted the center pic to ground.

Now it is done by triggering some type of "SCR" device in the camera, and thus subject to be blown by too-high voltage from the flash unit.

(SCR = Silicon Controlled Rectifier)

Klaus dk wrote:

The DIY project has some serious shortcomings.

First, there's the question of power variability. Modern strobes are variable from 1/1 to 1/256, covering nine stops in 1/10th or 1/3rd stops increments. I would not recommend anything with less than five stops.

Second, the most compelling reason for using studio strobes is the modeling light. You would need an addition to the circuit to drive those. A common feature is the ability to have the modeling lights turn off with the firing of the flash and not come on again before it is fully charged. Another is the ability to vary the power of the modeling light with the power setting of the strobe.

Another thing is your speaking of light bulbs. Flash tubes are very different beasts, and the fact that you confuse them suggests that you may have less understanding of this subject than needed.

If you think speedlights are insufficient for serious photography, your definition of serious is different from mine. If you haven't read The Strobist's 101 and 102 on lighting, now's the time before you attempt to give more lectures on serious photography.

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

I am an electronic engineer and indeed have taken-apart/played-with LOTS of "disposable" cameras, w/ flash. I loved to charge them up and then they would sound like a shotgun when you "shorted" the capacitor, (with 300v+++)

But I would NEVER recommend building the above. IT IS VERY DANGEROUS.

But modern flash units are much more complicated than this, with many additional features. Just NOT WORTH IT.

But also consider this article ... the capacitors can indeed be LETHAL.

Gentlemen...gentlemen, I can assure you I am NOT going to be building the aforementioned flash unit! I'm sorry if I may have scared all of you but the article I linked previously was merely to use as an example, that being (to refresh) theoretically could the short coming from the camera's center pin (and Sync Port?) be hooked up to such circuit and trigger the flashtube on the build?? That was just a question.

This is something now I am trying to understand, back when cameras were more mechanical, the flash was triggered by a short from the ground and live wires that is traveled to the flashtube's circuit where it will set off the 300v capacitor to create an electrical arc in the xenon flashtube (Am I right in this matter?)
Therefore, is any of this still relevant with modern cameras and flashes with microelectronics that you speak of?

Modelling lights in strobes are definitely a worthwhile feature to have and is extremely helpful (just a piece of continuous lighting goes a looong way ).
I would like to point out that although what I did say about Speedlites can't be used used for serious photography (because that definitely can!) I was merely drawing it in comparison to Studio strobes, they simply cannot output that kind of power on its own, you will need at least four of them to be put together and sychronised to set off at once, and sometimes this is not practical. I just wanted to make that clear

When I mentioned lightbulb, I didn't really explain myself properly so I do apologise for that, but what I was trying to say was (in regards to a DIY build), if one was to take the short created from the camera and use it to discharge a charged up capacitor with a standard lightbulb (i.e. to act like a flashtube), would that have been a possibility? However I probably answered that myself during the time from then, since it would probably dim from lit as it's only passing through voltage. It's hard to explain, but please do correct me if I am wrong here!

I know I could probably come across annoying or a bit repetitive here, but I am really just trying to understand all of this and of course highly appreciative of all your posts too!

Well the older flash-BULBS were sorta like that.  They had a magnesium filament that ignited.  But they of course were a "one" time use.

They could have been fired from batteries only, BUT there were also "capacitors" in "BC", (Battey Capacitor") designs.

PhotoTeach2 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,403
Re: Maybe not the best idea

Those were NOT the good-old-days.  There was a "delay" as they ignited. The outputs wete inconsistent, and focal-plane shutters required special (FP) bulbs, (similar to HSS today).

Because of the initial (ignition) delay, cameras had to have a (often external) "delay" mechanism to trip the shutter after it (first) fired the flash. (screwed into the cable-release receptacle)

Then when (no-delay) electronic strobes came out, cameras had to have a switch to select no-delay (strobe) or delay for the older flash-bulbs.

And you got NOTHING if the switch was incorrect, (know that from experience ...

OP OmarAl New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Maybe not the best idea

That is reeaallyy interesting, I suppose it is a good thing we are not living in those days anymore, hahaha, I also CANNOT imagine doing photography with any sort of delay! That just sounds like a total nightmare

So everything I said in my previous posts, was I technically correct in most parts?

Also I just would like to throw this in here as part of understanding all this. A few months ago I purchased one of those LED Ring Flash lights which you can hook up to any camera:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Meike-FC-100-Pentax-Olympus-Panasonic/dp/B00EADGXJU

It generally it works, I don't know if it's because of a bad connections on the hotshoe or something but it doesn't fire a handful of times. However I'm bringing this one up because technically it is very different on how it functions compared to your traditional flash circuits and with Flashtubes.
What I would want to know is, how is this LED device able to flash when it's triggered from the camera?? I'm sure it still uses the electrical short that comes from the Sync Port and Center pin of the hotshoe (correct?), but how does it know to use this to light up the LEDs in the first place?

PhotoTeach2 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,403
Re: Maybe not the best idea

OmarAl wrote:

That is reeaallyy interesting, I suppose it is a good thing we are not living in those days anymore, hahaha, I also CANNOT imagine doing photography with any sort of delay! That just sounds like a total nightmare

So everything I said in my previous posts, was I technically correct in most parts?

Also I just would like to throw this in here as part of understanding all this. A few months ago I purchased one of those LED Ring Flash lights which you can hook up to any camera:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Meike-FC-100-Pentax-Olympus-Panasonic/dp/B00EADGXJU

It generally it works, I don't know if it's because of a bad connections on the hotshoe or something but it doesn't fire a handful of times. However I'm bringing this one up because technically it is very different on how it functions compared to your traditional flash circuits and with Flashtubes.
What I would want to know is, how is this LED device able to flash when it's triggered from the camera?? I'm sure it still uses the electrical short that comes from the Sync Port and Center pin of the hotshoe (correct?), but how does it know to use this to light up the LEDs in the first place?

I am sorry but not understanding what you mean ???

I mean, it seems like no different from normal, you need the LED's to "light" and then take the photo, (shutter open).  And the camera knows when you are taking a photo.

OP OmarAl New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Maybe not the best idea

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

I am sorry but not understanding what you mean ???

I mean, it seems like no different from normal, you need the LED's to "light" and then take the photo, (shutter open). And the camera knows when you are taking a photo.

My apologies if I wasn't clear enough, but I was mainly referring to the internals of the camera, like the circuitry because unlike strobes and speedlites that we've discussed earlier they all require a capacitor to provide the sufficient power to the Flashtube.

However, since this seems highly unlikely with this LED light, how does the device take the electrical short to fire the LEDs? Are the circuity that similar? Or radically different perhaps??

PhotoTeach2 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,403
Re: Maybe not the best idea
1

OmarAl wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

I am sorry but not understanding what you mean ???

I mean, it seems like no different from normal, you need the LED's to "light" and then take the photo, (shutter open). And the camera knows when you are taking a photo.

My apologies if I wasn't clear enough, but I was mainly referring to the internals of the camera, like the circuitry because unlike strobes and speedlites that we've discussed earlier they all require a capacitor to provide the sufficient power to the Flashtube.

However, since this seems highly unlikely with this LED light, how does the device take the electrical short to fire the LEDs? Are the circuity that similar? Or radically different perhaps??

LED's are no different from a "light-bulb" ... you simply pass a current through it, (albeit very "low" voltage/current), and it lights, (not really much different from the tungsten-filament in a light-bulb).  An LED is a silicon-junction.

An LED is much simpler than a capacitor/zenon "arc" tube, and "trigger/CUT-OFF" circuitry.

OP OmarAl New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Maybe not the best idea

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

LED's are no different from a "light-bulb" ... you simply pass a current through it, (albeit very "low" voltage/current), and it lights, (not really much different from the tungsten-filament in a light-bulb). An LED is a silicon-junction.

An LED is much simpler than a capacitor/zenon "arc" tube, and "trigger/CUT-OFF" circuitry.

Very interesting you said that. So basically like a Xenon flashtube and a lightbulb, you're still discharging with the LED?

Because of it's simplicity, does that mean it doesn't necessarily require a capacitor quick-fire rounds of flashes?
Also does it only need the electrical short from the camera to lit the LEDs??

I ask all this because like I probably implied in my previous posts, could one theoretically replace a flashtube with a standard lightbulb of the same wattage and still get the same results??
Because it was my understanding that flashtubes vs lightbulbs are "very different beasts".

PhotoTeach2 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,403
Re: Maybe not the best idea

OmarAl wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

LED's are no different from a "light-bulb" ... you simply pass a current through it, (albeit very "low" voltage/current), and it lights, (not really much different from the tungsten-filament in a light-bulb). An LED is a silicon-junction.

An LED is much simpler than a capacitor/zenon "arc" tube, and "trigger/CUT-OFF" circuitry.

Very interesting you said that. So basically like a Xenon flashtube and a lightbulb, you're still discharging with the LED?

Well ... I think that is a yes ...

Because of it's simplicity, does that mean it doesn't necessarily require a capacitor quick-fire rounds of flashes?

I would have to see the actual schematic to be more specific to a specific unit.

Also does it only need the electrical short from the camera to lit the LEDs??

I think that is a yes ...

I ask all this because like I probably implied in my previous posts, could one theoretically replace a flashtube with a standard lightbulb of the same wattage and still get the same results??

Absolutely not ... they are totally different in that the (xenon) tube is an ARC, (a very FAST/SHORT duration arc -- from a 300-500v charged capacitor).

Because it was my understanding that flashtubes vs lightbulbs are "very different beasts".

Absolutely YES !!!   (very different)

OP OmarAl New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Maybe not the best idea

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

Very interesting you said that. So basically like a Xenon flashtube and a lightbulb, you're still discharging with the LED?

Well ... I think that is a yes ...

Very good, I should've known this already, I think it was because I'm typing all this in the early hours of the morning

Because of it's simplicity, does that mean it doesn't necessarily require a capacitor quick-fire rounds of flashes?

I would have to see the actual schematic to be more specific to a specific unit.

The other day I opened up my LED Ring Flash and from what I can see there is absolutely no capacitor, it's extremely simple, just a circuit board with a small chip inside. I also photographed it so I would've have to open it up again. Does it interest you to have a look at them perhaps??

Also does it only need the electrical short from the camera to lit the LEDs??

I think that is a yes ...

Just so I am not confused, does this electrical short trigger something in the flash device to make the flash happen? Or is this electrical short the actual "electrical power" that lights up the LEDs??

I ask all this because like I probably implied in my previous posts, could one theoretically replace a flashtube with a standard lightbulb of the same wattage and still get the same results??

Absolutely not ... they are totally different in that the (xenon) tube is an ARC, (a very FAST/SHORT duration arc -- from a 300-500v charged capacitor).

In this case I would like to ask, can a xenon Flashtube work as a continuous light, yes or no?

Either way, if the Flashtube was given lower voltage, would it simply not light up? Or it will light up but at lower brightness??

Because it was my understanding that flashtubes vs lightbulbs are "very different beasts".

Absolutely YES !!! (very different)

I am beginning to understand this more and more thank you to all of you, much grateful!

PhotoTeach2 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,403
Re: Maybe not the best idea

OmarAl wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

Very interesting you said that. So basically like a Xenon flashtube and a lightbulb, you're still discharging with the LED?

Well ... I think that is a yes ...

Very good, I should've known this already, I think it was because I'm typing all this in the early hours of the morning

But as you discovered and mentioned below, there is no "capacitor", (or at least not one in the same sense as there is in a flash/strobe where it is "the" essential component and the basics of its technology).

Because of it's simplicity, does that mean it doesn't necessarily require a capacitor quick-fire rounds of flashes?

I would have to see the actual schematic to be more specific to a specific unit.

The other day I opened up my LED Ring Flash and from what I can see there is absolutely no capacitor, it's extremely simple, just a circuit board with a small chip inside. I also photographed it so I would've have to open it up again. Does it interest you to have a look at them perhaps??

Sure, but would be able to tell more from a schematic, (I am an electronic engineer so could immediately "read" it).

And yes, there is no "capacitor" in the sense there in in flash/strobe.

It is basically like a normal FLASHLIGHT / TORCH, (and the "chip" is probably a "timer").

Also does it only need the electrical short from the camera to lit the LEDs??

I think that is a yes ...

Just so I am not confused, does this electrical short trigger something in the flash device to make the flash happen?

Yes, the capacitor is charged to 300-500vdc and then "discharges" though an "arc".

Or is this electrical short the actual "electrical power" that lights up the LEDs??

Well, it is an "arc" .... like LIGHTNING. It literally is a tiny "lightning" strike/arc confined within the tube. It puts out a LOT of light, for a VERY SHORT duration, (less than 1/1000sec and can be as short as 1/50,000sec.).

I ask all this because like I probably implied in my previous posts, could one theoretically replace a flashtube with a standard lightbulb of the same wattage and still get the same results??

Absolutely not ... they are totally different in that the (xenon) tube is an ARC, (a very FAST/SHORT duration arc -- from a 300-500v charged capacitor).

In this case I would like to ask, can a xenon Flashtube work as a continuous light, yes or no?

Absolutely NOT ... No Way ... not even close to the same.

Either way, if the Flashtube was given lower voltage, would it simply not light up? Or it will light up but at lower brightness??

It won't "fire" (arc) at less than the 300-500vdc.

Have you ever seen a "small" lighting strike ... they are all big and bright and LOUD.

Because it was my understanding that flashtubes vs lightbulbs are "very different beasts".

Absolutely YES !!! (very different)

I am beginning to understand this more and more thank you to all of you, much grateful!

Well, it does not seem like you understand it very well, but you sorta have to be an engineer/technician to fully understand the technology, (especially the "cut-off" circuitry which can be even more complex). This (cut-off) circuitry must actually STOP the ARC after it starts. It is like stopping a lighting-strike after it starts. Quite amazing.

I worked on X-Ray equipment for 20 years, and we used that same technology to "time" an X-Ray pulse. (albeit at voltages up to 150,000 volts, instead of 300-500).

YES ... I am still alive so "learned" to be VERY CAREFUL, (w/ 150KV).

But you can be dead even from the charged capacitor @ 300-500vdc.

OP OmarAl New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Maybe not the best idea

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

OmarAl wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

Very interesting you said that. So basically like a Xenon flashtube and a lightbulb, you're still discharging with the LED?

Well ... I think that is a yes ...

Very good, I should've known this already, I think it was because I'm typing all this in the early hours of the morning

But as you discovered and mentioned below, there is no "capacitor", (or at least not one in the same sense as there is in a flash/strobe where it is "the" essential component and the basics of its technology).

Yeah, you are correct. A flash or Strobe cannot live without it

Because of it's simplicity, does that mean it doesn't necessarily require a capacitor quick-fire rounds of flashes?

I would have to see the actual schematic to be more specific to a specific unit.

The other day I opened up my LED Ring Flash and from what I can see there is absolutely no capacitor, it's extremely simple, just a circuit board with a small chip inside. I also photographed it so I would've have to open it up again. Does it interest you to have a look at them perhaps??

Sure, but would be able to tell more from a schematic, (I am an electronic engineer so could immediately "read" it).

And yes, there is no "capacitor" in the sense there in in flash/strobe.

It is basically like a normal FLASHLIGHT / TORCH, (and the "chip" is probably a "timer").

I'll get the photos ready asap, but very interesting you mention about "timer", I thought the chip was there to control the buttons/functions of the flash device. It's funny as well, because everytime I trigger for the flash to go off I notice it's a bit slow, and that the flash duration last slightly longer than a normal flash does i.e. might not be very good for freezing fast action movements.

I could be wrong with all of this but might there be an explanation for this perhaps??

Also does it only need the electrical short from the camera to lit the LEDs??

I think that is a yes ...

Just so I am not confused, does this electrical short trigger something in the flash device to make the flash happen?

Yes, the capacitor is charged to 300-500vdc and then "discharges" though an "arc".

I'm so stupid, how can I forget this...of course it does this! But sending 300-500volts to discharge in the flashtube is a hellalot, why doesn't it ever blow out the tube?

Or is this electrical short the actual "electrical power" that lights up the LEDs??

Well, it is an "arc" .... like LIGHTNING. It literally is a tiny "lightning" strike/arc confined within the tube. It puts out a LOT of light, for a VERY SHORT duration, (less than 1/1000sec and can be as short as 1/50,000sec.).

Good explanation! A good description of telling someone another way tot die in the fastest way possible, hahaha

I ask all this because like I probably implied in my previous posts, could one theoretically replace a flashtube with a standard lightbulb of the same wattage and still get the same results??

Absolutely not ... they are totally different in that the (xenon) tube is an ARC, (a very FAST/SHORT duration arc -- from a 300-500v charged capacitor).

In this case I would like to ask, can a xenon Flashtube work as a continuous light, yes or no?

Absolutely NOT ... No Way ... not even close to the same.

Is it because if 300-500volts were continually sent to the tube for a few seconds, it would explode?

Either way, if the Flashtube was given lower voltage, would it simply not light up? Or it will light up but at lower brightness??

It won't "fire" (arc) at less than the 300-500vdc.

Have you ever seen a "small" lighting strike ... they are all big and bright and LOUD.

I have...it sometimes scares me

Because it was my understanding that flashtubes vs lightbulbs are "very different beasts".

Absolutely YES !!! (very different)

I am beginning to understand this more and more thank you to all of you, much grateful!

Well, it does not seem like you understand it very well, but you sorta have to be an engineer/technician to fully understand the technology, (especially the "cut-off" circuitry which can be even more complex). This (cut-off) circuitry must actually STOP the ARC after it starts. It is like stopping a lighting-strike after it starts. Quite amazing.

I worked on X-Ray equipment for 20 years, and we used that same technology to "time" an X-Ray pulse. (albeit at voltages up to 150,000 volts, instead of 300-500).

YES ... I am still alive so "learned" to be VERY CAREFUL, (w/ 150KV).

But you can be dead even from the charged capacitor @ 300-500vdc.

THIS! I am sooo glad you've mentioend this...because out of all the reading and researching this is the first time I've ever read about a "cut-off" circuity!

So that means there really is something that stops the electrical circuit going into the tube from the capacitor! So I guess this is what determines the "Flash Duration" right???

PhotoTeach2 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,403
Re: Maybe not the best idea

OmarAl wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

OmarAl wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

Very interesting you said that. So basically like a Xenon flashtube and a lightbulb, you're still discharging with the LED?

Well ... I think that is a yes ...

Very good, I should've known this already, I think it was because I'm typing all this in the early hours of the morning

But as you discovered and mentioned below, there is no "capacitor", (or at least not one in the same sense as there is in a flash/strobe where it is "the" essential component and the basics of its technology).

Yeah, you are correct. A flash or Strobe cannot live without it

Because of it's simplicity, does that mean it doesn't necessarily require a capacitor quick-fire rounds of flashes?

I would have to see the actual schematic to be more specific to a specific unit.

The other day I opened up my LED Ring Flash and from what I can see there is absolutely no capacitor, it's extremely simple, just a circuit board with a small chip inside. I also photographed it so I would've have to open it up again. Does it interest you to have a look at them perhaps??

Sure, but would be able to tell more from a schematic, (I am an electronic engineer so could immediately "read" it).

And yes, there is no "capacitor" in the sense there in in flash/strobe.

It is basically like a normal FLASHLIGHT / TORCH, (and the "chip" is probably a "timer").

I'll get the photos ready asap, but very interesting you mention about "timer", I thought the chip was there to control the buttons/functions of the flash device. It's funny as well, because everytime I trigger for the flash to go off I notice it's a bit slow, and that the flash duration last slightly longer than a normal flash does i.e. might not be very good for freezing fast action movements.

I could be wrong with all of this but might there be an explanation for this perhaps??

It's ability to "freeze" action/movement is of course the hallmark of strobes.

Also does it only need the electrical short from the camera to lit the LEDs??

I think that is a yes ...

Just so I am not confused, does this electrical short trigger something in the flash device to make the flash happen?

Yes, the capacitor is charged to 300-500vdc and then "discharges" though an "arc".

I'm so stupid, how can I forget this...of course it does this! But sending 300-500volts to discharge in the flashtube is a hellalot, why doesn't it ever blow out the tube?

The flash-tubes do get "hot", but not usually as hot as a conventional incandescent, (or halogen) bulb.

But partially because the duration is indeed so "short".  As long as there is time between shots, it can cool off somewhat.

Or is this electrical short the actual "electrical power" that lights up the LEDs??

Well, it is an "arc" .... like LIGHTNING. It literally is a tiny "lightning" strike/arc confined within the tube. It puts out a LOT of light, for a VERY SHORT duration, (less than 1/1000sec and can be as short as 1/50,000sec.).

Good explanation! A good description of telling someone another way tot die in the fastest way possible, hahaha

I ask all this because like I probably implied in my previous posts, could one theoretically replace a flashtube with a standard lightbulb of the same wattage and still get the same results??

Absolutely not ... they are totally different in that the (xenon) tube is an ARC, (a very FAST/SHORT duration arc -- from a 300-500v charged capacitor).

In this case I would like to ask, can a xenon Flashtube work as a continuous light, yes or no?

Absolutely NOT ... No Way ... not even close to the same.

Is it because if 300-500volts were continually sent to the tube for a few seconds, it would explode?

Well, yeah, it probably would because it was not designed for that duty-cycle.

Either way, if the Flashtube was given lower voltage, would it simply not light up? Or it will light up but at lower brightness??

It won't "fire" (arc) at less than the 300-500vdc.

Have you ever seen a "small" lighting strike ... they are all big and bright and LOUD.

I have...it sometimes scares me

Because it was my understanding that flashtubes vs lightbulbs are "very different beasts".

Absolutely YES !!! (very different)

I am beginning to understand this more and more thank you to all of you, much grateful!

Well, it does not seem like you understand it very well, but you sorta have to be an engineer/technician to fully understand the technology, (especially the "cut-off" circuitry which can be even more complex). This (cut-off) circuitry must actually STOP the ARC after it starts. It is like stopping a lighting-strike after it starts. Quite amazing.

I worked on X-Ray equipment for 20 years, and we used that same technology to "time" an X-Ray pulse. (albeit at voltages up to 150,000 volts, instead of 300-500).

YES ... I am still alive so "learned" to be VERY CAREFUL, (w/ 150KV).

But you can be dead even from the charged capacitor @ 300-500vdc.

THIS! I am sooo glad you've mentioend this...because out of all the reading and researching this is the first time I've ever read about a "cut-off" circuity!

Yes ... the normal "full-discharge" cycle from a fully charged capacitor is usually about 1/1000sec.

BUT with "auto" and "TTL" controlled strobes the flash can be stopped @ 1/10,000th or even 1/50,000th sec when it is determined the sensor has received enough light for proper exposure.

So that means there really is something that stops the electrical circuit going into the tube from the capacitor!

Yes ... it used to be done by a "reverse" discharge of a separate capacitor to a SCR which stops the discharging of the main capacitor through the (xenon) tube.

So I guess this is what determines the "Flash Duration" right???

Yep ...

OP OmarAl New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Maybe not the best idea

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

OmarAl wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

OmarAl wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

Very interesting you said that. So basically like a Xenon flashtube and a lightbulb, you're still discharging with the LED?

Well ... I think that is a yes ...

Very good, I should've known this already, I think it was because I'm typing all this in the early hours of the morning

But as you discovered and mentioned below, there is no "capacitor", (or at least not one in the same sense as there is in a flash/strobe where it is "the" essential component and the basics of its technology).

Yeah, you are correct. A flash or Strobe cannot live without it

Because of it's simplicity, does that mean it doesn't necessarily require a capacitor quick-fire rounds of flashes?

I would have to see the actual schematic to be more specific to a specific unit.

The other day I opened up my LED Ring Flash and from what I can see there is absolutely no capacitor, it's extremely simple, just a circuit board with a small chip inside. I also photographed it so I would've have to open it up again. Does it interest you to have a look at them perhaps??

Sure, but would be able to tell more from a schematic, (I am an electronic engineer so could immediately "read" it).

And yes, there is no "capacitor" in the sense there in in flash/strobe.

It is basically like a normal FLASHLIGHT / TORCH, (and the "chip" is probably a "timer").

I'll get the photos ready asap, but very interesting you mention about "timer", I thought the chip was there to control the buttons/functions of the flash device. It's funny as well, because everytime I trigger for the flash to go off I notice it's a bit slow, and that the flash duration last slightly longer than a normal flash does i.e. might not be very good for freezing fast action movements.

I could be wrong with all of this but might there be an explanation for this perhaps??

It's ability to "freeze" action/movement is of course the hallmark of strobes.

Yes! And this is the exact reason I was trying to explain in my previous post(s)! Something like a Speedlite will just simply not work in some/many scenarios!

Also does it only need the electrical short from the camera to lit the LEDs??

I think that is a yes ...

Just so I am not confused, does this electrical short trigger something in the flash device to make the flash happen?

Yes, the capacitor is charged to 300-500vdc and then "discharges" though an "arc".

I'm so stupid, how can I forget this...of course it does this! But sending 300-500volts to discharge in the flashtube is a hellalot, why doesn't it ever blow out the tube?

The flash-tubes do get "hot", but not usually as hot as a conventional incandescent, (or halogen) bulb.

But partially because the duration is indeed so "short". As long as there is time between shots, it can cool off somewhat.

Or is this electrical short the actual "electrical power" that lights up the LEDs??

Well, it is an "arc" .... like LIGHTNING. It literally is a tiny "lightning" strike/arc confined within the tube. It puts out a LOT of light, for a VERY SHORT duration, (less than 1/1000sec and can be as short as 1/50,000sec.).

Good explanation! A good description of telling someone another way tot die in the fastest way possible, hahaha

I ask all this because like I probably implied in my previous posts, could one theoretically replace a flashtube with a standard lightbulb of the same wattage and still get the same results??

Absolutely not ... they are totally different in that the (xenon) tube is an ARC, (a very FAST/SHORT duration arc -- from a 300-500v charged capacitor).

In this case I would like to ask, can a xenon Flashtube work as a continuous light, yes or no?

Absolutely NOT ... No Way ... not even close to the same.

Is it because if 300-500volts were continually sent to the tube for a few seconds, it would explode?

Well, yeah, it probably would because it was not designed for that duty-cycle.

So you saying Xenon tube or Flash tubes were ever ONLY designed to emit light for very short periods of time??

Either way, if the Flashtube was given lower voltage, would it simply not light up? Or it will light up but at lower brightness??

It won't "fire" (arc) at less than the 300-500vdc.

Have you ever seen a "small" lighting strike ... they are all big and bright and LOUD.

I have...it sometimes scares me

Because it was my understanding that flashtubes vs lightbulbs are "very different beasts".

Absolutely YES !!! (very different)

I am beginning to understand this more and more thank you to all of you, much grateful!

Well, it does not seem like you understand it very well, but you sorta have to be an engineer/technician to fully understand the technology, (especially the "cut-off" circuitry which can be even more complex). This (cut-off) circuitry must actually STOP the ARC after it starts. It is like stopping a lighting-strike after it starts. Quite amazing.

I worked on X-Ray equipment for 20 years, and we used that same technology to "time" an X-Ray pulse. (albeit at voltages up to 150,000 volts, instead of 300-500).

YES ... I am still alive so "learned" to be VERY CAREFUL, (w/ 150KV).

But you can be dead even from the charged capacitor @ 300-500vdc.

THIS! I am sooo glad you've mentioend this...because out of all the reading and researching this is the first time I've ever read about a "cut-off" circuity!

Yes ... the normal "full-discharge" cycle from a fully charged capacitor is usually about 1/1000sec.

BUT with "auto" and "TTL" controlled strobes the flash can be stopped @ 1/10,000th or even 1/50,000th sec when it is determined the sensor has received enough light for proper exposure.

Wow...that is bloody fast! How on earth do you control light i.e. to start and stop at such a speed and with such precision???

So that means there really is something that stops the electrical circuit going into the tube from the capacitor!

Yes ... it used to be done by a "reverse" discharge of a separate capacitor to a SCR which stops the discharging of the main capacitor through the (xenon) tube.

This is something very new to me now and I'm glad to know about it, I've never heard of "reverse discharge"!

How does it work?? We all know now how discharge works in such device but to go the polar opposite...and with great accuracy...how does one go about going this???

So I guess this is what determines the "Flash Duration" right???

Yep ...

This has now been solved for the world to know!

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