Help - Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 and Genrad Strobotac

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by wind_rocker@yahoo.com, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. Guest

    Hello,

    Maybe someone can help, I'm trying to trigger a Stobotac with a
    Panasonic Lumix using a Wein HSHSB hot shoe adapter. Funny thing is,
    I've taken it to 2 different camera shops and they manage to get the
    thing to work somewhat but back at the office, no luck.

    The Wein has a test button which will trigger the strobe but the
    shutter release on the camera will not (when I'm not in a camera
    shop). The strobe seems hair-triggered enough that just picking up the
    camera in the camera shop fires it a couple times (probably static
    electricity) but only, it seems, when everything is sitting on a glass
    counter top.

    Everything is brand new, stobe works great when set to internal
    trigger, cable is OK because test button fires the stobe (when set to
    external control) every time. Panasonic customer support was no help,
    except to say it was 6 volt. Wein said something about the reduced
    voltage feature of the hot shoe adapter may be the problem. I don't
    need voltage, the strobotac is 110 VAC, shorting the terminals of the
    cable fires the strobe, any ideas?

    Thanks for reading
    David
    , Jan 30, 2007
    #1
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  2. Justin C Guest

    On 2007-01-30, <> wrote:
    >

    [snip]

    > Everything is brand new, stobe works great when set to internal
    > trigger, cable is OK because test button fires the stobe (when set to
    > external control) every time. Panasonic customer support was no help,
    > except to say it was 6 volt. Wein said something about the reduced
    > voltage feature of the hot shoe adapter may be the problem. I don't
    > need voltage, the strobotac is 110 VAC, shorting the terminals of the
    > cable fires the strobe, any ideas?


    May seem strange but, try turning the hot-shoe adapter through 180
    degrees. I had a camera with no X-sync socket and used a hot shoe
    adapater that had an X-sync socket to fire it, trouble was, it'd only
    work one way around... the way that meant I got the lead poking into my
    forehead as I was focusing... but at least it fired!

    YMMV.

    Justin.

    --
    Justin C by the sea.
    Justin C, Jan 30, 2007
    #2
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  3. Cgiorgio Guest

    <> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    news:...
    > Hello,
    >
    > Maybe someone can help, I'm trying to trigger a Stobotac with a
    > Panasonic Lumix using a Wein HSHSB hot shoe adapter. Funny thing is,
    > I've taken it to 2 different camera shops and they manage to get the
    > thing to work somewhat but back at the office, no luck.
    >
    > The Wein has a test button which will trigger the strobe but the
    > shutter release on the camera will not (when I'm not in a camera
    > shop). The strobe seems hair-triggered enough that just picking up the
    > camera in the camera shop fires it a couple times (probably static
    > electricity) but only, it seems, when everything is sitting on a glass
    > counter top.
    >
    > Everything is brand new, stobe works great when set to internal
    > trigger, cable is OK because test button fires the stobe (when set to
    > external control) every time. Panasonic customer support was no help,
    > except to say it was 6 volt. Wein said something about the reduced
    > voltage feature of the hot shoe adapter may be the problem. I don't
    > need voltage, the strobotac is 110 VAC, shorting the terminals of the
    > cable fires the strobe, any ideas?
    >
    > Thanks for reading
    > David
    >

    I assume that you want to catch a moving part several times on a single
    image using a long exposure time. The Strobotac can either be triggered by
    impulses (bypassing the internal generator) or by contact closure between
    the remote trigger input and ground. Then it will start firing a series of
    flashes at the preset rate as long as the contact stays closed. The FZ 50
    provides a (semiconductor emulated) contact closure, but only for a very
    short time after the shutter has opened. This is an impulse that is just
    long enough to trigger a conventional flash unit. What you need is a device
    that is triggered by this "closure" and holding the "contact" closed until
    it is manually reset or times out after the shutter is closed. I could not
    find out what kind of voltage drop the Strobotac still sees as a "closed
    contact", but it will probably be compatible with standard TTL or CMOS logic
    levels. There are several possible solutions, either use a 555 type timer
    that is triggered by the hot shoe "contact closure", in a one - shot circuit
    dimensioned for a time slightly longer than the maximum exposure time. The
    555 output would then be connected to the trigger input of the Strobotac or
    you could use a flip-flop with manual reset. If case the Strobotac needs a
    really low input voltage, a Mosfet used as the output component might do the
    trick. Unfortunately you will not be able to find such a circuit ready made
    for your application, you will have to find somebody knowledgeable in
    electronics who is willing to use a soldering iron.
    Cgiorgio, Jan 30, 2007
    #3
  4. Guest

    On Jan 30, 3:09 pm, "Cgiorgio" <> wrote:
    > <> schrieb im Newsbeitragnews:...
    >
    >
    >
    > > Hello,

    >
    > > Maybe someone can help, I'm trying to trigger a Stobotac with a
    > > Panasonic Lumix using a Wein HSHSB hot shoe adapter. Funny thing is,
    > > I've taken it to 2 different camera shops and they manage to get the
    > > thing to work somewhat but back at the office, no luck.

    >
    > > The Wein has a test button which will trigger the strobe but the
    > > shutter release on the camera will not (when I'm not in a camera
    > > shop). The strobe seems hair-triggered enough that just picking up the
    > > camera in the camera shop fires it a couple times (probably static
    > > electricity) but only, it seems, when everything is sitting on a glass
    > > counter top.

    >
    > > Everything is brand new, stobe works great when set to internal
    > > trigger, cable is OK because test button fires the stobe (when set to
    > > external control) every time. Panasonic customer support was no help,
    > > except to say it was 6 volt. Wein said something about the reduced
    > > voltage feature of the hot shoe adapter may be the problem. I don't
    > > need voltage, the strobotac is 110 VAC, shorting the terminals of the
    > > cable fires the strobe, any ideas?

    >
    > > Thanks for reading
    > > David

    >
    > I assume that you want to catch a moving part several times on a single
    > image using a long exposure time. The Strobotac can either be triggered by
    > impulses (bypassing the internal generator) or by contact closure between
    > the remote trigger input and ground. Then it will start firing a series of
    > flashes at the preset rate as long as the contact stays closed. The FZ 50
    > provides a (semiconductor emulated) contact closure, but only for a very
    > short time after the shutter has opened. This is an impulse that is just
    > long enough to trigger a conventional flash unit. What you need is a device
    > that is triggered by this "closure" and holding the "contact" closed until
    > it is manually reset or times out after the shutter is closed. I could not
    > find out what kind of voltage drop the Strobotac still sees as a "closed
    > contact", but it will probably be compatible with standard TTL or CMOS logic
    > levels. There are several possible solutions, either use a 555 type timer
    > that is triggered by the hot shoe "contact closure", in a one - shot circuit
    > dimensioned for a time slightly longer than the maximum exposure time. The
    > 555 output would then be connected to the trigger input of the Strobotac or
    > you could use a flip-flop with manual reset. If case the Strobotac needs a
    > really low input voltage, a Mosfet used as the output component might do the
    > trick. Unfortunately you will not be able to find such a circuit ready made
    > for your application, you will have to find somebody knowledgeable in
    > electronics who is willing to use a soldering iron.- Hide quoted text -
    >
    > - Show quoted text -


    (to Justin) Yes we tried it both ways, still no luck, thanks.

    (to Cgiorgio) Yes, we want to catch a moving part, but only a single
    frame at a time. The setup is for photographing expander blades
    through glass portholes, one porthole for the camera, the other for
    the flash. The expander is a large single stage turbine that recovers
    energy by breaking down process gas pressure. It runs at ~ 6,000 rpms
    and has 63 blades. So far we have been successful using the strobotac
    at a multiple of running speed and also taking video clips but we
    would like to (1) experiment with catching the blades by triggering a
    single fire from the strobotac and (2) eventually phase the strobotac
    using an expander prox. probe. We have negotiated a loaner delay box
    to scroll through the blades when using phased strobe firing.
    You have given me some very good suggestions here and I'm very
    thankful, I may be dismantling the Wein hot shoe adapter and trying to
    see what kind of circuitry can be rigged between the hot shoe contact
    and the PC socket.
    , Jan 30, 2007
    #4
  5. Cgiorgio Guest

    <> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    news:...
    > On Jan 30, 3:09 pm, "Cgiorgio" <> wrote:
    >> <> schrieb im
    >> Newsbeitragnews:...
    >>
    >>
    >>

    I have meanwhile read the manual for the model 1546 Strobotac. Your problem
    is that it will only recognize trigger pulses go below 1 Volt. Because a
    camera hot shoe is involving a bridge rectifier and an additional switching
    element (transistor or fet) the voltage drop is too high, so for your
    application you need to convert the level with an active interface circuit.
    The 5.5 Volts DC provided by the external trigger jack should be sufficient
    to power such a circuit, a simple two transistor circuit will do the job
    (PNP- Transistor at the hotshoe - input side, NPN at the output, just drive
    the output transistor into saturation, giving about 0,8 volts trigger
    level).
    Cgiorgio, Jan 30, 2007
    #5
  6. <> wrote in message
    news:...
    : Hello,
    :
    : Maybe someone can help, I'm trying to trigger a Stobotac with a
    : Panasonic Lumix using a Wein HSHSB hot shoe adapter. Funny thing is,
    : I've taken it to 2 different camera shops and they manage to get the
    : thing to work somewhat but back at the office, no luck.
    :
    : The Wein has a test button which will trigger the strobe but the
    : shutter release on the camera will not (when I'm not in a camera
    : shop). The strobe seems hair-triggered enough that just picking up the
    : camera in the camera shop fires it a couple times (probably static
    : electricity) but only, it seems, when everything is sitting on a glass
    : counter top.
    :
    : Everything is brand new, stobe works great when set to internal
    : trigger, cable is OK because test button fires the stobe (when set to
    : external control) every time. Panasonic customer support was no help,
    : except to say it was 6 volt. Wein said something about the reduced
    : voltage feature of the hot shoe adapter may be the problem. I don't
    : need voltage, the strobotac is 110 VAC, shorting the terminals of the
    : cable fires the strobe, any ideas?
    :
    : Thanks for reading
    : David
    :
    The FZ50 is the first from Panasonic to use a dedicated hot shoe. I have
    some issues with mine when I try to use the Metz flash I had no problem with
    on a FZ20. Don't quote me on this as it's hearsay but I believe the hotshoe
    is pinned to accept Olympus flashlights. Perhaps the issue in the way you
    are trying to fire the flash and may be resolved by using a special mode
    which you can program from the menu.

    Mine works fine now, incidentally.
    http://www.photosbydouglas.com/fun/silver-2.jpg

    Douglas
    Doug MacDonald, Jan 30, 2007
    #6
  7. Guest

    On Jan 30, 4:02 pm, "Cgiorgio" <> wrote:
    > <> schrieb im Newsbeitragnews:...> On Jan 30, 3:09 pm, "Cgiorgio" <> wrote:
    > >> <> schrieb im
    > >> Newsbeitragnews:...

    >
    > I have meanwhile read the manual for the model 1546 Strobotac. Your problem
    > is that it will only recognize trigger pulses go below 1 Volt. Because a
    > camera hot shoe is involving a bridge rectifier and an additional switching
    > element (transistor or fet) the voltage drop is too high, so for your
    > application you need to convert the level with an active interface circuit.
    > The 5.5 Volts DC provided by the external trigger jack should be sufficient
    > to power such a circuit, a simple two transistor circuit will do the job
    > (PNP- Transistor at the hotshoe - input side, NPN at the output, just drive
    > the output transistor into saturation, giving about 0,8 volts trigger
    > level).


    I have a 1538-A but I'm sure it is the same. I forwarded your
    suggestion to one that is more knowledgeable about this sort of thing
    but haven't received the reply. Would it be a simple thing for the 6 V
    hotshoe of the camera to fire the strobe by a "contact closure" method
    instead of a pulse? I would like to have a schematic of a simple
    circuit using a diode or whatever to short the poles of the pc adapter
    for a single flash of the strobe. I would use the Wein hotshoe to pc
    adapter as a chassis, if it circuit's components would fit inside.
    Electronics is not my field.
    , Feb 2, 2007
    #7
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