Understanding flash circuit from digital camera

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Price, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. Price

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    3
    0
    I need help understanding how the circuit(s) in a flash unit taken from a digital camera work. My objectives are as follows

    1- discover where to tie in leads to charge the capicitor (& voltage needed - I'm assuming 4.7v & 3.0v, the camera's power supplies)
    2- discover how to trigger the flash, ie closing a circuit?, opening a circuit?, appyling a signal voltage?

    Any help or just telling me where to go (URL's) LOL would be greatly appriciated.

    The flash unit on the left is from a SONY DSC-W55 (part #ST-133), the one on the right is form a Canon SD 500. If I could find the pin outs for the ribbon cable conectors on these I think I could figure it out, but i have had no luck tracking these down anywhere.


    Regards
     
  2. mik3

    Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    4,846
    63
    The flash is a boost DC-DC converter which steps up the low voltage of the cameras battery to a high voltage sufficient to light the flash lamp.
     
  3. Price

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    3
    0
    Thanks for a quick responce. I do understand the principals of the flash and how they work, at least in a laypersons way. What I'd like to do is use the unit(s) out of the camera. Ive been repairing digital cameras for some time now so I know how to discharge & handle the flash units safely. My problem lies in not haveing the expertise to trace where on the PCB I can tie into, to reach my objectives.

    There is all kinds of information on how to do this with disposable camera flash units and I'm trying to study those to see if i can figure out how to hack the units I have to work in this way.

    Once I figure it out I plan on building some off camera flash units.

    Regards
     
  4. GetDeviceInfo

    Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2009
    1,571
    230
    lots of camera hacking sites out there, but I haven't found one specific to the flash units. I too have a pile of Canon cameras for hacking. What would be your end use for the flashes?

    I can only assume that beyond the power connection there is a sense line to confirm the cap is charged, and another for trigger. Canon at least, conrols either the duration or the intensity somehow, so if that's not in the trigger duration, it's yet another line.
     
  5. Price

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    3
    0
    Yes all kinds of sites and instructions for using the disposable flash units but I cant find any for these units, I suspect there may be a reason for this.

    My end use would be to build a ring flash, and a macro twin lite... for starters.

    My assumtions are the same as yours, what I'm hoping to find is where in the circuit the actual trigger happens after it receives all the info from the camera. Even if processing is happening on the flash board itself there must be a channel coming in via the ribbon cable connector telling the flash to go ahead and fire. Thus my desire to find the pin outs on them. I guess it will depend on how much feed back the flash requires from the camera during the flash process.
     
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