DIY Photography Flash Cans

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Ian D, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Ian D

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Hello forum,
    I think this is technically my second post? but my first post never showed up...
    oh well...

    Anywho, so I am an experienced photographer on a budget.
    I've been shooting for about 6 years now and want to upgrade some equipment... However I'm not interested in spending two grand on metal cans with flash tubes in them...
    SO! I come to your forum to ask some questions...
    I would like to construct one simple light can to start off, and was wondering what the circuit would be for controlling the flash tube.
    The flash tube I'm going to use is the cheap and venerable Novatron F0008 which has a 1500 Watt per Second (w/s) rating.

    Now, I am not a circuitry guru, so this is more of an experiment for me to learn more about electronics... Please excuse any seemingly basic or n00bish comments

    As far as the design goes, I want to use a continuously variable brightness, which would mean every time the brightness is changed, the light would need to be recycled (flashed). I think this means I either need a variable capacitor or a potentiometer to vary how much power enters the cap. there would also need to be some way to recycle the lamp manually

    I'll post some designs I have later
  2. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    So you know the bulb you want to flash, and that's it? I mean, you don't have the associated flash circuitry?
  3. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008

    The shown flashlamp is only a replacement tube.

    It also seems to be needed to cool the tube.

  4. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    Personally I wouldn't recommend this as a learning electronics project. Maybe if you could find a trusted circuit which is know to work it would be OK to build it, but the test equipment required for short pulses can be fairly costly if you are designing from scratch.
    It also can be dangerous:
    From Wikipedia:
  5. Ian D

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Could you list a few related projects?
    And what sort of equipment would I need? I'm sure craigslist has most of it...
    Oh, and the bulb is just like any other light bulb... If you wire it into a circuit and power it properly, it'll light up :)
  6. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    Hardly! Ordinary bulbs are on continuously and conduct current through a hot, light-emitting filament. They'll work if supplied a wide range of AC or DC voltages up to a limit. Flash bulbs require a short pulse of high current at high voltage, actually coming close to exploding every time they fire. They'll do nothing when supplied "normal" DC or AC signals.