Instructables

Camera Flash Circuit

I know that it's pretty easy to cannibalize a camera flash to do some pretty simple things...but i find it difficult (probably by design) to solder things to these prebuilt boards (especially the "charge button"...that things not built for soldering)...i was wondering if someone could work up a circuit schematic with part numbers (or at least part identification) for a flash circuit like those in a disposable camera...so that someone could build it from scratch in whatever form factor they choose.

adnimo4 years ago
you need flux to solder / desolder properly, get a flux syringe or make your own flux and you'll see the difference. Also, a clean and (hopefuly new) soldering tip helps a lot, having the right amount of power (usually over 30W) is much better too, because solder melts faster and you're able to remove the component or solder it, without having exposed it to too much heat during a long period of time.

Also, use flux remover or some sort of solvent (ether works fine but smells bad and it's not good for you) before attempting to solder onto those PCBs, just gently clean the surfaces, tin whatever wire you're up to solder and flux the PCB portion you're interested on, apply heat and wiggle the wire a bit, then stop moving and remove the heat - let it cool without any movement and you'll get a perfect weld.

Takes practice and common sense, but you'll get there if that's what you're after.
Wesley6665 years ago
all the parts for it can be bought. Electronic goldmine sells a tiny inverter transformer for 3vdc to 200vac. All you after that is a transistor, a capacitor, a resistor I think is needed, a battery and a diode i think is also needed.
westfw7 years ago
The transformer in these things is likely to be a custom made part that you can't buy anywhere :-( I've got a couple PCB designs for strobes using parts from disposable cameras; but they all rely on first removing the components from the disposable camera, and if you're having trouble soldering to the board, removing the components is probably beyond you... However, as a hint, don't try to solder to metal components like the "charge button"; instead find PCB areas already tinned with solder that are electrically equivalent to the button...
crapflinger (author)  westfw7 years ago
yeah...that's what i'm starting to think...i'm not a solder monkey by any standard...kind of just getting into the electronics modification world...
photozz7 years ago
This site has a schematic of the circuit. For my money though, it appears easier to solder an existing board. the coil and such look somewhat tricky.
http://www.geocities.com/lemagicien_2000/elecpage/maxflash/maxflash.html