So, for people who are seasoned in photography, you'll probably know that when using Speedlite flashes on consumer-grade cameras, the camera can only synchronize the flash up to a speed around 1/160th of a second. This is a problem if you want to do high speed photography, using an external controller and sensory input (such as a microphone or light sensor) so the solution is to add external flash control, to allow the controller to trigger the flash itself, instead of using the camera. This mod also allows you to connect your flash off-camera, using a modified hot shoe connector. It also doesn't compromise the on-camera functionality of the flash.
The modification is quite simple, requiring only a few tools and parts.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Manual or TTL flash
- 3.5mm mono or stereo jack
- 4" lengths of 24AWG wire
- 1/16" heatshrink
- 3/32" and 17/64" drill bits (1/4" may work too)
- Hot glue gun
- Soldering Iron
Step 2: Disassemble Flash
Identify a location inside the flash that will allow enough free space for the jack to go in. Its a good idea to leave a good safe amount of extra room near the jack so it won't collide with anything inside the flash.
Step 3: Drill the Hole
Step 4: Solder Wires and Mount the Jack
Using a hot glue gun, glue the jack into place inside the flash. Route the wires around the circuit board and out the hole in the bottom of the casing where the hot shoe is, and re-attach the two halves of the flash body.
Step 5: Connecting the Jack
On a manual flash like the YN460ii, these are the only two connected pins inside the hot shoe connector. All you have to do is short them out to trigger the flash! This is what the controller or whatever device you connect the flash to will have to do to trigger it. You can use an opto-coupler or a relay to trigger from any kind of device.
Re-attach the hot shoe to the flash and you're finished!
Step 6: Complete!
I'm using this flash with the Camera Axe Project I purchased a while back, along with some custom designed sensors to detect light and sound. Since cameras can't sync with fast shutter speeds, this is the only way to do high speed photography for cheap.
Thanks for reading everyone. Feel free to ask me any questions.