Introduction: Arduino Camera Flash Control
This is a simple method for controlling a camera flash using an Arduino. The nice thing about this method is that it uses an optoisolator to separate the Arduino from potentially high voltage spikes produced by the flash. I choose to use and optoisolator instead of a relay because the response time is much quicker, which is important when dealing with split second camera timing. Being able to control a camera flash in this manner is not only useful for Photography, but can come in handy for making a haunted house display (and miscellaneous hijinks).
Step 1: Go Get Stuff
You will need:
- Camera Flash (with input jack)
- MOC3021 optocoupler (Triac)
- 220 ohm to 1K resistor
- 3/32" mono plug
- Solid core wire
Step 2: Wire the Plug
Open the casing for your plug and solder a red wire to the center terminal pin and a black wire to the outer terminal.
Reassemble the casing.
Step 3: Wire It Up
Connect pin 13 from the Arduino to one leg of a 1K resistor.
Connect the other leg of the 1K resistor to pin 1 of the chip (this is the pin next to the dot).
Connect ground from the Arduino to pin 2 on the chip.
Connect the red wire from the 3/32" plug to pin 6 and the black wire to pin 4.
Step 4: Plug It In
Insert your plug into the trigger port on the electronic flash.
Step 5: Program and Go
Assuming that your flash is turned on, it should now be triggered every 7 seconds.
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.
I have built this to work with a slightly different flash model. I am able to trigger the flash once. I have adjusted the code for a longer delay to give the flash plenty of time to charge, but it will still only flash once unless I disconnect and reconnect the flash input from the optocoupler. Once disconnected and reconnected it will flash as the code dictates... but only once until disconnected again. Do you have any ideas as to why this may be happening?
Are you using the same exact optocoupler that I am?
If so, can you trigger the flash over and over by manually touching its contacts together? If this works, it is not the flash unit that is latching, but the optocoupler.
The next step after this would be to check the wiring really carefully against the data sheet.
If it is still not working, maybe the optocoupler itself is faulty and you just need a new one, or, you need to get a different model (for some reason).
The flash unit was working great.
I was using the same make and model of the optocoupler, went through the wiring with a fine tooth comb and tried the extra I had purchased but was still unable to get it to work properly. Not quite sure what I was doing wrong.
I ended up just using a solid state relay (the "clicking" sound worked out great for my purposes).