Make a simple triggerable strobe for taking action photos with.

You will need:
A working disposable camera flash unit, and the knowledge of how to use one safely
An Altoids tin
Soldering iron and solder
Electrical tape
Wire (preferably stranded and solid core, but you could get away with either)
1 or 2 small electronics switches
AA battery
Digital camera capable of taking long-exposure pictures, preferably with a remote
Camera tripod

...and for the photos:
Thick card (I use cereal box card)
Corrugated cardboard
Kitchen foil
Something to take photos of (I use a .177 air pistol and sheets of ice or plastic cups and a Fireball gun- get creative)

You may also want:
Fan (for reducing flux smoke inhaled)
Zip ties
Small single AA battery holder
Crocodile clips
Two friends to help you take photos in darkness

Step 1: Remove flash circuit

If you have already done this, skip a step.

To open the camera, it may have screws holding the case together which you will need to remove, but most cameras just have plastic locking tabs holding the case on. Break these off, but avoid sticking a metal screwdriver into the case as shorting the wrong parts of the circuit board can wreck it. Once you have the flash unit out avoid touching the capacitor wires or exposed metal parts of the board until you have discharged the capacitor by shorting out the two wires with a metal object. I handle the board by the battery contacts (safe), the casing of the capacitor and the plastic front of the flash bulb.
450 volts? I was screwing around with one and shocked my self...knocked me out...i looked up online the voltage...4000-7000 volts!
That's the trigger plate voltage. The current in the trigger circuit is extremely low. The capacitor is the painful part. Mine charges up to about 330 vdc.
I would recomend taping the whole circuit in tape so you dont electrucute your self with 300 VOLTS like i did p.s 300 volts is three times a wall socket!!
:-) I guess we are safe then in Europe as 300 volts is less than 1,5 times a wall socket :-)
ya its okay to take a small dc shock as long as the "I" is very low. approx under 100mA.
IF you had been shocked by 300 volts, you WOULD be dead. A wall socket will injure you, and could possibly kill you. Three times a wall socket.... You would be a crisp.
actually, 300 V at a VERY low amperage would not kill you! Its not the amount, but the RATE at which the energy flows that is dangerous!
 Once I was shocked by 220V, 6A~ . Felt only a little vibration in my fingers(Touched a wire with bad insulation). I think I was isolated(I wore socks). But don't try it at home!!!
A wall socket is unlikely to kill you unless you are wet, or unlucky, or have a heart condition. I've electrocuted myself with UK mains (230V RMS or about 325V peak) several times and had nothing more than a painful buzz. More to the point, I've electrocuted myself with probably tens of thousands of volts from a piezo sparker from a lighter which gives a small tingle. Volts don't kill you, amps do- that is why the same voltage from mains is just painful with dry skin but lethal with wet, more conductive skin when a higher current can flow. I haven't measured the voltage on a camera flash but the capacitor is rated for 330V so I assume it is of that magnitude, and I've electrocuted myself with those a number of times- it's a painful jolt, like mains electricity, but not serious.
its the volts that jolt and the millies that killy
Haha, sorry guys, I didn't think that through before I posted it. Whoops! That's embarassing....
You electrocuted yourself... And youre still alive! It's a miracle! LOL. (There is a difference between electrocute and severe shocks.) ;D
Its 330 volt xD
Is This:<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G17175">http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G17175</a> a good Micro Trigger Coil for Xenon Tubes. How Do I use if theres only one at the top?<br/>
thats funny i shock my self on accident all the time im cinda used to it lol
very shocking don't u agree ?
lol yes, very shocking xD
i like the pic u have 0.@ lmao
ps: oh yea i had a turntable box with wires cut clean long time ago and for some reason to touch the thing every time i walk by it 0,o very shocking
Where is the LED connected to with its anode?
I've only been shocked a couple times from those flash capacitors while exploring the innards of a disposable camera. It won't kill you, but you'll know you touched the wrong thing. :)
450Volts from a 470uf capacitor bank hurts like hell. beat that you mains veterans. it was from my coil gun i made. shots a can pretty gud lol
haha i had one of thoes and i kept touching the board cuz it felt funny
Lol trust me this felt insane not funny :P it was on the top of my finger and hurt like hell - AND it wasn't even a particularly powerful coil gun XD Oh a little tip, for the copper wire, a great source are the coils at the back of the CRT in an old telly or big old monitor - there's loads of the stiff! James
sry i wasnt talking about the coil gun i was talkin about the camera but thax 4 the tip cuz have that thing that all the coils are on =D
I agree, it makes your arm jerk a little bit away, and after you've done it a few times, you get a tiny bit numb and it hurts later. In conclusion, wear rubber gloves. :D
that was the capacitor discharging ^_^<br />
&nbsp;I have been shocked by a capacitor, let holes in my finger. Ouch
yeah, be careful with those :)<br />
&nbsp;Heres a few i took.&nbsp;Excellent&nbsp;Instructable!
when i was doning this mine went POP!
So, the pellet goes right through the foil then? Or is there something i missed. O_o
i suspect you compied the altoids box idea from me who copied some other poor dood, so could at least give me credit so i can give him credit?!?!?
OK... you did notice I posted this Instructable a year before you even joined, didn't you? :P Also saying "you copied the Altoids box idea" to anyone is like saying "Hey! I walk using my feet too, you copied that from me!"
True, tons of people use altoids tins for their instructables, and many other things..
yeah. they're just conveniently sized, most projects easily fit into them, and they make pretty good cases for delicate electronics, or, in my case, a failed attempt at making a thermite det pack. said attempt failed due to the fact that i couldn't build a remote detonator.
MAKE even sell empty altoids cans for projects such as this
I think neardood was simply making a joke about how many people have done it.
what exact model of shuttle do you have? I was thinking about getting one and tricking it out with cool new parts. However I can't decide on one particular model.
i tried and failed to make one of these not too long ago...i believe my failure was due to a lack of patience and ipropper supplies...i had a short somewhere and as soon as the CAP charged...it would dissipate through the altoids can and zap the hell out of me....of course i had twisted the charge buttons wires together...so it just kept charging and discharging as soon as i touched it..i had to pick it up with rubber gloves and throw it in the trash...hope no homeless person tried to pick it up
that happened with me, too; the first time i dismantled a disposable camera, it was still charged... and it was one of those cameras with the capacitors that could stun a small cow... couldn't feel my arm for six hours...
I made one and its Awesome! I prefer through a little mound of flour with my airsoft gun. The first picture is a tall mound and the other one is a short but fat mound. Thanks for a great instructable!
Very nice! The second picture is great, it looks very "solid". The focus is good as well- what type of camera did you use?
I used my Canon Powershot S2, I think the thing that helped witht he focus is I had a dim red light aimed at the target so I could see. That helped the autofocus. Thanks!
oohhhh, you mean like the one on the commercial? "Cannon, make every shot, a powershot"
: ((( I was hopping for a minty strobe light like for raving
If you were after a higher frequency automatic strobe, you might be interested in this instructable- <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/E7WR5C4IF0ETVPLH2B/">http://www.instructables.com/id/E7WR5C4IF0ETVPLH2B/</a><br/>which tells you how to make a repeating strobe with a Luxeon star.<br/><br/>Or, alternatively, you could work out some sort of repeated trigger mechanism (a 555 feeding a relay, perhaps, or some sort of cam and a mechanical switch) to fire a minty strobe, providing the frequency was low enough and you had the power and charge switches constantly on, but I doubt that would be fast enough for raving to...<br/>
same here, mybe a better name should come ?
Great instructable. Neat project and very well documented. I think that I'll have to build one of these. The trigger leaves a great deal to the immagination.
Nice instructable, good stuff.. One small point: Try placing the strobe somewhat behind the objects being photographed. 'Backlighting' is especially effective for transparent/translucent objects (the glass/plastic fragments & powders, etc.) Block the direct path from the strobe to the camera lens to prevent lens flare.

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