Introduction: Restoring a Vintage Flash With a Modern Twist.

Hey all, its me again with another project!

Little bit about the project before we go on. I collect old film camera's from time to time, never paying out too much, normally just waiting until I see them about a car boot sale or at a market.
I was buying a few pieces off one fellow when he said if I buy the camera, I can have whats left in the box of odd bits, so I paid up and looked through the box to find a few pieces which I could make some use from.

Sadly, someone got to this piece before me and gutted it, maybe planning on doing something else with it, or maybe just taking it apart for fun, either way, I wasn't able to restore it back to using a flash bulb with a charge capacitor, so instead, I make it into something which I could use and someone without much electronic knowledge could build along with too.

Step 1: See What You Can Make of What You Have.

Luckily, although taken apart, it wasn't too badly damaged. At first, the pieces of metal threw me, i had no idea of how they went together, but with playing around with the other pieces, they just clip onto each other.

To connect the front plate to the back, it has two tiny screws which are behind the bulb, someone has forced the front off, breaking the two holders. Not wanting to just hot glue and wanting to keep it as original structure as I could, I super glued the two holders back in place, using the top's screw holes as a guide line.

Step 2: The Modern Part.

Not knowing much about electronics, and not being able to find anything online to help with how to rewire the battery, circuit and capacitor, I decided to just to fit a 10mm Ultra Bright LED.
For the size, I think this has a fair amount of light output, with the added bonus unlike other flash modules, it can stay on for a while, not needing the capacitor to recharge.

The white plastic ring which clicked in, had a 10mm hole which snugly fit the LED, a resistor was then soldered to the positive leg (remember, the longer leg on a LED is the positive +) which then connected to a 9v battery as you can hopefully see by the photo's.

Remember, when doing soldering like what I have shown, Always put some electrical tape over it, this will stop any shorting if they was to touch.

Step 3: Putting It All Back Together.

With the very basic electronics done with, start to rebuilt the flash unit.
For mine, the top sat on the base, with two screws dropping through to tighten it, the ones which were fixed earlier.
Next, the the lower top half clicks into place, gently push the LED and plastic fitting into place.

As you may have seen by my design, I haven't drilled any holes or even fitted a switch, this is as I don't want a switch on show, and how easy it is to turn it on and off, by lifting off the 9v battery clip. If you was wanting one, just cut either of the wires and fit it in, with such a basic piece, there is not much that can go wrong.

Step 4: The Finished Piece.

This is what the piece looked like once it was finished and setup.
It fits the part when used with an old or new camera. The Ultra Bright LED really does have a decent light output.

What I have done on this project, could be applied to any other flash, if I had more room I would of fit another LED, same goes for the switch, each project comes with its own touch that you can give it.

Thanks again for viewing!
Any questions, just drop me a message below, If you want to leave any feedback on what you think of this project too, it all helps me get the best across to you!

Take care all!

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Bio: Hey I'm Ed. 20 year old part time student who's currently at UNI. I design, build and tinker with the enviroment and wallet ... More »
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