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How do I wire an electronic flashgun? Answered

I'd like to build an electronic flashgun, like those used in magic tricks. Basically you put flash cotton in the base of the barrel, then some flash paper on top of that, and when the glo plug ( cigarette lighter thing ) at the base heats up it lights the cotton which shoots the now lit paper from the barrel causing a flame thrower type effect. So I'm after some advice and instructions from anyone out there who knows more about DIY electrical wiring and whatnot than I do ( which is basically everyone ) so that I don't hurt myself from lack of know how XD In return I'll make an Instructable of my efforts so other people can make their own


Make did this a little bit ago, or rather, make had KipKay do it. I believe it's here.

Dear Wilm, I am an amateur. I wish to convert or build a flash for copying slides on a slow duplicating film. Is it possible to move the flash tube forward so that I get a parallel beam flash? Principally, this will collect the light in to a narrow beam with magnified intensity. What I need is spot of just above 30 mm X 40mm. Note that ASA for dup film can be as low as ASA3 or ASA1. Even a METZ 202 flash without modification is just adequate.

I think this is a different type of flash- the device pictured is a flame special effect using "flash paper", ie nitrocellulose paper. If you want a photo flash, there are plenty of Instructables on those (search for "disposable camera flash" and you will find a number) but I'm not quite sure what you want optics-wise.

It doesn't have to be exactly like this one because I don't need it to be concealable, I really only need to know about attaching positive and negative leads to a switch ( which I've yet to find ) and how then to attach the switch to the glo plug end

. You may be able to find a suitable switch at an auto parts store. Radio Shack _may_ still carry something like that. Or industrial electrical supply stores (check Yellow Pages). For this application, just about any normally open (NO) momentary contact switch should work (I don't think you're going to find a switch rated for less than 1.5V). . I suggest using a switch that requires quite a bit of force to actuate - to help prevent accidental firing. And insulate the switch wiring for the same reason.

. For a glowplug, polarity is not important. Ie, you can't wire it backwards. . Put the battery, switch, and glowplug in series. Start at one pole of the battery and run a wire to the switch, from the other terminal of the switch to the glowplug, and from the other terminal of the glowplug to the other pole of the battery.

If you subscribe to the MAKE podcast, this was a weekend project a little while ago. There is a complete link to the video in PocketSized's link below.