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Build your own fiber optic sync cable???

Discussion in 'Strobes and Lighting' started by js1221, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. js1221

    js1221 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Texas
    18
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    How difficult is it to put together your own fiber optic sync cable?

    This is my situation; I have two Sea & Sea strobes, a YS-01 and a YS-25DX. I'm using an Olympus TG-5 with a Backscatter Air Lens. Backscatter provides a flash adapter since it attaches too close to the camera body for the Olympus adapter to fit. The only problem is that the Backscatter adapter on has one connection port. Backscatter sells a dual connection fiber optic cable but it is $150.00, which is more than I want to spend right now. The only other one I found was from Diversion and it is about $95.00, shipped from Taiwan. Can I make my own sync cable and save some money? I have a dual port plug that will fit the Backscatter flash adapter and I have two single port plugs for the strobes. Can I just buy fiber optic cable and inset it into the port adapters? If so, what kind should I get and will it work? Should I just spend the money and buy the proper cable?

    Thanks, in advance.
     
  2. Aqua-Andy

    Aqua-Andy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern NH.
    1,413
    504
    113
    You can make your own but I have not had any luck. The issue is the light sensor in the YS-01 needs a very high quality fiber optic cable to trigger the strobe in TTL reliably. I have tried several different cables and have not found any that work as we'll as the OE Sea and Sea cables. While I think the price of the OE cables is ridiculously high I found that it was just less aggravation to suck it up and pay the price. Now if you are shooting strictly in manual any aftermarket/homemade cable will work. What I ended up doing is just cutting the end off my S&S cables and using the double bushing that was supplied with the air lens.
     
  3. davehicks

    davehicks Barracuda

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Seattle
    328
    202
    43
    Yes you can and it's very simple. You can buy 10 meters of 2mm fiber for $30 on eBay which should be a near lifetime supply of cable.

    I started doing this a few years ago after sea lions mangled 4 cables in a week of very frisky interactions. Didn't feel like pay a few hundred for new cables so I made my own for about $30 with lots of extra.

    You can reuse the connectors from old dead cables or buy new end points from ReefPhoto.Com for a few dollars.

    black jacket 2.5mm transparent solid core end glow plastic fiber optic cable | eBay
     
  4. davehicks

    davehicks Barracuda

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Seattle
    328
    202
    43
    The 2-3mm diameter cable will work with the finicky strobes mentioned above. 1mm is often not enough.
     
  5. Aqua-Andy

    Aqua-Andy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern NH.
    1,413
    504
    113
    You must of have never luck than me because I could not get the 3mm core cable that I purchased to work. It would work sometimes but not always. Most of the issues would be that the strobe would blow out the exposure. Once I started using the OE cables with my YS-01 strobes I stopped having issues. Maybe some strobes are better than others? I was at a point where I was ready to off load the S&S strobes and Purchase a couple of Inon S2000's but a friend convinced me to try the OE cables and I have been happy with them for a couple of years now.
     
  6. hsinhai

    hsinhai Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Taipei, Taiwan
    100
    41
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    Keep it simple.. rather than using a dual connection optic cable, why not get a standard single optic cable $25~35, run out of the YS-01 into the YS-25DX. On the front of the YS-01 in the clear lens you can attach an optic cable there.. so your 2nd strobe becomes a slave of your first.

    I have an inon S2000 & a YS-01 and use this method. Though in my case i use the S2000 as the master strobe as TTL is more stable.
     
  7. stepfen

    stepfen Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Greece
    456
    228
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    I would say it is very easy, much cheaper and in my case (S&S YS-02 strobe) they have been proven to be much more reliable than the ones sold for the purpose.
    Buy from e-bay end glow clear fiber by the meter. Anything around 2mm diameter should do.
    These fibers become soft/flexible around 100oC (water boiling temperature), so to shape them either put the part you want to bend in boiling water, or it is mush easier/precise to use a hot air gun (assuming one is available)...
    For plugs in a recent post a fellow diver suggested using plastic screw anchors like the ones shown below:
    51Gum09njzL._SX425_.jpg
    Personally I use plugs made of rubber. I cut thick rubber to a circle sized similarly to the flash ports and drill a tiny hole in the middle by rotating a tiny screw driver through it. Push the rubber in the port permanently and then push the fiber in or out of the tiny hole when needed. I am sure you can fit two fibers in one such port to make a dual cable.
    To route the fiber along my tray/handles I use small tie wraps loose enough so the fiber can easily go through them here and there.
     
  8. Germie

    Germie Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
    521
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    I use cheap audio optic fiber cable and it works, with the SeaSea and with INON-z330. It only works NOT with my slave adapters, to the Sea sea strobes, there I needed the original sea sea cables. If I plug in 1 of the audio cables, the strobes also work.
     
  9. cleomagic

    cleomagic Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: San Jose, CA
    150
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    We have built our own Fiber Optic cables and really like the way they came out and how much cleaner they are on the camera/arms than the coiled variety. We have used them with both YS-01 strobes and YS-D2J strobes without any issues. Our build is based fairly closely on DIY fiber optic writeup with parts.

    We used the following parts.
    As the strain relief has a bit of give, we found that they seemed to fit a bit more securely if we put the Strain Relief (with O-Ring) into the camera/strobe ports first, then push in the fiber cable. That expanded them just a bit and made it more snug. Stepfen's observation of using a plastic wall anchor sounds very interesting as it would provide a more rigid fit. We may need to give that a try. We made the fiber long enough to lace the fiber through a couple of the slats in the arms and account for all possible angles of the strobe to the camera body.

    We did order some more expensive end-glow fiber on eBay, but it was so stiff that it was completely unusable.
     
  10. bvanant

    bvanant Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Los Angeles (more or less)
    2,143
    324
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    For Sea and Sea strobes, sometimes getting good results is tough with single core fibers. You can get the same 617 core fibers that S&S and Inon and most others use from Industrial Fiber Optics. $7/meter, you will need two meters for good cables. You will need two of these (INON Double Hole Rubber Bush for Fiber Optics) at $2 each, a 1/4 inch wooden dowel about 7 inches long. Drill a 1 mm hole at each end of the dowel. Push 2 inches of fiber through the dowel. Wind tightly then push the other end through the other hole. Place the whole thing in cold water in a pot. Heat to boil, turn off the heat and let cool back to room temp (the important bit). Push the straight bits back through the holes and slide the whole piece off the dowel. Put on the end caps, done for less than $20.

    Cheers
    Bill
     
    Searcaigh likes this.

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