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Hacking YS60 strobe

Discussion in 'Sea&Sea Society' started by Packhorse, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Packhorse

    Packhorse Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: 20 meters below Auckland New Zealand
    I have a YS 60 strobe but since its not a slave and my Oly housing has no bulkhead for a cable I am in need of another way to trigger it.

    I found by using a IR photo diode ( looks like a clear 5mm LED) placed on two of the strobe cables pins it would trigger with and sudden change in light. In other words it has become a slave.
    With the locator tab at the top the two pins to use are the right hand two.

    I have googled but I cant find any info on what each pin does. Can anyone help? I have both 4 pin and 5 pin Sea and Sea cables/ strobes.

    ---------- Post added December 3rd, 2013 at 10:18 PM ----------

    OK, I found this... TTL flash connections - Cameras Underwater Ltd

    If I am to understand correctly, grounding the X will fire the strobe. Grounding the Q after will quench the strobe, or stop it.
    So by grounding X and leaving Q alone then the strobe will do a full dump ( or what ever level it is set at).
    But by grounding X and then grounding Q you could control the level of the strobe.

    Anyone what the time frame for a full dump vs 1/4 or 1/2?
  2. Packhorse

    Packhorse Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: 20 meters below Auckland New Zealand
    Mission complete.

    I machined up a piece of acrylic rod. In one end it accepts a standard Sea & Sea 4 pin or 5 pin plug and the other takes Nikonos plug since I only have one of each cable.

    I used a IR photo diode as the pick up.

    The result is very good. I can set my camera to 1/64th flash power and both off board strobes trigger every time (if charged).

    The pick up is cable tied to a piece of velcro that goes around the lens port.

    KeithG and DSR-3 like this.
  3. KeithG

    KeithG Guest

    Found this old thread and am adding some additional info. Maybe useful. Or not. I have enough analog electrical knowledge to be classified as "dangerous".

    I tried this concept with a ys50 strobe that I found in the back of a closet. FAILURE. Mostly.

    The two pins on the right of a S&S connector are - (top one) and X (bottom one). - is ground for the strobe. The YS50 strobe supplies a 4 volt signal on the X pin when it is charged and ready to fire. Shorting the X pin to the - pin will cause the strobe to fire. Always!

    So the strobe fires when the X contact is dragged down to ground by shorting the 2 pins with a solid conductor.

    I picked up a few generic photodiodes from a local electrical hobby supply store and end up with a total failure when trying to trigger the strobe via a camera flash. 3 different unknown photo diodes all produced no flashes.

    I then attached a multimeter across the diode wires and observed that the voltage did fall when a light was seen by the photodiode. Encouraged by this factoid I was able to trigger a strobe flash by shining my EDGE Morph dive light directly into the diode. Shining from the side reduced the voltage, but did not produce a strobe flash.

    I was NOT able to trigger a strobe flash via a real camera flash. I tried 4 different brands of cameras. Based upon the multimeter readings the camera flashes appeared to be too short to trigger the strobe. The voltage dropped, but not much.

    I also noted that a different generic photodiode would not trigger the flash using the EDGE. The voltage dropped to "zero", but no flash resulted.

    My current claim is that the random photodiodes I have do not react fast enough to trigger the strobe flash.

    My next step will be to pop in some kind of resistor ladder in a feeble attempt to lower the normal steady state voltage to be much closer to ground. this may offset the "slow" response time. Or not.

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