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LX5 10bar housing + TTL Strobe

Discussion in 'Panasonic Planet' started by Aquanut2, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Aquanut2

    Aquanut2 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Upstate NY, USA
    36
    1
    0
    I have a 10Bar LX5 housing for my Panasonic LX5, the camera uses Olympus TTL protocol and the housing has a hot shoe ribbon cable that connects to a Nikonos 5 pin port. 10Bar recommends their own strobe housing with an Olympus flash for TTL. Optical Ocean Sales suggests using a fiber connection with a Sea & Sea for "optical" TTL. I'd prefer to use the Ikelite DS-161 strobe and a true wired TTL connection. I like the 161 with it's built in Focus/Video light and future upgradability to an Ik housing for my Nikon DSLR.

    So far I've only been able to get this setup to work in Manuel mode with a two wire Ikelite cable with Nikonos to Ikelite ends.

    Does anyone have experience with mike-dive.de or heinrichsweikamp.net ? It looks like they may have a solution but it's hard to follow in german. There is not much room inside the housing for a TTL conversion circuit board but it looks like heinrichsweikamp has an exterior solution.

    So far I love the 10 Bar housing and the LX5 performs better than expected, it is compact and focus works great. All the controls are there with only the thumbwheel giving me a bit of trouble by not allowing me to change shutter speed.

    Thanks for any help.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  2. Aquanut2

    Aquanut2 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Upstate NY, USA
    36
    1
    0
    Since this post went empty thought I would update with what I have learned and decided to ordered to resolve this.

    I spoke with Matthias at Heinrichs Weikamp they have a TTL converter that will work with this set up. there is not much space in the 10Bar housing so the red socket is removed and the 10Bar TTL ribbon cable has to be soldered to the board. I will post my results and a few pictures when I get it all here and hooked up. www heinrichsweikamp.net/#/en/olympusttl/

    Also decided to order a new section of the ttl ribbon cable from 10Bar to solder with to keep the original stock connector intact. TTL should work fine with the SB161.
     
  3. shaker

    shaker Nassau Grouper

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    Hi

    I had the same problem with the SUBTRINIC FUSION strobe, it's compatible with the LX5 but have to send my housing to Subtronic or my dealer to adapt it to the WK OEM-Converter. I finally decided for the Inon Z-240, it doesen't have video light but at least I know it will function.
     
  4. Puffer Fish

    Puffer Fish Captain Happy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Knoxville, TN
    8,072
    143
    0
    Please keep us updated on how that works... have always liked heinrichs stuff.
     
  5. Aquanut2

    Aquanut2 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Upstate NY, USA
    36
    1
    0
    Hi Puffer for sure,
    I have everything here and will be testing it this weekend. The only tough choice I have is to either de-soder the red connector from the TTL converter and soder the ribbon cable directly to it or cut a portion of the inside top of the 10-Bar housing away so the circuit board can slide in without hitting. There isn't any space to work with inside.

    I may have resolved the thumbwheel issue when using the 10-Bar housing also. There is a metal crown gear inside the back lid that is supposed to engage the thumbwheel. By sliding it slightly out further towards the camera it seems to spin the wheel better. All it took was a 1.5 mm allen wrench to move it slightly on the shaft. this may not be best when under more pressure but works well above and in a pool
     
  6. Puffer Fish

    Puffer Fish Captain Happy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Knoxville, TN
    8,072
    143
    0
    Regarding the thumb wheel, I believe you have it right. I have only had the housing down to 85 ft or so, but have not seen any difference from the surface, pluse the control is at the edge of the back plate, so even if there was some deflection, it would not be much there.

    Don't know how much you would have to remove from the case, but the solder option would seem to be the least risky (assuming you are used to doing soldering.

    On the other hand, if it is a tiny amount, the case in that area is very thick..

     
  7. Aquanut2

    Aquanut2 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Upstate NY, USA
    36
    1
    0
    Well just to keep everyone that's following this post up to date I hooked up the Heinrichs Weikam TTL converter and followed the instructions but the converter does not seem to change the flash power when any of the LX5's variables are changed (distance, Shutter speed, ISO or aperture). The strobe does have a pre and final flash but the power level does not change. I checked and rechecked the directions and four wires that connect thru the Nikonos bulkhead and all is ok. I am using an Ikelite SB161 and IK TTL cable 4104.6 (nikonos to Ikelite TTL ends).
    Sent an email to Matthias and will see what he recommends.
    Glad I have all winter to mess with this thing but would sure like it to work as advertised :depressed:
     
  8. slowhands

    slowhands Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    779
    34
    28
    Keep us posted. I also asked Jack at Optical Ocean how to use the HW, he recommended a fiber connection to me also. I'm wondering if there is some weird compatibility problem with the ikelite strobes and HW. You seem to be using the right cord.
    Ikelite Sync Cords

    Your HW Panasonic TTL converter electronics board should be the same as the Olympus, since Panasonic uses the same interface to strobe. It has that big red connector for the cable, but I don't know if I would desolder it, since there is a lot of stress on the cable and you would be tacking the wires down surface mount. You thought about milling the housing instead, how did that come out?
    HW

    I don't know if you retain the 10Bar bulkhead connector with the housing (sounds like you do and it is nikonos style?), or bought a bulkhead from HW. I just wonder how that would fit.
     
  9. Aquanut2

    Aquanut2 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Upstate NY, USA
    36
    1
    0
    I soldered it up with the red connector still in place to test everything. I also purchased a second ribbon cable from 10-Bar (pricey @ $20 shipped frm HK) That I used from the mid coupler to the TTL circuit board as not to compromise the stock hot shoe connector provided by them.
    Decided not to hack the inside of the housing since this test proved TTL wasn't working.
    Heinrichs Weikamp recommends using some hot glue to stabilize the cable which I will do once things are right.
    Have been in contact with HW which I now learn has never tested the LX5 (hard to believe since this was my request). There are two versions of the bios; I have LX9 and a newer is V12. It is frustrating dealing with the time difference but have to say Matthias has been very attentive to the situation.
    A new rev is on the way and I will post the results here in a week or so...
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  10. Puffer Fish

    Puffer Fish Captain Happy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Knoxville, TN
    8,072
    143
    0
    Aquanut2, thanks again for doing all the work and keeping us up to date.

    Just so you know, the way the system should work is that the camera sends a signal to the strobe to fire the preflash, and then looks at how much light it gets. When it gets enough (based on time), it then has the main strobe reproduce the results.

    The effect is that as more light is needed for the preflash, it stays open longer, the longer the main flash is.

    In the fiber optic method, the camera thinks it is seeing it's own preflash, and when it cuts off the preflash, the strobe cuts off it's preflash, and then the strobe uses that to set the time for the main strobe.

    The hard wired system would save using the camera's strobe, and just use the UW strobe as if it was it's own ...saving heat and battery power.

    Good luck.
     

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