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Assembly and Operating Instructions for Kits


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Instructions for Flash-to-PC Adapter Assembly (Build 2)


Assembly instructions for other kits





These instructions are for attaching a Flash-to-PC adapter to the end of your trigger output cable. This will allow your trigger circuit to actuate the flash directly. One end of the flash adapter cord will be cut, and its wires wrapped tightly around the appropriate ones from the trigger output cable and soldered. The solder joints will then be covered with pieces of heat shrink tubing for electrical insulation.


Before you begin, gather the parts and tools below.


2-conductor cable, 3-foot length
Flash-to-PC adapter
2-inch length heat shrink tubing (HST), 3/32-inch diameter

3-inch length heat shrink tubing, 3/16-inch diameter


Tools and supplies:
Wire stripper
15- or 30-watt soldering iron and solder
Wet sponge or towel
Lighter or matches to shrink HST


    Soldering Tips

    • Solder in a well-lit, well-ventilated, open area. Avoid contact with all metal surfaces on the iron.

    • Keep the tip of the soldering iron clean by wiping it against a wet sponge or towel before and after each use. A clean tip should look shiny and silvery; any yellow or black material on the tip will get into the solder and may weaken your solder joint.

    • Once the tip of your soldering iron is clean, touch a bit of solder to the tip just before use. This is called tinning, and helps the solder run more evenly.

    • Heat the connection to be soldered by holding the soldering iron to it, until solder applied at the junction between the two melts and flows freely. This ensures the connection and the solder are both hot enough to yield a good solder joint. This should take no more than 10-15 seconds. After the connection is heated, try to get solder along the entire length of the connection by briskly moving the solder and iron along.

    • Avoid touching only the solder to the connection, and then the soldering iron to the solder to melt it onto the connection. The connection will be cooler than the melted solder and won’t form a good solder joint.

    • Let new solder joints cool for several seconds before examining them. There should be solder all the way around the connection, forming a rigid joint. When done, unplug your soldering iron and let it cool.

Preparing the flash adapter cord

  click for larger view


click for larger view  

The Flash-to-PC adapter and 2-conductor cable are shown to the left. With a pair of wire strippers, cut the Flash-to-PC adapter cord about 3" (8 cm) from the plug end (right). Set the 3" plug end aside but save it as you may want to use it for a future project, which may require making connections to its wires.





Stripping the wires

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click for closeup of stripped wires  

Flash-to-PC Adapter: You'll be working with the flash shoe end of the adapter. Gently strip back 1.5” (4 cm) of the outer black insulation.This will reveal two conductors. There may be a copper sheath wrapped around an insulated conductor, or the wires may both be insulated. If you have the latter version, see Build 3 of these instructions.


Unwrap the copper sheath from around the white wire and twist the strands of the copper together. Then strip back about 1” (2.5 cm) of insulation from the white wire. Click on the photo to the left for an enlargement of the stripped wires.


Trigger Output Cable: If you have previously assembled a trigger or delay kit, you will have a 2-conductor cable already prepared, and you may skip the rest of this step. If not, follow these directions. At one end of the cable, strip the outer gray insulation back by 2" (5 cm). This will reveal the red and black wires inside. (see photo to the right) Strip the individual wires back ¼" (¾ cm). This short length makes the multiple-stranded conductors easier to push into the breadboard.


The other end of the cable will be for connecting to the Flash-to-PC adapter cord. Strip the outer insulation back by 2" (5 cm), and the individual wires back 1" (2.5 cm). The output cable wires are stripped back farther to allow for easier wrapping over the flash adapter wires.


Applying heat shrink tubing and making connections



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Cut the smaller diameter section of heat shrink tubing into two 1-inch lengths. Slip one length over each of the output cable wires. Then twist together the white wire of the adapter cord with the red wire of the output cable, and twist together the copper sheath of the adapter cord with the black wire of the output cord. Solder the twisted wires and clip off any stray wire strands. If you don't have a soldering iron, just make sure the strands are twisted as tightly as possible.


The result is shown to the left.



Completing the electrical insulation

  click for larger view


click for larger view  

Slide the heat shrink tubing over each of the solder joints so that the wires are completely insulated from each other. Using a lighter or a match, move the flame smoothly back and forth along the entire length of the tubing, with the tip of the flame just beneath as shown to the left. If you hold the flame too long in one spot or too closely to the tubing, you will notice smoke. If this happens, lower your flame and continue moving it back and forth. The tubing will visibly shrink, and will be acceptably tight-fitting after only 10-15 seconds of heating.


Now slide the larger diameter piece of heat shrink tubing over the gray cable, and position the tubing so that it covers the entire spliced area of the wires and overlaps the gray insulation on one end and the black insulation on the other. Then shrink the tubing. The result is shown to the right.



Finishing up


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Here's the completed cable. Connect it to your trigger circuit according to this chart.


Assembly instructions for other kits




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