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Triggering camera flash with BBQ sparker?

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Triggering camera flash with BBQ sparker?

Unread postAuthor: Pete Zaria » Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:25 pm

I just had an interesting idea.

I've just had an interesting idea for triggering a camera flash spark gap.

Most of us on this forum have ripped apart a camera flash and modified the board a bit. It makes big sparks when you put the wires together, etc... but you can't make it jump a gap without using the third wire (which I understand ionizes the air in the gap to lower resistance enough to allow the capacitor to jump the gap).

My thought is, what if you wired up a piezo BBQ sparker to the same electrodes the camera is wired to, so that the BBQ sparker, when fired, jumps the gap - theoretically lowering resistance enough for the camera flash circuit to automatically discharge.

Would this work?? If so, it should make nice, big, hot sparks, and cost next to nothing. I'd try it myself if I had any spare grill sparkers laying around ATM. I could try it with a lighter or something...

Peace,
Pete Zaria.

Edit - OK, I found a spare sparker and tried it. I wired both the BBQ sparker and camera flash circuit to a quarter-inch gap. With the BBQ sparker alone, it jumped the gap consistently. When I attached the wires for the camera flash circuit to the spark gap electrodes, the BBQ sparker would no longer spark - it was shorting out through the camera flash circuit. I assume I'd need some sort of diode to prevent this from happening. Does anyone have any ideas?
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Unread postAuthor: Recruit » Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:46 pm

Sounds like it would work to me but cant do dont have the camera cap.
Or you could hook the camera flash cap up to and induction coil aka transformer and spike the volts up on it.
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Unread postAuthor: Pete Zaria » Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:09 pm

Recruit, the objective here was to make a hotter spark out of spare parts I have laying around :p I'm a bit over the spudgun budget ATM, and was looking to avoid buying a stun gun, but I'll probably just break down and do that.

I tried a three point and four point gap. The four-point gap was four screws, in a piece of wood, with the heads 1/16th" apart (creating 3 spark gaps) with the BBQ sparker wired to the outside two screws and the camera flash circuit wired to the inside two. The theory was that the BBQ sparker would jump all 3 gaps (which it does, by itself), ionizing the air in the middle gap, allowing the camera flash to trigger. However, it sparks on the outside two gaps and not the middle (camera flash) gap... because it's shorting through the camera flash circuit again. I can't figure out a way to avoid this, so I guess I'm buying a stungun.

Peace,
Pete Zaria.
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