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Camera Flash Ignition

Post questions and info about combustion (flammable vapor) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about fuels, ratios, ignition systems, safety, and anything else relevant.
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Camera Flash Ignition

Unread postAuthor: spudbud101 » Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:08 am

I have a camera flash circuit (pictured below) and I want to use it as an ignition source. The only problem is, how?

Can someone explain to me where I put the two wires that go to my chamber and where to install the pushbutton? Thanks.
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Unread postAuthor: Spedy » Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:05 am

lookup "cammera flash" on the spudwiki it should have lots of info.
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Unread postAuthor: spudbud101 » Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:22 pm

How can I charge the circuit? Without doing all that stuff to it?
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Unread postAuthor: TurboSuper » Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:20 pm

There should be a small pressure pad somewhere on the circuit, you would usually press that to charge the cap. You can try removing that, and soldering a switch in place, or just permanently solder wires to jumper it and place the switch at the voltage source instead-this is usually easier.

To discharge the cap, you can just solder two wires to the terminals and connect them to whatever with a push switch.

The 200V from the circuit alone won't produce a nice spark, you need to either step up the voltage, or ionize a path of air between the electrodes.
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Unread postAuthor: Killjoy » Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:45 pm

Heres one example of a set up
http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/camera-flash-igniton-t4611.html
Unfortunantly it tends to be pissy about working. I prefer to screw a screw in and then drill a hole next to it and insert a nail with a spring. Connect both to seperate leads from the capacitor, and then charge the cap, and press the nail down to get a nice pop. Never had a falure with this set up.
You can also get and igniton coil and discharge a capacitor into the coil to produce a nice spark. Might do a how to on it eventually.
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Unread postAuthor: spudbud101 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:16 am

I think I'll try it your way first... Except I'm using it for a mini and the wires have to be right next t each other... I am using 100% silver wire though, from an old computer PSU... Will it short out?
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Unread postAuthor: mark0491 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:03 am

No it shouldnt short out AND I WOULD CONNECT THE WIRES TO THE ACTUAL FLASH and solder a couple buttons one on the flash button and one on the fire button then do what ever he said with the spring\
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Unread postAuthor: Hotwired » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:28 am

I have a serious dislike for those circuit boards.

The transformer on it has too many pins and because of that I usually end up breaking some of them when trying to desolder it.

Give me a kodak board with a 5 pin transformer any day.

I can rig up a tiny capacitor charging circuit with one transformer, one transistor, a resistor and a diode from a kodak board :)


Back on topic.

You can see the two contacts of a leaf switch on the left of the picture.

Thats the trigger to dump the small, silvery, rectangular capacitor though a small cylindrical transformer to ionise the air between the two capacitor leads. Thats where the pushbutton should be connected.

You should have three wires/terminals besides the battery connections.

Two wires/terminals would have been attached to the flash bulb.

One would have been either a rather thicker insulated wire or a copper strip of some sort, going to the metal reflector around the flash bulb.

To have the pushbutton trigger the spark you have to have the two flashbulb wires mounted close to each other and the third trigger wire arranged around the gap between them.

So when the circuit is charged, pressing the pushbutton ionises the air between the flashbulb wires and the spark jumps.

The gap should only be about 1-2mm.

If there's a push pad or the like which has to be pressed down to charge the capacitor, solder it together and have the on-off switch with the battery connections.
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Last edited by Hotwired on Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: mark0491 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:05 pm

Hey i just thought of something for you Next time you go to walmart go to the photo center and tell the person your doing a science experiment and you need 10 used disposable cameras works every time for me :P They even give you a neat little bag for them all. :lol: :lol:
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Unread postAuthor: spudbud101 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:19 pm

Sweet! I'll try that, I will go today...
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Unread postAuthor: Flying_Salt » Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:21 pm

mark0491 wrote:Hey i just thought of something for you Next time you go to walmart go to the photo center and tell the person your doing a science experiment and you need 10 used disposable cameras works every time for me :P They even give you a neat little bag for them all. :lol: :lol:

Now I wonder what I would do with 10 300v capacitators :twisted:

Back on topic, to make a little sparky thing you could just attach two wires to the prongs on the capacitator and touch them to make a spark, or break the light bulb and attach the wires to those leads. I THINK those methods work.
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Unread postAuthor: mark0491 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:25 pm

actually truth be told i got 20 but i was building a coil gun that could shoot bbs through cans from each end of my house =) any ways it worked and all walmart does with those damn cameras is send them back to to company and thier more then happy to give them to you
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:22 pm

Flying_Salt wrote:Back on topic, to make a little sparky thing you could just attach two wires to the prongs on the capacitator and touch them to make a spark, or break the light bulb and attach the wires to those leads. I THINK those methods work.


Not really. To get that to work you have to mechanically touch the two leads together. The 300V photocap just isn't at high enough voltage to jump any kind of a gap. To get this to work inside a spudgun you would have to rig up a mechanical contactor. This has been done. Someone recently (last two months or so) posted on a very elegant mechanical contactor for inside the chamber.

You can unsolder the bulb easier than you can break it and solder to the remaining bits.
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Unread postAuthor: mark0491 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:22 pm

they dont have to have a gap 2 nails could just touch each othe and have huge sparks. also they can use a flyback Trigger system so Dont say this wont work because i know it works.
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Unread postAuthor: spudkilla » Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:01 pm

I saw on here some one had made a proto type push camera ignition. It had to terminals spring loaded that you push together to discharge the cap.
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