Gear Talk > Lighting

Super DIY Remote Speedlites

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The_Arsonist:
So, here's a crazy idea I had for getting speedlites that have remote controlled power on the cheap.

1) A used auto flash unit on ebay can be had for $10-20
2) Add a $3 standard volume potentiometer for full manual control
3) Control the potentiometers via either motorized pots or R/C airplane servos. I know that they make IR controlled pots for audio boards on speaker receivers for tv and stereo systems. I think an R/C servo could potentially drive a standard pot through the full range of motion. I see some remote and servo packs for around $25-$50 on ebay. One controller could potentially run 2-6 lights.
4) Trigger with remotes of your choice (In my case, Cactus V5 at ~$35 per transceiver)

So, in theory, this makes a studio of two lights cost under $100. You could even use shoe mount optical triggers in place of radio receivers for all your extra lights. You could possibly have 6 radio controlled lights for $200-$300.

So, I probably won't follow through on my theory, as radio controlling power is not a pressing need for me, but I wanted to present the theory to anyone who might be interested. It could sure make for an interesting, cheap home studio set up!

Rienzphotoz:

--- Quote from: The_Arsonist on March 02, 2013, 01:25:30 AM ---So, here's a crazy idea I had for getting speedlites that have remote controlled power on the cheap.

1) A used auto flash unit on ebay can be had for $10-20
2) Add a $3 standard volume potentiometer for full manual control
3) Control the potentiometers via either motorized pots or R/C airplane servos. I know that they make IR controlled pots for audio boards on speaker receivers for tv and stereo systems. I think an R/C servo could potentially drive a standard pot through the full range of motion. I see some remote and servo packs for around $25-$50 on ebay. One controller could potentially run 2-6 lights.
4) Trigger with remotes of your choice (In my case, Cactus V5 at ~$35 per transceiver)

So, in theory, this makes a studio of two lights cost under $100. You could even use shoe mount optical triggers in place of radio receivers for all your extra lights. You could possibly have 6 radio controlled lights for $200-$300.

So, I probably won't follow through on my theory, as radio controlling power is not a pressing need for me, but I wanted to present the theory to anyone who might be interested. It could sure make for an interesting, cheap home studio set up!

--- End quote ---
??? ... why would you spend $300, so much time and effort when you can buy better speedlites for less than that.

The_Arsonist:
Find me a speed light that is less than $100 that you can control the power via RF.

neuroanatomist:
I don't understand - how is the volume potentiometer going to control the flash output?

The_Arsonist:

--- Quote from: neuroanatomist on March 02, 2013, 04:01:32 PM ---I don't understand - how is the volume potentiometer going to control the flash output?

--- End quote ---


The Vivitar 283 has a light sensor that can be replaced by a volume pot to control the flash output levels.

http://www.krebsmicro.com/VIV283/index.html

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