Hot-shoe flash mishap and question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by the_beginner, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. the_beginner

    the_beginner TPF Noob!

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    First the setup -

    Olympus C4000-Z external flash connection to PC to household adapter cord
    Household to Wein SSH Inline Household voltage regulator
    Voltage regulator to household cord
    Household cord to Household to PC adapter cord
    PC connection to Nikon SB-24 flash laying on desk

    One snap of the camera and the external flash did not fire and there was smoke coming from the shutter button. I quickly unplugged everything at that point.

    My question is this - does the flash need to be in the metal hot-shoe for grounding purposes or something and is this where I probably went wrong?

    I did test this rig the other night with all the same connections with the exception that the flash was mounted in a metal hot-shoe holder on top of a light stand. The flash wouldn't fire with the voltage regulator in place. If I removed it from the chain, the flash fires with no problems and no smoke.
     
  2. the_beginner

    the_beginner TPF Noob!

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    When using a hot-shoe flash off camera via PC sync cord, does the flash unit have to be mounted in a hot-shoe clip in order to be properly connected electrically speaking?

    I know I can hold the flash in my hand and press the manual button to fire it without issue, but when connecting it to the camera via PC cable, for proper electrical connection's sake, does it need to be in a hot-shoe clip (albeit inactive)?

    Any advice on where to go looking next (besides the manuals because I've been there)?
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    uh oh.
     
  4. the_beginner

    the_beginner TPF Noob!

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    The miracle there is, the camera still works with no signs of damage.
     
  5. the_beginner

    the_beginner TPF Noob!

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    Also, an email to Wein has gotten me my money back for the regulator, but they didn't answer my question either.

    Is it safe to connect and fire a hot-shoe based flash without having to place it in a hot-shoe or cold-shoe? Are there risks beyond voltage regulation?
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I can't imagine any problem. The shoe is simply a holder for the unit. A hot shoe simply provides direct connection to the camera without the use of a cord. You can operate your flash free of concern without it being connected to anything.

    So, like you say, as long as the flash voltage doesn't hurt the camera, you're fine.
     
  7. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    BTW... where in "northern Illinois" are you?
     
  8. the_beginner

    the_beginner TPF Noob!

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    I live along the Fox River valley in northernmost Aurora.
     
  9. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What is the trigger voltage of your flash unit? You can measure it with a simple VOM when the unit is charged and ready to fire. If it is low enough, say under 16vdc, you don't need a regulator. I'm running an old Sunpak 511 successfully using a hot shoe - pc adapter.
     

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