I have seriously wasted about 20-30 hours trying to hook up this vivitar 283 camera flash to be triggered by arduino, and am completely at a loss, and have been experiencing bizarre phenomenon that completely defy's everything I have ever learned about electronics.
Now to begin the vivitar 283 flash is measuring about 120 volts across its leads, so I know I have to isolate the voltage. First I had tried with a CNY17-3 opto-isolator, which worked just fine with a different camera flash (cheap neeweer), but would not work with this vivitar. So someone told me I could use an SCR to trigger the flash (and recommended a MAC97A8 600V triac). The idea is the arduino would trip the optocoupler, which would complete a circuit with a seperate battery triggering the SCR. Sounds simple, yet for some reason it wouldn't work. I've tried testing all the parts seperate, replacing them (i have 5 optocouplers and 5 scr's), and right now I have the arduino completely out of the equasion, just trying to use batteries to trigger the flash through the optocoupler/scr, and that's when I began experiencing all sorts of absolutely bizarre phenomenon. For example, these 4 things.
- Whenever I connect the camera flash leads to the SCR, the flash fires, even though I have nothing at all hooked up to the gate. It should not be letting any current through at all without a gate current right?
- Same thing with the optocoupler. For some reason as soon as I hook the camera leads to an optocoupler (or multiple optocouplers hooked up in parrallel), the flash fires, even though there is no current going through the led portion of the optocoupler, there should not be any current passing through the other side, yet it does. I've tested these optocouplers over and over again, I know how to use them, but for some reason this flash defies all the rules.
- This is the most bizarre of all. I had the flash hooked up to the main pins of the SCR, with the positive of the flash on pin 3 of the scr, and the negative of the flash on pin 1 of the scr. For some reason, if I took a simple scrap of wire, and touched it to pin 2 of the scr, the flash would fire. It was happening consistently. I must stress, the other end of the wire was not touching anything at all, just in the air. Not even touching me since I was holding the insulated part of the wire. It makes no sence at all, nothing at all should happen simply touching one end of a wire to something, if the other wire is not touching anything. Theres no circuit at all, it defies all electrical logic I know, yet for some bizarre reason it was causing the flash to fire. Even if I would just touch that wire to the same slot of the breadboard the middle pin was in, it was still making it fire, how can that be?
Can anyone explain why these things are happening, and help me get this camera flash safely hooked to, and triggered by arduino? I'm seriously not exaggerating when I say I've wasted 20-30 hours trying to do this seemingly simple task over the course of the past couple weeks. I've hooked up and triggered a modern flash with lower voltage across the terminals just fine, and without seeing any strange phenomenon, yet I just can't find a way to make this higher voltage one trigger, and can't figure out why its causing all these bizarre things to happen that make no sence.