Flash Trigger With Programmable Delay

Here’s a flash trigger with a programmable delay. These triggers are often used to capture quick events like a balloon popping. The technique takes place in a dark room with the shutter open. When the event is triggered the flash illuminates the scene and an image is captured. Because these require precise timing it has typically been a chore to synchronize the event, hence solutions like using a pressure plate.

This build, which centers around a PICAXE 08M, allows the photographer to use any trigger they desire, but adds a delay. The box above shows the apparatus set up for a 42 millisecond delay. So if you’re using the sound of the balloon pop as a trigger, you can hold the flash off until the event really gets going.

[Thanks Two Part Epoxy]

5 thoughts on “Flash Trigger With Programmable Delay

  1. Sounds like a perfect project for a 555, except without the digital feedback of time. Although, you probably will have to do a trial and error method anyways to get the best shot… with digital photographs you can throw away all of the missed shots without worry, although that’s a lot of balloon inflating :)

  2. 42 is the answer.

    I used to service Microfilm cameras- 3M 2300/ 2800 and laser plotter to Microfilm output – 3m 2900 that needed timing delays incredibly sloppier intolerance parameters. R/C delays that fired a SCR or switched a transistor to open and close relays with large domed- “file service” possible- contacts. The Hack we began introducing as parts for the 2300 became scarce was using plug in “delay modules” that varied from Glass tube “Thermals” to a knob pot adjust to single second DIP switch setting models. And- they’re still made as a module to make some other Hack painless to make happen. No, that kind of module would never do a 42 millisecond anything except perhaps 42 milliseconds of contact bounce. This is an excellent hack and I wish we’d had it in 1997. And- if you want to get delay modules for places where a factory made is good enough- check out the relays etc from Amperite. Because sometimes Hacking from scratch like this 42 millisecond delay gets more appreciated when we compare it to commercial stuff.


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