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.


Leave a Reply to biozz Cancel reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.