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Camera strobe light

Discussion in 'LEDs and Optoelectronics' started by TheSinpy, May 19, 2014.

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  1. TheSinpy


    Feb 9, 2014
    I'm wanting to know If you can remove the flash/tube from a disposable camera along with few of the other components. To make it in to a smaller circuit that will make the flash/tube of the camera in to a continuous flashing light.

    I've been looking around on youtube, google and on here. But I can't find much about what I'm wanting to do. Only things came across is using a disposable camera as a power supply, thing to use to shock people with and few other random things. Could someone please give me some help or more search tips I could use?
  2. KrisBlueNZ

    KrisBlueNZ Sadly passed away in 2015

    Nov 28, 2011
    There's no such thing as a "continuous flashing" light. How many times per second do you want it to flash?

    Xenon flash tubes, like the ones used in cameras, operate from a large capacitor that stores a lot of charge. In a camera, the capacitor is charged by a little oscillator (the thing that makes the squealing sound), and this takes anything from a few seconds to over 20 seconds. Once the capacitor is fully charged, an indicator comes on, and you can trigger the Xenon tube. This discharges the capacitor, which must then be recharged before you can flash the tube again.

    So if you use the charging circuit from a camera, you won't be able to flash the tube very fast. Unless it's a special camera with very fast charging, which would also need a pretty powerful battery. In a disco strobe, the capacitor (or capacitor bank) is charged quickly, from the mains supply.

    A couple of warnings.

    Capacitors used for this function need to be designed for repeated rapid charge and discharge. Sometimes they will be marked with "Photoflash" or the like. Using a regular electrolytic is a sure way to simulate a small fireworks display.

    Bright flashing lights are known to trigger seizures in people with epilepsy, and can be uncomfortable for anyone. Make sure you warn people before you use it.
  3. MicroMe


    May 18, 2014
    just to add to the warnings while holding a 1.5V battery in position by my thumb and finger across the terminals and then pressing the contacts to make it flash with an insulated screw driver, the flash PCB and battery were launched at high velocity across the room as my arm muscles contracted!!! There are high voltages around! o_O
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