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Two new articles posted: Using a 10-turn pot with a delay unit

and Selecting a flash unit for high-speed photography


AstroSplash Drop Controller Kit and Drip System Packages, assembly required


Related links:

AstroSplash Drop Controller

Click on the image for a close up of the lid.

The AstroSplash Drop Controller produces a timed-sequence of 1 to 3 pulses that can be used to activate 1 to 3 solenoid valves to release a sequence of water drops. The AstroSplash has the following features and functions.

Feature Label Function
Two calibrated pots to adjust pulse interval TIME OFF Time intervals between pulses are smoothly variable from 8 to 120 ms.
Three calibrated adjustment pots to adjust pulse duration TIME ON Pulse durations are smoothly variable from 8 to 120 ms to adjust the drop volume.
Two on-off switches for pulses PULSE 2/3 Pulses 2 and 3 may be switched on or off in order to select a sequence of 1, 2, or 3 pulses.
Three valve outputs



One to three valves can be controlled simultaneously.
Push button to hold valves open CLEAR Holding the button down clears the water path of air.
BNC test port TEST An oscilloscope can be connected for precise timing calibration (optional).
Trigger input TRIG The trigger initiates the entire timed sequence of pulses and camera operation.
Camera ouptut (optically isolated) CAM When a camera is connected, the trigger opens the shutter at the onset of the first pulse. Optical isolation protects the camera's circuitry from that of the AstroSplash.
Auxiliary outputs (optically isolated)



Two more outputs may be independently used to control additional devices such as cameras, flash units, and wireless transceivers.
Jack for 12V DC power 12V IN The unit is powered by a 12V/2.1A DC regulated supply. A fuse inside the box provides protection from overload.
On-off switch/LED indicator   A switch turns the power to the box on or off, and an LED indicates the on state.
Three LED pulse indicators   An LED corresponding to each pulse flashes when the pulse is produced.

The PC board used by the AstroSplash is shown to the right. Locations of components are labeled. Holes are labeled to aid in making connections to the lid of the control box.

PCB for AstroSplash

The PC board is bolted to the lid of the project box. This reduces the possibility of breaking connections when the box is opened. The photo shows the interior of the assembled unit.

PCB installed in AstroSplash
A label printed on photo-quality paper is provided together with a laminating sheet to make a distinctive and functional label. Label for AstroSplash lid
You may use your own solenoid valves with the AstroSplash or purchase ours. If you use your own valves, they must operate on 12VDC and have a maximum rating of 6W each. Our valves are packaged in kits with fittings and the parts to make a cable to connect to the AstroSplash. Solenoid valve kit
The AstroSplash operates on 12VDC supplied by a wall transformer. You may purchase a transformer from us or use your own supply as long as it provides a regulated 12VDC at up to 2A. 12VDC Power supply
Synchronizing your flash units with the collision event requires a photogate and a delay timer. Our Multi-Trigger 3 or the earlier Multi-Trigger 2 serve this purpose well. Multi-Trigger 3 control box
The AstroSplash will control up to 3 valves simultaneously. The photo to the right demonstrates the timing precision possible. Additional valve kits can be purchased separately. Triple splash

Note that the products we offer for sale include the electronics of drop production and detection, timing, and control of camera and flash. We don't provide the water reservoirs and scaffolding to hold the parts of the water path in place. See Components of a Drip Photography System for a listing of what you need for a complete drip system.


Additional information:

You may purchase components of a drip system individually, or you may purchase them in various combinations at a discounts. When you purchase, don't overlook the cable options. Cables are needed for camera and flash. For additional accessories, click here.

Drip production and control components

Get $20 off when you buy the Multi-Trigger 3, AstroSplash, Valve Kit, and 12V transformer together.

$169.80 - DS2

AstroSplash Drop Controller

Controller only

$74.95 - ADC

Get $15 off when you buy the controller, valve kit, and 12V transformer together.

$104.85 - DS1

Valve Kit

Valve Kit only

$29.95 - VLV

12VDC Wall Transformer

Transformer only

$14.95 - A12V

Drop detection and event synchronization components
Multi-Trigger 3 (click for more info)

Control box and sensor cables

$69.95 - MT3i


9VDC Wall Transformer


Transformer only

$14.95 - A9V



A shutter cable is required to connect a camera to the CAM port of the AstroSplash. Here's our selection of shutter cables.


Camera shutter cables

Select the shutter cable for your camera below. See the list of compatible cameras here.

Canon 80N3 cable with adapter Nikon MC30 cable with adapter Nikon MCDC2 cable with adapter
Canon 80N3 Nikon MC30 Nikon MCDC2
Canon 60E3 cable 3.5mm male-female extension cable 3.5mm connectors
Canon 60E3 3.5mm male-female extension Cable connectors (DIY)
  • The Canon 80N3 and the Nikon cables are about 1-foot long and may be coiled or straight, depending on what we can get from our suppliers. The stereo plug is 2.5mm, and a 2.5mm to 3.5mm stereo adapter is included for connection to a trigger box. A 6-foot extension cable may be purchased for just $1.95 more.
  • The Canon 60E3 cable is 6 feet long with 2.5mm and 3.5mm plugs.
  • DIY option: If you want to use a shutter release cable that you already own rather than buying one of ours, you can just get the 3.5mm male and female stereo connectors and follow these instructions.

Shutter cable option


A trigger cable is needed to connect a flash unit or wireless transceiver to the Multi-Trigger 3.

Flash Trigger Cable Kit (PC to 3.5mm)

This cable kit is for connecting the outputs of a Multi-Trigger 3 to a flash unit. The flash trigger cable kit includes a connector for the flash, a 3.5mm mono plug, 3-ft of 2-conductor cable, and heat-shrink tubing. Assembly is required. This trigger cable is intended for connection either to flash units that have a standard PC jack or to a hot shoe adapter with a PC jack. If your flash unit is one of the Vivitar models 283, 285HV, or 3700, you'll need a Vivitar PC-1 cord to connect to your flash unit. Click here for one possible source. If you're triggering your flash wirelessly or your flash unit has a 3.5mm synch jack, see this page for 3.5mm cables.

PC flash trigger cord PC flash trigger cord

PC cable kit - $4.95

(parts, unassembled)

PC cable

(after assembly)

Flash trigger cable kit (PC to 3.5mm) -- $4.95

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