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Assembly and Operating Instructions for HiViz.com Kits

 

Instructions for Building the Multi-Trigger Breadboard (MT-BB, v11)

 

Assembly instructions for other kits

 

These instructions are for version 11 of the MT-BB kit.

 

Multi-Trigger Breadboard  

 

Parts List

 

The parts listed below are those included with the complete Multi-Trigger Breadboard kit (MT-BB). For photos of the parts organized according to sound trigger, photogate, and delay unit modules, see the Parts Guide.

 

If you prefer to work out your own design, see the circuit schematic.

 

Optoelectronic, semiconductors, and transducers

 

Piezoelectric element
Infrared emitter (blue case)
Infrared phototransistor (clear case)
PN2222A transistor

4 400-V SCRs (EC103D)
2 red LEDs
555 timer IC
556 timer IC

 

Breadboard

Resistors

 

Fixed
1 of 100 Ω (brown-black-brown)
5 of 470 Ω (yellow-violet-brown)
2 of 100 kΩ (brown-black-yellow)
4 of 1 kΩ (brown-black-red)
1 of 5.1 kΩ (green-brown-red)

2 of 22 kΩ (red-red-orange)
1 of 1 MΩ (brown-black-green)

 

Variable
1 of 1-kΩ potentiometer (yellow knob)

2 of 1-100 kΩ potentiometer (brown knob)

1 of 1-MΩ potentiometer (blue knob)

Capacitors

 

Disc

2 of 0.0047-µf (472)
4 of 0.047-µf (473)

 

Electrolytic - cylindrical metal case
1 of 0.47-µf
1 of 10-µf

Wires and Cables

 

3-ft of 3–conductor cable

Various lengths of red, black, green, and yellow hook up wire
18-in yellow wire (save this for the photogate cable)

2 breadboard connectors (male-female)
7-in of heat shrink tubing

9-V battery cable (A fresh 9-V battery is required but not included with the kit.)

 


Tools needed (not included)

 

Wire stripper

15-30 W soldering iron, solder, wet sponge

Lighter or matches to shrink the heat-shrink tubing

Note that a flash trigger cable is needed to use the Multi-Trigger to discharge a flash unit. The kit for the flash trigger cable is purchased separately from the Multi-Trigger kit. If you need a flash trigger cable kit, see this page.

 

Click on the thumbnails below in order to view full-size images of the breadboard with the components that have been added in each step.

 

Using the Breadboard

 

bb_002.jpg (81633 bytes)

The breadboard offers an easy way to build electrical circuits without soldering. The 2"x3" breadboard provided with your kit contains an array of holes where wires and components are to be inserted. The holes in the center portion of the breadboard are identifiable by row (vertical in the photos) and column (horizontal).  There are two sets of 30 rows numbered by 5's, and each set of rows has 5 columns labeled A-E and F-J. The 5 holes on each row are electrically connected to each other (but not across the center channel), so any components inserted into the same row would be connected just as if they had been soldered.  However, the components can be removed and replaced with other components at any time, without the hassle of unsoldering and resoldering parts.

 

On either side of the breadboard are two columns marked by blue and red lines. The 25 holes in each column are electrically connected, but the columns aren't electrically connected to each other.  The outermost column marked with the red line at the top will be used for all +9 V connections, while the outermost column marked with the blue line at the bottom will used for all ground (negative) connections.

 

About the organization of the assembly instructions: The assembly instructions are organized into 3 sets corresponding to the 3 modules: sound trigger, photogate, and delay timer. The purpose of this arrangement is to make following the instructions easier for people who are assembling individual modules rather than the complete Multi-Trigger kit. If, for example, you're only assembling the sound trigger module, then you can ignore the instructions for the photogate and delay timer. As a result, if you're assembling the complete Multi-Trigger, you'll find some of the instructions repetitive. We sacrifice economy of expression for clarity.

 

Jump to photogate assembly

Jump to delay timer assembly

 

Assembling the Sound Trigger

Step 1: Adding the wires

 

Orient the breadboard as shown with numbering starting on the left side. Then cut and strip sections of black, green, and yellow wire and make the connections listed below.

 

Color Connection
Green H26 to J28  
Yellow D27 to D29  
Black A25 to ground A28 to ground

Step 2: Adding the fixed resistors

 

When you add a resistor, clip the legs so that the body of the resistor sits close to the breadboard. This minimizes the chance that the legs will come into contact with other components and create a short. Place the three resistors in the following locations. Note that the resistors don't have polarity and can be flipped end for end.

 

Value Color bands Connection
100 brown-black-brown F29 to E29
5.1k green-brown-red J26 to 9V
100k brown-black-yellow G26 to E26

Step 3: Adding the variable resistor

 

Insert the three legs of the yellow variable resistor (also called a potentiometer or pot) into the following holes: F28, F30, and J29.

Step 4: Adding the transistor and SCR

 

The transistor and SCR look similar, and it's important not to confuse them. The transistor is labeled PN2222A on the face, while the SCR is labeled EC103D.

 

Clip the legs of the transistor back by 1/4 inch. Then orient the component as shown with the flat side facing the bottom of the screen, and insert the legs in these holes: B25, B26, B27.

 

Clip the legs of the SCR as you did the transistor, and orient the SCR the same way. Insert the legs in B28, B29, and B30. See the photo to the right for a different view.

Step 5: Adding the leads to the piezo disc

 

Note that the under side of the piezo disc has three pins labeled G, F, M. Use the two breadboard connectors* and make these connections:

  • Black connector to pin G
  • Red connector to pin M

There is no connection to pin F.

 

*The connectors provided in your kit may have different colors than those shown. The colors provided depend on what we're able to get from our supplier. Generally, we provide these colors for the connectors:

  • For pin G: black, blue, brown, purple
  • For pin M: red, yellow, white, gray, green

Step 6: Connecting the piezo disc to the breadboard

 

Connect the black wire of the disc (the one connected to the G pin) to the ground column and the red wire (the one connected to the M pin) to A26.

Step 7: Connecting the battery clip

 

Connect the red wire of the battery clip to the 9V column and the black wire of the clip to the ground column as shown.

Step 8: Connecting the flash trigger cable and testing the sound trigger

 

A flash trigger cable is needed in order to discharge a flash unit. (The kit for the cable is purchased separately and is available here.) Connect the positive (red) wire of the trigger cable to A30 and the negative (black) wire to the ground column.

 

Testing the sound trigger: Starting with the sensitivity pot turned all the way counterclockwise, turn the knob three-fourths of the way clockwise. Connect a fresh 9-V battery to the battery clip and turn on your flash unit. A finger snap or a tap on the piezo disc should set off your flash immediately. The only delay is the amount of time it takes sound to travel from the source of sound to the microphone. That's about a thousandth of a second per foot (30 cm) of distance.

 

Adjusting the sensitivity: You can decrease the sensitivity somewhat by turning the sensitivity pot clockwise. Note that if you turn the pot too far counterclockwise, the flash will not discharge.

 

Troubleshooting: If the trigger doesn't work with a fresh battery and adjusting the sensitivity pot doesn't help, double check all the connections. Also, make sure that the legs of the pot are seated firmly. If you think the pot isn't seated well, remove it, spread the legs a bit, and reinsert. Also check that the transistor and SCR aren't interchanged.

 

Assembling the Photogate

 

In the assembly photos, the sound trigger shows on the right side of the breadboard. This is for those who are building more than one trigger module on the same breadboard. If you don't have the sound trigger module, simply ignore the associated parts.

Step 1: Adding the 555 timer

 

Caution: Ground yourself before handling the 555 timer. This part can be damaged by static discharges.

 

The 555 timer is an integrated circuit (IC) that needs to be seated in the breadboard. Look at the top of the IC (with pins held away from you) and locate the circular depression in one corner. This circle indicates pin 1. Refer to the diagram at the right for pin identifications. The diagram is oriented the same way as in the photo to the left. Place the timer on the breadboad with pin 1 over E1 and pin 8 over F1 but don't push the pins in yet. Line up all the legs with holes in the breadboard and then press as evenly as possible across the top of the IC in order to make sure that none of the pins are bent as the IC is seated. Press firmly to make sure the pins go in as far as possible.

 

 

555 timer pins

Step 2: Adding the wires

 

Cut and strip sections of red, black, green, and yellow wire as needed to make the connections listed below.

 

Color Connections
Green H3 to H5      
Yellow D2 to F3      
Red J1 to 9V I1 to B4    
Black F6 to E6 D6 to D8 A1 to ground A8 to ground

Step 3: Adding the fixed resistors

 

When you add a resistor, clip the legs so that the body of the resistor sits close to the breadboard. This minimizes the chance that the legs will come into contact with other components and create a short. Place the resistors in the following locations. Note that the resistors don't have polarity and can be flipped end for end.

 

Value Color bands Connections
470 yellow-violet-brown E8 to G8 C3 to C9
1k red-black-brown I2 to I7 E5 to F5

Step 4: Adding the variable resistor

 

Insert the three legs of the brown variable resistor (also called a potentiometer or pot) into the following holes: A5, A7, and ground. (The center leg will be in the ground column.)

Step 5: Adding the SCR

 

The SCR is labeled EC103D on the face. Clip the legs back by 1/4 inch. Then orient the component as shown with the flat side toward the bottom of the screen, and insert the legs in these holes: B8, B9, and B10.

Step 6: Adding the capacitor

 

The 0.047-µf capacitor (labeled 473) is shown to the right. Insert this capacitor between holes J4 and J6. Like the resistors, the capacitor doesn't have polarity.

0.047-uf capacitor

Step 7: Adding the LED

 

The red LED has polarity and can be inserted only one way. Note that one leg of the LED is shorter than the other. This shorter leg is on the same side of the LED as the flat side on the red case. This indicates the negative side.

 

Before inserting the LED, trim the legs to a length of about 1/2 inch. Then insert the negative leg in J7 and the positive leg into the 9V column. An oblique view is shown in the photo to the right.

Step 8: Adding the battery cable

 

Insert the red wire of the battery clip into the 9V column and the black wire into the ground column.
At this point, you'll need to prepare the photogate cable. Do that and then return to this point. Assembly instructions for the variable-width photogate cable are here. If you're preparing the interrupter cable, those instructions are here.

Step 9: Connecting the photogate cable

 

Insert the three wires of the photogate cable in the following holes:

  • Red into the 9V column
  • Green into J3
  • Black into I8

Step 10: Testing the photogate

 

Orient the infrared LED emitter and detector several inches apart as shown in the photo. You can tape the wires down to a table to maintain alignment.

 

Turn the brown potentiometer knob on the breadboard to the halfway position. Connect a fresh 9-V battery to the battery clip. The red LED on the breadboard should light, indicating that the infrared beam is unblocked. If the LED doesn't light, try adjusting the pot one way or the other (with the IR beam unblocked) to see if the LED comes on. The light level in the room can affect the sensitivity. If this doesn't help, check that your battery is fresh. If so, check all the connections on the breadboard to make sure you haven't inadvertently placed a component in the wrong hole. This is one of the more common errors.

 

Adjusting the sensitivity: In practice, you may have a greater separation of the emitter and detector than for the test above. As you move the components further apart, you may need to adjust the sensitivity knob in order to maintain the circuit in a ready state (that is, the state in which the LED is on when the beam is unblocked).

Step 11: Connecting the flash trigger cable

 

A flash trigger cable is needed in order to discharge a flash unit using the photogate trigger. (The kit for the cable is purchased separately and is available here.) Connect the positive (red) wire of the trigger cable to A10 and the negative (black) wire to the ground column. When you break the infrared beam, the flash unit should discharge immediately.

 

Assembling the Delay Timer

 

In the assembly photos, the sound trigger shows on the right side of the breadboard and the photogate on the left. This is for those who are building more than one trigger module on the same breadboard. If you're not using one or both of these modules, simply ignore the associated parts.

Step 1: Adding the 556 timer

 

Caution: Ground yourself before handling the 556 timer. This part can be damaged by static discharges.

 

The 556 timer is an integrated circuit (IC) that needs to be seated in the breadboard. Look at the top of the IC (with pins held away from you) and locate the semicircular notch at one end. Refer to the diagram at the right for pin identifications. (The diagram is oriented the same way as in the photo to the left. Place the timer on the breadboad with pin 1 over F23 and pin 14 over E23 but don't push the pins in yet. Line up all the legs with holes in the breadboard and then press as evenly as possible across the top of the IC in order to make sure that none of the pins are bent as the IC is seated. Press firmly to make sure the pins go in as far as possible.

 

556 pins

Step 2: Adding the green wires

 

Cut and strip sections of green wire as needed to make the connections listed below.

 

Connection
D21 to D22 D23 to D24 G22 to G23 G19 to E16

Step 3: Adding the black wires

 

Cut and strip sections of black wire as needed to make the connections listed below.

 

Connection
E25 to F25 G17 to E13 A13 to ground

Step 4: Adding the red wires

 

Cut and strip sections of red wire as needed to make the connections listed below.

 

Connection
J20 to 9V E24 to 9V

Step 5: Adding the yellow wires

 

Cut and strip sections of yellow wire as needed to make the connections listed below.

 

Connection
A19 to A24 J22 to the column adjacent to the 9V column

Step 6: Adding the fixed resistors

 

When you add a resistor, clip the legs so that the body of the resistor sits close to the breadboard. This minimizes the chance that the legs will come into contact with other components and create a short. Place the resistors in the following locations. Note that the resistors don't have polarity and can be flipped end for end.

 

Value Color bands Connections
470 yellow-violet-brown G10 to G14 D12 to D16 C14 to C18
1k brown-black-red C21 to C24 A18 to the column adjacent to the ground column
22k red-red-orange G18 to I20 B17 to B24  
1M brown-black-green I13 to I18    

 

When finished, you'll have one resistor (100k, brown-black-yellow) left over. The use of this resistor is described in the operating instructions.

Step 7: Adding the variable resistors

 

There are two variable resistors (also called potentiomenters or pots) to add. One is blue and the other brown.

 

Beginning with the blue pot, insert the two outer legs in J14 and J16. With this placement, the center leg will go into the 9V column.

 

The outer legs of the brown pot go into I10 and I12. With this placement, the center leg will go into the column adjacent to the 9V column.

Step 8: Adding the LED

 

The red LED has polarity and can be inserted only one way. Note that one leg of the LED is shorter than the other. This shorter leg is on the same side of the LED as the flat side on the red case. This indicates the negative side.

 

Before inserting the LED, trim the legs to a length of about 1/2 inch. Then insert the negative leg in the ground column and the positive leg in the column adjacent to the ground column.

Step 9: Adding the SCRs

 

The SCRs are labeled EC103D on the face. Clip the legs of the 2 SCRs back by 1/4 inch. Then orient the components as shown in the photo to the left. We've labeled the SCRs 1 and 2 for ease of identification. Note that the flat side of SCR 1 faces toward the top of the screen, while the flat side of SCR 2 faces toward the bottom. Insert the legs of the SCRs in the following holes:

 

SCR 1: C11,12,13

SCR 2: B13,14,15

 

An oblique view of the assembly is shown to the right.

Step 10: Adding the ceramic capacitors

 

The ceramic capacitors have disc shapes like the 0.047-µf capacitor shown to the right. The ceramic capacitors have number labels to distinguish him. The 0.047-µf capacitors are labeled 473, and the 0.0047-µf capacitors are labeled 472. When inserting capacitors in the breadboard, polarity doesn't matter. Therefore, it doesn't matter which leg goes in which of the two holes. Insert the ceramic capacitors as given in the table below. You may want to trim the legs of the capacitors so that they don't sit too high above the breadboard, increasing the possibility that they could be bent over and touch another component.

 

Value Number ID Connections
0.0047 µf 472 H13 to H18 A16 to A17
0.047 µf 473 J17 to J21 A20 to ground
0.047-uf capacitor

 

When finished, you'll have one 0.047 µf capacitor left over. The use of this capacitor is described in the operating instructions.

Step 11: Adding the electrolytic capacitors

 

The electrolytic capacitors have cylindrical shapes like the 10-µf capacitor shown to the right. The value of the capacitance is printed on the metal case. Unlike ceramic capacitors, electrolytic capacitors have polarity. In order to aid in identifying polarity, the negative leg is shorter than the positive. In addition the negative side of the case has a light-colored bar. Insert the 2 electrolytic capacitors as given in the table below. You may want to trim the legs of the capacitors as you did previously.

 

Value Positive leg Negative leg
0.47 µf H23 H25
10 µf A22 ground
10-uf capacitor

Step 12: Adding the battery cable

Insert the red wire of the battery clip into the 9-V column and the black wire into the ground column.

 

 

Step 13: Testing and Troubleshooting

 

Testing: Cut a 2-in length of green wire to use for triggering. Then do the following:

  1. Turn both of the delay timer pots to their halfway positions.
  2. Connect one end of the 2-in green wire to F13 as shown in the photo above. Leave the other end unconnected for now.
  3. Connect a fresh 9-V battery to the battery clip.
  4. Momentarily connect the free end of the green wire to the ground row. The LED in the ground row should flash after a short delay, indicating triggering.
  5. Disconnect the battery and remove the green wire.

Troubleshooting: If the test above wasn't successful, some possible reasons include the following.

  1. The battery isn't fresh.

  2. Wires or components are connected in the wrong holes.

  3. Legs of nearby components are touching each other.
  4. The electrolytic capacitors or indicator LED are connected with the wrong polarity or an SCR is connected in reverse orientation.

  5. The legs of the 556 timer or potentiometers aren't seated well in the breadboard.

  6. There's a break in the hookup wire or in the circuit.

Troubleshooting strategies include i) replacing the battery, ii) checking all connections and component placements, iii) checking for shorts (legs touching each other). In order to test for breaks in wires, reconnect the battery and the green wire. Then jiggle the circuit wires while touching the green wire to ground. An intermittent connection can sometimes be detected this way.

 

If you still can't get the circuit to work, it's possible that the 556 timer has been burned out. This can happen if other components are connected incorrectly. One sure sign of a circuit problem is if the 556 timer becomes too hot to touch after the battery is connected. If this happens, disconnect the battery immediately. Then contact us for troubleshooting help.

Step 13: Connecting the flash trigger cable

 

A flash trigger cable is needed in order to discharge a flash unit using the delay timer. (The kit for the cable is purchased separately and is available here.) There are two possible connections of the trigger cable to the delay timer. These are the connections for instant and delayed output. The connection points are given below. See the photo to the left for the instant connections and the photo to the right for the delayed connections.

 

Output

Positive (red) wire

Negative (black) wire
Instant A11 ground
Delayed A15 ground

 

With a flash unit connected to either of the outputs, the flash will discharge when the delay timer is triggered. You can test this with the green wire as you did in the previous step. For the instant output, there should be no noticeable delay between triggering and discharge of the flash. For the delayed output, there may be a noticeable delay, depending on the settings of the coarse and fine delay pots.

  This completes assembly of the delay timer. Keep any hook up wire that you have left over, as you'll need additional lengths to connect the delay timer to the sound trigger and photogate. As a reminder, you should also have a 100k resistor and 0.047 µf capacitor left over. In order learn how to use the Multi-Trigger, see the operating instructions.

 

Assembly instructions for other kits

 

 

 


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