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Assembly and Operating Instructions for HiViz.com Kits

 

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Instructions for Preparing a Flash Trigger Cable

 

Assembly instructions for other kits

 

In these instructions, click on any image for a large view. (In order to open the image in a new tab or window, right click and select open in new tab or window.)

 

These instructions are for preparing a flash trigger cable. The various configurations are shown below.

 

PC cable kits Vivitar kits
PC kit (breadboard) PC kit (3.5mm) PC kit (RCA) Vivitar kit (breadboard) Vivitar kit (3.5mm) Vivitar kit (RCA)

breadboard

3.5mm

RCA

breadboard

3.5mm RCA

 

For the PC cable kits, the flash unit must either have a PC jack (see Figure 1 below) that will accept a standard PC plug (see Figure 2), or a hot shoe adapter with a PC jack (see Figure 3) must be used.

 

 

 

Hot shoe adapter
Figure 1. Flash with PC jack on the side Figure 2. Standard PC plug Figure 3. Hot shoe adapter

 

Having the right tools will make the job easier. You'll need to provide your own. Here's what we recommend.

  1. 15-30 W soldering iron and solder
  2. Wire stripper (photo below)

  3. A small diagonal cutter (photo below) makes it easy to trim stray wires, but other kinds of snipping tools such as scissors may work.

  4. Needle-nose pliers (photo below) make it easier to handle wires, especially if you have big fingers.

  5. A magnifying glass is useful to inspect solder joints.

  6. A lighter or matches to shrink heat-shrink tubing, if the project requires it

    Wire cutters and stripper

    Small diagonal cutter

    diagonal cutter

    Needle-nose pliers

    needle-nose pliers

     

Be sure to solder in a well-ventilated area. Keep the tip of your soldering iron clean by wiping it against a wet sponge. Once the tip is clean, touch a bit of solder to the tip to tin it and improve heat conductivity. Inspect your solder joints to see if the solder flowed well to make good electrical contact. If it looks like the solder formed a bead, that's likely a bad joint and will not conduct. Reheat to flow the solder.

 

Follow the instructions below that apply to your cable configuration. You'll need instructions for the end of the cable that connects to the flash unit and also for the the end of the cable that connects to the trigger.

 

Connections to flash

Connections to trigger

For connection to a PC jack on a flash unit or hot shoe adapter

 

Note: An earlier version of the PC cord has a copper sheath surrounding an insulated wire rather than the red and white conductors described below. If you have that version, see these instructions for preparing the PC cable.

PC cord (half)

Photo 1

What you need

 

Here's what you'll need for the PC cable end:

  • 3-ft length of 2-conductor cable
  • 2 inches of 3/32-in heat-shrink tubing
  • 3 inches of 3/16-in heat-shrink tubing
  • PC cord (male jack on one end and cut on the other). See Photo 1.

Stripping the PC cable

Photo 2

Stripping the PC cable

 

Carefully strip the black insulation a distance of 1 inch from the cut end. Then strip the red and white wires a distance of 3/4 in.

Stripping the 2-conductor cable

Photo 3

Adding the heat-shrink tubing

Photo 4

Preparing the 2-conductor cable

 

Strip the gray insulation a distance of 2 inches from one end of the 2-conductor cable. See Photo 3.

 

 

 

 

Cut the 3/32-in heat-shrink tubing into two 1-inch sections and slip them onto the red and black wires. Strip these wires back 3/4 in. See Photo 4.

Twisting the wires together

Photo 5

Soldering the splice

Photo 6

Splicing the wires

 

Twist the red wire of the PC cord to the black wire of the 2-conductor cable, and twist the white wire of the PC cord to the red wire of the 2-conductor cable. See Photo 5.

 

 

 

Solder the twisted wires to make the connections secure. See Photo 6.

Slipping on the heat-shrink tubing

Photo 7

Tubing shrunk on the splices

Photo 8

Insulating the splices

 

Slip the heat-shrink tubing over the splices as shown in Photo 7.

 

 

 

Use the heat from a lighter or match to shrink the tubing around the splices. See Photo 8 for the completed splices.

 

Tubing shrunk on the splices

Photo 9

Finishing the connection

 

Slip the 3/16-in heat-shrink tubing over the 2-conductor cable and slip it over the spliced wires. Then use a heat source to shrink the tubing. See Photo 9 for the completed connection.

 

For connection to a Vivitar 283/285HV/3700 flash unit

PC-1 cord

Photo 1

What you need

 

Here's what you'll need to make the connection to your flash unit.

  • 3-ft length of 2-conductor cable
  • 2 inches of 3/32-in heat-shrink tubing
  • 3 inches of 3/16-in heat-shrink tubing
  • Vivitar PC-1 cable. See Photo 1.

PC-1 cord cut in half

Photo 2

Cutting the PC-1 cable

 

Begin by cutting the PC-1 cord in half. You'll use the half shown to the left. You may use the other half to make a PC trigger cable if you wish. In that case, see the instructions above.

stripped cable ends

Photo 3

Stripping the cables

 

Using a pair of wire strippers, carefully strip back the cut end of the PC-1 cord a distance of 1 inch. You'll see a copper sheath surrounding black insulation. Pull back the sheath and twist the wires together as shown in the left image in Photo 3. Then strip back the black insulation to within about 1/8 inch from the black jacket. It's important to make sure there are no stray wires from the copper sheath that touch the other wire.

 

Next, you'll need the gray 2-conductor cable. From one end of the cable, strip back the gray insulation about 2 inches. Then strip back the red and black insulation about 3/4 inch. The result is shown in the right image in Photo 3.

slipping on the heat-shrink tubing

Photo 4

Slipping on the heat-shrink tubing

 

There are 2 sizes of HST, 3/32-inch diameter and 3/16-inch diameter. Cut two 1-inch lengths from the 3/32-inch piece. Then slide them over the red and black insulation as shown in Photo 4.

twisting the wires together

Photo 5

Twisting the wires together

 

Twist the following pairs of wires tightly together as shown in Photo 5: i) black wire of the 2-conductor cable and copper sheath of the PC-1 ii) red wire of the 2-conductor cable and black wire of the PC-1.

 

 

soldering the connections

Photo 6

Soldering the connections

 

Solder the two spliced connections as shown in Photo 6. Again, make sure there are no stray wire strands that could bridge from one splice to the other.

shrinking the HST

Photo 7

Shrinking the HST

 

Slip each piece of 3/32-inch HST completely over the corresponding splice. Then, using a lighter or a match, move the flame smoothly back and forth along the entire length of the tubing, with the tip of the flame just beneath it. If you hold the flame too long in one spot or too closely to the tubing, you will notice smoke. If this happens, lower your flame and continue moving it back and forth. The tubing will visibly shrink, and will be acceptably tight-fitting after only 10-15 seconds of heating. See the result in Photo 7.

securing the splices

Photo 8

Securing the splices

 

Slide the 3/16-inch HST over the gray 2-conductor cable so that it completely covers the two spliced wires.

 

Use a flame as before to shrink the tubing. The result is shown in Photo 8.

 

PC cord for breadboard Trigger cord for Vivitar 283/285
PC type Vivitar type

Adding pins to the cable for connection to a breadboard

 

At this point, you should have completed the flash connection for either the PC- or Vivitar-type cable. Your cable should look like one of the two photos to the right. Next, you'll add pins for connection to a breadboard.

breadboard pins

Photo 1

What you need

  • 2 breadboard pins. See Photo 1. (The pins you have may be different colors from those shown. When the pins are referred to as red and black below, make the appropriate color substitutions in the text.)
  • 2 inches of 3/32-in heat-shrink tubing
  • your 2-conductor cable with the flash connection complete

all conductors stripped

Photo 2

Stripping the conductors

 

On the free end of the gray 2-conductor cable, strip back the gray insulation by 1 inch. Then strip back each conductor by 3/4 inch.

 

Strip 3/4 inch of insulation from each of the breadboard pins.

twisting the free ends together

Photo 3

Spicing the free ends together

Twist the red conductors and the black conductors together. Then solder each splice. The result is shown in Photo 3.

adding heat-shrink tubing

Photo 4

Adding the heat-shrink tubing

 

Cut the heat-shrink tubing into two 1-inch pieces. Slip the pieces over the soldered connections. Heat the tubing with a lighter or match to shrink it around the connection. See Photo 4.

completed PC cord for breadboard completed trigger cord for Vivitar 283/285
PC type Vivitar type

 

Your completed cable will be one of the two versions shown to the right.

 

PC cord for breadboard Trigger cord for Vivitar 283/285
PC type Vivitar type

Adding a 3.5mm plug for connection to a trigger box

 

At this point, you should have completed the flash connection for either the PC- or Vivitar-type cable. Your cable should look like one of the two photos to the right. Next, you'll add a 3.5mm plug to the free end of the cable.

3.5mm mono plug

Photo 1

 

What you need

  • male 3.5mm mono connector as shown in Photo 1
  • your 2-conductor cable with the flash connection complete

Photo 2

Strip the conductors

 

Remove the jacket from the plug and slip it over the cut end of the cable. The threaded end must be toward the cut end of the cable. Strip back the gray insulation on the free end of the cable about 1/4" and then strip the insulation on the red and black wires about 1/8". See Photo 2.

Photo 3

Threading the wires

 

Insert the stripped wires into the holes on the terminals of the 3.5mm mono connector. The red wire goes in the shorter terminal as shown in Photo 3. Don't crimp the metal tabs around the cable yet, as this will cause the insulation to melt when you solder.

 

Photo 4

Soldering the connections

 

Since there's so much metal, it will take some time for the soldering iron to heat the metal. Tin the tip of the soldering iron with solder first. Then hold the tip of the iron flat on the metal to heat it up in the vicinity of where you want to solder. Touch the solder to metal and wait for it to start flowing. This is the way to ensure a good electrical connection rather than a cold solder joint. The completed solder job is shown in Photo 4.

Photo 5

Trimming and crimping

 

Clip off any stray wires and then crimp the metal tabs around the gray cable as shown in Photo 5.

Photo 6

Screw the jacket on

 

When you screw the jacket on, hold the wire tightly to reduce the possibility that the plug may twist and bring the terminals inside into contact with each other.

PC flash trigger cord Trigger cord for Vivitar 283/285
PC type Vivitar type
Your completed cable will be one of the two versions shown to the right.

 

PC cord for breadboard Trigger cord for Vivitar 283/285
PC type Vivitar type

Adding an RCA plug for connection to a PCB or trigger box

 

At this point, you should have completed the flash connection for either the PC- or Vivitar-type cable. Your cable should look like one of the two photos to the right. Next, you'll add an RCA plug to the free end of the cable.

RCA plug

Photo 1

 

Removing the jacket from the RCA plug

Photo 2

What you need

  • male RCA connector as shown in Photo 1
  • your 2-conductor cable with the flash connection complete

Remove the black jacket from the plug as shown in Photo 2.

Stripping wires in preparation to add RCA connector

Photo 3

Stripping the conductors

 

Push the black jacket over the cable. If you find the fit too tight, snip off part of the sleeve that grips the cable. Once you have the jacket on the cable, strip back the gray insulation 1/4 inch. Then strip the red and black wires 1/8 inch as shown in Photo 3.

RCA plug connected to the red and black wires

Photo 4

Making the connections

 

Important: Don't crimp the metal tabs around the gray insulation before soldering. If you do, the heat of soldering can melt the insulation. Now thread the red wire through the smaller of the two solder lugs and solder it. Then solder the black wire to the longer lug. This lug can take a lot of heating since there's so much metal. Make sure that it gets hot enough for the solder to flow freely. The metal takes a while to cool down, so don't touch it for a while. After you've finished soldering, examine the connections for stray wire strands. Clip off any that you find. Photo 4 shows the completed solder joints.

RCA plug connected to cable

Photo 5

Completing the assembly

 

Crimp the metal tabs around the gray cable and screw the jacket on. The completed connector is shown in Photo 5.

 

PC flash trigger cord Trigger cord for Vivitar 283/285
PC type Vivitar type
Your completed cable will be one of the two versions shown to the right.

 

Assembly instructions for other kits

 

 

 


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