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Electronic Guidebook for High-Speed Flash Photography

revised 12-00

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Appendix E. Making a contact trigger


Here's one way to make a contact trigger. Begin by assembling the following supplies:

2 20-cm squares of stiff cardboard (1-2 mm thick)
2 20-cm squares of aluminum foil
1 20-cm square of black construction paper or poster board
Glue and tape
2 1-m wire leads

Now do the following:

  1. Smooth any wrinkles out of a 20-cm square of aluminum foil. Then glue the foil to the same size stiff cardboard. Tape the bare end of a 1-m wire lead to one corner of the foil.
  1. Smooth out another 20-cm square of aluminum foil and glue it to black poster board or construction paper of the same size. Tape another 1-m wire lead to a corner of this foil.
  1. From a second 20-cm square of stiff cardboard, cut out a 15-cm square hole, leaving a square frame of 2.5 cm width. Glue this frame onto the foil prepared in step 2).
  1. Arrange the various pieces as shown in the diagram. Notice that the cardboard frame acts as a spacer to separate the pieces of foil. If an object is dropped onto the upper piece, it will be forced into contact with the lower.



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