Wednesday, December 5, 2007

DIY: Flash Hot-Shoe MOD

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_019The flash hot shoe mount that I bought have a PC sync plug at the end and that was causing me trouble for quite a while.

The Pocket Wizard plug are 3,5mm mono plug and they came in with an adapter so that you can plug it in to any PC plug available.

Well there are times when this can be a pain in the a.. because the plug is so loose that you may loose it while putting or removing the hot shoe adapter from your bag.

And because a lot of you been emailing me asking if I knew how was the inside and the cables soldier to the main part of the hot shoe I decided to put my hands to work.

Since this was on my waiting list for quite a while because I didn't have here with me an iron to weld I decided to delay this... but now that Santa is almost coming I bought a cheap one at some local Chinese store and can show you what this MOD will be about.

Changing the Flash Hot Shoe mount adapter from PC plug into a 3,5mm mono plug :)

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_001

Here is the list of what you will be needing to complete this task:

- Kaiser, or other, Hot Shoe with PC cable plug
- 3,5mm adapter plug Mono (It has to be a MONO plug)
- Pliers
- Philips wrench
- Iron to weld
- Weld
- Wood base (so you won't screw up the kitchen table)
- Heat Shrink (Sleeve)

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_002

Here you have the Hot Shoe adapter with the PC cable and the PW adapter plug (3,5mm mono to PC).

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_003

They go like this in case you do not know ;)

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_004

(Only do this part if you wanna change the cables inside the hot shoe adapter instead of the PC plug)

Get a small Philips wrench and open the 3 screws, be careful to not dent any one or else it will be more difficult to screw them back on.

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_006

Here it is the Hot Shoe adapter case open. There is nothing too much electronic that you need a degree to see what's going on in there. The cable one have 2 wires one white and the other one is copper. The white one is weld in the middle and the copper one at the edge.

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_005

With the pliers cut the edge of the cable near the PC plug.

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_007

Now you pick the flesh of the cable gently so you don't cut any of those tinny copper wires. Then when you have done with the outside do the same to the withe cable that there is inside (this one is even thinner).

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_008

When you have finished they should look like this.

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_009

Let's take a closer look at the inside of the Hot Shoe adapter box.
See the white and the copper wires? Good.

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_010

Since I didn't know where to weld which to which I decided to give a try and put the 3,5mm mono plug into the PW flash plug and leaned the wires to the contacts on the plug.

I noticed that either way you can weld the wires, it doesn't have a correct position to weld but my advice is to see if the white is in the middle pin on the other side you should put the white also on the middle position.

For a matter of easy welding, since I'm not very good at this welding stuff, I weld the white cable to the middle of the plug and the bigger copper one to the outside part since this way they will also match polarities.

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_011

Before I weld everything I got some a sleeve (it's a plastic cover that shrinks with heat and that's used to protect the between cables also known as Heat Shrink) and put it inside the cable.

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_012

This way the cable will be much stronger after welding and it won't break easily. This is also good because it makes the cable at that end a little bit more thicker.

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_013

Now let's weld.

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_014

After finished welding here is a closer look of what you will get. White on the middle and copper on the outside. You can also see the Heat Shrinker that I have adjusted to stay as closer as possible to the inside part of the plug (on the picture view, more closer to the right side as possible).

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_015

Now let's tight the part so the cables won't get loose. Don't tight too much or you can damage the cables just the enough pressure to make it tight so when you pull it won't move the inside parts.

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_016

So there you have it a 3,5mm mono plug that cost me 1,00 euro and 5 minutes time to weld.

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_017

I have chosen not the straight one (like the ones you have on the ear plugs) because this would stay out too much of the PW I preferred the flat one so it would stay nice and easy on the PW.

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_018

Here is the final product.

Hot-Shoe plug Mod_020

I also found an old ear plug that one of the sides do not work because of bad contact on the left side and just want to let you know that you can use this to plug it into the Hot-Shoe.

Instead of making the welding on the PC plug side you just weld on the Hot Shoe side the same way and since the 3,5mm mono plug is already weld you don't have to care about it.

I found a fellow photographer (Paulo Rodrigues) that had made this part and has all the steps on his flickr pool for a detail version of the reverse of this MOD take a look in here, also take some time to check his blog out.

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