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Any way to kludge together a synch cord?

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Joined: 25 Aug 2002
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2002 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

O.k. Last week, I ordered a bipost to household cord from Paramount Cords. Well, they only shipped it this Monday.

Which means it may not come by Friday.

Which would really suck for me. I have a Halloween party I am going to and I decided to go as the Ghost of Weegee. I even invested in a large amount of B&W Polaroid film for my 545 back. So I can take pictures of the guests and give it to them on the spot.

BUT sans a flash cord, my Sunpak 511 will be useless.

Now I have a household to male-PC cord on the Sunpak. So I'm thinking if the Paramount cord does not arrive, I might be able to kludge together something workable in time for the party.

Now the big question....

Can I do this? My (limited) understanding is that all these old flashes work off the principle of a simple switch. The flash cord carries a charge to the lens. When the lens is triggered, a contact closes and the circuit from the flash is completed causing it to go off. Of course the timing of this is key (hence X synch and M synch).

Now, if this is the case, it should be somewhat simple (I hope) to make a bi-post to female pc adapter.

So, can I do this? What will I need? Did I buy 40 sheets of Polaroid film for nothing?
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Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3560
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2002 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, here goes;
1). Turn your strobe on and when the ready light comes on connect the center lead of the pc cord to the outer sleve of the pc cord with a piece of wire and the flash fires!!
2). If you do not want to cut the end off the current sync cord for this flash then go to your local camera shop and get an PC to PC extension cord, length not too important.
3). Take your bi-post lens shutter with you to Radio Shack and get crimp on Butt Connector(s), pin connectors or other terminal that has one crimp end for small guage wire, 22- 18, and one end that will fit tightly on the post of your shutter contacts, they may be different sizes so try both.
4). purchase terminals, crimping tool, soldering iron and Rosin Core solder recomended.
5). Cut end off sync cord and strip back insulation on outer jacket 2 to 2 1/2 inches, crimp or solder a connector to the end of this wire, its usually a braided that wraps around the inner lead, if not then srtip back just enough to fit into the crimp terminal or the solder fitting. Now strip the other wire according to the latter and connect to terminal for the other post.
6). plug terminals onto bi-post, connect pc connectors to flash, turn flash on, and test fire, if you did all well it should work.
7). Tape PC connectors when connected as they tend to come apart easily.


The best camera ever made is the one that YOU enjoy using and produces the image quality that satifies YOU.
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Joined: 09 Oct 2001
Posts: 173
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2002 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, you didn't specify your area in AZ but perhaps you might try a pro camera shop if there are any nearby. The Paramount Household-to-Bipost 5 or 6 ft coiled cords are so-called "stock" items, one of which i picked up at a pro shop about 40 miles from me.
Some time ago I did, however, need to have a "custom" Sunpak-tip-to-Bipost coiled cord made for my Sunpak 522 and i had the same type of delayed shipping problems that you describe.
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Texas Ed

Joined: 02 Oct 2001
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2002 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this is very late, but IIRC all those 7 steps are not needed, nor is a kludge. As you are aware, your 511 does not need the special SunPak 3 prong cord (the 3d prong only serves to prevent plugging into an AC outlet - which gives us a clue).

While I haven't had to do this (having collected a number of bi-post to HH sync cords over time), my recollection is that a Norelco (perhaps any ?) electric shaver AC cord fits the bi-post terminals and (obviously) the HH female on any flash using such connection (e.g. Strobonars, SunPak 511 & 611, and I'm sure a bunch of others).

It may be that you have to split the shaver end plug into two separate parts in order to fit the spacing of the bi-post, or it might be perfect as is - don't remember for sure.

If you have a friend (or yourself) who has used electric razors (only Norelco??) for any number of years (and hates to throw "perfectly useable" things away, you probably have a ready source for one or more bi-post to HH sync cords.

Hope this will help someone in the future who is between a rock and a hard place for such a sync cord.

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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 8
Location: North Texas

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2002 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting that tip! I have a Sunpak 611 on the way, and was wondering if my old bipost to HH was still working (it came with the camera, and I haven't tried it).

I looked at my razors (both a Remington and a Norelco), and they use exactly the same cord. One little cut with an Xacto knife, and it fits like a champ! The bipost pins are just a hair closer together than the holes on the plug, so I had to make two cuts and remove the sliver of rubber in the center - give the cord a slight squeeze and it slips right on to the bipost connector!

(and it still works on the razor also!)

This is really the neatest tip I've read! Thanks for posting.

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