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Old 30th of December 2006 (Sat)   #1
Lotto
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Lightbulb Add a sync port to 580 EX (DIY)

Following the idea on Strobist, I add a sync port to my 580. I took some pictures during the process, hope it can provide some visual images for someone want to try it.

It's a pretty simple mod: get a 1/8 mono phone jack from Radio Shack, unscrew 4 screws at the bottom of the 580, unplug the only one cable, drill a hole at the side and stick the phone jack through, solder 2 wires to the center and side pin, and finally tighten the nut outside the flash.



I think the original concept was to use the port to connect to the PW. Since I don't own a PW, I use it to connect to my L358, or simply for triggering the master unit without having to push the Test Button while metering.



I modded a PC to hotshoe connector first (at right), but I had a feeling that the wire coming out the shoe will break any time. Now that the warranty for my 580 has just expired, it's time to hack it .



The phone jacks from RS: 3 for $3.99
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=search
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Old 30th of December 2006 (Sat)   #2
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Default Re: Add a sync port to 580 EX (DIY)

Very inventive.
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Old 30th of December 2006 (Sat)   #3
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Default Re: Add a sync port to 580 EX (DIY)

Do you mind giving us the wiring diagram? Also, your remote, did it have a sync socket in the side, or did you mod that too? I need to do that so I can use a PW with my camera, instead of buying their pre-trigger cable.
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Old 30th of December 2006 (Sat)   #4
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Default Re: Add a sync port to 580 EX (DIY)

a wiring diagram or atleast an upclose of the wiring on the flash would be awesome. great job!
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Old 30th of December 2006 (Sat)   #5
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Default Re: Add a sync port to 580 EX (DIY)

Will do. Let me dig up some close up pictures...
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Old 30th of December 2006 (Sat)   #6
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Default Re: Add a sync port to 580 EX (DIY)

OK, the normal sync plug (lets use 1/8 mono as example) has the 'tip' (A)of plug connects to the center pin of the Canon Speedlites, and the long metal body part (B) connects to the side pin of the Speedlite (under the locking wheel).

Looking at the openned bottom part of the 580, there are 5 color coded wires. The white wire (A) goes to the center pin; the big terminal next the white wire connection (B) goes to the side pin---that terminal has no outside wiring connected to it.

So basically I solder 2 wires--- from the phone jack terminals to the Speedlite circuit board, as illustrated with the blue arrows.



A close-up of the finished wiring.

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Old 30th of December 2006 (Sat)   #7
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Default Re: Add a sync port to 580 EX (DIY)

That is fantastic. Truly excellent writeup and very well documented. Should definitely be a sticky, and I hereby call for that.

Now, to my stupidity. First of all, why doesn't the 580 have that jack to begin with? Does the top of the line Nikon flash have one?

Secondly, What is a PW? Is it a Pocket Wizard?

Third, and sorry for being so stupid, what do you need it for? What does it do that you can't do currently?

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Old 30th of December 2006 (Sat)   #8
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Default Re: Add a sync port to 580 EX (DIY)

The Nikon SB-800 has both a PC cable port (for connecting to a camera) and a master/slave cable port (for connecting to another SB-800). I have often wondered why the 580EX doesn't have something similar.
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Old 30th of December 2006 (Sat)   #9
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Default Re: Add a sync port to 580 EX (DIY)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDJAK View Post
That is fantastic. Truly excellent writeup and very well documented. Should definitely be a sticky, and I hereby call for that.

Now, to my stupidity. First of all, why doesn't the 580 have that jack to begin with? Does the top of the line Nikon flash have one?

Secondly, What is a PW? Is it a Pocket Wizard?

Third, and sorry for being so stupid, what do you need it for? What does it do that you can't do currently?

mark
I'm wondering the same. Why not just use the wireless canon transmitter? Also with the strobes (JTL), they fire from the on camera flash anyway (Flash Triggered). Is this so you can use the 580's from the PC port? or with PW's?

EDIT: I see in the OP you use this to fire the flash from the meter. I do see benefit there. You don't have to take a picture to read from the flash It is digital though, Ha! (Had to say it)
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Last edited by tdaugharty : 30th of December 2006 (Sat) at 23:01.
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Old 30th of December 2006 (Sat)   #10
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Default Re: Add a sync port to 580 EX (DIY)

If you want to use the EX flash off camera and in manual mode, you would need to get some type of hotshoe adapter so that you can fire the flash via a remote device like the Pocket Wizard or a long PC sync cable. Having the "sync" port on the flash itself saves you the trouble of getting and using the hotshoe adapter. And based on some of the cheapie ones out there, having a sync port would be a better option than mounting the flash on a thing that could fall apart any minute and send the flash crashing to the floor. (Yes, I've had that happen to me once already!).
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Old 30th of December 2006 (Sat)   #11
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Default Re: Add a sync port to 580 EX (DIY)

What about the remote? My Canon remote doesn't have the sync socket... Did you buy the cheap remote on eBay and it came with one, or did you mod that too?
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Old 31st of December 2006 (Sun)   #12
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Default Re: Add a sync port to 580 EX (DIY)

I have been doing this mod for the whole line of Canon units, including the OffCameraShoeCord, for some time now (my site information is below), and including one sync cable with each mod. The mini jack is ok to use for the 580, although it won't fit in the other units because of size considerations, so I use the sub-mini jack, and then it isn't angled down as much because it fits on the flatter part of the 580.

The custom cables then have to have a sub-mini plug on one end, and can have a variety of plugs on the other end to match the particular transmitter/receiver you are using.

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Old 31st of December 2006 (Sun)   #13
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Default Re: Add a sync port to 580 EX (DIY)

Leo is right, it provide a port to plug in the Pocket Wizard, Ebay remote, or a simply sync cord to get the flash off the camera. Also when the 580 is mounted on the camera, it could used as a sync terminal for XT/XTi, though I couldn't think of a good reason for using as that yet.

Chad, sorry forgot the remote...yes, it is the Ebay Adidt M1 wire remote. It came with a mini stereo port for used as a extension. I can hook it up to my L358 meter with a sync cord, and it will fire my 20D, so I sure the PW will work with that remote.

tdaughtarty, if I use the 580 on camera to trigger strobes, I have to put the 580 in M mode to eliminate preflash anyway. With this mod, I can just use one of the 15' sync cord that came with the strobe, plug into the 580, and place it anywhere within the length of the cord, add a umbrella as fill light ect, and still could trigger the strobes without any other adapters.
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Old 31st of December 2006 (Sun)   #14
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Default Re: Add a sync port to 580 EX (DIY)

Excellent MOD Lotto, as usual. Good pictures as well. I almost did the same but my 580EX is still fairly new and under warranty. I ended up modifying my Hama hot shoe adapter so it terminates in a 1/8" mono inline jack.
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Last edited by TMR Design : 31st of December 2006 (Sun) at 17:53.
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Old 31st of December 2006 (Sun)   #15
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Default Re: Add a sync port to 580 EX (DIY)

Quote:
Originally Posted by PacAce View Post
If you want to use the EX flash off camera and in manual mode, you would need to get some type of hotshoe adapter so that you can fire the flash via a remote device like the Pocket Wizard or a long PC sync cable. Having the "sync" port on the flash itself saves you the trouble of getting and using the hotshoe adapter. And based on some of the cheapie ones out there, having a sync port would be a better option than mounting the flash on a thing that could fall apart any minute and send the flash crashing to the floor. (Yes, I've had that happen to me once already!).
You right, I also broke my 420EX for the same reason.

Thanks lotto for the info.
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