Owl PF Flash

Pgumby68

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Hey guys. I've built several cams now all using the "round on switch" Owl AF Date. the flash on these seems to be instant. I got "lucky" Friday while at Wal-Mart and found a PF Date in a clearance bin for $20 (yes I asked, and they didn't have anymore). As soon as I got home I took it out of the package, put new batteries in and tested it. It works except the flash takes a while after I push the button. It seem like an eternity, but it's probably 4-5 seconds. Is this normal? Will this change once it is wired up? Help me out. I thought I was moving up in the Home Brew Cam world, but I feel like I'm taking a step back.

:puke-blue:
 

MBullism

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I've got five PF dates... There is a noticable delay, but mine seem to be about 1 to 1 1/2 seconds.  Nothing approaching 4 seconds...

M
 

Tinhorn

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It sounds normal to me, the longer it sets, the longer it takes for the flash to fire.  That's why JoeD and Brian included the "Refresh" pulse, to keep the Flash Capacitor charged so it'll go off in about 1-1/4 second

MBullism, I bet if you let one set 24 hrs or longer you'll notice it takes several seconds for the camera to flash. (on the order of 4 seems to be normal)

After that flash, the camera will fire again right away for the next several hours but the flash capacitor slowly drains the charge and it will take longer and longer to fire the camera.  

Some are worse than others

The delay is a pain but the camera will eventually fire, that is, as long as the shutter is held down long enough.  On my 1st few timer circuits, the timer only held down the shutter button 2 seconds and sometimes the cam would not fire after setting several days without taking a pix (or it'd be a "Blooper" flash)

See this post for additional:

http://www.jesseshuntingpage.com/cgi-bin/i...&topic=2127

Tinhorn
 

davered1

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Pgumby68,
PF's are slower than the older cams,I made a 1 inch hole(3/4 inch for older round and AF) for the pf's to allow for it.

Work allright
 

MBullism

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Tinhorn,

I haven't noticed a dramatic increase in delay after they sit... I sometimes set them off when I go to check them to make sure they're still working ('course I really don't know the exact instant the relay tripped do I?)  The delay I've noticed is acceptable to me.  

Pgumby68 said he got a 4-5 second delay right after turning it on with fresh batteries, and I've not had that experience with mine, that's all.

M
 

Tinhorn

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Hi MBullism,

I was just afraid you missed the delay because it takes quiet a while for it to occur, did't want you to miss any animals.  The missed ones are like the fish that got away, always the biggun's (and they get bigger over time)   he he

Glad you got a batch of good ones, my very 1st Owl PF takes 7 seconds to recharge "overnight".  I expected the flash capacitor to go bad by now but so far so good......

Tinhorn
 

davered1

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Tinhorn,

I had oneof my PF's that wouldn't fire after leaving it over night with the RS on chime(pin#2), which is about 5 seconds.I put that PF in a cam with the MS 20 (no timer) because it stays triggered with any movement so it was usually triggered for 10 seconds easy(probably longer).

That seemed to make it work batter but I expanded the hole to 1" to help center animal.

It's tough to beat the older AF's and owl's with the round switch,MAN there quick.:handgrab:





(Edited by davered1 at 11:02 am on Mar. 13, 2002)
 

MBullism

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Tinhorn..

You got me thinking about the delay thing.  I do get pictures of VERY large animals with nuthin' in them  LOL  I turned one on, left it on the bench 24 hrs and, timing it with the super accurate second sweep hand of my $20 timex, it went off in two ticks.  

I'm using the RS PIR with the lense covered 'cept for the center three bars.  I thought that would let something get closer to center.  I can see where a long delay would let them walk away before the shot...

I'm gonna let the four I have home sit over the weekend and try them all...

Thanks for getting me thinking..

M
 

davered1

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MBullism,

How do you know when the PIR first "sensed" you?

Do you have a LED and cam hooked up at same time?

just curious
 

MBullism

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davered1:

I don't know for sure, I posted that further up.  It's just in all the times i've walked up to my cam in the woods to check it, and intentionally tripped it to make sure it was working it never seemed too long.  I have a pretty good idea where the PIR gets me cause I test them when I put them out with the led.  It's fast enough I've never considered a refresh...

you guys are talking about 5 to 7 seconds, and thats a LONG time that I guess I've been fortunate to avoid (so far)

M
 

MBullism

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Hi,

Just checking back.  Set four aside and let 'em sit over the weekend (fri night to Sunday night).

two went off in 2-2.5 seconds, one closer to 3 and the last had me worried at about 4.  Still not 7, thank god.  

This was not scientific by any means...  Diffent brand batteries, not all brand new, "timed" with a timex, etc.

Still have one in the woods to try when I get it back in...

My understanding is this is caused by the degredation of the flash capacitor charge over time... can you guys tell me if it's linear or a higher order curve? ie: does this loss primarily occur up front in the first 24 to 48 hrs and "even off", or will it continue to get worse over time to the point the five second trip of the PIR won't set it off?  I've had my cams sit a week or more and then get a pic, but alot of those are partial animals (or worse, the very large ones that tinhorn spoke of...)

M
 

Brian

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I could be wrong on this but I think it is due to the +/- tolerances of the flash capacitor combined with the tolerances of the components used in the flash circuit.  Most of the flash caps have a +/- 20% variance.  That is why I think new out of the box they can vary so much.  The degradation over time should take quite some time if used continuously and some of these show this new out of the box.  I am not sure what the leakage current is due to age for these but looking up the specs for most other caps it would take quite some time to see a difference in capcitance to the point it would affect the flash.
 

MBullism

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Brian-

I guess I understand the variation cam to cam due to component tolerances and combinations (I'm no electronics wiz) but you lost me at the end.  Is the degredation you're talking about the capacitor physically wearing out through use, or the loss of stored juice over time without a refresh?  At the risk of REALLY exposing my ignorance :) I thought the delay between the point you push the button and the time the flash fires (on a cam that's sat for awhile) was due to the capacitor being topped of because it had lost some ooommph while sitting around waiting...
 

Brian

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MBullism,

You are correct on the topping off the flash from sitting.

I was getting into the technical stuff for how the actual capacitance will vary over time.  It is so small that you would not notice it in this application unless the cap went bad for some reason.  The degradation I was referring to is the change in capitance over time not necessarily the time it takes due to setting for awhile although large changes in capacitance would affect the charge time.
Usually, this type stuff is measure in Years of use and are not significant in our case.  I have seen bad caps in equipment but the caps were put in the 30's.

I think our variation is strictly due to tolerances and nothing else.
 

MBullism

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Thanks Brian,

One more question if I may...  Pgumby68 started this thread off by saying his AF date flash was "instant".  

Two things:

If I do use a refresh cicuit with my PF can I eliminate the original 2 second delay, or will it just keep the cap from bleeding off (I don't think so, but had to ask) and two:

Is a cam that fires "instantly" when first turned on subject to the same loss of juice, so that after two days it is no longer instant?

My apologies for rehashing, I'm sure this has been beaten to death and I just didn't pick up on it.

Thanks in advance,

M
 

Brian

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MBullism,

It will keep the cap from bleeding off all the way.  It will keep a percentage charge on the cap all the time so it will take a picture as fast as possible.  The only delay associated with using a refresh is the autofocus and lens activation to take a picture the flash charges almost instantly since it is almost already to full power.

The other cameras that seem to be instant do not have the power flash option.  The stronger flash of the PF is harder to charge up than the normal 9 foot flashes.  You can help the flash by using the 400 speed film.  The flash starts as soon as the camera tries to take a picture if the flash can charge fast enough then it doesn't matter how long it sits.  Only weak batteries would probably slow it down.
 

MBullism

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thanks Brian...
already doing the 400 speed film thing.  I've been considering one of the chip setups, not just for the refresh but the other goodies.  (gotta finish what I'm working on first, though LOL)

Thanks again.

M
 


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