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04-01-2011, 07:27 AM   #1
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Can I adapt this flash unit?

I hope I am posting this in the right place - it was either here or beginner's corner, and this is rather more a techy question than a beginner's one.

I have only recently moved to a DSLR a K-x but I have a flash unit from my film days a Cullmann DC32. If you take a look here (scroll down) you can see it appears similar to the Metz 58 AF-1 which is a fairly expensive bit of kit.

It has what I believe is an interchangeable base unit an SCA 372, does anyone know whether it is possible to adapt this flash unit for my K-x?

04-01-2011, 04:34 PM   #2
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I don't think it's similar to the Metz 58 AF-1. But I do think you can use it with your K-x.

You do need a SCA 300 series module, however. An SCA 372 (for Pentax) is preferable, but not necessary. An SCA 300 module for any camera with a standard hotshoe will work. I have a 45CT-4 and a 60CT-4. I use them with an SCA 300 module for Nikon. They work fine.

Except for the sync signal to trigger the flash, there is no communication between the flash and the camera. But you can just put the flash in one of 3 auto modes, put the camera in manual mode with shutter speed of 1/180 sec or slower, match the ISO and the aperture settings on the flash and on the camera, and shoot.

I don't know about your side of the pond, but here in the US, used SCA 300 modules are pretty inexpensive. This is an example.

But first, measure the trigger voltage of the flash. I think it is safe, but you can't be too careful.
04-02-2011, 01:07 AM   #3
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Thanks SOldBear - that's what I was hoping for - I think.

Two things though - you suggest I need an SCA 372, but if you look at the second picture down, that appears to be what I have already. Does that mean the flash - which was bought for my Super A / ME Super film cameras - will simply work with my K-x as it stands?

Secondly
QuoteQuote:
But first, measure the trigger voltage of the flash.
How would I go about that please? (My training is in electronics, so I am reasonable competant, I just don't know what to measure where).
04-02-2011, 05:21 AM   #4
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Yes, an SCA 372 module is correct. Since your flash has one, your set.
As to checking the trigger voltage, think of the camera as a simple switch. Turn your flash on and make sure it is signalling ready at full power. Chech the voltage between the central point on the bottom of the hot shoe and the little grounding spring contact on the side (not the bottom) of the hot shoe. The bracket from the camera is your ground connection to the flash.

P.S. I forget what the voltage is allowed to be, but it is a low signal voltage not the hundreds of volts some old flashes used.

04-02-2011, 10:53 AM   #5
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Thanks Calicojack. This starts to look hopeful.

The flash has 3 pins and I have measured the voltages between each of the pins and the slide contact at the side. They are shown as looking at the camera in this photo. The centre contact seems to be 0 volts. There also appears to be a 4th pin on the K-x which I assume will control some function that my flash doesn't have.

Are these what it to be expected?

Is it safe to use?

Should it work?
04-02-2011, 01:00 PM   #6
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Measure the voltage from the center pin to the ground (side) spring ON THE FLASH. That's where the trigger voltage is coming from. Assuming a low "trigger" voltage and not a high (After the capacitor) flash voltage, you'll be fine.
The Super A has TTL flash. The KX has P-TTL flash. That's the difference in contact configuration.
04-02-2011, 01:51 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Farmer_Terry Quote
Secondly How would I go about that please? (My training is in electronics, so I am reasonable competant, I just don't know what to measure where).
Make sure you have good battery cells in the SCA 372.

Edit: I just remember: the SCA372 sync signal does not need battery to work. My SCA372 is burnt, do I can't use it. But I tested an SCA module for Nikon. The sync signal works without battery in the SCA module.

Let the flash charged up (pilot lamp on), measure the voltage from the center pin (positive) to a side terminal (negative). If it is 6V or less, you're good. If it is 24V or less, it may or may not be safe (I've been using a Metz 45CT4 (24V) with my K10D and K7 without any problem). If it is more than 25V, don't use it just yet.


Last edited by SOldBear; 04-02-2011 at 02:08 PM.
04-03-2011, 01:42 AM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
Measure the voltage ..... ON THE FLASH
Sorry - I obviously didn't make that clear enough - I did measure the voltages on the flash - I just showed what voltages the flash would apply to the camera.

QuoteQuote:
measure the voltage from the center pin (positive) to a side terminal (negative). If it is 6V or less, you're good.
I rechecked this morning and the voltage between centre pin and side contact as shown by SOldBear is a touch over 4v so it sounded like a "go" to me.

I tried it and all is well - it works and no fried K-x. Fantastic.

Thanks for all your help guys - saved me the equivalent of $400 odd. If you ever get to this side of the pond (and around Derbyshire) I'll buy you both a drink.

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