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03-08-2014, 10:25 PM   #1
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Hotshoe to PC adapters - ok to use?

I have an older flash with a PC cable that I would like to mount remote from my K-30. It seems like my K-30 doesn't have a flash PC port. I have seen hotshoe to PC adapters on eBay that cost anywhere from $3 to $15. How well do these work? Are they safe to use or is there a Voltage coming out of the PC port of the flash that is harmful to the hotshoe of the camera?

Thanks!

03-08-2014, 10:33 PM   #2
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They work great, it is a simple adapter and hard to get wrong. I used one with my K100D for years.

Every flash I've ever seen just has the hotshoe and sync port tied to the same part of the triggering circuit. If the flash is safe at the hotshoe then it is normally safe at the sync port. Same goes for cameras, there is no difference between the center pin of the hotshoe and ground and the center pin of the sync port and ground.

You can always test for yourself, just attach it to the adapter and check the voltage between the center pin and ground of the adapter's foot.
03-08-2014, 10:57 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply! This gives me some confidence in my endeavor here.

What is the safe upper limit Voltage that my K-30 can take?
03-08-2014, 11:06 PM   #4
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We've never had an official statement from Pentax, they only say every Pentax flash will work. The ISO 10330 standard says a compliant hotshoe should be able to take 24V. Some manufacturers like Canon says no more than 6V. Some people have reported using flashes with over 100V on Pentax without a problem.

I choose to stay under 24V, the highest I have that I use is 19V.

If you do have a very good flash with a high trigger voltage that couldn't be replaced for under $50, get a Wein Safe Sync instead of a normal adapter. It serves the same purpose as the adapter, but it protects the camera.

03-08-2014, 11:17 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Are they safe to use or is there a Voltage coming out of the PC port of the flash that is harmful to the hotshoe of the camera?
Just as safe as the flash that you have connected to it. It's a direct connection from the X-contact to the PC connector; so if the flash is safe, the adaptor will also be safe to use.
03-09-2014, 10:52 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I have an older flash with a PC cable that I would like to mount remote from my K-30.
Cables make sense when connecting a P-TTL flash to retain its P-TTL features.

For a simple, old flash, I'd rather use some simple radio triggers. Some of these can be cheaper than a cable.

Many radio triggers can withstand high trigger voltages (e.g., up to 300V for Cactus triggers) and you will be a lot more flexible regarding how to use your flash.

BTW, with a bit of luck your flash is listed in this collection of flashes and their trigger voltages. Pentax once said 30V should still be OK for their cameras, but it was never an official statement.

What flash do you have? If it is TTL-capable, you may even be able to remote control its power level with the upcoming Cactus V6 trigger.

Last edited by Class A; 03-09-2014 at 12:01 PM.
03-09-2014, 08:46 PM   #7
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My flash is a Sunpak Auto 201. I want to use this flash for backlighting negatives and slides when photographing them. The flash has a PC cable that is tucked into the side of the body. I want to extend this cable and connect it to the hotshoe of the camera. It seems like I can get a hotshoe adapter and PC extension cable for less than $10 on eBay.

I turned on the flash and measured the Voltage on the hotshoe terminals. It came out to a whopping 243 VDC!!
03-09-2014, 10:56 PM   #8
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Get a Wein SafeSync.

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