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09-07-2016, 06:49 PM   #1
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af 540 fgz operating voltage

Does anyone know the DC voltage of the AF 540 FGZ? I would assume that its 3 volts DC out of the batteries (2 pair of series wired aa's wired in parallel to create a 3 volt output) but I wanted to check and see if anyone knew for sure.

09-07-2016, 11:54 PM   #2
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What do you need this for?

The flash works using rechargeable eneloops, which have 1.2V, it would be 2.4V.
And it also works with a powerpack (separate plug) which outputs 11.1V.
09-08-2016, 05:42 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
What do you need this for?

The flash works using rechargeable eneloops, which have 1.2V, it would be 2.4V.
And it also works with a powerpack (separate plug) which outputs 11.1V.
I am thinking of using C or D cell NiMh or NiCd batteries to build my own pack to allow for a longer use times and to maintain the "Fresh" battery cycle time.

To your point about the voltages of the eneloops, you are correct Eneloops are 1.2v per cell, as are NiMH and Nicd batteries. However, you basic disposables are rated at 1.5v as they use Zn and MnO to create the charge. Thus why I based my initial question of of 1.5v.

The main question I have is, are the batteries wired in a series/parallel configuration or a straight series configuration? As the the output voltages (when used with disposables) will be either 3v or 6v respectively for each configuration.

I am aware that there are packs available already, but the only ones that I can find that are currently made are an off brand Chinese manufacturer that I am not sure I completely trust. and from what I have read here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/125-flashes-lighting-studio/12621-pentax-...fgz-flash.html, the voltage coming out of the battery back is much greater than 11.1v due to an inverter circuit being built into the pack.

If you have more information on the output voltage of the pack I would greatly appreciate it as it may sway me to buy the cheap Chinese version if its just a battery box with a connector and not an inverter with a voltage limiter outputting 300+ Volts (though I would still have to use the 4 batteries in the flash to power the lcd, light etc...)

Last edited by W.j.christy; 09-08-2016 at 05:56 AM.
09-08-2016, 06:09 AM   #4
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I have the Godox Propac PB 960 power pack (see Godox PB960 Lithium Power Pack – Review | FLASH HAVOC) here (that is where I took the 11,1V from) which powers both a Pentax AF540FGZ I nicely and a Metz 58-2 (the latter Canon hotshoe variant).

I'd recommend buying that instead of doing DIY stuff on high voltage equipment. Not only can you damage your expensive flashes, but there is also risk of fire and explosion and power involved.

PS:
4x black Eneloops provide 11.5 Wh, the PB 960 provides 50 Wh.


Last edited by beholder3; 09-08-2016 at 06:15 AM.
09-08-2016, 06:28 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
I have the Godox Propac PB 960 power pack (see Godox PB960 Lithium Power Pack – Review | FLASH HAVOC) here (that is where I took the 11,1V from) which powers both a Pentax AF540FGZ I nicely and a Metz 58-2 (the latter Canon hotshoe variant).

I'd recommend buying that instead of doing DIY stuff on high voltage equipment. Not only can you damage your expensive flashes, but there is also risk of fire and explosion and power involved.

PS:
4x black Eneloops provide 11.5 Wh, the PB 960 provides 50 Wh.
I looked over the web site then looked at the GODOX website. They look good, however, the don't mention any sort of compatibility with pentax. How do you have yours set up? Do you use the port on the side of the flash that was originally for the TR power pack?
09-08-2016, 06:50 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by W.j.christy Quote
I looked over the web site then looked at the GODOX website. They look good, however, the don't mention any sort of compatibility with pentax. How do you have yours set up? Do you use the port on the side of the flash that was originally for the TR power pack?
Yes, I stumbled upon this solution in some forum (dont remember). I use this cable here: https://www.amazon.com/JJC-Connection-Vivitar-Flashes-Instruments/dp/B00PRW8SE6 which creates compatibility with the Pentax 540.
It does even work with the Y-cable.
09-08-2016, 07:13 AM   #7
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Just an FYI, the Godox PB 960 puts out around 330V ac at the flash connector. The 11.1s volt listed is most likely the input voltage from the batteries prior to going through the inverter circuit. This is ok, but if the voltage coming out of the inverter circuit and going to the flash via the cable and connector is to high, you may be damaging your flash and not know it. Please see this
, for where I found the output voltage.

I know it works now, but I would be very careful about using battery packs with circuits such as these with flashes they are not specifically compatible with. As you stated yourself, high voltage is nothing to mess with especially when going to a capacitor as they may explode when improperly charged over a period of time or are exposed to extreme conditions.

I have contacted GODOX to find out if the battery pack is in indeed compatible with Pentax. For now I now I am still on the path to make my own using the battery compartment of the flash. (far safer voltages involved and if I am lucky I won't have to open the flash).

Not trying to be a pain but please do be careful. Stuff like this is kinda my job (engineer by trade) so I do have a little knowledge know my way around a circuit .I just want to make sure my fellow Pentaxian is safe as well.

09-12-2016, 06:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by W.j.christy Quote
Does anyone know the DC voltage of the AF 540 FGZ? I would assume that its 3 volts DC out of the batteries (2 pair of series wired aa's wired in parallel to create a 3 volt output) but I wanted to check and see if anyone knew for sure.
The on-board batteries are connected in series. The EXT DC in is 330 volts !
09-13-2016, 05:16 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
The on-board batteries are connected in series. The EXT DC in is 330 volts !
After a little work with a continuity meter I found that too. I am glad to have confirmation! Thanks!
09-13-2016, 05:44 AM   #10
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Which is supporting the compatibility of the Godox Propac PB 960 and the Pentax AF540 as the Godox outputs 330V and the Pentax flash requires 330V as input.

---------- Post added 13th Sep 2016 at 15:00 ----------

Just had a nice chat with a very, very nice and competent Metz technician:
  • He said that pretty much all flashes on the market use 330V as input power and all Metz's (obviously no guarantee)
  • The Metz flashes require a 3 PIN connection (the Pentax only 2) where the extra PIN from the power pack has to provide 6V. This 6V is the power supply to the flash general electronics, so the Metz will actually work totally without batteries in it just with the powerpack, where the Pentax requires the batteries to run its functions.
  • I also inquired about the overheating protection when using a power pack. Here he warned me that the flash itself can not protect itself very well from overheating when using a powerpack as source. That protection has to be part of the powerpack itself (their own discontinued PB 76 had this built in). So this is a major caveat.
The Metz 58 on the PB 76 was intentionally limited to 13 1/1 power flashes at 2,5s, then 2 more at 5s and then would require pauses of 15s between any further full power blasts.

Last edited by beholder3; 09-13-2016 at 09:50 AM. Reason: spelling corrected, 330v corrected
09-13-2016, 07:32 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
Which is supporting the compatibility of the Godox Propac PB 960 and the Pentax AF540 as the Godox outputs 300V and the Pentax flash requires 330V as input.

---------- Post added 13th Sep 2016 at 15:00 ----------

Just had a nice chat with a very, very nice and competent Metz technician:
  • He said that pretty much all flashes on the market use 330V as input power all all Metz's (obviously no guarantee)
  • The Metz flashes require a 3 PIN connection (the Pentax only 2) where the extra PIN from the power pack has to provide 6V. This 6V is the power supply to the flash general electronics, so the Metz will actually work totally without batteries in it just with the powerpack, where the Pentax requires the batteries to run its functions.
  • I also inquired about the overheating protection when using a power pack. Here he warned me that the flash itself can not protect itself very well from overheating when using a powerpack as source. That protection has to be part of the powerpack itself (their own discountinued PB 76 had this built in). So this is a major caveat.
The Metz 58 on the PB 76 was intentionally limited to 13 1/1 power flashes at 2,5s, then 2 more at 5s and then would require pauses of 15s between any firther full power blasts.
Cool, glad that's worked out then. I haven't heard back from GODOX yet so this is encouraging.
01-13-2017, 07:43 AM   #12
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Well you were right.

QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
I have the Godox Propac PB 960 power pack (see Godox PB960 Lithium Power Pack Review | FLASH HAVOC) here (that is where I took the 11,1V from) which powers both a Pentax AF540FGZ I nicely and a Metz 58-2 (the latter Canon hotshoe variant).

I'd recommend buying that instead of doing DIY stuff on high voltage equipment. Not only can you damage your expensive flashes, but there is also risk of fire and explosion and power involved.

PS:
4x black Eneloops provide 11.5 Wh, the PB 960 provides 50 Wh.
Title says its all....

I started to look about and was able to come across a 2nd 540 FGZ with a JJC FB-4 battery pack for a good price and bought it. The I started looking into getting a second one only to find out it was discontinued.... So I kept looking and found that there were several JJC battery packs that would work if i bought a seperate cable (the one that you mentioned earlier in this thread), and i figured i could wire in a NiMh battery pack in to for ease of use.... After all that was looking into and the cost realized, I ended just buying the 2 jjc pentax cables and bidding on 2 Godox Propac 820S battery packs. For almost the same price, i got a much nicer setup.

So, thank you. you where right. If you hadn't shown me these items, i'd not be able to do what i am doing now....

thanks.
01-17-2017, 05:32 AM   #13
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Thanks for your nice feedback. Good to see you have now found your solution.

Actually I just had to look up the GODOX – PB820S Lithium-ion Propac – Now Available | FLASH HAVOC as I did not know them before.

I find recharging really really quick using these packs and actually I now more worry about frying a flash due to overheating than recharge times.
01-17-2017, 07:29 AM   #14
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I hear you! I am quite pleased with how fast they charge now but they do get warm in the process!.

Now all the is left is to get the clamps to mount the packs on the lighting tripods and I will be set!
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