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04-09-2012, 07:58 AM   #1
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Pentax Voltage

I would like to use a Sunpak Auto Thyristor 522 off camera flash with my KX. What is the Pentax voltage threshold-and will the flash damage the camera?

04-09-2012, 08:35 AM   #2
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Check this site: Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages Pentax have higher voltages levels than most, but.... You could also check the voltage across the flash hotshoe/PC contacts with a digital VOM. I gather that the analogue meters aren't suitable.

Here's a link to a past discussion on Pentaxforums:

As someone commented, why can't Pentax state in the owner's manual what the safe limit is? I gather that mechanical cameras like the KX are pretty tough, but... I wouldn't put 2 or 300 volts on my LX!
04-09-2012, 09:00 AM   #3
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KX or K-x?

I'll assume you mean K-x. From the trigger voltage page linked above, I wouldn't try it on any DSLR without thorough testing with a multimeter, first. Even then I'd be leery. There is no consensus on the safe upper limit for DSLRs. I've seen opinions that one shouldn't go over 8v, 16v or 25v. Being the cautious type, I'd go with the 16v guideline myself, though if Pentax is ISO 10330:2002 compliant, then 25v should be safe enough.

Either way, the flash you have has 4 reports of being nearly 200v, and two reports of being more appropriate. I wouldn't risk it.
04-09-2012, 11:00 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by yahmon Quote
I would like to use a Sunpak Auto Thyristor 522 off camera flash with my KX. What is the Pentax voltage threshold-and will the flash damage the camera?
How are you going to trigger the flash? If not connected directly to your K-x the operating voltage of the flash can't affect your camera.

In any event, these devices are used to safely reduce high voltages and allow direct connection to a camera via the hot-shoe.

04-10-2012, 06:51 AM   #5
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Sunpak 522-Pentax-K-x

I plan to trigger the flash with a hot shoe adapter with sync cord attached to flash.
04-14-2012, 10:47 PM   #6

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What is the trigger voltage of your Sunpak 522?

Over time, I had 3 copies of Sunpak 522. Two of them had trigger voltage around 180 - 200V. One had trigger voltage of 22V. I used the one with low trigger voltage with my K10D without any problem.

The ones with high trigger voltage were interesting.

- I tried to add a trigger voltage reducer for one of them, but there was no space in the flash unit for the circuit. So I bought a remote sensor and added the circuit inside the remote sensor, bringing the trigger voltage down to 7.5V.

- I later sold that unit with the remote sensor. I then bought another remote sensor for the one I had left. But I found that while the trigger voltage directly from the flash (using a sync cord) was 180V, the trigger voltage with the remote sensor was 10V. The same thing happened with a poster here on this forum. I offered to add the voltage reducer for him. He bought a 522 + remote sensor from FleaBay and had them shipped to me. I just shipped the whole thing to him when I found that the voltage after the remote sensor was only 10V.

You may want to give the remote sensor a try. There is no guarantee, but it's only $10.

Here's a thread on a DIY voltage reducing circuit: LINKY

Last edited by SOldBear; 04-14-2012 at 10:55 PM.

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