Quench Controller in use - Part 2

We have already revealed that my home brew Quench controller based upon an recycled SEA & SEA TTL Converter functioned just fine. And I used a few dives to fine tune any mechanical tray / arm issues. Back to the battery power world.

To review: my goal was to accomplish at least a whole day of diving before a required battery change.

For me a minimum length dive is 60 minutes. I want a slush fund of at least 15 minutes pre-dive slack time. I like to dive 3 or 4 times a day. So 4 x 90 minutes would be my daily power target.

Quench Controller in use - Part 1

Before I discuss power issues, lets reveal real world operational results: the Quench controller was an infinite improvement. I am chuffed.

I started the first few dives on my liveaboard trip without using my home brew Quench controller ** and as per prior experience I had to manually adjust the power on each strobe by reaching out to both of the strobes ***.

Strobe Quench Controller Power Supply - Part 3

Due to large amounts of laziness, some procrastination and an infinite list of shiny pebble opportunities on my part, I was about to head off to a liveaboard dive vacation with a mostly unknown battery life on my Arduino based Quench controller.

Strobe Quench Controller Power Supply - Part 2

My current challenge was to provide a suitable power supply for my 5 volt Arduino Pro Mini that I was jamming inside a reclaimed SEA & SEA TTL converter. The converter previously used a CR-2 battery which would not provide enough voltage for my Ardunio.

Strobe Quench Controller Power Supply - Part 1

I had gutted a SEA & SEA TTL C converter and was replacing the innards with a home brew Arduino board that would provide a strobe Quench controller. To review: the Quench Controller would allow me to manually control the power output of my strobes (up to 2 sets of 2) from a single control knob on the TTL converter housing.

YS110 is not YS110a!

Yet again I learned that one of my assumptions was incorrect. SEA & SEA YS110 and YS110a strobes do not behave the same!

I had a pair of YS110 strobes (original owner, pristine condition, a few cosmetic scratches on the housings,willing to sell...) as well as a pair of the follow-on YS110a's (purchased used on eBay - really hammered, they look like they had been dragged behind a pickup truck for a few miles, I would be embarrassed to re-sell...but they work just fine).

YS110 Calibration - Part 4

I now had a usable method of establishing a YS110 calibration map for my Quench controller. All I had to do was:

  • take a set of pictures at each power setting level
  • compare those pictures to my set of reference pictures
  • adjust my map
  • repeat until happy

As noted in my prior post, it was immediately apparent that my original linear map quickly skewed the low power settings towards "over exposure" (way too much light at the mid range power settings - see below). I had planned to take an iterative approach:

YS110 Calibration - Part 3

I had established a minimum and maximum quench interval for my YS110 (actually I was using a YS110a, but I assumed both models have the same flash tube and capacitor specifications - oops!). All I had to do was replace my linear map with something that reflected the reality of Flashtube discharge curves.

YS110 Calibration - Part 2

The theory behind calibration of my Quench controller was fairly simple: all I needed was to establish a quench delay interval for each setting on the strobe power control. A small table of 13 values was all I needed. Refer back to this post  for a refresher of  quench controller theory.

YS110 Calibration - Part 1

In my previous post 4 wire vs 5 wire ttl strobe on this topic I solved the mystery of controlling a strobe via the Nikonos wired protocol. I just needed to use the extra wire. the next step was to "calibrate" my controller for my new YS110 strobe instead of my YS50 test unit (which I really did not calibrate...).


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