This Instructable will show you how to turn the remains of a disposable camera into a slave flash for use with a DSLR camera or any camera with a hot shoe. It uses some off-the-shelf items that are relatively inexpensive and gives you the flexibility to have multiple flashes.
Step 1: Materials
- Wireless Flash Trigger (Search eBay for "RD616")
- Receiver with a 1/4" mono jack (typically sold with the trigger)
- 3/8" drill bit
- needle nose pliers
- soldering iron
- utility knife
- small screw driver
- a used disposible camera body with flash
- 4" of 22g insulated wire (and something to strip it with)
- 1/4" panel mount phone jack - solder
Step 2: Step 1: Initial Camera Disassembly
Remove the label from the back half of the body. This will allow access to the tab clips that hold the two halves together. Use the small screw driver so gently raise the tabs. Start with a tab on the top or bottom and work your way around the body. The back should come off and you should see the following, going from left to right; a AA battery on the far left side; the empty feeder spool next to the battery; a rectangular cavity with the lens at the center and another cylindrical cavity where the film canister was located. (Note! Depending on how aggressively your local photo processing clerk breaks into the camera body, the back half of the camera body may be missing the section over the film canister on the right). Keep the back panel. Toss the feeder spool.
Step 3: Step 2: Test Flash
If you didn’t hear the whine, it’s most likely a bad battery. Replace the battery with a fresh one and repeat. If the flash doesn’t fire, toss the camera and get another one.
Step 4: Step 3: Continue Disassembly
Set the internal frame and circuitry aside for later.
Step 5: Step 4: Modification of Body to Fit Jack
Step 6: Step 5: the "guts" of the Disposable Camera
Pop off the shutter and the tiny spring that’s attached to it. There’s a small clip that’s holding the circuit board to the internal frame. Pop this and separate the two pieces.
Step 7: Step 6: Modifcations to the Internal Frame
The ¼” jack extends from the front, thru the internal frame into the exposure cavity. Room needs to be made allow this. From the back, use needle-nose pliers to remove the stepped pieces of plastic that line the exposure cavity. From the front, use a utility knife to remove the block that held the lens sub-assembly. Check the ¼” jack for fit.
Step 8: Step 7: Wire It Up
Step 9: Step 8: Reassembly
Step 10: Step 9: Take Pictures
Other options that I've thought of but haven't implemented yet.
- Velcro patches on the receiver and flash body to keep them together.
- Adding one or more 1/4"-20 nuts to the body so the unit can be mounted on a tripod.