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Nikon SB Series Flash Wiring
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Author:  -jeff [ Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Nikon SB Series Flash Wiring

The Nikon SB28 and a few other SB series Nikon flashes make wonderful camera trap flashes. The sleep mode and quick wake up make it a natural for camera trapping.

There are two ways to remotely wake a SB28. One is with the PC port in the flash. The problem with this method is the first flash trigger wakes the flash and the second triggers the flash. Not exactly ideal for camera trapping. You either end up with a shot of the animal looking at the camera or the backside of the animal as it was spooked by the noise of the camera shutter.

The second method is providing the flash with a wake up signal when the camera shutter button is pressed half way down. On Nikon and Canon cameras there is a pin on the camera hotshoe that goes positive when the camera shutter button is pressed half way down. A connection needs to be established from this pin to the corresponding pin on the flash shoe.

There are a few wireless flash triggers out there that provide the wake signal. I have been using the Phottix Strato II with success. This is a really easy way to trigger multiple flashes.

If you are a "do it yourself" type, you can make your own cable. If not then there are some off the shelf commercial cables out there. Or you can have somebody build a custom cable for you.

Here are a couple wiring diagrams showing the connections between the camera and flash. One diagram for a single flash and one for multi flashes. Both diagrams are non-TTL.

When the shutter button is pressed halfway down, a voltage of about 3 volts is sent down the wake pin. This small voltage wakes the flash. When the shutter button is pressed all the way down, the flash fire pin is pulled to ground causing the flash to fire. The diodes are in the circuit to isolate the flashes from each other.

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Hope this helps. Good luck in your camera trap project and post the results here.

Author:  greengrass [ Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nikon SB Series Flash Wiring

Thanks for posting this! What are the potential problems if you don't isolate your flashes? I've been going back and forth about the best cable/connector for wired flashes. Probably sticking with the 3 wire shielded Belden 8451. People seems really happy with your flash box wired system!

Author:  -jeff [ Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nikon SB Series Flash Wiring

On the rare occasion one of the flashes fail, there is a chance the failed flash could cause the other two to not fire. It is a rare occurrence but it can happen.

Author:  westcocanuck2 [ Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nikon SB Series Flash Wiring

Thanks very much Jeff for putting this post together, tutorials are good and we need more on this site :awesome

Author:  gazenium [ Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nikon SB Series Flash Wiring

Amazing thank you, I don’t have a SB28 but it’s on the wish list :)


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Author:  Mambo [ Fri May 17, 2019 2:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nikon SB Series Flash Wiring

Hi @-jeff im planning on connecting my flashes by cable as i believe the rf triggers are causing a problem to the Badgers
Im planning on using Cat5 cable via a 2 way splitter im making, and thinking i can connect all wires for ttl.
Would i need to add the Diodes to any of the other cables?
Electronics isnt my thing but i can solder ok,

Author:  Kalon [ Fri May 17, 2019 12:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nikon SB Series Flash Wiring

Thanks you very much for all the tutorials and knowledge you've shared. This one, like the rest, is very informative. Online camtrap college is right here folks!

Author:  -jeff [ Sun May 19, 2019 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nikon SB Series Flash Wiring

Mambo wrote:
Hi @-jeff im planning on connecting my flashes by cable as i believe the rf triggers are causing a problem to the Badgers
Im planning on using Cat5 cable via a 2 way splitter im making, and thinking i can connect all wires for ttl.
Would i need to add the Diodes to any of the other cables?
Electronics isnt my thing but i can solder ok,


One diode on each flash fire line.

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