Running a flash off a V88 Battery Pack

This tutorial will show you how to modify a Yongnuo YN560-III Speedlite flash so that it can be run off the V88. We built this specifically for a remote camera trap project Gabriel Olson is conducting. The V88 operating at 12V will go through a 5V regulator and fed to the battery terminals of the flash. The same concept should work with other DSLR flashes, but we have not tested on other models. To do this modification, you will need a couple items.

Materials:

  • soldering iron / solder
  • heat shrink / heat gun or lighter
  • 12V/5V converter (this specific one works)
  • 5.5 x 2.1 mm barrel jack to bare wires
  • a connector (I used XT60s, but you could also use EC3 or JST)
  • screwdriver

Modifying the flash:

  1. Remove the bottom 4 screws
  2. Twist the top 90 degrees and unscrew 2 more. One is usually hidden under a sticker
  3. The bottom cover comes off – remove it and disconnect the wires from the flash’s base, remembering which connector it pairs with (the middle one)
  4. Slide open the battery cover, pop off the soft plastic cover on the other side, and take the back casing off, with the seam going right through the middle of the flash. Disconnect these wires from the base as well
  5. On this back casing, remove the 3-prong connection by removing 2 screws (one’s on the bottom) and popping it out to reveal a hole
  6. Identify the positive and negative battery terminals on the flash using a multimeter. There are a couple ways to do this – plug in 4 AAs and see across which points you get 6V, or follow the visual layout of the battery setup to find it. In this case they’re here (the red wire with the arrow goes to the bottom left battery but it’s hard to reach)
  7. Determine if the connector you’re going to use can fit through the hole in the back casing. The XT60 could not; if yours can’t either, first solder the connections to the camera before soldering onto the XT60, sliding the back casing on in between – OR solder on the XT60 connector first, slide the wires through the back casing, and then solder the connection to the battery terminals after
    • If your connector can fit through the hole, don’t worry about the order. You just want to make sure the casing can get between the two ends of the wires and you don’t get stuck with the casing off
    • Make sure of the length and size of the wires – there isn’t that much space in the actual flash and unless you’re planning on having these wires extend out of the flash, you’ll have to fit it all in there somehow
  8. Solder connections to positive and negative on the battery terminals
    • You can solder to the black connection on the battery terminal – denoted by the white arrow in the above picture. The red is a little more difficult to get to, so I soldered onto the other side of the PCB rather than try to maneuver in there.
  9. Confirm that the wire and connectors all fit together
  10. Put the back and bottom casings back on and connect the wires back to the base
  11. Screw back on all 6 screws
  12. Ensure connector is secured and add strain relief – possibly hot-glue connector to the base

Converter modifications:

  1. Solder 5.5×2.1mm barrel jack to 12V input of the converter, making sure to add heat shrink beforehand
  2. Solder matching connector onto the 5V output of the converter 

You’re all set. Just plug in the converter between the V88 set at 12V output, and the flash. 

 

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