Updated schematic, very simple!
So I have always wanted to 3d print something for my Nikon ever since i got it. With a 3D printer and a love for photography I knew I had to do something awesome! I have a dinky little micro printer though, so printing big stuff was out.... When i saw the challenge and the source material I was inspired to design. I don't have/use a mic but i also don't own a speed light. So i decided my build platform is just big enough and my self taught electronic skills are just good enough to do this. My 3D design work is always a work in progress though.. So I used the http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:346513 for my inspiration. I couldn't modify it but i measured it and used the measurements to sketch one up. I changed the base to include the holes for the hotshoe which are 1.5mm in diameter. I got the measurements for the distance between the holes from my own Nikon. I added a hole next to the hole used to lock attachments onto the hotshoe, to connect a pin to ground. I used my measurements from the hotshoe mic mount. I added some girth to the bottom of the hotshoe mount to not only support the light but also house the perf board which i connected my spring pins (http://www.ebay.com/sch/sis.html?_nkw=100Pcs+0.99mm+Diameter+Spherical+Tip+Spring+Testing+Probe+Pins&_id=231026502173&&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2658) to for my electrical connections. I gave the top part enough internal space to house a 9v battery and the electronics along with the trim-potentiometers to change the resistance of the amount of power going to the RGB LEDs for color mixing. I would have done an arduino version but the quickness needed for a flash is too fast for an arduino, Unless it was just for complete a separate led circuit, which i didn't think of until writing this. I may have more iterations to come.... The hotshoe on nikon can ground a couple hundred volts i read, so for LEDs, which don't require anything near that, my circuit is fine. I googled a lot of stuff about how the pins work. Basically other than all the communication pins, the center pin is connected to the grounding bracket when the shutter is released. So completing a simple circuit would not be difficult. The mounting hole for the hinge is 3.5mm. The prints i made are rough, but thats due to a cheap 3d printer thats on its way out. The top part alone for my printer is on hour 23 and is only 80% done. But the files are sound. I will be using a hot glue gun to press LEDs into place. I don't have a light reflector but I'm sure one can be added. The mic hot shoe could still very well be used, but i wanted mine to have a little more body to it as to not directly expose the wire or look like a minimalist project. Enjoy! I'll also try answering as many questions as possible!
Also: i just added a schematic for the circuit (pdf in thing files) i built to fit inside. I did my best to label anything. All of the parts can be ordered cheaply online.
Black ABS at 275C
Printed on sides to make sure crevice lines were smooth.
I cut perf board to 14x16mm and stacked two off them. I then drilled between two of the holes in the perf board to add the space for the center pin. The drill bit used was 1.5mm. Soldered the pins into the perf board once the perf board was inside the mount, and connected two wires. The spring tip sticks out of the bottom of the board about 1mm.
Before putting all the pieces together, after soldering pins, check connection on breadboard. The pins could possibly not be touching camera connector pins and it won't work.
For the LEDs I pre soldered perf board prior to printing. used a 2.5mm hex bolt and nut for mounting top to base. I lightly sanded the back piece to have a smoother fit to slide in. Pressed LED board into place, hot glued sides to hold LEDs. I placed in the rest of the circuit with the battery and slid back piece into place. turned on power to lights and took a pic.
The schematic shows a switch. In place of the switch is the cameras hotshoe. Positive to center pin and GND pin to BC547 base.
1x 1500uF 16v Electrolytic capacitor
1x 1n4002 Rectifier diode
LEDs and resistors for LEDs
I remixed the adjustable hotshoe microphone holder.
After adding this to 123D design app i took measurements and created a side by side comparison. I then changed the top to allow electronic internals to be constructed and laid within. I made enough room for a 9v battery to be able to fit inside and set the holes for the hotshoe at the appropriate distance.
Overview and Background
Lesson Plan and Activity
LEDs won't light.
If there is no transfer of power between LEDs they won't light up. The problem i ran into was the pins from the base to the camera. I hadn't put them down far enough to touch the camera connections on the hotshoe.
Im going to work on upgrading the circuit. The LEDs are not high power LEDs. I have a few 1W and 3W LEDs that ill work on a circuit for.
I'll also work on changing the shape; make it cooler looking than just a box.
I'll work toward making this a ring light as well for macro photography