posts tagged with the keyword ‘flash’



So I got this Vivitar 285 flash last year, and it’s been working great, except for one thing… the little plastic foot is no match for the weight of this thing. Eventually, it broke. Argh… To be expected though.

I found a replacement metal foot on ebay for $6.99, and I watched some YouTube video that explained replacing it. Here’s the thing though… after I watched a damn advertisement, and then a 9 minute video showing how to do the replacement, I decided that I’d help people of the future by presenting the same info in a good old no-nonsense way, with words and pictures!

Broken Foot

So here is our broken foot. Thin, old, cheap plastic. No good! Grab a tiny screwdriver and remove the foot. Don’t lose the screws, they are tiny! (Also, you will need them later!)

Remove Foot

Here is the broken one still attached, next to the new one. On the original unit, there are 4 wires. Two of them (white and green) go to the test button. You don’t need these! You just need the black and red wires. The button on the new one will work just fine with only the black and red attached.

New Foot

The black and red wires are short, so don’t cut them, you need to desolder them. If you don’t have a good soldering iron, and some soldering wick and a solder sucker, find someone who does. (Maybe your local hackerspace?) I did cut the white and green ones, and put a tiny amount of tape over the ends, just to be totally safe.


Solder the black and red wires in place securely. It appears I put the black on in the center. I’m not sure that it matters, but YMMV and I make no guarantees. (See where I put the screws? Right where they belong, because they are so damn small I was afraid of losing them!) Also, don’t put the foot on backwards, as that would be stupid. (Disclaimer: I’m not even sure you can put it on backwards. I just like disclaimers.)

New Foot

With the soldering done, put the foot in place, put the screws in, and put the batteries back in (you did take them out before you started, right!?) and test it!

OK, there’s your short guide to replacing the hotshoe foot for a Vivitar 285 camera flash. Hopefully you read this in less time than it took me to watch that 9 minute long YouTube video.

(And yeah, the fact that this is a post about photography that has terrible photos is not lost on me. Apologies…)


Vivitar 285

I recently got a Vivitar 285 flash.

Yeah, you could say I’m pretty excited about it. :)


Skip Intro

I was asked to create an awesome splash screen for a web site, so I came up with this. What do you think!?

Also, instead of doing it in Flash, I might just make a static image file.

I’m not sure if I should add a “skip intro” link underneath it though, for people who don’t want to see the intro. But I really want people to see the intro… do I leave out the “skip intro” link!?


Things I hate about (poorly built) Flash sites: you can’t select the text, you can’t resize the text, my scrollwheel does not work, the controls are too small, I can’t open links in a new tab/window… Basically, I hate losing all the features I am used to my browser having with an HTML site…

Crappy Flash Site I sort of feel like even if it is a crappy HTML site, at least I can still control things like the browser’s scrollbar, or the size of the text, or how links open, and my scrollwheel works! So many (crappy) Flash sites still feel like the author wants complete control over my experience, and they think they know better than everyone else what is good for you. I hate those people. Ok, I don’t really hate them, but I feel like they hate me, or at least they don’t trust me. Argh…..


In recent times I’ve come to admit that Flash has it’s uses. I even use it on some sites (Yes, it’s true!) and may use it a bit more in the future…

But that doesn’t mean it’s still not a bad idea to use it as a critical element of your web site. Say, for the main navigation or something.

And while using swfobject.js is probably a good idea, you still need to remember that without Flash installed, or with Javascript disabled, your visitors (which are potential customers) may not see your main navigation. (They might, if you build it right, otherwise they may see “This text is replaced by the Flash movie” which isn’t very helpful.)

And don’t get me started on tables used for layout!

Usability remains important. To some people, it’s what they are selling to their customers.

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