Basic 1 Valve Set Up

To get started with the dropController you need:
– dropController
– Android device or PC
– Camera with remote shutter release connector
– Flash(es)
– Remote shutter cable for your specific camera
– Flash cables or wireless flash setup
– Solenoid valve
– A support or stand for the valve.
– Reservoir (to feed liquid to the valve)
– Something to use as the splash tray; bowl, glass or tray.

Here is a basic 1 valve dining room table setup.
Basic Set up

The above photo on the left shows
– dropController (3 valve breadboard version)
– one valve supported by a lab/retort stand.
– 2 flash guns
– lab squirty bottle used as the reservoir
– baking tray (baking trays make excellent splash trays).
– camera (Canon 40D)

The photo on the right shows the use of a focus aid. Position something (I use a spare nozzle) at the point the drop hits the water.
Because I am using milk which is opaque I have the flash guns pointed at the point of impact. When using transparent liquids you would normally bounce the flash of the background.

A lab/retort stand is an easy way to get started. They are fairly cheap and can be adjusted for many different setups. However, they are not very good for multiple valves.


After you get a little more serious you could have a splash tray made. Here is one I had made from acrylic. It measure 80x40cm. I also have a smaller 60×30 tray.
The photo also shows a 3 valve dropController, a wireless flash trigger, and a couple of flash guns. The flash guns are standing on each other, secured with Blue Tack…

I also had a white and a black inserts made.

I live in a very small apartment and have to use our dining table as my work area. I not only share this with dinner but also my wife who also have several hobbies so space is tight.

When I don’t have much time I will hang a background on the wall and bounce the flash off it. When I have more time, or specifically, when I am not being so lazy, I will pull the table out and use a sheet of diffused acrylic as the background. I place the flash guns behind the acyclic sheet and fire them towards the camera. Using the acrylic sheet you can get nice coloured effects by using filters or gels on the flashes.