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Thread: Flash Tube WARNING

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Exclamation Flash Tube WARNING

    Just thought I would pass this on since this just happened to me with my Elinchrom Monolight but certainly can happen to ANY flash system out there on the market.
    What happened was during shipping the units to NY for a job the flash tube came slightly loose and when i went to fire them it started to Arc and burned out the internal prong and fired the tubes connection. This can happen to any flash system so be aware when shipping or transporting any flash unit the flash tube is secure to the connections before reusing them again. Certainly for me a expensive lesson learned.

    I suggest putting a white cotton lint free glove in your lighting bag and use that to check the tube and modeling lamp. Never touch these with your bare hands as fingers prints will cause premature failure to them
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Flash Tube WARNING

    Guy,
    You just confirmed one of my worries. This worry was the most important reason why I recently bought strobes that fit into a ThinkTank Airport Addict together with my bodies, lenses etc. It's all in my "hand" luggage now, and as long as the bag stays on my back, and no check-in staff asks what the weight is (it's rather heavy), I'm ok

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Flash Tube WARNING

    Actually I had my lights in a Lowe Pro Roller and was put on a truck here in Phoenix and was driven to NY to the loading dock of the Hilton. So yes it could have been jarred around a good deal in that ordeal. The one issue with lights as you know is weight and bulk . When you have 3 or 4 heads and packs plus all the junk they simply get too big to handle by hand. Having a small kit when traveling is certainly a bonus as you do.

    This is something I really never ran across but I will tell you it is 200 for the internal repair and i actually had to buy two new flash tubes at 160 each. The new first one fired when I tried it not realizing I fried the connection. So 520 dollars later is not making me really that happy right now. Live and learn
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Flash Tube WARNING

    Sorry to ear about your miss fortune Guy.

    I am doing a lots of location work myself, bringing my Bron Pulso head along and never had that problem with the tubes. Accept I always check the head pointing up to remove the travel cap, I notice at time the glass cap was no sitting properly after traveling.

    Bron has a strong little spring that hold the ceramic base down, and the modeling light is a screw type. Still a good inspection after traveling is a must.

    The other thing is that I keep my cases siting up right during transport.

    Even with all prevention taken, we should always pay attention to the gears after a long trip. I must agree that I have had other problems from travel.

    Best of Luck, Michel

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Flash Tube WARNING

    Yes I agree even though this cost me some money and hassle , big lesson learned here and at least i can share it and hopefully save someone from this mis-fortune and i agree we need to inspect out gear in situations like this. Something really bad could happen like exploding . There is a ton of juice going on through these heads. I have seen many years ago on two occasions with Novatron and Speedatron of folks getting zapped from pulling the flash head cord with the pack on. I mean zapped across the room . Luckily most units today won't do that with arcing like that but we certainly need to be careful.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Flash Tube WARNING

    Sorry to hear that Guy!
    One other thing you need to be aware of is if you have not used your strobes for awhile, or when you have just bought them, you need to turn them on and let them warm up before you use them. If not, there is an explosion hazard if you take them from dead cold to heavy use. I think it has to do with the capacitors charging or something. All I know was that I was warned about it!
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Flash Tube WARNING

    Nice tip Stuart
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Flash Tube WARNING

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Actually I had my lights in a Lowe Pro Roller and was put on a truck here in Phoenix and was driven to NY to the loading dock of the Hilton. So yes it could have been jarred around a good deal in that ordeal. The one issue with lights as you know is weight and bulk . When you have 3 or 4 heads and packs plus all the junk they simply get too big to handle by hand. Having a small kit when traveling is certainly a bonus as you do.
    The handling is the problem of course. One fumble by one person, and you may be out of luck. I'll post a photo of my bag with everything in it when I return home tonight, in case anybody are interested. The reasons why I decided to buy a backpack and not a roller were that:

    - The handle takes away depth in parts of the bag, making stowing of large objects more difficult.
    - It's considerably heavier than the backpack, 2-3 kilograms more if I remember correctly. That's 2-3 kilos more to discuss with the airport staff, should they decide to weigh my bag.

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    Re: Flash Tube WARNING

    One issue with rollers and trying to do carry on is if the plane is full and they start running out of overhead space than they will check the rollers. I had this happen to me once with my camera gear and i flipped out on the airlines and had a major battle with a flight attendant. Bottom line was I told her to sign off on any damage and be responsible for any loss to my 30 grand in that bag if they where going to check it. After much discussion I won that war but i dumped the rollers for the camera's immediately after that and went backpacks. I also went with a backpack that will fit the regional aircraft as well because they will check bags also but the good part is you get it before leaving the plane for the terminal so it never gets in the baggage system which is the curse of death. My lights are too heavy and bulky so they have to get checked but camera's never leave my side.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Flash Tube WARNING

    First of all when flying always try to get seats on the rear of the plane they will be seated first. Second I use the think tank roller and the think tank backpacks. When I am traveling I keep clothes in the backpack and cameras in the roller if I need to check the roller I change everything up and throw my gear in the backpack as the diveiders will fit the roller to airport addicted. The addicted will fit under a seat. Oh Guy frontier had a stewardess try to tell me your old soft box was another bag. When on puddle jumpers I will throw my 400 in a think tank glass taxi in the roller that will come out fit in the overhead and have my airport addicted with other camera gear under the seat. PS I shoot pro football so this stuff goes on a lot. David

  11. #11
    aprillove20
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    Re: Flash Tube WARNING

    I agree with you Stuart.

  12. #12
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    Re: Flash Tube WARNING

    hello everyone
    Unfortunately another lovely reminder to make sure the flash tubes are all the way pushed in after extensive travel ( in this case in a Car )
    Boy they make a good Crackle of a sound when they blow-up
    am

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