Flash woes

9 posts
2 May 2014
IanHM
Photographer
IanHM
Hi,

I'm hoping to call upon the vast accumulated experience here for advice to help triage a flash problem.

My workhorse portable flash kit includes a pair of Elinchrom DLite-2 heads; eight years old but by no means thrashed. One of them is failing to "ignite" at lower power settings despite the presence of the audible trigger click.

There is no visible discolouration of the tube or sign of sputtering of the electrodes. Is this more likely to be a failing tube or an electronic fault?

I can replace the tube myself but I have insufficient information to delve into the electronics.

Thanks in advance,
Ian.

Posted 2 May 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Could you not carefully swap the tubes around, and thus see whether it's a tube issue? (it may simply be a seating issue with the contacts)
Posted 2 May 2014
frankpht
Photographer
frankpht
One of my very old Elinchrom 66s has a similar fault but the tube is decidedly going black. It will work at 3/4s to full power but not any lower. As RedChecker has said if you can swap around the tubes you'll at least eliminate one of the possible faults.

Posted 2 May 2014
IanHM
Photographer
IanHM
Thanks guys, many years in the electronics biz taught me that this sometimes leads to two faulty units where you previously had one but I'll give it a try anyway. I'll report the results. Thanks again, Ian.
Posted 2 May 2014
Spike
Photographer
Spike
Contact Dennis at EHFFS does elinchrom repairs & considerably better value than the flash centre

http://www.ehffs.co.uk/
Posted 2 May 2014
Bill_M
Photographer
Bill_M
It sounds like a gassy tube to me. In the days when I used to design and build my own units this was occasionally a problem.

Posted 2 May 2014
HowardJ
Photographer
HowardJ
I had a similar problem a few weeks ago when an Elinchrom head wasn't flashing. It turned out to be the tube was about to and then did expire. I replaced the tube and all is now well.

Swap the tubes to confirm this fixes the problem. If it does order a new tube they're about £100.

Posted 2 May 2014
Edited by HowardJ 2 May 2014
IanHM
Photographer
IanHM
Thank you again your thoughts and suggestions.

I have just swapped the tubes and found that the fault does not move with the tube.

I have also extracted the electronics from the casing of the faulty unit and examined it for obvious signs of stress, overheating, discolouration etc. but it looks and smells brand new. So, off to the menders. I'm pleased that I checked before splashing out on a new tube.

I've had 8yrs of reliable service from them so I can hardly complain.

Thanks and kind regards to all,
Ian.

Posted 4 May 2014
frankpht
Photographer
frankpht
IanHM

Thank you again your thoughts and suggestions. I have just swapped the tubes and found that the fault does not move with the tube. I have also extracted the electronics from the casing of the faulty unit and examined it for obvious signs of stress, overheating, discolouration etc. but it looks and smells brand new. So, off to the menders. I'm pleased that I checked before splashing out on a new tube. I've had 8yrs of reliable service from them so I can hardly complain. Thanks and kind regards to all, Ian.



Sorry to hear it wasn't the tube as that would have been possibly the cheapest option to fix.   Just adding a word of caution to any not knowing what they are doing when tinkering with the inside of any flash unit.   You can get a severe shock whether it's an electric or battery operated flash.

Anyway hope the costs aren't too high or at least not so much as to shock you.
Posted 5 May 2014
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