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Norman and Speedotron Powerpacks!


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considering the Mallory 150Mfd 450v

You can probably replace it with anything 450 v or above, and under 150 mF.

Which you know.

 

450 is not so common. And I dont know if you can parallel couple 2 x 240 vs capacitors.

 

Problem is the physical size, they are 85mm long by 35mm width, and are computer grade capacitors I.E. screw in connections - physically larger than axial capacitors.

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OK, good news, I found a supplier of a Mallory 170Mfd 450 v capacitor for $20 each, so bought 2.

BTW Jens and anyone else interested these P2000D units sell for around $350 on ebay, so it is worth my while finding out where to buy componants, since I may go into the business of repairing them now that I understand them, have schematics, etc. :-)

 

Now that I am waiting for parts, looks like it is time to go work on the P4000 LOL!

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Update on the 4000, found 7 diodes blown, two literally blown apart, 5 others short circuit, also several traces on the diode circuit board vaporised, also found a screw connection to one of the capacitors was loose. Repaired the board with heavier wire, replaced all but 2, and have picked them up today, so will have 7 new diodes in place for the grand experiment.

So I am either going to have a bigger explosion or I am close to fixing it. Obviously the plan is to check a bunch of other things like capacitors, etc before switching it on, but this happened as I was switching the power, so I think the switch is the root cause and is f****d so will not be using it in the future, probably replace it with a heavy duty silicon switch.

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Good news, the 4000 is fixed, changed the diodes, and it works again, note to self, do not flip power changing switch while there is power on the unit, it doesn't like it :-)

 

2 down 2 to go :-)

 

Tested the control boards in unit #1, all work, although one is lighting the Ready light, should be a quick fix, and not a major problem.

 

Unit #3 has a short circuited Alternister, which fried the control board again, replaced it from unit #4 and will put a new one that I purchased ($18) in unit #4.

Unit #3 Working with the control board that does not light up the ready light. Will reapir the other control board on sunday and fix the ready light situation on the other control board.

As of right now 3 of 4 units working, Woohoo:-)

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Again I am impressed!

 

Good for you my friend

 

we will have to test them out when Im up that way!

Cant wait for another adventure

 

 

 

Good news, the 4000 is fixed, changed the diodes, and it works again, note to self, do not flip power changing switch while there is power on the unit, it doesn't like it :-)

 

2 down 2 to go :-)

 

Tested the control boards in unit #1, all work, although one is lighting the Ready light, should be a quick fix, and not a major problem.

 

Unit #3 has a short circuited Alternister, which fried the control board again, replaced it from unit #4 and will put a new one that I purchased ($18) in unit #4.

Unit #3 Working with the control board that does not light up the ready light. Will reapir the other control board on sunday and fix the ready light situation on the other control board.

As of right now 3 of 4 units working, Woohoo:-)

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In order to repaired the third unit, had to rob Alternistor/Triac from fourth unit, however have now purchased and replaced that the Alternistor/triac in the fourth unit with a new one ($17.95 from Fry's)

 

So in the fourth unit, have now replaced 2 150Mfd 450v capacitors with 2 new 170Mfd caps, replaced the main Alternistor/triac with a new one, tested the voltage tripler and it is functioning, tested one of the two the model light circuits. I have determined that the diode distribution pcb is now functioning after repairing the blown traces, and that the control board is functioning correctly. All the capacitors appear to be OK, but still the unit is not funcioning correctly so still have something amiss. Continuing the search tomorrow, although running out of ideas as to what is causing the non-op

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SOme of you may know that the sync voltage on the Normans is minus 85 volts, yes that is minus 85 relative to the chassis, which is ground.

This of course can blow up some lesser cameras like certain models of Canon cameras :-) Nikon ar good to 250 volts!

Anyway, since I teach and do not want a student to blow their precious Canon up I have installed a voltage reduction circuit in each of my Norman powerpacks. This circuit reduces the sync voltage down to 3 volts, with protection to ensure that it never exceeds more than 5.

Here is the circuit diagram, and of course this should work with any other high sync voltage strobe or flash gun.

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jeff i cant remember but do the speedo heads work with the normans? i think i still have six out in the garage if you need them

 

if i remember the plugs are the same

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jeff i cant remember but do the speedo heads work with the normans? i think i still have six out in the garage if you need them

 

if i remember the plugs are the same

 

I really don't know, but it would be interesting to find out. Do you happen to know what the model number is, I could do some research.

Plugs on the Normans are an amphenol 8 pin, connector, seven around the outside and a central ground pin which is a tad larger than the others.

Many thanks :-)

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Well, here is the latest update on Norman repairs :-)

I have the last (number 4) P2000D working! Although I have one final fix I have to do on it, the ready light is not functioning, but the modelling lights work and it fires the strobes on all of the outlets, so just a minor fix on the control board.

 

Anyway, I am happy as a pig in s**t as they say, as I have now 6 working Powerpacks again, so have plenty for my classes and a couple of backups for each of my studio locations.

 

I am currently attaching my little circuit to reduce the sync voltage so that no-one could blow up their precious Canon camera, and have three of them already done, will have the rest done soon.

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Thats Awesome Jeff!

Good Job

 

I look forward to Testing them out in a month with you on our next adventure!

 

Right on

 

:)

 

Well, here is the latest update on Norman repairs :-)

I have the last (number 4) P2000D working! Although I have one final fix I have to do on it, the ready light is not functioning, but the modelling lights work and it fires the strobes on all of the outlets, so just a minor fix on the control board.

 

Anyway, I am happy as a pig in s**t as they say, as I have now 6 working Powerpacks again, so have plenty for my classes and a couple of backups for each of my studio locations.

 

I am currently attaching my little circuit to reduce the sync voltage so that no-one could blow up their precious Canon camera, and have three of them already done, will have the rest done soon.

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SOme of you may know that the sync voltage on the Normans is minus 85 volts, yes that is minus 85 relative to the chassis, which is ground.

This of course can blow up some lesser cameras like certain models of Canon cameras :-) Nikon ar good to 250 volts!

Anyway, since I teach and do not want a student to blow their precious Canon up I have installed a voltage reduction circuit in each of my Norman powerpacks. This circuit reduces the sync voltage down to 3 volts, with protection to ensure that it never exceeds more than 5.

Here is the circuit diagram, and of course this should work with any other high sync voltage strobe or flash gun.

 

BTW, if anyone tries this circuit, you will find that although it protects any camera it will not allow the use of Pocket Wizards. If you want to use pocket wizards, you will have to build the circuit in an external project box and it changes in the following manner. The position of the diode and the capacitor flip, and the 10 Meg resistor also moves to same position but in the positive side. This still is approximately 3 volts sync voltage, but now in a positive direction and the pocket wizards work fine with it.

The strange thing is that the pocket wizards work fine with the minus -85 volts of an unprotected P2000D?

post-14141-14368344639008_thumb.jpg

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Needed another challange so I fixed my Topward dual tracking 0-30v power supply which had taken a dive about 10 years ago, now fully functional, so looking for another challenge :-)

I kept some old Apple computers around, and some CB's, so think I will dive into them next, or perhaps an old stereo system that croaked LOL

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Hey Jeff ya wanna come over and fix my blown ac circuit board ;)

 

Awesome that you got all your stuff working again. I'm going to have to dive into that kinda thing myself and replace the motherboard on a fried computer that should be fun :)

 

Yep, I think I have one on the way out also, but it is just my email/backup computer so no down time if it goes out really. Helps if you have done this kind of work before, I spent 25 years in the broadcast television/computer industry, and went to college for it :-), so it is like a language, it comes back quite quikly if you work at it :-)

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Hey Jeff

 

Just going off the path a little...

 

Is it possible (and safe) to use an inverter and a car battery or two of our choice to provide juice for mono-lights?

 

Let's say... 3 units of 600w?

 

I tried my 150W/s Monolight on a commercially made 1200 Watt inverter/battery pack, and it was flashing thie modelling light on and off, so I didn't pursue it any further for fear of blowing something. My plan was to try it on one of the Norman Power Packs, but as it is only a 1200 Watt unit, so I need to find an 800 watt Norman to try it first

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Man, I tell you, when the capacitors go in an old strobe powerpack, it is quite something! Belching smoke everywhere, oil on everything inside :-)

Just had a capacitor go in another unit, this time it also took out some diodes in the voltage tripler, so replaced them, and am waiting for the capacitors to arrive.

Interestingly enough it was a 150 Mfd 450v cap that went in one of the other units, this time it was a 220 mfd 400v that went. They don'y make that cap anymore so am having to resort to a 250 Mfd 450v cap at $22.04 plus shipping for each one (ordered 2 in case).

 

So far have had a 150 mfd cap in a tripler go out, taking several diodes with it. Now a 220 mfd and diodes., Had an Alternister go out in another unit taking an opto isolater/coupler and two resistors on the control board. Had many diodes go out on the power distribution boards of a couple of units, and on one taking out several of the traces on the PCB. Have also had a triac go out on one of the modelling light circuits, and a 120K ohm resistor on the control card along with a PUT. So far have spent about $200 fixing these units, but have aqcuired lots o knowledge and spare parts in the process.

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at least your having fun!

 

:)

LOL!

Yes, and I have recieved the 250 mfd capacitors, so have repaired the 4th unit again.

 

Now looking for another project :-)

 

Actually, not quite true, I am going to make some camera triggers, that work off of light, (interupting an IR beam or laser), and off of sound.

All the Normans now have a sync voltage of only 3 volts, so will be safe for any camera.

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