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Norman and Speedotron Powerpacks!


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Awesome hpoe they will be working by our next adventure coming up in July

 

Cool

 

No worries Mike, I have 5 or 6 of them so we will have no problem :-)

Hye just had an idea, I will start a thread about our trip, then if anyone wants to meet up with on the way, they can :-)

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Awesome hpoe they will be working by our next adventure coming up in July

 

Cool

 

No worries Mike, I have 5 or 6 of them so we will have no problem :-)

Hye just had an idea, I will start a thread about our trip, then if anyone wants to meet up with on the way, they can :-)

 

Im looking forward to Another great Jeff and Mike Adventure hope others can join us too!

 

It will be great no matter what as always

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Well it seems that there is yet another repair for me, I switched on one of the units I had repaired and after just a second there were three guns shoots from within ;-)

I took out 5 1n4007 diodes, and a coule of traces on the circuit board.

I believe the problem is that the large capacitors are leaky, and when you have several that are good and a bad one, it takes all the current from the good ones and shoves into the bad, which is limited by the diodes and the width of the traces, and as they are the weaker link, Kapow!.

Anyway, I have been reading up on electrolytic capacitors, and this developing a leaky trait is due to the lack of use, so it seems that with any of this kind of equipment that has big capacitors in it, it is better to ensure that it is on for some time before use, and if unused for any length of time, they need some 15 mins for every month of non use to allow the capacitors to recondition themselves.

One of the problems with old equipment that has not been used much recently, and especially stuff bought on e-bay.

My new modus operandi will be to turn the units on once every week or every other week, whether I use them or not. Heve two on right now, and the one that I just fixed again with a 60 volt power supply on on bank of capacitors, (decided to condition the capas a little slower by using the PSU first. and everything seems OK for now.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Recieved the units that were up in Oregon, now checking them all out, seem to be in good shape, newer serial numbers than the others I have, in the 124,000 zone, my others range from 50,000 to 85,000.

Anyway, at the point that I am going to modify the rest to make them more bullet proof and then will be renting systems out in the San Francisco Bay area and in the Sacramento/Stockton area, so any photogs in those areas that want to rent studio lighting equipment at reasonable prices, and learn about studio lighting in the process for free (I will help with the first rental setup if in the Bay area).

 

All units now with 3-5 volt sync voltage, so your camera is protected. I have 2x 1250 w/s units and 4x 2000 w/s , as well as 10x strobe heads available for rental.

I also have softboxes, umbrellas, pocket Wizards, reflectors, backdrops, stands and other equipment for rent.

If you are in the Bay area Stockton, West Point, Jackson, Sacramento, or anywhere in between and have need of studio lighting, or want to learn how to use it, I have the equipment, and can teach you how to use it.

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Recieved the units that were up in Oregon, now checking them all out, seem to be in good shape, newer serial numbers than the others I have, in the 124,000 zone, my others range from 50,000 to 85,000.

Anyway, at the point that I am going to modify the rest to make them more bullet proof and then will be renting systems out in the San Francisco Bay area and in the Sacramento/Stockton area, so any photogs in those areas that want to rent studio lighting equipment at reasonable prices, and learn about studio lighting in the process for free (I will help with the first rental setup if in the Bay area).

 

All units now with 3-5 volt sync voltage, so your camera is protected. I have 2x 1250 w/s units and 4x 2000 w/s , as well as 10x strobe heads available for rental.

I also have softboxes, umbrellas, pocket Wizards, reflectors, backdrops, stands and other equipment for rent.

If you are in the Bay area Stockton, West Point, Jackson, Sacramento, or anywhere in between and have need of studio lighting, or want to learn how to use it, I have the equipment, and can teach you how to use it.

 

That is Awesome!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey I want give a special thanks on the forums to Rusty (aka Paul) for the Speedotron strobe heads - awesome dude :-)

 

They work with the Norman Powerpacks, strobe works, modelling light works, one slight difference the fans don't work, but that is a modification that I am going to make to the Norman powerpacks, since it will not affect the operation of the Norman heads, but will enable the Speedotron head fans to work.

 

I just love having projects to do, it keeps me off the streets, off the forums (which seem to be just bored folks fooling around anymore anyway, so I don't miss much, from week to week) :-)

 

Once again thanks Rusty!

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If anyone else is interested or has Norman strobes, here is a look at the control board, and some notes I have attached to show what happens when the main Alternistot (Triac) goes short from the gate to MT2, and how to reduce the sync voltage from 85 down to 24 v (one of the last mods that Noman did to this vintage unit. Also had one with a blown 120k resistor, and have documented what happens and what to replace it with.

post-14141-14368345963_thumb.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

OK, gang, now have 1x Norman 4000 ws unit, 6 x 2000ws units, and 2x1250ws unit as well as a Speedotron 2400ws powerpack.

I have 6x Norman 2400 heads, 8x Norman 2000 heads, and two Speedotron heads

 

In my Hayward studio I have most of this gear, with the exception of 1x 1250 powerpack, and 1x 2000ws powerpack and 4x 2000 strobe heads which are in my West Point studio.

 

So if you are in either area, need some studio work, call me as I can help you out!

All the power packs are equipped with voltage reduction (latest Norman Mod was 24 volts), but I have added circuitry to drop it down to between 3 and 5 volts depending on the unit. I did a lot of modifications to these units, so they are no longer stock Norman, and am continuing to add more to them, to make them better, more informative and flexible to use. 30 years as an electronic engineer is being put to good use LOL!

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Hey I want give a special thanks on the forums to Rusty (aka Paul) for the Speedotron strobe heads - awesome dude :-)

 

They work with the Norman Powerpacks, strobe works, modelling light works, one slight difference the fans don't work, but that is a modification that I am going to make to the Norman powerpacks, since it will not affect the operation of the Norman heads, but will enable the Speedotron head fans to work.

 

I just love having projects to do, it keeps me off the streets, off the forums (which seem to be just bored folks fooling around anymore anyway, so I don't miss much, from week to week) :-)

 

Once again thanks Rusty!

 

Your very welcome my friend!

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So, what is a powerpack?

 

You guys are speaking Chinese.....

 

:|

 

Actually Sari, it is not Chinese, but rather photographese:-)

 

Before Monolights there were these things called Powerpacks, which power several heads see image:

 

Anyway, they are still available, because they have some advantages over monolights, and some disadvantages.

 

The advantages are

More power

(range from 800Ws to 4000Ws with others in the 1200 and 2000ws area.)

More heads

Typically they drive 4 to six heads

The strobe heads are much lighter and physically smaller than monolights, so are less likely to topple over

They use only one AC outlet

The require only one triggering device (Pocket Wizard) to fire however many heads are attached.

 

Disadvantages are that the Powerpacks are heavier obviously than a single monolight, all the capacitors and electronics are in one box, so has the equivalent weight of several monolights.

Typically they do not have controls to adjust the power of individual heads, they all go up or down together, so are less flexible in lighting terms, although this is overcome simply be moving lights forward or backward for those that are in the know :-)

 

Some would argue that monolights have less cables, but that is not true, each monolight has one cable going to an AC socket, the Norman, Speedotron and other heads have one cable going to the Powerpack. There is only one other cable that from the powerpack to the AC socket.

 

As Rudy pointed out the term powerpack has come to include battery powerpacks that typically drive an Inverter to make 115 volts to drive the device whether it is powerpack or monolight (as in the case of Paul Buff's gear).

post-14141-14368346797142_thumb.jpg

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Thanks, Jeff.... but since my only "light" is the big one in the sky, I'm having a hard time putting it all together in my head (if you don't have it, you don't need the info, right?).

I don't even know what monolight is.

 

And that said, I better leave this topic alone because I'll cause you a heart attack by being so ignorant about this stuff :D

 

My husband did buy me a book about lights in photography (for Christmas)... but it hasn't shed any light on me yet...LOL

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Thanks, Jeff.... but since my only "light" is the big one in the sky, I'm having a hard time putting it all together in my head (if you don't have it, you don't need the info, right?).

I don't even know what monolight is.

 

And that said, I better leave this topic alone because I'll cause you a heart attack by being so ignorant about this stuff :D

 

My husband did buy me a book about lights in photography (for Christmas)... but it hasn't shed any light on me yet...LOL

 

LOL!

 

No problem Sari, we all have to learn things throughout our lives, some through necessity, others through interest. I would be more than happy to help you understand all this stuff.

If you like I have found Skype a useful tool to help me teach others, so if you get Skype, and search for me, we can see each other and I can show you the stuff rather than trying to explain it on the forums:-)

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  • 4 months later...
  • 1 year later...

So here is an update to my Norman Speedotron repair saga :-)

 

I now have 7 Norman 2000w/s powerpacks that I have repaired and modified to the latest mods, added in a few of my own like 1/4 inch and or 1/8th inch standard jacks for ease of triggering with standard cables supplied with Pocket wizards, etc.

 

Also have one 24/24 2400w/s with power trim

1x P4000, 4000w/s unit

2. P1250, 1250 w/s units.

2x Speedotron 2401A, 2400 w/s powerpacks.

 

I currently have another SPeedotron unit I recently repaired and another Norman P2000D waiting parts.

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  • 4 years later...

I have been reading all your posts on the repair of Norman strobes. I have been using mine since the P2000X first came out, almost on a daily basis, and I have had my first problem ever. Figured, by what I have been reading here, this should be an easy question to answer. What replacement do I use for the big Red Rocker switch that turns the power pack on and off. It has the same switch on the modeling light power.  I have not opened the pack up to look to see if the switch has any information on voltage/amperage etc because I am using it and don't have a back up.

Thanks in advance to any one who can give help or advice!

  Bill

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  • 1 year later...

Hello Jeffrey.

I read with great enthusiasm the posts you generated in 2011 about your journey through the Norman P2000D Powerpacks. Are you still using them and have you managed to create a complete schematic. I think that I may have enough pieces from what you posted to reverse engineer the whole package, but if you already have it, I'd certainly appreciate any help you can provide. You see, I have one of these packs, had been sitting on my shelf for years. Got it out recently, tried it, it worked, sold it on ebay. THe person who bought it found it not to be working. Long story short, I have it back and really want to fix it. I suspect that the control board is the problem and a schematic would certainly help.

 

Larry Cross

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  • 1 month later...
On 4/19/2019 at 6:27 PM, larryc90 said:

Hello Jeffrey.

I read with great enthusiasm the posts you generated in 2011 about your journey through the Norman P2000D Powerpacks. Are you still using them and have you managed to create a complete schematic. I think that I may have enough pieces from what you posted to reverse engineer the whole package, but if you already have it, I'd certainly appreciate any help you can provide. You see, I have one of these packs, had been sitting on my shelf for years. Got it out recently, tried it, it worked, sold it on ebay. THe person who bought it found it not to be working. Long story short, I have it back and really want to fix it. I suspect that the control board is the problem and a schematic would certainly help.

 

Larry Cross

My apologies Larry, I have not been very active on this or any other forum of late, since my move from CA to WA in fact.

However, I still use many of the powerpacks that I have, in fact have more than I had in 2011, bought some of the 40/40's and 24's but that is another story.

I did not get any further with the reverse engineering as I ran out of time (I am now a farmer an amateur radio operator, and a volunteer for the SHeriff's dept. Incident response team, so much of my time is devoted to these aspects of my life. If you email me or skype I can walk you through the most frequent failures on these units. Capacitors are the big problem, and when they go they take out the large diodes. I replace the diodes with 10A10's (gruntier than the originals). If a capacitor goes the make a very loud bang, and are expensive to replace. Frequently the triac on the front end goes, they are a Teccor 50A device. I can provide links and more details if you want to contact me.

 

OH, thanks to Pete for bringing this to my attention

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  • 8 months later...

Question for Jeffrey Banke,

  I have been looking for parts for Norman Strobe packs and found this post (I believe it was from 2011?). Seems as though you have done quite a bit of repair on these packs, so I'm hoping you can help me out.

I have a P2000X pack (probably early to mid 1980's vintage). The power On/Off switch (one of the Big Red switches) on the top of the pack has failed. Do you have any idea how to repair or replace this switch? Can you steer me in the direction of the proper replacement part? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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