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Author Topic: rewiring flash heads to Broncolor  (Read 2031 times)

frfr

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rewiring flash heads to Broncolor
« on: April 20, 2016, 03:03:04 AM »

I am planning to buy some special flash heads from various brands to adapt on my Broncolor generators. Thinking about fresnels, light stick / pencil lights, etc. from brands such as Balcar, Elinchrom, Bowens, Hensel and others.

I was also wondering if color temperature is determined by generator or flash tube brand. What about flash duration? I am using Grafit generators, will the flash tubes be ok with fast flash duration?

Anybody with diagrams of plugs to share? Planning to do that with the help of an experienced electrician

Thanks
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 03:19:05 AM by frfr »
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Ellis Vener

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Re: rewiring flash heads to Broncolor
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2016, 05:42:53 PM »

Start by researching the trigger voltage for the various systems you mentioned. Most flash systems are either 600v or 900v.
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UlfKrentz

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Re: rewiring flash heads to Broncolor
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2016, 06:36:56 PM »

frfr,

CT is mostly determined by the head / tube design with the pack also having some effect. If you are familiar with your grafit you know you can control CT in 50K steps by the use of the FCC meter or just by dialing in a shorter (+blue) or longer (-blue) flash duration.
While it is not a big deal to rewire off brand heads I would still recommend the help of a dedicated service specialized for this task and knowing what they do. All the brands you mentioned above have some special heads for short flash duration (called speed, quick, X or whatever) that will fry the cut off circuit of your grafit pack, which will be a very costly repair. You can instantly recognize these tubes either being in a closed ring design, having three electrodes (plus the trigger) or two tubes in parallel (Balcar). Don´t underestimate this risk! If you can measure the flash duration (FCC) it has to be in the range that is displayed when using port 3 of the grafit pack. This output is not controlled by the electronic IGBT output stage, is safe with all tubes and will show how the unit works on your pack. If the flash duration is way shorter than displayed NEVER use it on outlet 1 or 2. Nominal capacitor voltage of the grafit is 700Volts, trigger coil voltage is 300Volts against PE (with the trigger capacitor being in the pack) that is pretty common and suits most of all brands heads. Careful with Elinchrome heads, they need to be changed in the head wiring as well as their trigger coil is connected to the negativ electrode, Hensel has the capacitor  in the head (very old design in the plug), this should be removed for safe plugging, not sure about Balcar, check! Please consider if it is worth all the effort if you need to buy the off brand heads. We have some off brand light bars and other stuff running from grafits and also some Briese heads (now broncolor has good Paras, so this is not essential any more). All running fine since many years. HTH, Cheers, Ulf

BobShaw

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Re: rewiring flash heads to Broncolor
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2016, 06:42:39 PM »

An electrician will stop you killing yourself, but what you really need is someone with electronics experience.
There were examples of Broncolor packs being used with rewired Elinchrom heads but I don't have details.
I really don't understand why you want to potentially destroy an expensive Grafit generator to fit 3rd party heads.
I suggest that if you don't need the light quality of Broncolor then you sell it and buy a cheaper system.
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yashima

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Re: rewiring flash heads to Broncolor
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2016, 08:58:39 PM »

I'm trying to do the same thing, and Ulf is really the one to ask about this.

The reason I'm trying to adapt Elinchrom to Broncolor is I have accumulated full range of Elinchrom gears, and there are some specialised flash heads unit (for example the linear R3000, boxlite 3000N ..) that there are no Broncolor equivalent or it is too rare/expensive to find. So it makes sense. For standard flash head I have moved exclusively to Broncolor.

However still have not gathered the time and courage to start (converting) on one. Let me know how you get on Frfr!
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Ellis Vener

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Re: rewiring flash heads to Broncolor
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2016, 09:50:30 PM »

If you are in the United States the right people to contact about whether these conversions can be done and the right people to do them are the folks at The Flash Clinic. There may be others (in Los Angeles and possibly Chicago, but Flash Clinic is who I have 100% trust in to do this type of work. http://www.flashclinic.com
« Last Edit: April 21, 2016, 02:52:31 PM by Ellis Vener »
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calindustries

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rewiring flash heads to Broncolor
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2016, 10:06:22 PM »

Flashclinic have converted my acute heads to work on my Ranger AS packs years ago. Peter does really nice work but will straight up tell you if he doesn't want to do something. I had asked him about converting my Elinchrom ring to work on my grafit packs and he wouldn't do it. I don't know why. I'm nowhere in the same room as understanding "how" this stuff works but I trust him.
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frfr

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Re: rewiring flash heads to Broncolor
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2016, 09:18:31 PM »

Hi All!

Thank you very much for sharing concerns and experiences, this is much more than helpful!
As I said in the first message, I want to do that with some specialty heads that are way too expensive in Broncolor catalogue (pencil light and maybe some long lightbars). I am already well equipped with all sorts of Broncolor heads, this is just to add some new special effects to my set at a lower cost, as I might not use them often.
It has nothing to do with the complexity of electronic / rewiring conversion but I have done some mechanical conversions to Broncolor with 2 very old Balcar optical fiber attachments and this gives me amazing results when I need it. It cost me 400 euros for 2 reflectors and 4 hoses all near mint condition. I can't afford Broncolor fiberlite, even though I might get even better nuances.
I am located in China, AFAIK there is nobody offering rewiring service.
I will keep you all updated if I do a successful conversion or if I fry my equipment ;-) And definitely, I will try to find the right people to do it.
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ynp

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rewiring flash heads to Broncolor
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2016, 05:40:36 PM »

I bought two broncolor heads, adapted to Briese tubes in the USA, through eBay. They work better than Dr. Briese adaptation, he introduced  a couple of years ago.
You can search Briese - BronColor adaptation. Briese parabolic umbrellas can be bough secondhand cheaply than the Bron parabolics, many studios in Europe are closed and the rental houses sell their old stock.

I also saw the Profoto adaptations at the same eBay seller:apogeebee.

I use my Grafit packs. My  Briese YelowCubes are less convenient and controllable than the Grafit generators.

Seller's description:

Modified Broncolor Primo flash head for use with Briese "single" Flash Tubes. This will allow your Broncolor (line voltage) generator and head to be used any current Briese 800-3200Ws Flash Tube. Your Broncolor head will install (via the integral threads) to the Briese focus tubes making your Broncolor system compatible with all of the Briese Focus Parabolic Umbrellas. The fact that it is completely Broncolor electronics, generator and flash head, makes it much more reliable than a Briese flash head modified to be powered by a Broncolor generator.


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« Last Edit: September 04, 2016, 05:50:38 PM by ynp »
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UlfKrentz

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Re: rewiring flash heads to Broncolor
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2016, 02:15:25 PM »

I bought two broncolor heads, adapted to Briese tubes in the USA, through eBay. They work better than Dr. Briese adaptation, he introduced  a couple of years ago.
You can search Briese - BronColor adaptation. Briese parabolic umbrellas can be bough secondhand cheaply than the Bron parabolics, many studios in Europe are closed and the rental houses sell their old stock.

I also saw the Profoto adaptations at the same eBay seller:apogeebee.

I use my Grafit packs. My  Briese YelowCubes are less convenient and controllable than the Grafit generators.

Seller's description:

Modified Broncolor Primo flash head for use with Briese "single" Flash Tubes. This will allow your Broncolor (line voltage) generator and head to be used any current Briese 800-3200Ws Flash Tube. Your Broncolor head will install (via the integral threads) to the Briese focus tubes making your Broncolor system compatible with all of the Briese Focus Parabolic Umbrellas. The fact that it is completely Broncolor electronics, generator and flash head, makes it much more reliable than a Briese flash head modified to be powered by a Broncolor generator.


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Briese heads have a very good ventilation, I have not seen this modified Primo head but that would be one of the first things I would check as it is crucial. The combo Grafit/Briese is top notch, but make sure to never use a "downlight" flash tube with your grafit A pack as it will instantly kill the output stage.

ynp

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rewiring flash heads to Broncolor
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2016, 02:39:08 PM »

Briese heads have a very good ventilation, I have not seen this modified Primo head but that would be one of the first things I would check as it is crucial. The combo Grafit/Briese is top notch, but make sure to never use a "downlight" flash tube with your grafit A pack as it will instantly kill the output stage.
Thank you for your comments and advice. I am learning a lot from your posts here.

I am not sure what a "downlight" tube is, unfortunately. 

I have three 2400ws Briese tubes I bought in Hamburg several years ago with the Cube 4OO generator, the smallest one in the Briese line. In the studio my little Cube is enough for most of the stuff I do with the parabolic reflectors. I bought a diffuser panel and made a grid for my 180 cm umbrella and I wanted a bit more power. That's why I bought the Primo adaptation two years ago and bought the second one a couple of weeks back.

My adapted Primo works fine , but I am no pro and I don't use it for hours. I still have my Briese new style (square) heads and they are fantastic. Dr. Briese offered the new style adapted heads, but they are too expensive for me.

I tried the small round head adapted at Briese, the previous version,  and the spacer tube 77 got very hot in the area of contact with the head and I had problems with the 16-shot exposures with my Verso. The Cube with the original head did not show any problems and was stable.

Yevgeny




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« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 02:54:09 PM by ynp »
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UlfKrentz

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Re: rewiring flash heads to Broncolor
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2016, 03:06:06 PM »

Thank you for your comments and advice. I am learning a lot from your posts here.

I am not sure what a "downlight" tube is, unfortunately. 

I have three 2400ws Briese tubes I bought in Hamburg several years ago with the Cube 4OO generator, the smallest one in the Briese line. In the studio my little Cube is enough for most of the stuff I do with the parabolic reflectors. I bought a diffuser panel and made a grid for my 180 cm umbrella and I wanted a bit more power. That's why I bought the Primo adaptation two years ago and bought the second one a couple of weeks back.

My adapted Primo works fine , but I am no pro and I don't use it for hours. I still have my Briese new style (square) heads and they are fantastic. Dr. Briese offered the new style adapted heads, but they are too expensive for me.

I tried the small round head adapted at Briese, the previous version,  and the spacer tube 77 got very hot in the area of contact with the head and I had problems with the 16-shot exposures with my Verso. The Cube with the original head did not show any problems and was stable.

Yevgeny




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Those 2400Ws tubes should be fine. The Downlight tube is a "closed ring" design, similar to the speed tubes of elinchrome. The energy is going through two ways at a time, hence they have a very short flash duration with conventional packs but also draw a lot of power (too much for the IGBT controlled output of grafit or scoro packs) The vintage Briese heads (the ones with this kind of hairdryer design) are working fine, if your spacer was getting hot check if the fan is working properly. Cheers!

ynp

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Re: rewiring flash heads to Broncolor
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2016, 03:50:46 PM »

Those 2400Ws tubes should be fine. The Downlight tube is a "closed ring" design, similar to the speed tubes of elinchrome. The energy is going through two ways at a time, hence they have a very short flash duration with conventional packs but also draw a lot of power (too much for the IGBT controlled output of grafit or scoro packs) The vintage Briese heads (the ones with this kind of hairdryer design) are working fine, if your spacer was getting hot check if the fan is working properly. Cheers!
Thank you!!


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BobDavid

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Re: rewiring flash heads to Broncolor
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2016, 11:30:19 PM »

Why don't you just purchase a used Elinchrom generator for the Elinchrom heads?  If you need to match color temp differences between Broncolor and Elinchrom heads, gels work fine.
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