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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 20 Jan 2011 (Thursday) 13:16
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Novatron 240- Can you explain this?

 
TPock
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Jan 20, 2011 13:16 |  #1

These did not come w/ a manual and from what I have read on this forum there may not be one. Can someone explain what the 1, 2 and on button mean for each side?

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And what does the 120 and 240 & on anf off mean?
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Thanks so much!

~~Traci~~

  
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Wilt
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Jan 20, 2011 19:03 |  #2

Educated guess...

(First photo)
Head control for Full output/-2EV (1/4 power)/-1EV (1/2 power)
Head control for modelling light output/-2EV (1/4 power)/-1EV (1/2 power)

Second photo)
Modelling light: On/Off
Flash power from pack: 240 w-s/120 w-s


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FlashZebra
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Jan 20, 2011 19:21 |  #3

Wilt wrote in post #11681654 (external link)
Educated guess...

(First photo)
Head control for Full output/-2EV (1/4 power)/-1EV (1/2 power)
Head control for modeling light output/-2EV (1/4 power)/-1EV (1/2 power)

Second photo)
Modeling light: On/Off
Flash power from pack: 240 w-s/120 w-s

As you would expect, Wilt is absolutely correct.

One unintuitive caution:

If you use only one flash head, do not use the reduced power levels on the flash head.

In other words, if you use only one flash head, you must use only the "on" position (full power) for the flash tube.

Enjoy! Lon


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TPock
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Jan 20, 2011 19:27 as a reply to  @ FlashZebra's post |  #4

Thank you both so much!


~~Traci~~

  
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breal101
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Jan 20, 2011 19:34 |  #5

Both Wilt and Lon are right on, just another note in case you don't know. Novatrons are not arc protected, always turn the pack off and fire the strobe before disconnecting the head from the pack. Never plug a head into the pack with the pack on.


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TPock
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Jan 20, 2011 21:37 |  #6

breal101 wrote in post #11681831 (external link)
Both Wilt and Lon are right on, just another note in case you don't know. Novatrons are not arc protected, always turn the pack off and fire the strobe before disconnecting the head from the pack. Never plug a head into the pack with the pack on.

Thanks so much for this. I do have questions to make sure I understand what you are explaining. What is arc protected? The pack is the box, right? If the pack is off, how would I get the strobe to fire? What would happen if I don't do this?

Again thank you!


~~Traci~~

  
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PacAce
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Jan 20, 2011 22:26 |  #7

FlashZebra wrote in post #11681753 (external link)
As you would expect, Wilt is absolutely correct.

One unintuitive caution:

If you use only one flash head, do not use the reduced power levels on the flash head.

In other words, if you use only one flash head, you must use only the "on" position (full power) for the flash tube.

Enjoy! Lon

Just out of curiosity, why must a single head be only used at full power? What's going to happen if it's accidentally set to "120"?


...Leo

  
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FlashZebra
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Jan 20, 2011 22:41 |  #8

PacAce wrote in post #11682874 (external link)
Just out of curiosity, why must a single head be only used at full power? What's going to happen if it's accidentally set to "120"?

Not a reduced power setting on the power pack, but a reduced power setting on the flash head.

The heads mitigate power in a relative crude manner, they just dump energy into a resistor. This resistor is wired parallel to the flash tube and that switch on the back just deals the resistors into and out of the electrical mix. The resistors and the flash tube compete and share this power.

These resistors are marginal for the purpose as there is a lot of energy to dissipate, and they need to fit in that flash head.

If you only have one flash head, and set the flash head at a reduced light output. Too much power has to be dissipated in that resistor.

But, if you have more than one head it reduces the power the resistor has to deal with.

Remember with more than one head, the power from the pack is shared with all the flash heads.

In this case, the Novatron 240 Ws pack is relatively low powered (compared to other Novatron packs), so it is likely things would be fine.

But that is a general warning included in the Novatron use manuals. Which is basically what the OP was asking about.

Buy the way, I had a good hunch you were going to ask this followup after I completed my initial reply. Possibly I have been hanging out here too long. Either that or I need to start another agitated, cigar smoking woodpecker thread.

The power pack reduces power by switching more or fewer power capacitors into the mix. The Novatron 240 likely only has two power capacitors.

Enjoy! Lon


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FlashZebra
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Jan 20, 2011 22:49 |  #9

TPock wrote in post #11682584 (external link)
Thanks so much for this. I do have questions to make sure I understand what you are explaining. What is arc protected? The pack is the box, right? If the pack is off, how would I get the strobe to fire? What would happen if I don't do this?

Again thank you!

The pack is the "box". It can also be called a power pack.

1) Do not plug the AC line for the pack in until you have already attached at least one flash head (you can attach more than one flash head of you like).

2) Never plug in a flash head, or unplug a flash head, with the AC power to the pack on. The arc would be at the flash head plug where you plug it into the pack.

3) When you turn the pack off, immediate hit the test button on the pack to discharge the pack through the flash head. Then unplug the flash head. Remember turn off the AC power, THEN hit the test button immediately.

4) Do #3 every time you turn off the pack, not just at the end of your session.

Enjoy! Lon


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PacAce
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Jan 20, 2011 22:53 |  #10

FlashZebra wrote in post #11682942 (external link)
The heads mitigate power in a relative crude manner, they just dump energy into a resistor. This resistor is wired parallel to the flash tube and that switch on the back just deals the resistors into and out of the electrical mix.

These resistors are marginal for the purpose as there is a lot of energy to dissipate.

If you only have one head, and set the head at a reduced light output. Too much power has to be dissipated in that resistor.

But, if you have more than one head it reduces the power the resistor has to deal with.

Remember with more than one head, the power from the pack is shared.

In this case, the Novatron 240 Ws pack is relatively low powered (compared to other Novatron packs), so it is likely things would be fine.

But that is a general warning included in the Novatron use manuals. Which is basically what the OP was asking about.

Buy the way, I had a good hunch you were going to ask this followup after I completed my initial reply. Possibly I have been hanging out here too long.

Enjoy! Lon

Thanks for the answer, Lon.

Just trying to keep you on your toes. ;)


...Leo

  
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TPock
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Jan 20, 2011 22:56 as a reply to  @ FlashZebra's post |  #11

I am writing this all down and putting it with the lights! Thank you!
Thank your for explaining it again to me and I got it!!!


~~Traci~~

  
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Old ­ Coot
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Jan 21, 2011 17:49 as a reply to  @ TPock's post |  #12

My Novatron pack is an older model and the instructions said that the pack needs to be 'exercised' at least once a month to keep the capacitors from going bad. I don't use the pack very often, so has this been a problem with these systems?


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Wilt
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Jan 21, 2011 18:15 |  #13

Old Coot wrote in post #11687987 (external link)
My Novatron pack is an older model and the instructions said that the pack needs to be 'exercised' at least once a month to keep the capacitors from going bad. I don't use the pack very often, so has this been a problem with these systems?

'Keeping the capacitor formed' is a long time recognized need...I remember having to do the procedure to my portable flash 45 years ago. Even with speedlights this is a procedure to periodically follow in order to keep the capacitors able to store a charge. Battery powered flashes need to have the power switch turned on, even studio flashes need to be plugged in and turned on. The amount of time that it stays on (e.g. 15 minutes/1hour) can vary with the manufacturer/model, as is the recommended interal between re-forming...every 3 mo or 6 mo. is quite typical.


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Novatron 240- Can you explain this?
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