Troubleshooting - Travelite 750

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by jeroldharter, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I just picked up a set of two Calumet Travelite 750's that were described as "new", never used. They are not the most current models but they are of recent vintage. The first one fired up quickly and seems to work well.

    The second one powered up - the green power indicator light on the back lit up. But it never charged and the modeling light would not come on in any mode. I used the same power cord for each light. I checked the fuse which appeared to be in good order. I left it plugged in for a good 15 minutes.

    I read the manual which is pretty basic and non-contributory.

    Any advice? Did I get a bum light? Email response from the seller is pending. Thanks.
     
  2. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Yup, sounds to me like you did. I have three 750's, and I did have to change a fuse once. Other than that, the only problem I have had with them is occasional "runaway flashing." As soon as I plug it in, it charges and flashes, then repeats the cycle. Only way to stop it is to turn it off. I suspect it may be related to a voltage problem, because it has happened when shooting on location in older buildings. But that doesn't help you, so please excuse my meandering reply.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Try switching the modeling lamps to see if the one not coming on is burned out, but if it's not charging, it sounds like power isn't getting to the head. Cords and connectors are the usual culprits.
     
  4. eddym

    eddym Member

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    David has a good point. And what about the "ready light" on the side? If it doesn't come on, then it's not charged. And I'm assuming you tried test-firing it...? You could also try switching the flash tubes.
     
  5. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    The ready light never comes on, even if I dial down to the lowest power. I did try test firing it after leaving it on for quite awhile but nothing happened.

    I will try changing out the bulbs, but the look pristine and apparently this was never used. Shouldn't the ready light come on even if both the modeling lamp and the flash bulb are burned out? Shouldn't the flash fire even if the modeling lamp is out?
     
  6. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I do not have any experience with the Travelite 750, but I have studio strobes and I think they are very similar. The problem sounds like a bad capacitor. It the unit is not used for an extended period, the capacitor may turn "bad" and not take a charge. In that case, the "power on" lamp should illuminate, but the "ready" lamp would not.

    It will probably have to go in for repair. But first, try leaving it plugged in overnight and check it in the morning.

    There is another thread on APUG concerning the forming of capacitors. I'm not sure exactly where, but I seem to remember it within the last year. Good luck!
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Yes the flash should fire regardless of the condition of the model light. I'll second (third?) the bad capacitor notion. Even though the flash units you bought were not bought new by you, I'd try giving Calumet a call and see if they're still under warranty. Calumet is pretty good with warranty service.
     
  8. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I have it charging overnight and will call Calumet tomorrow if needed.

    I looked at the units more carefully and noticed that the flash bulb on each is slightly different in regard to the little metal part inside the bulb that looks like an extension of the connector pins. Seems like they should be identical.
     
  9. Fred De Van

    Fred De Van Member

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    As a general rule of thumb All studio strobes (really all electronic flashes) but in particular the studio units should not ever be fired after being dormant and uncharged for a few months until time on is allowed for the capacitors to form. There is a lot of energy being stored in there. To keep the capacitors (large and small) happy it is a good idea to power them up for a day without flashing every few months. Your message came in as I was going through this routine with six of my units. I have 2 Travelights and the rest are Balcars, and the Bowens (Calumet) units seem to need this the least. Never the less, the quickest way to kill a high output unit is to store it for six months, plug it in and try to fire it within the first half hour or so. This varies greatly depending on circuitry, voltage and capacitor type by is a general rule that applies in some degree to all.
     
  10. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Yes to both questions.
     
  11. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    It never fired up. I sent it to Calumet yesterday.
     
  12. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    Thanks Calumet!

    I received the Travelite 750 from Calumet today. I sent it in with a note that it was not working last Tuesday. 6 days later I receive it repaired at no charge in perfect working order. Thanks Calumet!

    I have always had great service at Calumet but this exceeded my expectations.
     
  13. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I'm not surprised. I think their customer service is one of those things that keeps them in competition with the likes of B&H and Adorama. That and offering some unique products at reasonable prices.
     
  14. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's excellent! Now would be a good time to note that Calumet is one of our APUG Partners, making a major contribution to the continued functioning of this site--

    http://www.apug.org/forums/partners.php
     
  15. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Wow. I will have to give Calumet a try.
     
  16. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I have always had great service from Calumet. When I called, the phone call went through right away and I spoke to someone who said "just send it in." I asked them to send me an email about what to do, etc. Instead, they fixed it and shipped it back almost immediately.

    In case Calumet is listening, I did buy a soft box and several Calumet accessories so they made out in the end.
     
  17. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    On Reforming Electronic Flash Unit Capacitors


    Good morning;

    Regarding reforming flash unit capacitors, I did offer some suggestions under:

    APUG English Forums > Equipment > Camera Building, Repairs & Modification > Vivitar 285 hv does not fully charge

    This is in Reply Message Number 8.
     
  18. johnstonimages

    johnstonimages Member

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    Hello I am HAving trouble with my Travelite 750 the green light comes on but it will not fire and the modeling light does not work.
    Any body know where the fuse is located
    DJ
     
  19. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    There should be a fuse access cap on the back of the unit, in the same general area as the on/off rocker.
     
  20. johnstonimages

    johnstonimages Member

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    750 travel light

    Fuse looks good
    I left the unit on overnight it emits a very very weak I mean miscue flash.
    DJ