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  1. #11

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    OK, so I started looking around for examples of other modern flashes that use a similar design. SO does anyone know how many watt seconds I should be shooting for to match what I would get from the flash bulbs for this flash?

    Here is an example of one of the modern flashes, and it takes a tube that I may be able to fit in the Rollei housing:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Lamphead.html
    spare lamps are only $44 so after I find the electronics to drive it, I might be in business. Going to keep looking for other modern flashes to see if I can find a camera mounted design with similar reflectors. I know that you used to be able to buy so flashes that had an open reflector head like the Rolleiflash, I just need to track this info down again.

  2. #12

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    The flash I was thinking of was from the pre digital age when you actually had to know how to measure or calculate the flash output, and is now long gone. It was the Sunpak 120J and I'm almost certain there was Metz that also had the same type of head.

  3. #13

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    You won't find a small electronic flash that matches a GE#5 bulb for the GNs it gives you...and that's a relatively small flashbulb (!). As far as Ws, I do not know.

    I would just forget about how you look, and shoot. This is incredibly vain and pointless. Attach a $90 Sunpak 383 and call it good.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  4. #14

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    GE#5, thanks. I'll do some research on that bulb and see what I can find. That said I think the tube for the 120J is going to be what I base this on. Hopefully I can get the electronics cheap and start working this into a functional device. More important is the socket for the tube, and hopefully I can get a couple from ToCAD America. Then I'll either find a schematic to build, or pull some other flash apart for the design.

    Vain and pointless? I disagree. Nostalgic and trivial maybe, but not vain and pointless. It would allow bare bulb, open reflector, softbox, and very directional snoot use all from a single head just by changing the attachment on the front. That and all of the modern flashes with the fresnel lens over the front are going to give a seriously different look than the round reflector from what I want to build.

  5. #15

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    BTW, last night I sent an email to ToCAD (Sunpak) asking about the socket and a few parts, and I explained what I wanted to do. So a get a response this morning that the socket is $15 and that because the electronics are complex, that it would be best to send the repair manual (which came attached). A very refreshing change from what I expected. I may now be able to design a circuit board that will fit in the space available, as well as buy the socket and flash tube to make this happen. I may still get a less complex flash to supply the electronics for now, but I'm pretty set on the flash tube.

  6. #16

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    Greg_E.
    I certainly understand the idea of the nostalgic look of the combination. One man's treasure etc.
    There just may be enough room in the Rollei flash unit to squeeze the electronics from a 283/5. If you just want the full output of the flash you can probably eliminate the automatic exposure circuitry from the board to miniaturize it. A lot of what's in the 283 isn't needed if that's all you need but, you would lose the quicker recycle of the thyristor circuit. Another flash that's similar in size would be Metz 32 series.
    You're not going to match the output of a #5 bulb with a compact electronic flash. Actually I don't believe the handle mount units came close either.
    Part of this may be burn time of the bulbs which was much longer duration than electronic flash.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  7. #17

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    Thanks. Not too concerned with ultimate output power as I think I'll get plenty with the 150 guide number basis of the Sunpak. So if I can hit that I should be fine. Most of the flash work I've done in the past was with a 283, so anything with more power would be fine. Wish I still had some of my old stuff, would make a nice donor right now. Have to see if I can find something with a non-functional flash tube that I can use for cheap parts.

  8. #18
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    Good morning;

    Edmund Scientific Company, Halted Specialties, and other surplus, specialty, and odd ball electronics parts houses (look also in the magazine NUTS & VOLTS) will have flash tubes that you might be able to adapt to your application. The FT-118 is quite common. They will have some capacitors and other parts also. Put the tube in about the center of the dish near where the globe of the flashbulb would reside. You are looking for a fairly wide light pattern anyway, so do not worry too much about being in the exact focal point of your reflector. The flash tube and the bulb both will be around the focal point. The main thing will be lighting uniformity. Try it and see how it comes out. Most likely, it will be fine.

    This will be an awful lot of work to make the conversion. Please let us know how it works.

    Enjoy;

    Ralph Javins

  9. #19

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    Thanks. I've pretty much decided that the above mentioned tube is the one, the Sunpak has the same/similar reflector so that will make things easier. I now have 3 of these rolleiflash units sitting here waiting, with about 5 other projects in line ahead of them.

    I think this is something that can be done, may not be thyrister but it should at least work at full pop. Coming up with the space for the power may be difficult, I may have to go with a very small battery and only a few pops before it is dead. But it will be cool when it is converted. I'm thinking of some 7.4 volt 450mah Lithium Polymer packs that are used in radio control models since I think they will fit with a minimal full pop circuit board. The output will of course be determined by the amount of storage I can get from the cap, so those are the two biggest factors in making it all fit inside the triangular housing. I may have to machine a new larger triangular housing to hold everything leading back to project #1, get my bench top milling machine set up and able to start cutting. Waiting for the last few pieces for the milling system to arrive.

  10. #20

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    The way the Lipo batteries handle discharging, you cold go to something like a Quantum battery 1. It's a 6V rechargeable belt or over the shoulder pack with a number of cable available. Using that you should be able to make the flash self contained with only a plug being added for the Quantum. Likely easier than making a new housing. In the days of that outfit,Honneywell may have just been introducing theior electronic flash units with the ots battery pack so it wouldn't be to much out of character.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

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