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  1. #1

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    Flashbulb to electronic conversion?

    OK, I know I've seen a company advertising that they will convert your old flashbulb flash to an electronic flash, but I can't find them anywhere now.

    Or anyone have any info on converting a flashbulb to electronic flash? I have a couple of Rolleiflash units that I want to change for use with another project. Would like to get a nice variable power thyrister type built, nicer would be to have a photo sensor for "automatic" exposure. Of course it must look as close to stock as possible which means I will probably have to go with some kind of advance battery technology, probably Lipoly since they are small, powerful, and easily obtained.

    Anyone able to point me to some guides that might get me started? Working on electronics is not a problem, so if I have to make major changes I should be able to get them done.

  2. #2
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    If I was doing this I would try to fit the circuit from a Vivitar 285 in there. If there is not enough room, Vivitar (and others) made some smaller auto thyristor models.


    Steve.

  3. #3

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    I would think the greater challenge would be changing the synch speed at the camera. Depends on the combination of course, I'm imagining a Speed Graphic or something along those lines.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  4. #4
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    "Of course it must look as close to stock as possible..."

    Why must it?

    Why "of course"?
    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)

  5. #5

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    Because it must look as close to stock as possible. It will be going on my Rolleicord V which has M,X, and V flash sync.

    I was thinking of 283/285 guts but the thing that is really important is the flash tube. I don't have much knowledge about that part. Building a new circuit board for the componets, not so hard. Dealing with the flash tube is the part I don't know about. The last time I saw a flash bulb was when I was a child, so I don't know where the filament needs to be to get the correct pattern of the the reflector assembly. Also I do know that most of the Zenon tubes need some sort of correction to bring them down to 5600K which is something I haven't found a way to do that will allow the flash to look original.

    So yes the "vintage" look is important to the whole package, but I want modern function. If the look wasn't important I would just grab a 283/285 and slap it on a short handle and go. Or maybe whatever it was that Arigram recently teamed to his 'flex.

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I think the adverts you've seen where here on APUG, at the bottom of the Forums page, one of the block adverts.

    Unfortunately I cleared my browser history or I could easily have searched & found it for you.

    Ian

  7. #7

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    Yes I'm fairly certain it was one of the forum ads, but after looking at the sponsors page one than once, I still can't find it.

  8. #8
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    I'm not positive, but I think I recall that they were based in Hawaii.

  9. #9

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    GregE.
    Do you have the flash you want to use as a housing yet? That may make a difference. Honeywell used to have a potato masher style Strobonar that was used by a lot of pros. If you're thinking of the Graflex type I don't know that they were used so much with the Rollei. If it's a smaller fan type flash you may need something smaller than the 283 more like the 252 or it's like.
    Anyway, the color correction is built into the flash tube so it's something you really don't need to concern yourself with.
    Stripping out a 283/5 shouldn't be too much of a challenge, it may be possible just to split the board & jumper the connections.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  10. #10

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    This is the flash that I want to end up with, except I don't have the lens mount for it. The threaded part is 3/8-16 to give you an idea of scale, I forget the diameter of the reflector as I just received them Friday. It originally used a 22.5 volt battery that is square and the size of an AA cell. I will probably have to build a custom handle to mount it to the bottom of the camera, and that can probably hold the power source.

    I also have a newer style that did not use a battery and does not have the coil up cord. This will probably be the prototype housing since the one with the coil up cord has more character.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails rolleiflash1.jpg   rolleiflash2.jpg  

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