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  1. #1

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    Let's talk ascor strobe units

    Yes they are still around. I would like to talk to any members who have had experience with the ascor strobes. ACSOR American speedlight corporation they made extremely powerful strobes with extremely short flash durations. Specifically the big ones. If you have used them you'll know what I am talking about. The B806 rapid power supplies and the sunlight master slow charger as they call it. These are used with large capacitor that weigh about 50 lbs a piece, and the heads are; one the sun gun as the called it and a A803 or 800 series light head.

    My interests are one to increase my knowlege them, find people who might want to sell them, and find people who may have had repairs done to them in the midwest.

    Hope to talk to members soon as this is my first inquiry as a new member.

  2. #2
    eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt6886
    The B806 rapid power supplies and the sunlight master slow charger as they call it. These are used with large capacitor that weigh about 50 lbs a piece, and the heads are; one the sun gun as the called it and a A803 or 800 series light head.
    Oh, you are bringing back memories. I don't know the answer to your question but in case people are wondering what these are like, I can share some anecdotes.

    I worked with a guy and we did mostly hot lights (Mole Richardson's). I worked there for the longest time and didn't pay much attention to the rear wall that was covered with muslin like material. One day, I came in and he said that he had a commission to shoot a portrait but he needed strobes. I was wondering "hmm, okay, I guess I'm going to Lens and Repro and be a pack mule and rent some Speedotrons". He proceded to unveil literally the entire back wall and these were Ascor powerpacks. Wiring everywhere but neatly stacked up. We powered them up and I KID-YOU-NOT, these things can power a small submarine! They made a serious vibration on the floor and when we fired them, it sounded like artillary. I was pretty scared shitless cause at first, they look like it can explode any minute. After working with them for a while, my mind changed and I said these were built like a tank! Needless to say, the packs stay where they were and as I recall, we ran wire to and from them. They were just way to heavy to move and he had a whole bunch of them. And I thought to myself, this guy is pretty cool, I didn't even know he can use strobes, he was a master at painting with hot lights. He was an older guy and he said "Ascors are the best strobes you can get son (he called me son cause I was young once)".

    Good luck on you search. I would start asking around some of the older photographers in NYC and perhaps some studios in Hollywood probably has knows where to get them.

  3. #3
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    OLD PHOTO RIDDLE

    Q: Why do Ascor strobes come with a broom stick ?

    A: To free your assistant when the packs arc.

    Memories. Brrrr !

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  4. #4

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    Thanks for sharing the story have a good day.

  5. #5
    eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell
    OLD PHOTO RIDDLE

    Q: Why do Ascor strobes come with a broom stick ?

    A: To free your assistant when the packs arc.

    Memories. Brrrr !

    .
    Bwahh! I remember being blown a couple of feet by bad Speedotron handling (plugging light before discharging). I think that's why I was scared shit from those Ascors.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Bwahh! I remember being blown a couple of feet by bad Speedotron handling (plugging light before discharging). I think that's why I was scared shit from those Ascors.
    Well I have been working with the ascors for about 7 years now and speedotron about the same. I have het to be attached to any part of a pack light you name it when it has decided to blow. Knocking on wood!!!!!!! Saw one of my ascor stacks arc once and wasn't pretty. Again I liked your story it made me laugh cuz I could relate. Check out our website if you have a second its what we do there is some fun stuff there. www.brutonstroube.com

    Matt

  7. #7
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Long, long ago folks didn't always have a clear understanding of just what a capacitor was and why it wasn't good to yank the plug from a pack before shutting it down and discharging it. Hence the joke.

    Things are a little safer today.

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  8. #8

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    Ascor Sun Gun

    Back from the dead this thread but , I was trying to explain to someone the other day the conception of unlimited strobe power. The Ascor Sun Gun was a tool that I can fondly remember when I was younger and working in NYC with a guy ( Chuck Fisbein ) that shot tabletop for the most part. This Strobe was phenomenal to use for depth of field was never an issue , did not have to worry about reciprocity failure , and it sounded like a small canon when it fired. Dangerous it could be as I remember the rumor of one of Albert Knigh's ( spelling ?)assistants not letting the unit totally discharge and the massive cable flew out of his hand hitting him in the temple and dead he was on the floor. ( I did not see this in person , just a rumor ) Albert then designed a powerful strobe that had a fail safe that would not let a charge stay in the strobe somehow. (I think he made a 20,000 WS and a 10,000 ws)The Ascor Sun Gun was something once you used it you would never forget the beauty of total power in the studio F128 or better all the time if you needed it , I believe if you hooked all of the capacitors ( we had four stacks of capacitors that were 6-8 feet off the ground each)up you could actually have something like 50,000 WS , I believe..... Memories , good memories ,,,,, I found this thread through Google tying to locate info on the Sun Gun , hope you do not mind.... If there is anyone with these units still in their studio I would love a picture of the unit .... Best regards David C
    Last edited by DIRT11nc; 10-20-2007 at 05:34 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9

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    ASCOR Sunlight Strobes

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt6886 View Post
    Yes they are still around. I would like to talk to any members who have had experience with the ascor strobes. ACSOR American speedlight corporation they made extremely powerful strobes with extremely short flash durations. Specifically the big ones. If you have used them you'll know what I am talking about. The B806 rapid power supplies and the sunlight master slow charger as they call it. These are used with large capacitor that weigh about 50 lbs a piece, and the heads are; one the sun gun as the called it and a A803 or 800 series light head.

    My interests are one to increase my knowlege them, find people who might want to sell them, and find people who may have had repairs done to them in the midwest.

    Hope to talk to members soon as this is my first inquiry as a new member.
    Matt: I worked extensively with the ASCOR (American Speedlight Corp) system at a fashion and advertising studio in NYC in the mid to late 60's.
    We had both the standard charger and the rapid charger. I recall that when we installed the rapid charger it required a dedicated 50 AMP circuit.
    The typical system would consist of a charger, the Sunlight Head which was a very heavy duty socket for the single sunlight flashtube (3 inches in diameter and about 18 inches long. The only light modifier that I recall was an 8" diameter concave mirror which could be mounted on the flashtube housing. There was no modeling light. Power was regulated in modular increments by adding or subtracting capacitor boxes. Each 800 Watt-second box was about 8 inches square by about 24 inches long. These were oil-filled capacitors that as you pointed out weighed at least 50 lbs each. Each system had a 16 x 24" steel dolly that could support about 8 boxes. You regulated power by literally plugging or unplugging jumpers (Cables 18" long by perhaps 1 1/4 " in diameter)
    It was possible to connect up to 48 boxes in series -38,400 Watt seconds.
    I have never seen that done. Now I can't tell you how bright a single 800 WS flash was but it was far more powerful than any modern equivalent.
    Now the ASCOR's claim to fame was Quality of light AND by using One or two boxes the flash duration was VERY short . So these things were in high demand in studios that did "pour shots" & "Splash shots" because they could stop any motion. They were useful for fashion and dance as well.
    We had 8 boxes -4800 WS and the only times we had to resort to multi-pops would have been Tabletop, 8 x10 Deardorf f/32 or f/45 long bellows extension. The most I ever recall was 8 pops.
    I hope this helps.

  10. #10

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    Ascor 800 Sunlight and Albert Nye systems

    Hi all,
    I'm the photographer that dirt11 mentioned in his post. I owned and used both systems for several years. Had three different charger heads. A slow and a fast charger made by ascor and this custom unit made by Albert Nye. The strobe system had the capability of firing 50,000 watt seconds of light in one pop. Of course the more power you used, the longer your duration became. At full power is was down to about 1/750 of a sec.

    I bought my Ascor 807 fast charger from Joel Brodsky (the guy who shot all the Doors photos) and I believe photographer/filmmaker Melvin Sokolsky (famous in his day) had one that fired at 24 frames per second.

    I would be happy to answer any questions you may have and I even know the location of one or two that is for sale.

    As the availability of parts and repair persons declined the strobes became a major headache. I eventually switched to Broncolor.

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