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  1. #1
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Troubleshooting - Travelite 750

    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.
    Jerold Harter MD

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    eddym's Avatar
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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.
    Eddy McDonald
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    Eschew defenestration!

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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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.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  4. #4
    eddym's Avatar
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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.
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

  5. #5
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddym View Post
    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.
    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?
    Jerold Harter MD

  6. #6
    resummerfield's Avatar
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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. #7
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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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. #8
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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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.
    Jerold Harter MD

  9. #9

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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. #10
    eddym's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeroldharter View Post
    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?
    Yes to both questions.
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

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