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Thread: Novatron 440hdx

  1. #1
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Novatron 440hdx

    I just bought one of these at a garage sale, and I don't really know anything about it.

    It has 3 flash heads; 2 of them work and the third has a broken flash lamp. Can I buy a replacement, or do I just have to buy a whole new flash head?

    Can I use any lightbulb I want for modeling lamps? Only one of them has a modeling lamp bulb in it.

    It has a switch that says 440 and 220. Are these line voltages? Cause here in Texas we have 120V mains.

    I paid $50, is that a decent price?
    f/22 and be there.

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    Yes

    Yes

    No

    Yes

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    440/220 are the power settings. The model refers to the full output power(440ws) and 220 is half power.
    Many of the flash tubes are interchangeable, try Calumet or Freestyle. The modeling lights can be plain ol' incandescents, but may have been had a coating like an enlarger lamp.
    $50. is a good price.
    Do not unplug the heads from the power supply before discharging the unit. You can burn the plugs or worse kill yourself a little bit.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  4. #4
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Do not unplug the heads from the power supply before discharging the unit. You can burn the plugs or worse kill yourself a little bit.
    Advice heeded. I noticed that two of the flash heads also have power settings on them. Do these stack on top of the Novatron's power settings (that is, is low power on the flash head, and 220 on the novatron basically 1/4 power?)
    f/22 and be there.

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    Advice - get someone who is qualified to check the electrical safety of the units before you attempt to use them.
    Ben

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    If it has been tested as you say, to know that it works on two heads, then I agree, have it looked over.

    Even fungus and mold can cause problems with high voltage leakage, and this thing likely put out between 500 and 900V DC. I am mostly a Speedotron guy, but see that Novatron is a made in USA prodcut as well

    I suspect the power switch you find on the heads may relate to dropping the light output of the modelling light only so that it's light output can approximate out the way that flash tube power is divided between the channels, and the number of head on the channels. I have not seen a pack and head system ever adjust flash tube outut on the head. It is usualy done by varying the number of capacitors per channel at the pack.

    It uses electrolytic capacitors. BIG ones. Read up on 'forming' electrolytics. They need regular TLC from the owner. Yours likely has not been powered up for a long time given the price you paid for it.
    Be prepared to plug it in and leave it on untouched for a few hours, then turn it off for a day or so, then repeat.

    When these sorts of caps fail, they explode inside and sound like a gun going off. It is not gentle, and the fix is usally not cheap.

    Good luck in looking after your new toy.
    my real name, imagine that.

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    The switches on the heads allow you to reduce either or both modeling and flashtube by 0, 1 or 2 stops, depending on the head. This allows you to have an assymetric output from a symmetric pack.

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    novatron is still in business in TX
    they will probably be able to re-furb
    your flash/pack ... they are responsive

  9. #9
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. I didn't know about the electrolytic thing.
    f/22 and be there.

  10. #10
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    I plugged it in with a 100W lightbulb in series with the power cord. After firing, the bulb dims down to a faint glow within 10 seconds or so, but the faint glow never goes away. I would expect it to go out if the caps were fully charging and not leaking. Should I leave it plugged in with the faintly glowing lightbulb in series overnight, or until the bulb goes out, or is it better to turn it off and let it rest for hours/days?
    f/22 and be there.



 

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