Strobe Lighting Maintenance question

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by ghosty60, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. ghosty60

    ghosty60 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I have been researching Strobe Studio lights to setup a home studio and came across this technical tip which confused me a bit as I haven't seen it before and was wondering if it is true and thought I would ask on the forum for opinions on this.

    THE ARTICLE
    One of the most important components of an electronic flash power supply is the Main Flash Capacitors. By following the preventative maintenance instructions described herein longer life will be achieved increasing the flash systems reliability.
    Forming the Main Flash Capacitors

    Flash Capacitors must be pampered; this is accomplished by forming the flash capacitor as much as possible. Flash power supplies that are not used on a daily basis, or ones that are stored for long periods of time definitely need forming.

    Constant flashing of your electronic flash power supply puts a tremendous strain on the flash capacitor and shortens its life. Forming is just the opposite, by having a constant calm voltage applied to the flash capacitor it helps to rejuvenate the chemical properties. This is very similar to slow charging a car battery to give it an extra boost.
    How and when do you form?
    During Use

    If your electronic flash is being used 2-3 times (or more) a week make sure that the main power switch is on during set-up and break down of the set. This will bring a steady calm voltage to the flash capacitors giving them the forming time they need. Don't just turn on the model lamp circuit; make sure that the 100% charge circuit Ready Indicator Lamp is on.
    During Slow Periods

    During slow periods or between assignments it is advisable to form the capacitors at least once a week for 2 hours.
    Turn on the power supply (modeling lamp off) and let it sit idle for 2 hours this will give the flash capacitors the required forming time. It is not necessary nor is it advisable to flash the unit, just let it sit and absorb this calm voltage.
    Note: Never leave the Electronic Flash Power Supply in the On position if you are leaving the studio. When leaving turn off the unit and remove the AC plug from the wall outlet.
    Inactive or Stored Units

    Electronic Flash Units that are inactive for months at a time it is advisable to form the capacitors for 6-8 hours each day over a 3 day period prior to using it on an assignment.
    Electronic Flash Units that have been stored for a year or more it will be advisable to bring the unit to an authorizes repair service. The repair service has special equipment that will bring the Flash Capacitor voltage up very slowly
    Forming is Important and can save you money and lost equipment time.


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    45,748
    Likes Received:
    14,782
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The theory is perfectly reasonable for electrolytic capacitors, but his recommendations for rate and duration seem rather long to me. I try and remember to charge my monolights up every few weeks when they're sitting idle, but it can easily be a month or two between uses (I LOVES me my high-power speedlights) and I've never noticed any ill effects. IIRC, the manufacturer's recommendation is power on for five minutes, discharge a couple of times and store charged. I figure they probably know what they're doing.
     
  3. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    16,144
    Likes Received:
    2,968
    Location:
    Chesterfield UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    ********, i flash the **** out of mine never had any problems got some lights that must be from the 80's
     
  4. vivek42

    vivek42 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2021
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    UAE
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I was looking for this for a long time. Really helpful.
     
  5. Rickbb

    Rickbb No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2020
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    148
    Location:
    Central North Carolina USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit


    This, I have some old ones I bought used 15 years ago and rarely use, sometimes years. Never had an issue with them. May fire them up tomorrow just for giggles.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

strobe capacitor maintenance schedule

,

studio of light maintenance