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Archive 2011 · Worth repairing old Broncolor Pulso 4 ?
  
 
TiSE
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p.1 #1 · Worth repairing old Broncolor Pulso 4 ?


Hey,
I've bought cheap old, not working Pulso 4 pack.. It has a leaking capacitor and I've not even tried to power it up yet.
I've heard that the capacitors are not the best in these packs once they start to go, and you have to condition them regularly etc.. An estimate to replace a capacitor including freight etc will be at least $500 and there's no guarantees there won't be more problems.
An alternative is to buy a capacitor from Europe at about $120 inc postage and replace it myself, then hope that's all that was wrong. I can replace a capacitor without killing myself or the pack, but my question to all is, what is your experience with these packs, are the worth keeping & repairing etc..

Any advise and or tips would be greatly appreciated.

BTW, I have an original Mobil pack and heads with some modifiers, so have an investment in Bron bits & pieces already.

Just for kicks, here is a shot of the leaky capacitor...




Nov 17, 2011 at 10:31 AM
aborr
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p.1 #2 · Worth repairing old Broncolor Pulso 4 ?


The one capacitor is clearly in bad shape, but you really don't know about the state of the others. It may be that you need to replace the whole bank. If you can find suitable equivalent parts locally at a good price, and you've already got some heads that fit the pack, it might be worthwhile making the repair yourself.

PS: I don't know how much electrical knowledge you have, but I'd think twice about powering up the pack, even with the suspected bad part removed. Big high voltage caps whose electrolyte has dried out can sometimes explode with a surprising amount of force. It would be safer to replace all the caps, or at least to test the remaining ones individually, out of circuit, before you risk connecting the pack to the mains.



Nov 18, 2011 at 10:18 AM
mdelrossi
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p.1 #3 · Worth repairing old Broncolor Pulso 4 ?


Find a local strobe repair shop and bring it to them for evaluation.
There is a huge amount of energy stored in the capacitors and you do not want to muck about unless you know exactly what you are doing.
You could kill yourself. don't chance it.

mdr




Nov 18, 2011 at 03:31 PM
400d
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p.1 #4 · Worth repairing old Broncolor Pulso 4 ?


Can't really say if it's worth to repair, a recent auction for the Pulso 4 on ebay UK was GBP 301/USD 475.34+shipping, and it's in working condition. You can remove the leaky one and turn it on to see if it works, if it does, you have a working pack with slightly less power. As much as I like to mess around with electrical stuff, I wouldn't want to poke around in a pack, that's 500VDC there, just one cap exploding would be devastating. It appears the caps are soldered in parallel, which you need a high wattage iron, I'd say at least 80W.

Not trying to discourage you as I have always taken the adventure route myself...I hope you do have a good understanding in discharging the caps properly.



Nov 18, 2011 at 04:36 PM
aborr
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p.1 #5 · Worth repairing old Broncolor Pulso 4 ?


When a capacitor 'leaks', it's probably because it overheated from heavy use or abuse. There's a safety vent at the top of the can that pops open to relieve pressure (to prevent the can from exploding). The safety vent is a 'one time' protection - after it opens, the electrolyte in the capacitor can leak or evaporate out and the capacitor should be replaced (or at least, removed from the bank, as "400d" suggested).


Nov 18, 2011 at 08:45 PM
TiSE
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p.1 #6 · Worth repairing old Broncolor Pulso 4 ?


Thanks guys, I'll try removing it as I have nothing to loose.. At least then I'll know if it's worth sourcing a new Capacitor or not.. btw, I'm aware of the dangers but at least they're not using PCB's like some of the old computers I used to have to fix..
I will take advise though and be well clear when I turn it on to start the conditioning process.



Nov 18, 2011 at 09:52 PM
TiSE
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p.1 #7 · Worth repairing old Broncolor Pulso 4 ?


HI, I removed the offending capacitor and got up the courage to power it on with a very long extension cord... It powers up with 88 in display then goes to 10 flashing.. I suspect it's trying to charge, but can't get the power decrement button to work.
Another symptom is that when I try to push the button for port one, the led comes on for that port but a beep sound is heard untill I turn it off again...

I'm going to give it some more try's each day or so in an attempt to condition the caps.. I think it is charging because when I pulled the covers off and dumped the caps, there was a bit of energy in there even after it had been left off for a couple of hours.. CRACK !

Any idea's ? I'm getting close to relegating it to spare parts but that sounds like such a pity for what was once a great pack.. ?

Thanks, Rob.



Nov 21, 2011 at 09:20 AM
 

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400d
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p.1 #8 · Worth repairing old Broncolor Pulso 4 ?


TiSE wrote:
HI, I removed the offending capacitor and got up the courage to power it on with a very long extension cord... It powers up with 88 in display then goes to 10 flashing.. I suspect it's trying to charge, but can't get the power decrement button to work.
Another symptom is that when I try to push the button for port one, the led comes on for that port but a beep sound is heard untill I turn it off again...

I'm going to give it some more try's each day or so in an attempt to condition the caps..
...Show more
The pack sounds like working, 88 (I assume that's testing lights on panel) and at power 10 (full power). You need to connect a flash head to discharge or the misfire alarm will go off. Do you have any experience with Broncolor pack before? In a fraction of second it recharges to have 1-2kJ of energy already, be very careful.



Nov 21, 2011 at 07:28 PM
TiSE
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p.1 #9 · Worth repairing old Broncolor Pulso 4 ?


Yes, 88 seems to be part of a power on self test... I would assume that if it had recharged properly that 10 would not be flashing and I could reduce the power level from 10 down through the range to 6.0... I did have a Pulso Twin head connected but the alarm still went off when I tried to enable the port. I think I need to find a manual for this.. Only ones I can find online so far are not free... A bit rich when the people selling them didn't create them or own the IP... I'll keep searching...
Also, I do have an original Mobil pack and heads so have a bit of an idea of what to expect but without the manual, I'm not 100% sure what should be happening.



Nov 22, 2011 at 10:34 AM
400d
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p.1 #10 · Worth repairing old Broncolor Pulso 4 ?


The manual is right there on Bron's site: http://www.broncolor.com/broncolor/download/manuals-archive/
What's the voltage on the caps when it's being charged?



Nov 22, 2011 at 03:33 PM
TiSE
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p.1 #11 · Worth repairing old Broncolor Pulso 4 ?


Thanks for the link, I actually had that one... it's the 404 manual I can't find

I have got the lamp ports to come on now but still can't get it to move from a flashing 10 in the display... If I try to trigger the pack via the slave or miniphone port, the misfire alarm sounds for 5-10 seconds and no flash from the twin head. This head works ok on a Mobil pack.

I have not got to a point where I'm willing to power up with the covers off to check the voltage on the caps during charging but will do this once I've successfully left it on for a couple of hours and will post the result.. Maybe a few days to a week depending on work.

Thanks for your interest.

Rob.



Nov 25, 2011 at 07:01 AM
LOD52
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p.1 #12 · Worth repairing old Broncolor Pulso 4 ?


For safety, you always should start testing with the lowest power. So set to 6.

The Pulso 4 is equipped with 2 stacked (in series) banks of 10 capacitors of 2450uF/360V in parallel each. This means an overall voltage of 720V DC max.
If 1C is removed from a bank (if burned out f.e.), you have to remove 1C from the other bank too, due to the balance in capacitance!

If you are not experienced, do not open it. These Voltages and power are killing!
Beware of rest voltages on C's!



Dec 14, 2011 at 08:31 PM
TiSE
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p.1 #13 · Worth repairing old Broncolor Pulso 4 ?


Thanks, I'll try that. My current issue is that I just get a flashing 10 and no response from panel to lower power to 6.0 which is what I want to do. I've not done much with it lately due to a working S1400 R to use but really want the adjustment range of the Pulso.

I had only removed one cap from one bank, so your post makes good sense.

Regards



Dec 17, 2011 at 10:05 PM





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