PCB Einstein not firing (Update - defective flashtube)
/forum/topic/1161108/0

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no_surrender
Registered: Apr 23, 2011
Total Posts: 1149
Country: Italy

Ordered and received 3 Einsteins recently. One of them will not fire. The only thing I saw on their site regarding trouble shooting for this required replacing the flash tube due to end of service life. The flash tube appears to be installed correctly and firmly. Yes, I contacted PCB customer support via email, but will have to wait a few days for them to respond and I was supposed to have a shoot later this afternoon and wanted to test these lights out. Don't worry, the shoot is with a friend for practice. Also, it's difficult for me to call their support team over the phone due to the time difference and I don't have a personal phone here to call long distance. Was hoping another FM member may have experienced the same thing and could guide me in the right direction without having to wait as long. Thanks in advance!

Kevin



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2537
Country: United States

the one time I had a problem like this with my buf lights it was due to a broken wire going from the flash tube to the electrical connector. The wires on the buff tubes are extremely thin and break very easily. Not sure if it can be repaired but if the LED circuit on the back of the lights are working it may be a tube. Try swapping the tube out from one of the other lights.



no_surrender
Registered: Apr 23, 2011
Total Posts: 1149
Country: Italy

jzucker wrote:
the one time I had a problem like this with my buf lights it was due to a broken wire going from the flash tube to the electrical connector. The wires on the buff tubes are extremely thin and break very easily. Not sure if it can be repaired but if the LED circuit on the back of the lights are working it may be a tube. Try swapping the tube out from one of the other lights.



Thanks jzucker, it's the flash tube.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2537
Country: United States

i complained to them about that. I don't know why they use such a thin wire leading to the connector. They said I was the only person who's reported a problem like that but I have a hard time believing it...



no_surrender
Registered: Apr 23, 2011
Total Posts: 1149
Country: Italy

Hmmm...not sure, I'm curious if mine got damaged in shipping. Maybe they should start shipping with bulbs packed separately. I'm 9 hours ahead of Nashville so I've got to wait a bit longer before they respond to my email. Did they replace your bulb free of charge?



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2537
Country: United States

no_surrender wrote:
Hmmm...not sure, I'm curious if mine got damaged in shipping. Maybe they should start shipping with bulbs packed separately. I'm 9 hours ahead of Nashville so I've got to wait a bit longer before they respond to my email. Did they replace your bulb free of charge?


no



no_surrender
Registered: Apr 23, 2011
Total Posts: 1149
Country: Italy

Maybe our situations are different. Mine was shipped with a defective flash bulb. I'd be really surprised if they didn't offer a free replacement.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2537
Country: United States

no_surrender wrote:
Maybe our situations are different. Mine was shipped with a defective flash bulb. I'd be really surprised if they didn't offer a free replacement.


Yes, mine was working originally but broke when a softbox slipped off it. It was a minor impact (didn't break the tube) but because the wires are so thin, it snapped the wire. I'll bet the wire is smaller than .005"



kenyee
Registered: Jul 08, 2008
Total Posts: 1528
Country: United States

no_surrender wrote:
Maybe they should start shipping with bulbs packed separately.


They used to do this back when I bought mine...bulbs in separate boxes.
And for the CC question, yes it always shows 16 bars for all 16 channels even if you only have 2 lights. It's one of those things we suggested as an improvement for the CC.

They'll take care of it if it's a defective bulb...not sure how you got them in Korea (if your sig is correct) though...



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2537
Country: United States

kenyee wrote:
no_surrender wrote:
Maybe they should start shipping with bulbs packed separately.


They used to do this back when I bought mine...bulbs in separate boxes.
And for the CC question, yes it always shows 16 bars for all 16 channels even if you only have 2 lights. It's one of those things we suggested as an improvement for the CC.

They'll take care of it if it's a defective bulb...not sure how you got them in Korea (if your sig is correct) though...


It's hard to prove it's a defective bulb. The wire from the connector to the flash tube is so thin it can easily shear, even from inserting as happened on one of mine. I don't doubt that it can sheer through vibration or force if the box is mishandled during shipping. This is something they could easily address in their manufacturing specifications.

In my case, i had to pay for a new tube.



BrianO
Registered: Aug 21, 2008
Total Posts: 8552
Country: United States

kenyee wrote: ...not sure how you got them in Korea (if your sig is correct) though...

Being in the Air Force, it's often like being stateside when it comes to getting mail/packages.



no_surrender
Registered: Apr 23, 2011
Total Posts: 1149
Country: Italy

jzucker, I see what you mean by the thin wire connector...it appears to be very fragile. Maybe PCB will improve the connection in the future.

kenyee, thanks for the CC clarification.

kenyee / BrianO, they shipped my order via USPS to an APO address here on base...it wasn't cheap!

Kevin



no_surrender
Registered: Apr 23, 2011
Total Posts: 1149
Country: Italy

BTW, about how long are the flash tubes lasting for you guys? PCB is going to send a replacement and I'm wondering if I should go ahead and order another as a spare or do these last for at least a year with moderate usage?

Thanks! Kevin



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2537
Country: United States

they last a long time but they are so flimsy I would definitely keep a spare around. I went through several in a 2 month period



BigIronCruiser
Registered: Apr 07, 2009
Total Posts: 779
Country: United States

I've been using Einstein's since they first came on the market, and haven't had any bulb issues so far. Two of them (in a Pelican case) fell out of the back of my truck at 30MPH, and still no issues. Definitely lucky!



no_surrender
Registered: Apr 23, 2011
Total Posts: 1149
Country: Italy

jzucker wrote:
they last a long time but they are so flimsy I would definitely keep a spare around. I went through several in a 2 month period


Did you go thru them from heavy use or did they just break for no reason?



BrianO
Registered: Aug 21, 2008
Total Posts: 8552
Country: United States

no_surrender wrote: Did you go thru them from heavy use or did they just break for no reason?

If you pack yours in a rugged case (like the Pelican mentioned above), and if you use reasonable care in placing and removing modifiers, yours should last a long time.

Having one or two spares is just good insurance, especially considering your current distance from the factory.



no_surrender
Registered: Apr 23, 2011
Total Posts: 1149
Country: Italy

BigIronCruiser wrote:
I've been using Einstein's since they first came on the market, and haven't had any bulb issues so far. Two of them (in a Pelican case) fell out of the back of my truck at 30MPH, and still no issues. Definitely lucky!


Wow, good to know! Probably a testament to Pelican, but glad you haven't had any issues with them. What Pelican case are you using? I was thinking of getting the 1514 carry on model, but not quite sure if I'll be able to fit 3 Einsteins in there. I was planning on packing them in using the foam that they're originally shipped in.



no_surrender
Registered: Apr 23, 2011
Total Posts: 1149
Country: Italy

BrianO wrote:
no_surrender wrote: Did you go thru them from heavy use or did they just break for no reason?

If you pack yours in a rugged case (like the Pelican mentioned above), and if you use reasonable care in placing and removing modifiers, yours should last a long time.

Having one or two spares is just good insurance, especially considering your current distance from the factory.


I agree, may have to order two spares along with the replacement. Thanks, BrianO!

Kevin



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2537
Country: United States

no_surrender wrote:
jzucker wrote:
they last a long time but they are so flimsy I would definitely keep a spare around. I went through several in a 2 month period


Did you go thru them from heavy use or did they just break for no reason?


Each time it was from a light modifier slipping off the grip. This actually happened on the alien bees, not the einsteins. The grips on the bees are not nearly as strong or heavy duty. The einstein grips are thicker and the springs are much heavier, plus the way it locks and unlocks is better.

But when I saw how thin the wire is (thinner than the high e string of a heavy metal rock guitar) I knew it was not a good situation!



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