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4 Cell “Light *****” Flash Questions

 
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Gatsby1923



Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 2
Location: New England

PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi just received an old 4 cell light ***** style flash, but I have a few questions… I guess the simplest question is do any one know if there is a website with instructions for one of these? Barring an Instruction manual I have some questions on the operation of the unit. It seems a lot more complicated than the late 1960’s vintage model I have for my crown Graphic. Firstly what dose the switch on the side do? Is it an on off switch for the button that fires the gun and solenoid? And why dose that button unscrew to reveal a bi-pole connection?

I know what the household connection on the front is for connecting it to the solenoid on the lens board. But what are the over bi-pole connections around the flash for? Also there is a wire with a bi-pole female connection on it (to connect to the lens) that is screwed into the front of the gun.

And one final question I have never been able to work out. When I connect a flash handle to the solenoid and fire it the flash fires as well as the shutter but nothing is recorded on the film almost as though the shutter is opening after the flash. So how dose one work it so you can be firing the camera from the solenoid and use the flash.
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Jack5541



Joined: 31 Jul 2003
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2004-12-11 15:06, Gatsby1923 wrote:
Hi just received an old 4 cell light ***** style flash, but I have a few questions… I guess the simplest question is do any one know if there is a website with instructions for one of these?


Hi Gatsby1923, to my knowledge this particular manual is not on any website, but it is available thru http://www.craigcamera.com/ or from http://www.photobooksonline.com/books/userbk06FA.html.

Quote:

On 2004-12-11 15:06, Gatsby1923 wrote:
Barring an Instruction manual I have some questions on the operation of the unit. It seems a lot more complicated than the late 1960’s vintage model I have for my crown Graphic. Firstly what dose the switch on the side do? Is it an on off switch for the button that fires the gun and solenoid? And why dose that button unscrew to reveal a bi-pole connection?


First of all, we recently had a discussion thread about this flashgun and the various outlets on it. This thread is here: http://www.graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?topic=3036&forum=7&9

As for your questions, I think the "switch on the side" that you describe is the small thumb-slide switch that you slide up to turn on the focusing spotlight. Assuming your so-called "glass eye" lens is intact in the front, there should be a small bulb behind it which turns on and provides a spotlight for focusing in low light situations. So if the lens and bulb are intact, sliding this switch upwards should turn the bulb on.

As far as the red button on the back, as you say it unscrews out of its circular mount revealing a bi-post connection. As described in both the manual and the discussion I linked to above, this rear bi-post port is used to connect either the A-20 sync cord to the biposts on the front shutter or the F-17 cord which goes to the focal plan shutter bi-post connection on Anniversary models. If you have a Pacemaker model, then the A-20 cord connects from this rear port to BOTH the front shutter and the focal plane shutter biposts on the right side of the camera under the winding key.

Quote:

On 2004-12-11 15:06, Gatsby1923 wrote:
I know what the household connection on the front is for connecting it to the solenoid on the lens board. But what are the over bi-pole connections around the flash for?


The standard household outlet is not a connection for a solenoid. Per the instuction manual for this flash:
"A standard household plug can be inserted into the vertical openings in front of the battery case to permit the use of standard photoflood reflectors or ordinary home lighting equipment to hold additional flash lamps."
So I interpret this to mean that this household outlet serves a purpose similar to the "extension" outlet on the later model 2773 Graflite unit.

The remaining 2 circular ports on on either side of the household outlet is where you would plug in the S-17 or S-36 cord. The other end of one of these cords is then plugged in the little holes at the bottom of the solenoid. You can use either one of these FRONT round ports for your solenoid cord. You cannot use the rear port for your flash-to-solenoid cord because the red button needs to swung up, screwed in and pushed in order to close the circuit, trip the solenoid and fire the bulb.

Quote:

On 2004-12-11 15:06, Gatsby1923 wrote:
Also there is a wire with a bi-pole female connection on it (to connect to the lens) that is screwed into the front of the gun.


Where is this wire screwed into on the front? Does it go into the round hole where the "glass eye" focus light lens normally would be found? If so, then it sounds like this wire is a cord to power a Kalart focuspot, which has nothing at all to do with any shutter synchronization.

Quote:

On 2004-12-11 15:06, Gatsby1923 wrote:
And one final question I have never been able to work out. When I connect a flash handle to the solenoid and fire it the flash fires as well as the shutter but nothing is recorded on the film almost as though the shutter is opening after the flash. So how dose one work it so you can be firing the camera from the solenoid and use the flash.


Well there are a couple of different possibilites here. You said to begin your post that you are using a 4-cell. I assume this means that you have a 4-cell extension tube that comprises the bottom of the flashgun, beneath the mounting bracket and clamp lever. So if you are using 4 cells, the solenoid timing might be be off. Graflex made different numbered solenoids, the solenoid numbers corresponding to the number of cells being used with your flashgun. For example, a number "2" solenoid is used for a 2-cell flashgun. A number "3" solenoid used with a 3-cell flashgun. But (to my knowledge) there were no number "4" or "5" solenoids made for using 4 or 5 cell extension tubes. So the manual states that when using a 4-cell like the one you have, additional (more than 2 or 3 cell) battery strength requires turning the adjustment cap on the solenoid UP approximately one full turn.

So, when using a solenoid for flash sync, timing is really everything. You press the red button, circuit is closed, solenoid trips shutter, shutter is full open precisely when the fired bulb reaches full intensity. Pressing the red button, bulb is fired and 20 milliseconds later the bulb reaches its maximum output and the shutter is wide open. It is the solenoid adjustment that controls that 20-millisecond window for all of this action to happen. If the solenoid is not adjusted properly for this precise timing, then nothing will be delivered except a black photo.

From the manual.....
MAKING A FLASH SHOT WITH A GRAFLEX SYNCHRONIZER

1. Connect the S-17 or S-36 cord to the solenoid and to one of the two circular parallel outlets in the front of the battery case.

2. Determine the correct exposure for the lamp selected. Use the film speed given by the film or lamp manufacturer and the exposure tables supplied by the latter.

3. Adjust the diaphragm and the shutter speed control accordingly, and cock the shutter.

4. Insert the lamp in the socket by thrusting its base directly into the clamp.

5. Be sure that the focal plane shutter is open and locked.

6. Insert the film holder or film pack adapter and pull out its slide.

7. Focuse the camera lens.

8. Direct the camera with either of the two viewfinders.

9. Make the exposure by pressing on the main switch at the back of the battery case. This will cause the shutter to operate in a manner to effect proper synchronization.

Gatsby, this is assuming that the solenoid is properly adjusted, of course. The manual, which I recommend you getting, explains in detail procedures for properly setting up the solenoid for its 20-millisecond sync.

If you have a shutter that already has intenal flash sync, then you don't really need to mess with the solenoid at all, unless you just want to use it to remotely trip the shutter from the flash (in order to eliminate camera shake associated with tripping the shutter release directly with a finger.

What part of New England are you in? I'm south of Boston, maybe not far from you?

Hope I've helped. I know it's confusing. If you have more questions, just ask!!

Cheers,
Jack.
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