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Electronic flash with Crown Graphic problems

 
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ardmoreit



Joined: 27 May 2017
Posts: 3
Location: Northeast Texas

PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 1:05 am    Post subject: Electronic flash with Crown Graphic problems Reply with quote

Hello,

I'm new to Graflex and need help getting my electronic handle mount flash to work with my Graflex Optar 135mm f4.7 lens with Graphex shutter. The camera is a Pacemaker Crown Graphic that is a1955 or later version because it has the top mounted Graflex Rangefinder.

The Optar lens has both the bi post, and a solenoid on it. It has four flash settings on the lower right: black "M', red "M', F-X, and Off. I've purchased a Paramount brand female PC to Bi-post Graflex flash extension cord that I've connected to a PC male to PC male cord. Together I've attached both flash cords and secured the male PC to the electronic flash unit, and the Bi-post end of the flash cord to the Bi-post on the lens.

My original Graflex Pacemaker owner manual says to place the sync selector on F-X for using electronic flash which I've done. The manual says to use any shutter speed.

When I test the flash unit it only fires the flash about 1 to 4 times when first hooking it up and powering up the flash then it won't work at all until putting it away and trying it again another day. Of course, I'm testing it without film, but I can't figure out why the flash initially works and then quits working. I think the synchronization is working because when it does fire I can see through the ground glass that it syncs with the chosen shutter speed.

Might the problem be using a bi-post to female PC sync extension cord attached to a PC male to PC male cord instead of one, single flash cord made of PC male to bi-post?

Any suggestions or solutions?
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3506
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are the pins on the shutter bright or black? Clean them with metal polish if they are dark colored/black.
My Paramount BiPost to PC cord has a loose fitting PC connector, I often have to apply pressure to it and the cable connected to it to get the flash to fire.
The Graphex service manual is available here:
http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/manual-pdf/GraphexShutterService.pdf
The contacts inside the shutter may not be making good contact or the sync mechanism may not be functioning correctly.
The 135mm Optar is in a #2 shutter.
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ardmoreit



Joined: 27 May 2017
Posts: 3
Location: Northeast Texas

PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

First off, thanks very much for responding to my post. I genuinely appreciate it. I've downloaded the service manual so I can reference it as needed.

Before testing electronic flash I carefully cleaned the Bi-posts. They're currently bright & shiny, and not dark. Of course, without taking the lens apart I can't tell what the interior portion of the Bi-post setup looks like, but the exterior looked relatively clean when I bought it, but for added insurance I carefully cleaned the exposed Bi-posts as best I could.

If something is off or corroded inside the lens I'm wondering why the flash appears to work when I initially hook it up and use it, and then stops working. Then again, sometimes after first hooking it up it doesn't work at all, but if it does work it is always when first using it, and then it stops working.

The lens is exceptionally clean, all the speeds from T to 1/400 work as they should, and to the ear sound accurate. I didn't want to have to, but should I "bite the bullet" and pay for a CLA? Or, should I start by purchasing a male PC to Graflex Bi-post from Paramount?
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3506
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm new to Graflex and need help getting my electronic handle mount flash to work with my Graflex Optar 135mm f4.7 lens with Graphex shutter.

Its cloudy and cool here so I started putting my Metz 45CT5 back together, the diodes it needs will be here in a few days. Contrary, snap together, no work space thing.

Quote:
When I test the flash unit it only fires the flash about 1 to 4 times when first hooking it up and powering up the flash then it won't work at all until putting it away and trying it again another day. Of course, I'm testing it without film, but I can't figure out why the flash initially works and then quits working. I think the synchronization is working because when it does fire I can see through the ground glass that it syncs with the chosen shutter speed.

The Graphex shutter used two thin pieces of brass that turn 90 from the case/pins. Neither pin should be making contact with the case or each other unless the shutter is at or near full open on F/X or at shutter release on either M. It is likely the contacts are shorted to the case, left pin should have a thin rubber insulator between the case and end of the contact, the sync delay is sticking causing the contacts to be closed, or the contacts are misformed causing intermittent closed contact.
The shutter can be safely operated with the face plate and speed ring removed but the Time and Bulb levers will need to be manually operated to get the shutter to close.
Follow #2 shutter disassembly instructions paragraph 19 steps a,b, and c, manual page 26 and visually check the contacts. I have serviced several of these shutters and have never had to disassemble the delay timing mechanism but have removed the mechanism as part of a CLA and flushed it with solvent.

Test you flash on a different camera and verify it is working properly.
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ardmoreit



Joined: 27 May 2017
Posts: 3
Location: Northeast Texas

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your description makes sense.

I'll give that a try.

Thanks again for the advice.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1553
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

45PSS mentioned flushing with solvent. I have done this to all my Graphex shutters, using "Ronsonol" (lighter fluid, a/k/a naphtha). To save you time and trouble, may I suggest that you try the flush before you tear down the mechanism? This has been my usual procedure, and I've achieved good results in some cases, no results in others, but have never made matters worse! If you go this route, you must remove the front and rear lens elements first! They unscrew CCW; use a rubber jar lid gripper if necessary. Apply the fluid sparingly into the front lens opening at the location of the synchronizer; move the synch lever back and forth a few times, and also work the shutter through all speeds. Repeat as necessary. Allow the solvent to evaporate completely before replacing the lens elements. HTH.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3506
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEVER USE LIGHTER FLUID OR FULL STRENGTH NAPHTHA IN A GRAPHEX SHUTTER. It will damage or destroy the rubber and plastic insulators in the full sync shutter causing more damage than good.

Suggesting using lighter fluid is an insult.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1553
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My results differ. YRMV!
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3506
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may have gotten lucky once but don't bet on being lucky every time.
Clean your lens with 0000 steel wool is a comparable tip.
Throw a lit match on the shutter after taking it out of the lighter fluid to dry it quickly.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1553
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good advice. I'll use the 0000 steel wool soaked in Ronsonol next time!

Seriously, since you mentioned in your post above that you yourself use a solvent, could you give us the benefit of your experience and recommend the particular solvent that you use? That might be helpful to those of us whose understanding of these matters is deficient.
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