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Flash unit not firing when connected to camera

 
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terry79843



Joined: 14 Apr 2022
Posts: 6
Location: Marfa, TX

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2022 8:16 pm    Post subject: Flash unit not firing when connected to camera Reply with quote

I recently acquired a 1952 Pacemaker Crown Graphic with a Graphex Full Synchromatic Shutter with switch at the bottom (off, FX, red M, black M). It came with a Grafex model 2773 3 cell flashgun, reflector, adapter that screws into the top with a small bulb and sync cord.

With batteries installed, the bulb will light when the red switch is pressed. I performed a "shorted cord" test with all the outlets on the battery case and they appear working fine. The sync cord had some covering missing and I taped it and it shows continuity and no shorting. The posts on the shutter are fairly shiny and don't appear to be corroded. Following all the instruction manuals for camera and flash unit, I can't get the unit to fire from the camera, only if I fire a bulb with the red switch on battery case.

Any thoughts on what I could be missing or is there a possibility that the shutter is the problem? I have a second flash unit and get the same results. The sync cord came with the camera and fits the shutter posts so I assume it is the correct one. I have a Pacemaker Speed Graphic with a solonoid and haven't tested it there because I don't have a cord. I did test it with the focal plane shutter and it fired, although late (wrong bulb).
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 4079
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2022 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Full Sync Graphex:
Off - no flash fired
X - electronic flash
F - gas filled flash bulbs
Red M - M2 flash bulbs
Black M - M5 and type M flash bulbs.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1sPJkp-Mdghdk1kVTd4d1h6OTA/view?usp=sharing&resourcekey=0-dRwYmfjd3-qUPqG4zoLvUA

http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/manual-pdf/GraphexShutterService.pdf
Describes how to service the shutter in detail.
Internal flash contacts tarnished or sync mechanism not operating.
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terry79843



Joined: 14 Apr 2022
Posts: 6
Location: Marfa, TX

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2022 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the links. I will review the information and see what happens.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 4079
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2022 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this the synchronizer you have?
https://www.cameramanuals.org/prof_pdf/graflex_flash_synchronizer.pdf
OR
Is this the synchronizer you have?
https://www.cameramanuals.org/flashes_meters/graflite.pdf
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terry79843



Joined: 14 Apr 2022
Posts: 6
Location: Marfa, TX

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2022 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The one I have is your second link, the Graflite 3 cell. I have a copy of that manual and followed the operational instructions. The bulbs I have on hand to test are the GE number 5, Class M. These will fire pressing the red button on the battery case but not by pressing the shutter release on the camera.

I have the adapter with the small bulb that screws into the top of the battery case to test the unit. I don't know when testing the shutter this will illuminate as a way of checking shutter operation, or only illuminates with the red button pressed.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 4079
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2022 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have the adapter with the small bulb that screws into the top of the battery case to test the unit. I don't know when testing the shutter this will illuminate as a way of checking shutter operation, or only illuminates with the red button pressed.

If you have the cable connected and connect the terminials that connect to the shutter and the test bulb lights then the Graflite is working correctly.
Where is the switch set to? It should be on N. With the test bulb in the Graflite and the Graflite connected to the shutter with the shutter set to Black M the light will light for the duration of the shutter speed. Set the shutter to B or 1 second then trip the shutter in low to no ambient light, you now be able to see the bulb light if the shutter flash sync is working.
Type M flash bulbs take 17 milliseconds to reach 2/3 of their peak light output and drop to 2/3 after reaching full light output 26 milliseconds later. This is the usable light from the bulb and a shutter speed of 1/30 second or slower is required to capture it.
The shutter fires the flash and prevents the shutter from opening for 15 to 17 milliseconds allowing the flash bulb to reach usable light output. Type F flash bulbs have a 5 millisecond to reach usable light output and a 5 millisecond delay is fast enough to use with electronic flash.
Download this manual if you do not have it
http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/manual-pdf/GrafliteService.pdf
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terry79843



Joined: 14 Apr 2022
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Location: Marfa, TX

PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2022 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you have suggested I have tried. To recap, in case I am missing something, here are the steps I used. I inserted 3 good D size batteries into the battery case. I attached the cord into the shutter slot in the battery case and the other end attached to the contact posts on the shutter. Switch position is on "N". I fire the shutter through the body release. The instructions I follow are found in the Pacemaker instruction manual and the Graflite manual you linked.

I set the synchronizer switch on the shutter Black M and tried 100-400 and the Red M and tried T-50. No results.

I have a copy of the last link you sent about the Graflite Flash Equipment. I ran a second test today on both my battery cases and got the same results. For some reason on both cases when the switch is on position 1 the shutter shows "hot" when it should be "dead" when pressing the red switch and when the "remote" is shorted. It tests normal when the switch is in the "N" position. Even though it shows normal function on the "N" position, I don't know if this hot test for position 1 is causing an issue even though I am not using position 1.
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45PSS



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

PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2022 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking at page 5 of the Graflite service manual the switch positions when referenced to the schematic diagram shows battery + connected to both sides of the Shutter socket.

With the switch at N, shutter cable connected to the shutter socket jumper the shutter contacts with a paper clip or a piece of wire.
Does the lamp light? Yes - shutter defective; No - cord defective.
A single strand of wire inside the cable making contact will show continuity but it will not carry enough current to light the light of fire a flash bulb.
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terry79843



Joined: 14 Apr 2022
Posts: 6
Location: Marfa, TX

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2022 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say reading schematics can confuse me sometimes. I think what you are saying is the test I have performed. I plugged the cord into the "Shutter" socket of the battery case and got a paper clip and shorted the other end where it plugs into the shutter. When I do this, the lamp lights. According to page 3 of the "shorted" test, the lamp should show "hot". It does light up when shorted and goes out when not shorted.

With the cable plugged into the "Shutter" socket of the battery case, with a volt meter I am reading 4.5 volts when I attach meter cables to the opposite end of the cable where they would plug into the shutter. That shows power is coming through the cord. I assume it should have power coming through. If I jiggle the cord, the light will come on and the volts will drop, indicating my cord does have some issue. I need to find a better cord and in the mean time maybe untape mine and try to get it better repaired.

My Speed Graphic has a Graphic Supermatic (X) shutter with a solenoid attached. I don't have a cord that will fit the solenoid. Do you know if I can test the cord by plugging the cord into the shutter contacts and by doing so the lamp on the battery case will illuminate when I release the shutter? I understand this shutter (X) is made for electronic flash and not delay flash. But curious if it will work just to test the cord and battery case.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 4079
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2022 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The flash sync terminals and contacts in the shutter work on all flash sync. The only thing that changes is how long before the shutter blades reach full open that the flash contacts close. The design of the the Supermatic X is such that the flash sync will be connected at B as long as the shutter is held open.

Look at the schematic again. The + of the battery is connected to one side of the Shutter socket, the other side of the socket is connected to the center terminal of the bulb socket, the outside of the bulb is connected to the - battery terminal. With a shutter sync cord attached to a shutter the shutter flash terminals close the circuit lighting the bulb when the shutter operates.

The Sockets on the Graflite are standard non polarized household plugs. They use the angled plugs and one side of the battery is connected to the same side of the sockets so that the cables are plugged in with the wire running down the Graflite. Straight non polarized plugs will work but you will have to mark which side is + and pay attention when connecting them.
A dual core wire that will just fit the solenoid contact hole tinned so that it is
solid the distance of the solenoid's contacts can be used as the solenoid cable. I think there were some razor cords or similar that used pins on the end that will work also.
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terry79843



Joined: 14 Apr 2022
Posts: 6
Location: Marfa, TX

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2022 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you. I really appreciate all the time and energy you have spent assisting me. Truly a learning experience.

Update

After saying it was alright to connect to the other "X" shutter I tried both graflites and my cable with the other camera connected to the shutter posts on the shutter. I received illumination on my graflite bulb from T through 50 (although 50 was very dim). I then tried the setup with the cord connected to the solenoid outlet on the graflite and touched the cord to the solenoid posts since I don't have a cord that will fit the larger posts. Firing the graflite through the red button on the battery case, the unit fired and illuminated the bulb, brightly, through 400.

So, the bottom line is it appears all along my issue seems to be with the shutter on the one camera, since everything worked fine with the shutter on the other camera.
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