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Heiland Syncronbar... What do I have and can I get it work?

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Joined: 09 Sep 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Wyandotte, MI

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:48 pm    Post subject: Heiland Syncronbar... What do I have and can I get it work? Reply with quote

I was at a photo equipment swap meet yesterday - picked up a couple of items.
The one of interest is an all chrome piece Branded Heiland Syncronbar. long tube - but the head on it is the chrome reflector and instead of a flashbulb - there is a (xenon?) flash tube. there is a heavy cord coming out of the back of the head and the end of the cord terminates into a rectangular plug with 4 flat blades.

As the machining of on the back is professional - I'm assuming this head was built this way and the unit terminates into some type of power pack.. All my searching - I think the tube is 3 D cell which probably wouldn't power this. What type of battery pack would this have terminated into?

I'm wondering what it would take to get this working again - (with a current digital, not a graflex - sorry).

I'm looking to get the characteristic barebulb harsh directional light - for a wedding I've been asked to shoot. (I'm not a wedding photographer).. (It's a white trash, vintage camper wedding happening at our next rally). If I can't get it to work - it will make a great prop for my outfit when I have to pose with the crowd...
Thank you for your advice and patience with me a newbie.... It would be fun to get this working...
John Truitt
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Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3861
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not that familiar with older flashes but the "bar" in synchrobar suggest it is for a movie camera, strobonar is an electronic flash. Site search > heiland < for the keyword = 138 posts of which
may be relevant.

Portable power packs of that era used 510 V batteries for power.

Any vintage flash from the 1960's or older should not be connected direct to a digital camera even if their sync cords match. Vintage flash or strobes will apply a high voltage or cause a high current through the cameras sync terminal which will destroy a digital cameras circuitry.
Connect older flashes through a converter such as :

Flash bulb flashes are low voltage but high current, 3 to 10 amps, while early electronic flashes will apply up to 600 volts to the sync circuit.
Digital camera circuirty will handle 5 Volts or less and or .000001 amps or less.
The best camera ever made is the one that YOU enjoy using and produces the image quality that satifies YOU.
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Joined: 04 Apr 2004
Posts: 158
Location: SE Michigan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Item number 300775196990

If this or something similar is what you have, my suggestion is to look for a modern version of a "bare bulb" flash.

Eveready #497 510v batteries while still available are rare and usually expensive, I Googled one for $145.00 and one for $30.00 and a couple in between, with no guarantee as to how long they will last. You don't have the powerpack for your unit and if you did the old capacitors are probably kaput.

Here is a powerpack with a head and flash tube, the PP may work with your head and flash tube. This head will fit on your battery case and with the PP will look cool even if it doesn't work.

Try building your own #497 510v battery. A drawing with dimensions is on the Internet,
Germane content below:

Did you say 340 LR44 batteries? Did they cost more than the flash?

I wonder if you could stack them in shrink tubing ...

Well, given the flash units cost, IIRC, ten bucks at a yard sale 10-15 years ago, yeah, I guess $34 worth of batteries would be more than the flash -- but at 10/$1, the 340 LR44 cells aren't all that painful; the original 510V carbon-zinc stacks cost close to that price in the 1960s.

I was thinking of Lucite or polystyrene tube to carry the cells; shrink tube is too flexible. I'm intending for this to allow for replacement of the cells when they run down, as I hope to use the flash semi-regularly once I get it back up to snuff.
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