Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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I was hoping to get some idea about what the misfire rate for studio strobe lighting is. Meaning how often on average do your studio strobes not fire when you take a picture? My Elinchrom Style BX-500 Ri seems to exhibit this behavior once every 15 or so pictures. I am also using the SkyPort wireless sync that came with the units. I am kind of 'new' to studio lighting and I chose Elinchrom because of the color shift consistency. I have already sent one pair back to the retailer because the failure rate was 5 failures for every 7 shots (more or less).

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Have you tried eliminating the SkyPort wireless sync as a problem? That is, using a sync cord? –  Dan Wolfgang Jan 16 '13 at 20:47

2 Answers 2

I use elinchrom skyport triggers and usually I see misfires after approximately 200-300 shots without recharging the batteries.

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If you recharge the batteries does the problem disappear? –  mattdm Jan 16 '13 at 23:18
    
This would be expected as transmitter power drops... –  BobT Jan 16 '13 at 23:40
    
After recharging, I see no issues –  vspicture Jan 17 '13 at 15:13

There really shouldn't be any failures with a pro class system... Some things to think about though:

  1. Are you letting the system recharge between shots?
  2. Might there be some equipment interfering with the RF trigger signal?
  3. Does the transmitter have a problem (assuming you didn't replace it)
  4. Is the transmitter within range (probably far less than the spec'd range)

1, 2 and 4 are easily answerable. 3 can be tested by trying different group/frequency settings. Looks like a nice unit though...

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on #1, the "ready" light does not mean "ready at full power specified" but rather "ready to fire at some power". Very few lights have a separate status light for "ready as specified". Maybe you are having serious radio interference? –  Pat Farrell Jan 16 '13 at 20:47
    
Well the first set that I sent back I verified misfires by pushing the "Test" button on the back of the head. The power level would flash as expected but no light was emitted. After a few seconds the "Ready" beep would sound indicating the head was charged and ready to discharge again. I really haven't tried using a sync cord yet. But I will look into that soon. Basically that test would eliminate items 2-4. I know that I letting the heads charge to the full capacity because I can hear the "ready" beep about a second and a half after I discharge the head. –  Mr. Young Jan 16 '13 at 22:38
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@Mr.Young - are you sure that the trigger wire (the wire wrapped around the flash tube) is contacting the trigger electrode (the post-and-clamp thingy opposite the main electrodes) properly? If the clamp is sitting between the coils rather than contacting them, you won't get reliable arcing. –  user2719 Jan 16 '13 at 23:17
    
Useful information... Failure to flash using the 'test' button is an entirely different kettle of fish and points to a problem with the basic flash circuitry. Does the second set fail using the 'test' button as well? –  BobT Jan 16 '13 at 23:41

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