Honeywell Strobonar 770 Questions

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by henry_finley|1, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. What you have there is an old flashbulb firing reflector. It's nothing like an electronic flash and only uses a low voltage. The batteries commonly used were 15 or 22.5 volts and you'd have to lick one to even feel its voltage.
    The battery itself was a flat-pile design only capable of delivering a few milliamps. Therefore a capacitor was used to supply the higher current needed to ignite the flashbulb reliably.

    OTOH an electronic Xenon flash tube typically needs 350 volts to fire it. Much different and much more lethal!
  2. That would answer my question why the capacitor is easily accessible without regard to safety. I wasn't sure how high the voltage would have to be to fire a blue bulb, apparently it's not much. I have two of those folding fan type flashes, one is for a display Argus "Brick", and the other I don't even know how it came into my possession, possibly came with a job lot of bits. It was only out of curiosity that I opened them up to check out the type of battery and capacitor, and measure any power still in them, if any.
    rodeo_joe|1 likes this.
  3. It was fun to crack open a "small" AG1 flash bulb, then IGNITE the exposed filliment with a battery.
    I'm glad I did not do that with the larger flash bulbs. Yeah we did dumb thing back then.
  4. Sub-C cells have been around since at least the 1960's. In the 700 series, the NiCad batteries were sub-C cells. You could buy a replacement pack which fit into the pull-out tray, or you could buy sub-C's from a number of places, and solder them using existing tabs from the old cells, or make your own strips from thin sheet metal. When I couldn't find the complete battery packs I built my own. Honeywell listed them in their parts catalogues for years, until Rollei bought out Honeywell. I also used my 700's with a Quantum Turbo battery for years without a problem.
  5. Do you have/remember the Quantum power cable number?
    I have a couple idle 800s that I would like to be able to resurect.
  6. The cable is "CH".
    Gary Naka likes this.
  7. Hmmm. Why would they bother with Sub-Cs back then?
    In the 1960s and 70s an AA NiCd only had a maximum capacity of 500 mAH, and full C size NiCds about twice that capacity. With Sub-Cs having 3/4 the capacity of a C cell, their extra bulk would hardly warrant the meagre 250 mAH capacity increase.

    In my recollection, sub-Cs only became popular when power tools widely went cordless. Starting about the 1980s.

    The capacity ratios remain roughly the same today - based on volume - but with an AA NiMH cell now holding 2200 mAH or more, the Sub-C has a more useful 1100 mAH capacity increase.

    OTOH, most rechargeable D size cells these days simply contain a C cell in a larger casing - as evidenced by their capacity usually being limited to 4000 mAH.
  8. At the time, I wasn't very conversant on the different types of rechargeable battery cells. However, just from my experience, the Honeywell Strobonar form factor may have inhibited the use of "full-size" C cells. The battery tray was a tight fit, but overall, the Nicad cell was a quantum improvement over D-cell and 510v battery packs. I can remember seeing photographers using huge dry-cell packs, including the 510v types, who seemed to have permanent stoop shoulders from the weight.

    My dad was a journeyman electrician, and he always advised me to completely drain the Nicad cells to help with recharging. And I can remember the first Skil rechargeable drill I owned, and taping down the trigger to ensure the complete discharge of the Nicads whenever I finished using it.
  9. The benefit of the 510v HV pack was the FAST recycle time.
    I got the Strobonar 800 specifically for that reason. It essentially was instant, as fast as I could crank the film advance lever.
    Yes the battery pack is a hassle to deal with, but the FAST recycle times was worth the hassle. The Honeywell single 510v battery packs were not near as heavy as some of the others which were HEAVY. I think those had the capacitors and electronics in the pack.

    Even today, I use a HV pack on my flashes. FAST recycle time is like drugs, once you get used to it, you can't live without it.

    The other benefit of the HV pack was it removed the batteries and step up circuits from the flash. This made the 800 a rather light and comparatively easy to use flash (vs. something like a Sunpak which is HEAVY).
  10. Actually the OP hasn't mentioned anything about the physical size of the old cells in his 770. There is a difference of 3mm in both diam and length between C and Sub C. Is anyone sure yet which batteries are the right ones ?
  11. Honeywell recommended the Sub-C cells for replacements. Just for giggles and grins, when I replaced my first set of cells, I did measure against standard C cells, and the sub-C's are smaller. When I could find them, I'd buy a complete battery tray replacement which contained the cells already installed.

    If you tried to fit standard C cells in the tray, it would bulge front-to-back and the batteries would not properly seat in the slots.

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