Multiblitz IIIb manual

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by iconoclastica, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. I have been presented with an old MultiBlitz IIIb flash unit from 1964. It seems to be in working order, but I don't yet entirely understand it. For example, there are 5 connector sockets, where probable at least two of them are to be used as trigger connectors. And there's a second, smaller block beneath the power house, where I would expect a battery unit, that contains similar power electronics with a really huse capacitor as the main power unit. I have no clue yet how this is supposed to cooperate with the main unit other than how to connect it physically.

    Therefore I am quite desperately looking for the original manual, or a copy of it. There are pics of it at Pinterest's, but they don't lead me to the text. Would anyone here have a tip where to look for it?
  2. Are you seriously considering using that old gear?

    I'm pretty sure the design pre-dates 1964, and even in the 1960s the safety standards of flash equipment were pretty lax - rubber insulation, Paxelin circuit boards that could track across, barely shielded connector pins, marginal voltage tolerances on components, etc.

    The inverter is going to work at a low-frequency and be horribly inefficient as well. As will the reflector efficiency. And goodness knows how high the voltage on the trigger contacts is going to be!

    I bet you'll be lucky to get a re-cycle time of under 15 seconds, and a light output equal to a cheap junk-bin Hanimex or Cobra hotshoe unit.

    If you still want to risk powering that old relic up: Have you tried contacting Multiblitz? The brand is still trading, and they might just have an instruction book in their archive. Or maybe they'll take that IIIb off your hands for the company museum?
  3. Addendum.
    I found this information online in a French forum:
    "Les multiblitz de la génération immédiatement précédente (multiblitz IIIb avec lampe flash en forme d'hélicoïde ) utilisait une tension de 2.000 volts et un seul condensateur de 40 uF . Ces 2000 v se promènent donc dans le câble entre la torche et le générateur. Mieux vaut avoir un câble en excellent état si on ne veut pas finir électrocuté. La tension de synchro y dépasse les 300 volts."

    Rough translation:
    'The previous Multiblitz generation (Multiblitz IIIb with helical flash-tube) uses a potential of 2000 volts, and a single capacitor of 40uF. This 2000 volts is present on the cable between the generator (inverter) and the flash-head. (You had) better watch out for a cable in excellent condition if you don't want to end up electrocuted! The trigger voltage is in excess of 300 volts.'

    Good advice.

    The voltage and capacitance value show that the basic unit delivers only about 80 Joules of energy, maximum, into the flash-head. A modern good-quality speedlight has a flash energy of around 75 Joules, but with a far more efficient reflector. Therefore I suspect the best Guide Number you could expect from the Multiblitz would be something less than 24 in metres @ 100 ISO.

    Other information gleaned from the web, tells that an accessory 'amplifier' - Grossverstarker - box was available that fitted to the base of the standard inverter. Probably this was just an additional capacitor, or bank of capacitors.

    Would I personally trust a nearly 60 year old capacitor to withstand 2Kv? Errr, no! And it'll explode with one hell of a bang and flash if, or when, the dielectric breaks down.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019

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