1. Welcome to Photography Forum. Our photography community!

    Photography-forum is dedicated to those who have passion, desire and love of photography and want to improve their photographic technique. It doesn't matter what you photograph, landscapes, weddings, portraits or your photographic experience, it's about learning and loving what we do. Photography!

    If you want learn and expand your photography skills then there is one place to do it Photography Forum !!!

    You are viewing photography-forum as a guest which gives you limited access to view most forums and enjoy other features. By joining our free community you will be able to post photographs for critique, join in the monthly photography competitions, respond to polls, upload content and enjoy many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please join Photography Forum.

    If you have any problems please contact us.

    The Photography-Forum Team
    Dismiss Notice
  2. PLEASE SEE RULES BEFORE POSTING LINKS
    Click here to see Forum Rules

So my Bowens Gemini is trying to kill me...

Discussion in 'Studio Lighting Forum' started by j.mac, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. j.mac

    j.mac Member

    Messages:
    16
    Edit my images ?:
    No
    Hi, not sure where the best place to post this would be (rookie with hand up at the back...) but i'm having an issue with a Bowens Gemini 1000 head, any one here an expert? Every time it fires it makes a loud noise and smells of smoke??
     
  2. Roger S

    Roger S Crazy Canuck Administrator

    Messages:
    61,098
    Edit my images ?:
    Yes (recommended)
    No problem. I've moved this into the "Studio Lighting Forum" for you. Some of our resident experts spend a lot of time in here.
     
  3. DonS

    DonS Stuck in Toronto Moderator

    Messages:
    11,191
    Edit my images ?:
    Yes (recommended)
    Is there a chance it got a lot of dust in it? They usually have cooling vents of some sort. Try blowing some air in to flush it out. Someone like @Andy 0 may have a better electrical idea.
     
  4. j.mac

    j.mac Member

    Messages:
    16
    Edit my images ?:
    No
    That is a good call DonS, I didn't try the old 'blow n tap'...
     
  5. Andy 0

    Andy 0 Always on Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,333
    Edit my images ?:
    Yes (recommended)
    Stop firing it.

    Needs a repair, finger in the air diagnosis is a failing thyristor or failing discharge capcitor(s).

    These things produce lethal voltages (in the thousands of Volts range) so please don't use it until it is fixed. There's more than enough energy in the capacitor array in these to detach a limb on uncontrolled discharge so please don't open it without a genuine respect for these devices.

    Fires are not fun either.
     
  6. j.mac

    j.mac Member

    Messages:
    16
    Edit my images ?:
    No
    I had an encounter once back in the day with a 10k Strobe power pack so I do have respect for these devices... Do you know where the best place to send it would be now Calumet have gone? I'm in Nottingham.
    Cheers
    j.mac
     
  7. j.mac

    j.mac Member

    Messages:
    16
    Edit my images ?:
    No
    Hello Andy 0, you seem quite knowledgable ref. the Bowens workings. Do you have the capacity to repair them?
     
  8. Minor Problem

    Minor Problem Always on Premium Member

    Messages:
    11,762
    Edit my images ?:
    Yes (recommended)
    @Andy 0 - see above.

    That should get his attention.
     
  9. Phill104

    Phill104 Always on Premium Member

    Messages:
    1,240
    Edit my images ?:
    Yes (recommended)
    Look for a good component level electronics repair place in your area. Devices like this are not too complicated but do require a knowledgeable tech to repair them. You could contact the Bowen’s UK distributor for information on who they recommend but that is likely to be a lot more expensive than a good local shop can do.
     
  10. j.mac

    j.mac Member

    Messages:
    16
    Edit my images ?:
    No
    OK Phill104, i'll do that.
     
  11. Activ8

    Activ8 I made the 1,000,000 th post

    Messages:
    4,653
    Edit my images ?:
    Yes (recommended)
    You may find that you don't have the problem at certain power levels as the heads tend to use a bank of capacitors to give the maximum charge. So if the problem is with the last bank than a lower setting may help in the interim. If it on the first bank it will happen at all power levels.
     
  12. j.mac

    j.mac Member

    Messages:
    16
    Edit my images ?:
    No
    Funny you say that Activ8, it started to go crazy on a job but seemed ok when turned to half power. Now it just scares me at all powers!
     
  13. Activ8

    Activ8 I made the 1,000,000 th post

    Messages:
    4,653
    Edit my images ?:
    Yes (recommended)
    It will be a big electrolytic capacitor that will have gone... These things are just cans with foil and an oiled insulator to provide a charge across two plates. As the oil dries out over time the insulator breaks down and causes an arc... hence the bang and the burning smell. You just need the service centre to replace all the old caps.
     
  14. Activ8

    Activ8 I made the 1,000,000 th post

    Messages:
    4,653
    Edit my images ?:
    Yes (recommended)
  15. Andy 0

    Andy 0 Always on Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,333
    Edit my images ?:
    Yes (recommended)
    Hi mate,

    My apologies, in all honestly the last flash gun I had from a member sat on my bench for six weeks whilst I tried to find time and ended up being returned.

    If you were in pick-up drop off distance I'd say bring it over and wait but I'm a long way from you, that said until tomorrow I've been working out of Aslockton.

    It's not a tricky diagnosis or repair, plenty of folks out there can do a perfect repair for a reasonable charge.

    It's just a fact of life with this design, it's not a quality issue, discharge lamps are a square peg/round-hole fit with mains A/C, more a question of 'when' not 'if' they fail regardless of brand.
     
  16. j.mac

    j.mac Member

    Messages:
    16
    Edit my images ?:
    No
    Well Andy, i'm based near Bingham and i'd always rather remunerate someone local rather send the thing half way across the country. If interestd let me know.
     

Share This Page