BLACK BOX, TUXEDO, ORDERING



THE BLACK BOX 

The Black Box, the HD power pack was made for extended time range, heavy shooters in the wedding, event, sports, forensic, and commercial fields and are still made by my hands, soldered and built one at a time in the USA from the best components I can find which is difficult these days.  I have been building packs and other equipment for the photo industry for close to fifty-five years. 

And thats the way it’s been from the beginning, we designed things for the professional, specifically for the guys who make or want/have/need  to make a living out of the Photography Business.  

Call me old school but old school works and new school gets thrown off airlines and starts fires.  Because of our Black Box designs, our power packs still hang in there since upgrades are more like simple maintenance.  

We are different from others in which enormous amounts of money are needed to sustain the products. It's called simplicity.  And that keeps the product up to speed, and usable for minimal cost for a long, long, time.

Using our system, that can be as much as 6000-plus shots at reduced power.   It does not include flash cables for your specific flash unit.  No excuses, we build, you use, products work, you make money.  

Experience is a great teacher, so are disasters, but disasters are not so great, but can make a lasting impression.  If you have to reach for the camera manual when the bride is having a meltdown, go back to flipping burgers and have a cheese melt-down. This section deals with products I designed and built to be simple and rugged. My packs have survived a myriad of drops, crashes, bangs, dings, and dents, falls off of tables, barstools, and being driven over by cars and they still keep working. 

Try that with that thousand dollar rig you bought.  It easily handles a Wedding or sports event, a day in Forensics and other commercial applications. These are some of it’s features and benefits.

•   Double the capacity of most packs and add-ons

•   Airline safety caps, belt holder, shoulder tabs and a Euro Charger good anywhere with a simple plug changer included.

•   Sealed Lead Acid  safe chemistry.  Airline Compliant - SLA, no fires, no confiscations, no getting thrown off.

•   The longest run battery pack in flash power history and has been around in various incantations and upgrades for decades.

•   It is devoid of bells and whistles, it works time after time, hand made in the USA, fully hand assembled with OSHA components or/and hand soldered, permanent connections, field repairable with electrical tape if you happened to drive over it, (three instances) and very sturdy, made to work if damaged by negligence or dropping in a pool (two instances) off bar stools onto concrete. (One time)


NOT MY FIRST RODEO
I started in the industry repairing strobes (lots of dismantling and attempting to put back together) in the Camera District of Manhattan, NYC at seventeen: Fifty-four years ago, with the nine pound Graflex Strobe and pack, we called it the bowling ball;  It was soon followed by the Honeywell Stobonars;  which succumbed to the German Braun units, the Tiger Tank of the flash world.  That one almost got me killed with those 497 Eveready 330 Volt batteries and with one shock, you flew across the room, two, and they removed you from the room.

The next evolution in flash,  the best Wedding units over the years were the Pro Metz 45 and 60 series handle mounts.  Whats is there to say, just great expensive units,  but a Wedding shooters dream especially shooting with 2 1/4 cameras.  

Then 35-mm took over the market and the Cobra head strobes like the Vivitar 283-285 series that are still quasi-popular up to today.  It was smaller, lighter, and powerful enough for the slow film of the day.  And Quantum Photo took over with accelerated flash battery packs and the race was on.  For years with no competition,  they ruled the market because no one could fix or repair them and not only did they own the market, they owned the repair market too.

I had a Quantum drop dead in the middle of a Wedding.  I was one who moon-lighted on weekends with weddings.   As one who fixed them, I decided to make my own pack and I had my prototype with me.  Later in life my association with the SOCOM reinforced my thinking.  Business is like a war, you have to plan, execute and learn.  I build items that are job applicable, item simple, affordable,but reliable, portable, field repairable and with lots of firepower.  Same thinking they use to plan missions with.

Though my idea crosses decades, the Black Box has been upgraded incrementally, which tells you, you always get the latest version updated and improved.  Older units may be upgraded to new standards with routine maintenance inexpensively.  (see updates)   Each month I get some from 2008-2010 in for upgrades, last week a 2004 and when they get upgraded, they look like, and wired, cleaned and rebuilt as a 2017. How is that for a captive investment and the flexibility of working with almost every strobe on the market.

Our mantra hasn’t changed, NO cheap parts, although the Chinese influence in landfill development growth is about the only thing they do right,  doesn’t always offer choice but after a while you know which vendors are the good ones.  And I back it with the strongest warrantee in the business, the best prices and service, it behooves me to put quality stuff in.  Folks on the web will tell you that since I rarely charge for labor repairs, I only  charge for parts and return mail.

No sales teams, rallies, parties, or trips for sales excellence, no corporate meetings, no stocks, no options, no employees, no headaches and few profits but at my age being busy and communicating with people in the industry I love is good enough for me.


MY STRATEGY

Those who know light and how flash works could care less about flashes with more modes than light was created for, and battery packs with more bells, horns and whistles than a LeGrange fire engine.  

The real professionals focus is on the Bride or speaker.  And many new to the game can’t afford 1000 dollar flashes and gear.  Good news we are affordable, can do 95% of what the expensive stuff does and will last longer and cost you less.

Besides we can make almost any flash work, not limited just to some new models. Legacy units have value. I buy old units and modernize them.   Thus our battery fits more newer and older units.  Our battery is Sealed Lead Acid, old school but not on the FAA-TSA banned list.  

Our battery is higher capacity and lasts a lot longer, less expensive and our pack will last a lifetime. Our battery will not burn up your camera case if the Lithium lights off. 

Ninety percent of the Weddings occur in two parts, the formal Ceremony with those on their most pious behavior encompassing varied religious rites and customs (much yawn) and then the Celebration encompassing, hysterics, jealousies, past affairs, emotions, hissing, decorum collapsing, booze, food and the occasional riot.

Our techniques imply Simplicity, Redundancy and Preparation, not the latest BS on the flash box or forums or the web.  Maybe to a noobie, all of those features and benefits on the New  Master Dominator IIID Mark 45 will get him through the event, not really.

The professional on the other hand knows light and his flash and makes one simple adjustment with the right answer.   I’ll tell you a secret many PRO’s I know making a decent living year after year shoot in total manual. It’s in the brain, not on the camera, a control thing. The control of light is called Photography.  Someone who has mastered the control is called a Photographer.  The rest, well they are hobbyists.  Fans talk about camera brands, models and features like I-ttl, integrated circuits blah, blah and blah.  Pros talk business development and light.

Nikon, Canon, and others, more than you think,  use SONY chips and motherboard components.  But brand idolization starts more wars on forums than anything else.  Surprising enough but the word idolization contains the letters for the word IDIOT at times.  That new Nikon or Canon just got a chip, the SONY user had a year ago.

For the products I build and sell, I like it simple, I give you knowledge and ideas to help you survive in the photographic industry.  My goal is to get you thinking, simplify the job with easier gear and perhaps helping you to make some money.
And most of my clientele are in the field earning money and need to capture 1500 plus images without time for battery changes.  Many also use the Black Box for variable flash fill for outdoors sports and my units serve well indoors with remote Canon and Nikon strobes where you want your recycle times as fast as the mains and for the popular three light portable setups.

In fact our shooters did over 5000 shots at the Oscars, another captures 14,000 with Black Boxes at a marathon, the big one.  I build for advanced amateurs and pros.  And we now ship worldwide since the United States Postal Service (USPS) made it that easy.  Most important of all our products are all made from RoHS certified parts and acceptable for overseas shipping and use, and our prices are for product and shipping are better!  Lots better.  Our chargers (standard) for shipments to the U.K., Euro countries, Australia, New Zealand and other worldly locations are compatible.

Our products are used by Wedding Photographers, Paparazzi, Forensic labs, very large ones, CSI and Data Units, Fire Departments, First Responders,  Photo-Journalists, Marathons, Triathlete Events, Sports shooters on all levels of play,Model, Fashion, Any color carpets world wide.  Also Serious amateurs looking to step up, not step out, loved by Birder’s, and nature shooters using remote setups.  We also power Motion sensor triggers, and IR devices, found on bikes for long night rides, cycle riders, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Military. We have turned out custom packs for Spelunkers, cave exploring dwelling enthusiasts who offered to take me along and I declined since there were no bathrooms.


NOTE ABOUT FORENSICS
We use one really reliable quality brand heavy duty battery for forensic work.  Longer life on site created a market with forensic labs though most of the subjects and objects they shoot are inert or well into rigor-mortis but in forensics you can possibly be on scene for a long time.  The victim is rarely complaining you took too long.  It’s an eternal thing.   

Since we do not use any type of acceleration or secondary capacitors which must be fed, the box is not eating it's own fuel nor reactive voltages. Long on-scene times are handled easily by the Black Box and less chance of sparking.  Have purchasing call me. i take care of those who take care of others.

NEXT:    The Black Box Specifications  … START HERE