INSTRUCTIONS  2016  BLACK BOX


2016 BLACK BOX INSTRUCTION MANUAL HTML 

NOTE:   PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW (FAQ)

You now have control of your flash unit with a higher reserve of power from a simple to operate, overbuilt photographic electrical storage product designed by a working pro photographer. Been there, done that and made a living at it. It is a common sense application of stable extra power, while eliminating useless power robbing, troublesome at times, poorly made electronics being offered from overseas.

These instructions are different from any previous power supply for flash units you have ever used. Please read these instructions.  The device is different, and if there is something you don’t understand , call me, it’s free.

  1.  This unit comes with the PowerSonic or Amstron EURO International Charger with 110VAC-60Hz to 240 VAC - 50Hz input voltages and offers worldwide capability.   They are the same unit from different suppliers.
      
  2. For travel overseas, all you need to purchase is a simple plug adapter; you do not need an inverter for the country you are visiting.   Most adapter kits are available on line similar travel stores.  

  3. This is not a $10.00 toy charger. If you lose it, it will cost $45.00 to replace plus shipping.  I stock them.   This is a digital float charger and keeps the battery on constant charge with an occasional discharge.

  4. Can I use the Black Box on its side?  
 Yes. The batteries can be installed in any orientation and used that way temporarily.  I recommend keeping it vertical when charging and in storage.

  5. Should I drain my SLA battery to prevent memory effect?
  NO,  Sealed lead acid batteries do not suffer from memory effect.  When you over exhaust the battery below say 5.8 volts, a safety device we built in the charger might refuse to re-charge the battery.  This is a failsafe built into the charger and can be recharged.   Again, NEVER let the battery be drawn down to nothing, the unit will start to slow down after a certain amount of flashes, usually 1100 full power, up to 4000 on 1/8-1/4. Shift to your backup and put battery on charger.

  6. These are true maintenance free batteries.  Just plug it in after the event as soon as possible, and the digital charger brain will adjust to its needs.  It works exactly like your car battery.  Obviously, if you are taking a break during a wedding meltdown or a missing groom, it is prudent to save energy and shut the unit down.

  7. How long will the primary battery last ?  Check the charging device periodically to ensure it is working properly. 
Sealed lead acid battery life is determined by many factors. These include temperature, depth and rate of discharge, and the number of charges and discharges.  Generally up to five years.  I recently replaced two that went seven.

  8. Definitely show your friends, you are my advertising and it keeps prices down.  BUT with the speed and power of the battery - strobe combination, don’t be  a showoff,  you’ll blow the strobe before the battery, trust me it’s a good sized (capacity) low-voltage (safety) battery. The number one killer of strobes is heat and fast cycling. Showing off can ruin your unit.

  9. Can my battery be shipped by air?
  Yes, Sealed Lead Acid Batteries are declared non-hazardous for air shipping. Exceptions do happen if you get an uninformed inspection officer as with an incident on Singapore Airlines.  Only one I have known of.

  10. The extra port installed in the top of the unit next to the DIN is the addition DIN for dual flash rigs. It is simply an added value extra port and you may use it as such. Run two flashes off one battery.  We will provide a second installed Jacobs Photo/Graphics DIN style plug for your Quantum cable at small additional cost, no cost if two cables are submitted at ordering.  Sending it at a later date results in additional shipping and handling.
    The main constraint is that both strobes should be the same make and manufacture so they will charge simultaneously.   Do not try charging or hooking  charger to one port and flashing unit  to the other.  You will damage both.

  11. The Red Caps are for code correct sealing when you anticipate traveling with the airlines. Do not throw them away.  Replacements are 2 for 4.75 includes postage. Yes, the postage is higher than the caps.

  12. The Black Box comes with D-rings for a Camera shoulder strap. Users tell us the neoprene straps made and sold by PRO or OPTEC are the most popular, work best, they don’t slip and very comfortable.  Don’t even know you are wearing one.  The pack also comes with THE CLIP, suitable for belt use and with Velcro work great on a light stand.


SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS -TO CHARGE THE BLACK BOX AFTER USAGE

STEP 1:  PLUG THE CHARGER IN WALL, GREEN LIGHT COMES ON.

STEP 2:  CONNECT CHARGER TO BATTERY,  EITHER PORT ON BLACK BOX.

STEP 3:  TURN THE BATTERY SWITCH TO “ON”.  

LEAVE IT ON THE TRICKLE CHARGER IN THE ON POSITION TILL YOU GO ON NEXT JOB

If the battery is low after say after 1000 shots, the charger will shift from green to red for a fast high voltage charge quickly bringing it to 85-90% of capacity.  At that point the charger will shift into a lower power mode to gently fill the rest of the battery.    The light will turn green at this point and completes the charge. When it peaks, the charger will shift into maintenance mode.  It may be left in this mode indefinitely the charger goes into maintenance mode and checks the battery every thirty minutes.


GUARANTEE, UPGRADES,  AND ENVIRONMENT
We guarantee the battery pack for one-year parts and labor.  Most repairs are deemed free if the unit has not been abused like being driven over, twice this year, smashed off a barstool, three times, went swimming, once.

All rechargeable cells have a limited lifetime, usually about 700-900 recharges. These will go further if used a lot. This amount can vary depending upon how the battery was used. Standard warrantee is one year on parts and labor but we will prorate batteries. Chargers are warranted for a one-year period.  Repairs are handled on a priority basis with shipping being the only delay.

The sealed lead acid batteries must be disposed or recycled properly and please do not throw them in the trash. Send the pack to us, we'll overhaul it completely, install a new battery, dispose of the old one and the average cost for all this,  two day service, new wiring and parts, excluding boxes is about $65.00.  CONUS MAIL is 13.80.

CABLE MODULES - CHARGERS - ROUTINE MAINTENANCE - OPERATION and HINTS
The cable from the battery to the module that goes in the flash can be cleaned for maximum efficiency.  Things get dirty when strobes get hot,  as it might exhibiting poor performance after it has been heavily used, or pushed, abused etc.   If it shows a brown-reddish coloration on the module tabs, clean it with ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL, which must be 93% or better, I use a wire Dremel with soft wire blades. 

DO NOT use rubbing alcohol as  it is alcohol, water and oil. Most manufacturers sometimes spray the internal parts of their boards with a shellac to weatherproof and seal the metal stripes, when this get hot it forms residues at contact points from heat.

The modules can also be inserted wrong, doing damage, as in the word BACKWARD.  Call if it is not clear.  Some of the modules are easily confused. In that case you can short the strobe. Call or ask if you don’t feel comfortable. 

Do not stretch the cables beyond reasonable.  The cable from the module and also the charger are the same construction, it connects and fits DIN ports only one way.  That is look for the bump or key to align the cable and port properly. 

Again make sure the switch on top is  “on”.   If the battery is drawn down far enough the green will go to red.  If the usage was minimal, a short portrait session for example, it might not be down enough and will stay green.   

The red is the high power charge and can go as long as five hours. The battery will get slightly warm, as the charger is freshening and de-sulphation of the lead cell. At that point flip the switch to “OFF” and then back “ON “again.  This time it will stay green and it can stay that way till your next shoot.


BASIC RULES FOR ALL CHARGERS FROM ALL MANUFACTURERS
Do not expose the (any) charger unit to rain or moisture - use indoors only.  No charger is waterproof.  If you don’t believe me, toss your charger and flash into your fish tank with your prized $2500 Clarion Angel and soon he will float belly up, well lit.

The plug must be plugged into an outlet that has been properly installed and grounded in accordance with all local and national codes and ordinances.   Do not attempt to recharge non-rechargeable batteries or use this charger on any other device.  

Do not leave chargers plugged in when they are not connected to a battery. We have no control over the voltage or amperage coming into your home from spikes and brownouts originated by your power company.   

The safest way to protect the charger is when you unplug the battery to go on assignment, take the charger out of the wall.  Bring it with you.  Oh, and never make alterations to the charging unit provided and make sure any cords are located so that they will not be stepped on, tripped over, or otherwise subjected to damage or stress.  

Thus, do not operate charger if it has received a sharp blow, been dropped, or otherwise damaged in any way and make sure you re-charge any and all batteries in well ventilated areas to prevent build-up of explosive gases.  Allow space around the charger and adequate air circulation to reduce internal heat build-up.


Check the small screws on the DIN plug of the charger and module to see if they are tight.  If the screw is loose you may use clear Teflon nail polish on the threads available in any drug store, or BLUE Locktite. Do not use superglue, it eats more than it glues and do not use RED Locktite.


SMALL PRINT AND THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS DISCLAIMER
Please be advised that specifications, performance, parameters, appearance, and dimensions of our products are subject to change without notice. Since we have a liberal upgrade program, you may request assistance at any time. For more up-to-date information about Jacobs Photo/Graphics, Gear Heads, Al Jacobson, contact me at ajacobs2@tampabay.rr.com.

There are no stupid questions. Questions have cause or they wouldn’t be asked.  There are however mistakes by those too embarrassed to ask a question. This is why we build landfills. The landfill is loaded with ideas, thoughts and questions that never were asked resulting in the incredible amount of junk created by those who failed to ask the right question at the right time. 

And landfills are similar to cemeteries, they too fill up with the occasional mistakes folks make like drinking and driving, driving too fast in the rain or snow, calling and texting at 75 MPH, road rage or just driving stupid.  Lately it has been the other kind of shooting, careless storage of firearms that makes the headlines.


HOW TO USE THE CLIP.COM   (Common Questions) 
 2012 and older version -
The BLACK BOX came with the CLIP.COM BELT CLIP.  As simple as it is, it is the finest on the market, and this is the original, not a cheap knockoff.  They are one of the best  fabricators of plastics and I am proud to offer their products in conjunction with mine.  The clip goes on the back of the box, hold the clip HORIZONTAL, slide on, you will hear a click, and then it clips to your belt.. This belt clip is identified by the spoon shape of the opening.

The clip slides onto the tab on the back only when the clip is held in a horizontal position. For those not familiar with the word HORIZONTAL, it refers to a late state of intoxication, flat out, east-west, right to left, the opposite of up and down.

To remove said clip, make sure the clip is HORIZONTAL (See last paragraph) press the button and slide the clip off.  Failure to do so will result in a broken clip, $5.00, or a broken tab $20.00 and an unhappy boss, your employer or spouse.  Thank you for reading this and this safety bulletin was produced by the not.rocketscience-foundation.com.

2013 and newer versions - The horizontal tab has been changed to a rounder heavier tab and the lock device deleted, we had to do this since it seems no one reads instructions anymore. It will open in all directions.

 

IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM, or QUESTION CONTACT ME VIA EMAIL OR PHONE

AL JACOBSON

 1200 Country Club Drive  •  Suite 3503 

 Largo,  FL  33771 – 2179

EMAIL:  ajacobs2@tampabay.rr.com

 PHONE: 727-812-8101