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Thread: Used Norman 200b

  1. #1

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    Used Norman 200b

    Hi.
    Am offered a used 200b outfit in untested condition, with charger & LX-3 (?) head for low cost... I have used them in their prime and a good lower power strobe when I need a little more oompf power on location than on-camera types...

    I expect it might require some $$$ to be thrown at it to get it up and running, but only might use it 2 or 3 times a year, but I know they should be used/charged regularly or it might go into the big sleep...

    So is it wise to consider, or a possible money pit when I want to use it???

    Also, anyone had luck rebuilding the battery pack if needed, or upgraded to the gel cells?

    Thanks,

    Steve K

  2. #2

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    Re: Used Norman 200b

    I had Norman strobes back in the '90's, and had Robal in LA do all my repairs.
    Not sure if they're still around...

  3. #3

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    Re: Used Norman 200b

    Quote Originally Posted by Dugan View Post
    I had Norman strobes back in the '90's, and had Robal in LA do all my repairs.
    Not sure if they're still around...
    They were the best in town, but the company broke up, with different individuals still doing it...

    Holly Enterprises are still here, and good specialists, but I like cheap and working units!!!

    Good units, probably will work, but battery is probably good as gone... And I'm trying to keep it cheap as I seldom use it these, (as i might be in some shooting faze)... But I know battery strobes don't store well over time...

    I'm also trying to avoid a money pit, maybe... ;-)

    Thanks,

    Steve K

  4. #4

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    Re: Used Norman 200b

    Norman 200B, they remain one of the better built, durable and repairable "portable" strobe units made. These were from a time when market demands supported strobe units built this way at a $.

    Their claim to fame was 200 watt/seconds (full power or 100w/s or 50w/s, switchable) with 1-2 seconds recycling time and ability to repeat flash at this rate. Quite impressive for the time. The other nice feature was interchangeable reflectors or bare bulb with interchangeable lamp heads and socket replaceable flash tube.

    The original ni-cad batteries were D size about 4 Amp/hour capacity. Today nickel metal hydride batteries of higher capacity can be easily had to replace the oem nicads. Or higher quality, higher capacity D size nicads can be used to rebuild/replace the oem battery pack.

    Sprial wound lead-acid batteries have been used in the distant past to replace the nicads. they work ok, at twice the weight and lower energy storage capacity. https://www.onesourcebatteries.com/haency2vo25a.html
    These require a different charging system than nicads or nickel metal hydride batteries.

    The modern replacement power source would be Lithium which is lower weight with a LOT more energy storage capacity. These require a completely different charging system. but due to the way 200B is built, external charging and swapping of battery packs is easy.

    Holly is still around for service and parts.

    Have a 200B system in storage if interested. It needs a home.

    Eventually, Norman replaced the 200B with the 400B or 400 watt/seconds in the same package and similar package.

    The 200B alternative became Sunpak 120J which was a self contained unit or corded with an external power pack. Offered similar features and performance to the 200B.


    Appears the largest user base and market for these portable strobe units were medium format wielding (typically Hasselblad) wedding photographers as there was significant $ for those images back in the day.



    Bernice

  5. #5

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    Re: Used Norman 200b

    Thanks Bernice & Doug!!! Still don't have this (cheap) unit in my hands yet, but wanted to know what I might be getting into if things go right with this...

    Mainly, I have occasionally needed a "bubble" of light sometimes during night or shooting in an abandoned building etc, but wanted a strobe that can live on a shelf asleep, only to wake after charging and work... I have no karma with ni-cads in tools, electronics etc, and wanted to rebuild battery pack with something different that wakes up well after slumber... I have better luck with hydride types, and the unit has good access to battery for external charging...

    I don't need max capacity, just enough juice for several shots with metering pops...

    Do you remember what the pak voltage was??? 12 volts or something???

    Thanks, you folks are a pop of light on a dark night!!! ;-)

    Steve K

  6. #6

    Re: Used Norman 200b

    In the 90s Norman 200B was cheap and plentiful. I bought a number of complete units, as well as reflectors and most of the accessories. A dealer on Ebay was selling an assembled new battery and charger, so I bought four or five of the battery and the correct trickle charger. There was a warning pasted on each battery to use trickle charge only! I used them occasionally and they are great units. I did send my two good packs to New York City Flash Clinic, they were famous for converting Hasselblad Ringlights to Norman 200b packs. I sent them both packs, they adjusted the electronics, as the flashtubes would "sparkle" after discharge without adaption. Fashion photography was all about the ringlight in the 80's.

    In 2019 I dug out my packs and replaced the lead acids with new. It was an easy solder job only two leads. Fifteen Bucks for a fresh
    lead acid battery is a bargain in my book. Tested recycle time today with both units just a bit over one second at 200 watt seconds discharge. A powerhouse portable strobe system that goes and goes and goes.

    http://www.bb-battery.com/global/ind...product_id=141

    BTW I recycled the old dead lead batteries at a car parts store

    This is the battery that fits the 200b.

    Blad Ringlight Makiflex Norman 200b by Nokton48, on Flickr

    Here's the Blad Ringlight on one of my Plaubel Makiflexes. This camera takes 4x5 film
    Flikr Photos Here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/18134483@N04/

    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

  7. #7

    Re: Used Norman 200b

    Norman 200b Fresh Batteries by Nokton48, on Flickr

    Here are the new 2019 replacement lead acid batteries, I bought four of them. I simply removed the old duct tape, desoldered the two leads, resoldered, and re-taped. $15 each plus shipping

    Good as new and ready to go!
    Flikr Photos Here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/18134483@N04/

    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

  8. #8

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    Re: Used Norman 200b

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    T (snip) Mainly, I have occasionally needed a "bubble" of light sometimes during night or shooting in an abandoned building etc, but wanted a strobe that can live on a shelf asleep, only to wake after charging and work... I have no karma with ni-cads in tools, electronics etc, and wanted to rebuild battery pack with something different that wakes up well after slumber... I have better luck with hydride types, and the unit has good access to battery for external charging...

    I don't need max capacity, just enough juice for several shots with metering pops...

    (snip again)

    Steve K

    Metz 60? Easy to configure power pack to use a common 6v SLA battery. Though some have configured for LiON battery. But any rechargeable battery will require some occasional charging if asleep too long (say over 8-12 months).

  9. #9

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    Re: Used Norman 200b

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Unkefer View Post
    Norman 200b Fresh Batteries by Nokton48, on Flickr

    Here are the new 2019 replacement lead acid batteries, I bought four of them. I simply removed the old duct tape, desoldered the two leads, resoldered, and re-taped. $15 each plus shipping

    Good as new and ready to go!
    Great rig, looks like fun to shoot!!!

    Leaning towards these batteries, at least cheap to replace after death, and no assembly required...

    But how are you recharging them??? Old charger, updated old charger, new external charger??? I recently bought a smart charger for my car that has a mode for this type of battery, so can bypass old charging systems...

    Thanks,

    Steve K

  10. #10

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    Re: Used Norman 200b

    Quote Originally Posted by HMG View Post
    Metz 60? Easy to configure power pack to use a common 6v SLA battery. Though some have configured for LiON battery. But any rechargeable battery will require some occasional charging if asleep too long (say over 8-12 months).
    Have a Metz somewhere, but also want bare bulb configuration, and found a 200b...

    I have a ritual to charge and reform caps in many electronic devices I have at least every few months, but these gizmos have an ability to hide from me when I get on this tear, so looking for a hearty solution if I miss charging it during slumber... But you are right!!!

    Thanks,

    Steve K

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