Reichert micro flash unit: flash tube replacement?

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yvan_be
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:39 am
Location: Belgium

Reichert micro flash unit: flash tube replacement?

Post by yvan_be »

Hi all,

I'm new here.


I own a Reichert micro flash unit that I can use with the two Reichert microscopes I own: a Zetopan and a Fluorpan.

Unfortunatly, the xenon tube of the flash unit burned out. I'm looking for a replacement, but that seems harder than I thought, so I really could use some help...

It's a straight flash tube, electrodes on both sides, rated 36Ws, dimensions are length = 17mm, thickness about 5 - 6mm.

I contacted Leica (who took over Reichert a long time ago) but they couldn't help me.

The Leica people told me that they would be more than happy to discuss and demonstrate a more up to date microscope/microflash setup, but eh... I'm not willing to take a mortgage on my house and I'm still very happy with my "outdated stuff".

As far as I know, the problem seems to be the dimensions of the tube: it's length is very short vis-a-vis the energy per flash. One way of working around that would be to use a lower capacity flash tube and to build a circuit matching the tube's characteristics. But I'd rather prefere not to do so. If possible.

So if anyone of you would happen to know a replacemt tube, I would be very gratefull!

Thanks in advance.

Yvan.

soldevilla
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:49 pm
Location: Barcelona, more or less

Re: Reichert micro flash unit: flash tube replacement?

Post by soldevilla »

yvan_be wrote:dimensions are length = 17mm, thickness about 5 - 6mm.
You can try to recover the flash bulb of a disposable camera. They are about that size. As I'm not sure that I explain this well with my English, I add a link to an image

http://www.solostocks.com/img/camara-de ... 9816z0.jpg

Or... your are talking about the halogen bulb?... uf, my poor english...

ChrisR
Site Admin
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:58 am
Location: Near London, UK

Post by ChrisR »

yvan_be, I had a camera like the one soldevilla linked to, to hand, so I took it apart.
The light-box the flash tube goes through is about 15mm long, and the entire tube glass section is about 23mm.
It's rather thinner than 5-6mm.
The capacitor lurking within is 120 microfarad 330V. If we guess it worked to about 300V that means it only stores 5J.
I can destroy it further if you'd like more info!

g4lab
Posts: 1437
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 11:07 am

Post by g4lab »

It might be very difficult to find an exact replacement though I have seen on ebay sellers from Turkey and Russia who seem to be making these and perhaps could make one to your order.

But there are lots of little old flashes and disposable cameras out there.
The tube dimensions are likely not very critical. If one you buy for a few dollars , explodes after a few uses it is not a great loss. It probably won't.

I do have a similar outfit built buy Zeiss and needing some power supply work that I would sell for what I have in it. It was a local camera store purchase rather than an ebay. It has the flash mounted in a small slider like a filter slider and a Metz power supply. I am never going to do anything with it and would sell it to whomever might want to have it.

yvan_be
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:39 am
Location: Belgium

Post by yvan_be »

Thanks for your kind replies, so far.

I knew that finding a replacement tube would be hard as I remember vagualy reading somewhere that these xenon tubes were specifically designed and made for the Reichert "Blitzgeräte"...

As far as I know the main difference with the Zeiss Mikroblitz is, that the Reichert unit doesn't need any special parts to be used. The Zeiss unit requires a special double collector tube to bring the image of the lamp filament and the flash in one and the same optical plane.

This is not the case with the Reichert unit: that one carries the xenon tube, together with it's own pilot light (a tungsten 6V/15W bulb). It can be used with allmost all Reichert illuminators (Lux FNI, Lux US, Lux U, ...), making this a very versatile unit (as long as it works :D). Only thing to do is to replace the bulb holder with the flash unit, setup Kohler illumination using the pilot light (only minor adjustments needed) and start shooting.

One drawback: the xenon tube is rated 1 200 flashes @ 36Ws and 3 000 flashes @ 18Ws only. And no more spares availlable...

I taught of using xenon tubes from those disposable camera's, but these are usualy too long: the usable space between the two contact strips containing the tube is 20mm (see attached picture, sorry for poor quality). The space between the contact strips and the outer aluminum casing of the unit is slightly more than 1mm, making it impossible to enlarge the gap between the contact strips. So, those xenon tubes from disposable cameras don't seem to be a viable option.

I don't think the thicknes of a replacement tube is important: I suppose that the unit is calculated and designed starting from the centre of the xenon tube to be used. But length of the tube is the main problem.

Thanks again for your replies! And if someone would know of some old new stock of these tubes.Or another possible solution... In the meanwhile I will look into those Turkisch and/orChinese manufacturers...

Yvan.
Image

g4lab
Posts: 1437
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 11:07 am

Post by g4lab »

A wonderful old piece of microscope gear. Parts are so often a problem with these old things.
I have never seen a xenon flash lamp of that configuration before and I have seen a high percentage of the ones that are made. You need to find a neon sign artist to make you one. I am going to send somebody I know who could might be able to do it a link to this thread.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12v-NANO-STROBE ... 771wt_1125

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Flex-Cable- ... 3476wt_888

g4lab
Posts: 1437
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 11:07 am

Post by g4lab »

http://www.ebay.com/itm/High-Power-Hama ... 101wt_1145

This is a very reliable seller and that is a very cool looking flash tube the likes of which I have never seen before and I have been following flashlamps and other xenon denizens for like forty years. It might be able to be shoehorned into the space you need your lamp to fit into.

g4lab
Posts: 1437
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 11:07 am

Post by g4lab »


Blame
Posts: 342
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 11:56 am

Post by Blame »

If you cant find a flash tube that fits into that tight space then can you run a fiber optic tube to it and use an external flash?

Also does the tube absolutely have to be strait? there are small ones that bend back so both terminals mount to a circuit board.

There is also this that might contain tubes of about the right size. Cheap to buy a batch if they fit. http://www.surplusshed.com/pages/item/r3118.html

g4lab
Posts: 1437
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 11:07 am

Post by g4lab »


yvan_be
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:39 am
Location: Belgium

Post by yvan_be »

I'm sorry for this late reply. Thanks to all who responded. I followed up the leads you kindly provided. No solution to my problem as of yet, but there are some promising negotiations going on. I'll keep you posted!

Thanks again!


Yvan.

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