THE BLACK BOX STORY
The Black Box Battery Pack has been around in various incantations and upgrades for the past sixteen plus years as complete units and about forty years in kits and do it yourself projects on a lower scale. Some of my original packs date back to the sixties with different "chemistries" which is battery terminology for different types of batteries.
I started in the photo industry repairing strobes, with the nine pound Graflex strobe called the bowling ball pack. It was followed by the finicky Ni-Cads in the Honeywell Stobonars, the German Braun units which almost got me and then Metz and the cobra head strobes that followed. the most popular being the Vivitar.
The Vivitars, (the cockroach strobe) the 283-285 series still popular today. It was Honeywell's first real competitor and priced for the prosumer.
My pack came about because I had another popular brand drop dead in the middle of a Wedding. I was using a Metz with a Quantum to blazes. Literally, after that lesson, I was off and running.
I built my own using the science principles taught me working on strobe repair and later on the common sense philosophy of the Special Operations Command, who believe also in simple, affordable, reliable, portable products with lots of firepower. We had something in common, firepower through simplicity directing all the power to the capacitor not blinking lights and all the related inaccurate hardware and electronics to make it work.
I do not use junk, I refuse to work with the Mainlands philosophy of lower quality parts. We prefer Japan, and Taiwan for source, I reject the mainland unless there is no choice. We have little choice in batteries or chargers so we go "medical quality". I have enough contacts in the electronics fields that allow me to purchase quantity and quality OEM to keep prices affordable and a high level of construction.
I have the strongest warrantee in the business, the best price and service, it behooves me to put quality stuff in. I hate comebacks. And folks on the web will tell you that.
You deal direct, we have no distributors, no large chains of retail stores. No sales teams, rallies, parties, or "win a trip" for sales excellence, no corporate meetings, no stocks, no options, no employees, no headaches. When you call here you talk to me. Thats right, if someone else answers my phone, please call the cops, I'm being robbed. My limitation is they are all built by hand and a little help from a CNC machine and great vendors.
I have no advertising budget, my sales come from word of mouth and so does my reputation. You are dealing with a fellow photographer who kind of learned from shooting what works and what's really ridiculous and not afraid to tell you.
The Black Boxes and Tuxedos work exceptionally well with all brands of cameras and most flashes made by Canon, Nikon. Metz, Sigma, Sunpak and others. They are really a gas on Vivitar 283/285/285HV's whether on the camera, a bracket, or in a dual setup for a light stand which is big now.
SHORT AND SWEET
We have pros in the field who have captured 1500 images doing variable flash fill for outdoors sports and serve well 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 one of our shooters just did 4000 shots at the Oscars, another 14,000 at a marathon, a big one.
We now ship worldwide. Most important of all our products are all made from RoHS certified parts and acceptable for overseas shipping and use, and our prices are better! Lots better. Our chargers (standard) for shipments to the U.K., Euro countries, Australia, New Zealand and other worldly locations are compatible.
Again I build for and have been accepted by:
• Wedding Photographers.
• Forensic labs,
• Fire Departments, First responders.
• Event, Sports shooters on all levels of play.
• Model, Fashion, Any color carpets world wide.
• Serious amateurs looking to step up, not step out.
• Birder's, and nature shooters using remote setups.
• Motion sensor triggers and IR devices
• Night Bicycle Riders
FORENSIC LABS, FIRE DEPARTMENTS, CSI UNITS
We use one really big reliable quality brand heavy duty battery. Thats why we are doing business with forensic labs though most of the objects they shoot are inert or well into rigor-mortis but in forensics they can be on scene for a long time. The victim is rarely complaining you took too long. It's an eternal thing.
Forensic staff are on-site sometimes for half a day. 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.
GENERAL BUILD SPECIFICATIONS:
OVERALL BETTER QUALITY
The BLACK BOX is 100% all hand built, soldered and sealed using RoHS Certified appliance grade fire proof wiring, 2000 lb. stressed rivets with backing plates and a super tough case made in DENMARK.
We tested the Chinese equivalents and decided they were inferior though the pricing was attractive. When you put your name on the box, you care about these things.
As with many cheap imports, the cases cracked, the rivets failed and the wire supplier failed miserably. Only ten units went out that way, they were called back, replaced and filed in the local landfill, so much for Chinese quality and NAFTA.
We use a better brand of power both in quality and reserve power. A sealed Lead Acid. 21 FULL WATTS, fireproof battery designed for Medical use. Our 5.5 AMP HOUR, not milliamps, batteries are pro-rated five years.
Batteries are covered under the warrantee for one year and pro-rated for five years if kept on the charger as the simple instructions dictate. Again, our batteries, internal wiring and connectors are fireproof.
WEIGHT - Box and battery about 2.5 LBS.
DIMENSIONS - 3 3/4" x 6" x 2" STANDARD, Custom cut on a CnC machine for a perfect fit. This assures when a component needs change the new part fits just as well. We only replaced one box when a HimVee, thats a HumVee while the genius of the household, ran over it. The covers are field replaceable.
PORTS - We use Twin DIN type Heavy Duty Chromed Ports - They are standard, and they come with the Red POLY Caps as shown for the DIN plugs when traveling on the airlines. These DIN plugs are very heavy duty, only Taiwan or Japan, not knockoffs from China, which are far cheaper and of dubious quality. They failed too. We use the best available. We have yet to have one fail.
NOTE: The red caps are protection for the pins when not being used and even though our batteries (Sealed Lead Acid) meets all airline requirements for travel, we still furnish these caps to expedite your camera through the TSA bag search. Not applicable for cavity searches, you are on your own.
FITTINGS - Shoulder Strap Rings -
Standard Dual Zytel 3/16 "D "rings with HD 3/16" Clamps and Heavy Duty Steel 1/8 rivets with backing plates front and rear. No one else does this. They used stamp rivets which are cheaper and not as strong. We have never had any fail save one when we used a Chinese Rivet in the initial runs. We replaced those.
CLIP.COM - The industry recognized finest Heavy Duty Ultra Clip or the 764 by THE CLIP.COM Brand. Better than anything else on the market, these are designed, engineered and far superior to those cheap metal spring clips you see on the 600.00 dollars battery packs. And they just offered them, we have been using them for six years.
THE CLIP locks in place and rotates so it will not fall off your belt. Even when you sit down and get up. No spring clip to loosen and throw the pack on the floor.
Heavy Duty INTERNATIONAL Dual Stage charger allows maximum five hour charge and second stage in standby mode keeps battery at 100% capacity at 100% of the time. 110-240 50-60 MGRTZ.
CABLES - You can use most "M" Quantum cables: You can make all of your cables but I caution against it. Please see the page entitled Flash Cables. There are also expanded sections on Nikon and CANON cables as these are the best sellers.
UPGRADEABLE - Available on all older Black boxes regardless of the year. We'll take it completely apart, wash it in our ultrasonic high-tech cleaning facility (dishwasher) rebuild it with the 2011 schematic. New wiring, upgrade the ports, replace any worn parts, test the battery, upgrade it, (if needed, for a slight additional cost) and that includes reseating the clips and riveted hangers, test the charger, clean and polish the case, and basically make it as good as new. Call for pricing and time frame, usually one day turnaround.