WARRANTIES, REPAIR, POLICIES, SHIPPING



THANK YOU FOR YOUR BUSINESS FAQ
I want you to be happy with my product. And I want you to share that happiness with others. Years ago I adapted the policy of no advertising, spend it on the customers who might need it and let the good word abound, and it will be fruitful.  It works, not exactly Wal-Mart statistics, and some days I think being fruitful meant better tomatoes at the supermarket…but I am here to help you.  

Don’t be shy, call me if you have a problem. Ninety nine out of one hundred calls I can fix or diagnose over the phone.  Your product (s) have a limited warranty. It covers the product for period of one year from date of purchase. During that time if you have a problem caused by a part failure, we will replace, repair all parts and labor, including chargers, plugs batteries and our cables. Period. No questions asked.

READ THE INSTRUCTIONS
The biggest problem I have seen, though rare is the human element known as, "I know more than the instructions".  People do not read the instructions.  I purposely condensed them to a few pages so that we would not have to publish Kindle size books.  The most common call I get involves the square module. Since it is square it can be inserted backwards causing a burning smell.  Even more apparent on the less expensive units, from mainland China and VietNam, also Thailand.   The better units are still coming from Japan.  

PROBLEMS - INOPERATIVE 
Each battery chemistry has it's own rules. Each manufacturer has it's own charging suggestions for optimum usage. Each photographer has his own mind and according to St. Murphy-Laws each home or office has it's own electrical, spikes, brownouts, back-wiring and other anomalies.  Occasionally we combine them... your unit might not be up to specs. 

In percentage here are the top reasons I get a unit back for repair.
-  40%   You might of sulphated the battery by not charging it after use, for a few months
-  20%   You ran it too far down and left it there under 5.8 volts triggering the battery safety.
-  10%   Reversed wall outlets, or bad surged outlet.  Surge strip effect charging and grounding.
-  10%   Nature -  Lightning strike, bolt or a flood, surges and brownouts. You cannot predict wear and tear on electrical digital products and batteries because the power sources, your electrical supply really have no standards and are so different regionally and even things vary door to door. The weather this winter and summer  have been brutal and spikes are killers.
-  20%   Things get old, like you and me.

NOT ALL IS LOST!
Remember one of the things we work on is simplicity and field repairability. I will gladly look at for which there is no charge except return postage and parts. Now lets say you really screwed it up.  We will inspect it and will call and advise you of what we found.  Two years and older batteries mistreated I will suggest a replacement. A bad wire, weak, solder joint, anything correctable that is an anomaly, we take care of.  Dealing with China is another story. 

Any neglect or abuse is on your dime. That means dropped boxes, usually indicated by the dent on the bottom, or the edge, the loose battery tells me the battery dis-lodged usually by dropping, sometimes temperature extremes can loosen the tac that holds it in place, but it is easily repairable and does not stop its use in the field. It is designed to continued functioning which is why we use the heavier impact stranded fire-resistant wire and it is even heavier on the upgrade.

UPGRADES - We are upgrade friendly! And Cheap!

It is the beginning of the dreaded Winter / Spring/ Summer / Shotgun (not seasonal) Wedding Season. The feared TyrinoBridus Rex and her mate, Brewusasouras, decided to make it legal.  
Fourteen offspring eggs do that to you. So lets get on the ball and get these packs updated, charged, tested and ready for the forthcoming slaughter. It could be you! 

For me this means upgrades and repairs to get people back on track. For you this means "working with patience”. Weddings are work and you need "patience" before you swap the camera for a gun and make "patients" out of the Bride. Leave the groom alone, he just really wants it over.   

So, already I am getting the eMails. "I went to hook up my battery pack after the winter and it's dead".  My charger stays on green all the time and the battery is not charging". "My Tuxedo is dead, I didn't charge it this winter". Congratulations, a small portion of you might of had a real problem, but the other 98.7%, (and thats just fact my friend) now have free membership in the "I didn't read my instructions book club”.



SHIPPING ME YOUR OLDER CABLE FOR DIN UPGRADE
A cable you may of purchased after the sale, bought locally, grabbed on eBay, stolen at a Wedding from the guy who jumped in front of you, traded your dog for it. Whatever!  Cables for upgrades, other than the first or second at time of purchase are $6.00 for the DIN PLUG  and $5.85 Postage Total of 10.85   

The Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box is about the same size and shape as three stacked DVD cases, perfect for jewelry, electronics, event tickets, or other small items that need expedited shipping. And like all USPS flat rate boxes and envelopes, the new box is available free of charge and also can be used for international shipping.  You are at the post office anyway, grab a few empties in assorted sizes, you can't beat the deal. $5.85. or  UPS, no insurance, no signature. You may also use the bubble wrap envelope with the usual information if you prefer UPS or FEDEX or FIRST CLASS.


UPGRADES - NOT JUST A FACELIFT
We take upgrades seriously.  If you have an older BLACK BOX or a TUXEDO vintage 2008-9 or older, call me if you do not know.  Most BLACK BOX and Tuxedos may be upgraded for a small fee to the new 2014 higher performance model.  Everything in this world needs an uplift sooner or later.  

Just ask Joan Rivers and Kim Kardashian, both women have assets that must be upgraded from time to time to achieve the maximum amount of performance in their careers.  

We know Joan does it with her wit and humor, and some of the ugliest jewelry around on QVC.  Do people really wear that over gaudy, overpriced crap?  I have seen nicer stuff from primitive tribes.  
On the other end, (pun intended) w
e are still trying to figure out what Kim actually does as a celebrant in the way of talent, but readily admit she has the "ass -ets”  for it.  In reference we found an old Armenian proverb that says the "Kardashians should always enter the room backwards thus putting their best face forward".  Not all Armenians believe this but since the Kardashians barter in this form of self-indulgence for money, they are a target rich commodity in the realty TV world.

The ideal time is when it is in for service because it is inexpensive, you already shipped it, paid postage and reduces shipping costs.  And not just a bluff and shine, or tweak shown above. Basically the unit gets torn apart to zero, and rebuilt to give you further years of service. 


OLDER ( SINGLE PORT - That has two different ports on top) BLACK BOX UPGRADES

UPGRADED TO 2014 Standards - SPECIAL $65.00 plus return postage. (11.85 USPS) 
Includes New Battery, Combined you are basically getting a new unit.

1- Total Disassembly of entire unit.
2- Remove old decals and clean case as best. Cases may be sanded, polished or cosmetically enhanced.
3- Fittings -  D rings replaced as needed. New rivets.
4- Back Tab reinstalled and rivets drilled out, removed and reset.
5- 2nd DIN added and RCA removed, Two Dins Installed in 2012 configuration.
6- All new RoHS high capacity fireproof wiring installed. (Airline proof)
7- RED CAP the DINS for the airlines.
8- Charger is checked and cable upgraded if needed with connectors and DIN plug.
9- All new wiring, hand soldered, all insulated, no connectors to wear or age. Meets Euro standards.
10- Flash cables checked, fixed free, upgraded, cleaned of heat and corrosion, retested and field checked.
11- If the battery tests or looks like it's shot, new higher power batteries (20% more power) installed for the 65.00x,  generally if old one does not pass muster while it is here for upgrade. You save postage that way by not having it returned to me on another date by not wasting $11.85 postage


TUXEDOS - OLDER 

UPGRADED TO 2014 Standards - SPECIAL $50.00 plus return postage. (11.85 USPS) 
1- Total Disassembly of entire unit.
2- Remove old decals and clean case as best. Cases may be sanded, polished or cosmetically enhanced.
3- NEW Clip.com BELT CLIP. We remove the "inch worm', ring holder, seal the holes and install a new Clip and tab.
4- Back Tab reinstalled and rivets drilled out, removed and reset for new tab
5- RCA removed, install a mini off-on switch in it's place.
6- All new RoHS high capacity fireproof wiring installed. (Airline proof)
7- RED CAP the DIN for the airlines.
8- Charger is checked and cable upgraded if needed with connectors and DIN plug.
9- All new wiring, hand soldered, all insulated, no connectors to wear or age. Meets Euro standards.
10- Flash cables checked, fixed free, upgraded, cleaned of heat and corrosion, retested and field checked.  
11- Replace the battery.

<<<<<<<<•>>>>>>>>>


COMMON PROBLEMS - ACTUAL EVENTS

THE BARSTOOL SHENANIGANS
You dropped it off the barstool;  Three customers, chilling out in male dance emporiums, (topless bars) made me aware there is quite a cult following chasing these elusive dance enthusiasts who whirl and twirl on brass poles, just like you showed the kids at the firehouse.   Unfortunately I cannot show those pictures the enthusiasts took here.  But the box knocked off the table to the floor did survive though cracked and worked for the rest of the evening.


THE TOASTER CREW
 
You made a toaster out of it;  Two of our customers thinking their 12 volt car charger would be faster to recharge the black box did not know the laws of charging which states on an SLA battery you cannot exceed 1.25 per volt. thus 6=7 not 14V.

Since one idiotic company recommends that you can use two chargers, but in parallel not series.  Why do I call the other company idiots?  Because an idiot will think you can do this with all batteries.  

After all, 12 volts is twice the power of six volts.  Simple math, bad thinking, really bad thinking and I might add "stinking thinking".  I can only imagine what the Postman was thinking handling this box. Dead Animal!  Very little could I salvage from the melted mess.  Thank goodness we have RoHAs burn proof wire and batteries.


DRIVING ACCIDENTS
We do not cover the box being driven over.  Do not use as a wheel stop during a flat tire encounter.  Almost as common as falling barstools, and has occurred three times.  We recommend you use a rock to stop the SUV from rolling, not your camera bag. This happens when you are being helped loading the gear at the trunk or tailgate of the car and you forget to put it inside.   
Two out of three of those boxes survived.  The last one mated with two Canon 580's, about a 1200.00 dollar mistake. The box we salvaged, we used parts from the Canons for other repairs and they were replaced with Yung-Nuo's.

Simple: If it is your screw-up, you pay postage and cost of parts if you really croaked it as long as the story is funny enough for me to reprint.  A true failure, which is very, exceedingly rare, we pay postage. Otherwise you do.


REPAIRS 
After the one year warrantee period is over, all repairs are covered by a limited warranty for a period of 120 days from the date of repair. Checkups and estimates are always free. Most of the time excluding what I call neglect or abuse, I usually fix things for the parts involved, not exactly but close to free labor, you pay for parts and shipping, I'll usually fix it.  The battery is pro-rated at 20-% per year. I built my reputation on helping people, not bilking them.


THE FLASH - CONNECTING IT WRONG
No matter what I say or print on instructions, people just don't like to read.  There is nothing more I can do about it except if you do not understand something, call me.  My numbers are on the page "contact me" and most information on how to insert the module is under flash and cables. You can do damage "just fooling around".

Not as often, we will experience a flash failure. KAA-KAA, the ancient God of bad luck rears it's smiling and ugly head.  Understand please, most of the flashes we provide cables for are made by the manufacturer to suit his camera line. 

Though they may be marked PRO or HD or whatever, it does not imply these were designed for extreme hard use. They were designed to operate at slow speeds, no heat buildup, subsequent fast flash pictures at partial slow settings, not at high repetitive speeds, lots of cool downs and infrequent use.  Sometimes they need to be rebooted.  

You may try the following;  Reset the flash to it's default settings.  It's like rebooting a computer.  Get out the instruction book. You might try turning the flash off and restarting it with the mode and on button pressed at the same time. And some flashes have to be turned on after the camera to handshake. 

Loose cables can occur at any time and nine times out of ten it's when you about to take "The Shot Of The Year". Thats another reason why we eliminated the RCA jack they pulled out, locked on too tight and could not be removed, or a fan of the blades fell off and shorted the cable.  In our product we use locking DIN plugs, they are externally protected, all grounding is internal, where it should be. 

Use the Isopropyl Alcohol to clean the flash internal contacts and the shoe of the flash where it makes contact on the prism. If you do use AA cells moisten a piece of paper towel with ISOPROPYL and wipe the batteries top and bottom to remove finger prints and oil residue.


DIRTY TERMINALS
I get a pack back sometimes with erratic behavior. I have removed coca cola from the insides and water sometimes.  But slow operation can be from the cable from the battery to the module that goes in the flash.  That brown to red color is heat. Burning the heck out of your flash shooting at extreme settings is one thing. We all get behind the ball shooting and try to catch up usually at the expense of our own gear. 


High power and fast pops without cooling the flash is common to sport shooters, paparazzi, and nervous wedding shooters, I call it shellac syndrome.  

Most manufacturers strobes are not made for abnormal usage. Quantum and other board makers sometimes spray the internal parts of their boards and products to weatherproof and seal the metal stripes. 

The shellac is used to insulate and prevent moisture damage.  The shellac settles on the terminals making them brown.  It could also be the capacitor is getting so hot, you are about to experience a meltdown. Some are covered with paper as an insulator and then wrapped in shellac.

Ever try to solder with a dirty solder iron tip. It don't work, does it , thats why you clean the tips.  What can occur is "fast shorting" contacts that open and close rapidly. Thats what I think may of been the problem with the 580's when they first came out. Weak contacts internally.  

Several ways to clean, ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL, not rubbing alcohol.  A grade or percentage of 93 or better.  Also a soft eraser done away from your gear and lenses, and a vacuum cleaner running while you do it to prevent any abrasive from going internal especially on camera contacts. When I repaired cameras, I had a vacuum table to keep particulate in place. 

Isopropyl alcohol is readily available at the drug store. It is used widely as a solvent and as a cleaning fluid, especially for dissolving lipophilic contaminants such as oil. I use LKG 99.6 percent. I also use a dremel with small wire and eraser tips to polish terminals when really bad.

BE AWARE
The modules can also be inserted wrong as in backward. Some of the modules are easily confused.  In that case you can short the strobe or simply most newer ones have protection and don't function. On this site there are sections on specific cables with specific instructions under flash units and cables.

Another possibility occurring with the cables is stretching. Many claim they don't stretch the cables.  

Well after taking things with a few grains of salt, two shots of Tequila, and some lime juice I see things differently. 

This shot taken at a local Lambada Dance contest got the photographer who was so into the music he just grabbed this incredibly gorgeous young lady and almost won first prize taking his own portrait at the same time.

I do have some great guys and gals using the black box. And we'll put up any decent shot you send us using black boxes providing I don't get any letters from the Religionistos. And even then I'll put them up.

Under careful scrutiny I did notice he is still using the older RCA jack which we have upgraded free for years during the time of sale of the Black Box.  By simply sending them to me with fifteen dollars enclosed, we will upgrade the cable to DIN, clean the terminals and ports and send it back to you. Thats another weak link we have over the year attended to. 

We have experienced a few failures with the DIN plug by the retainer screws working loose. from time to time tighten them - Remove one screw at a time, put clear nail polish on the threads and re-insert. From 2009-2011, I now torque them down, we use a different series of shrink tubing, and Blue Lock-tite the two screws. Send you cable in and we'll upgrade it for free, just enclose $5.15 for return high speed priority mail service.

The last thing about cables is old age. Sometimes we rebuild an older Quantum Cable no longer being used.  We can do that for the Vivitar or make you a great extension for a two cable rig. Only if I deem the cable is OK, will I update it. Cables can corrode internally and the copper has turned green or the rubber has disintergrated and literally falls off. Unseen breaks and we run contiuity checks. Anything other than 100% perfect and we dump them. 


<<<<<<<<•>>>>>>>


POSTAL SAVINGS   -  United States Postal Service (USPS) And FRUGALITY

Priority contains insurance, a smaller amount. I have a discreet drop box at my condo so if the stuff is addressed right gets here.  And you generally do not have to  ask for a signature card, it will signature recorded free when dropped to me electronically

It has FREE tracking for delivery and a great track record.They offer lower fixed rate fees on 5-20 pound weighted products and this save my customers money.  And with PRIORITY fast shipping, as fast as two day UPS and FedEx in some cases. 

Our hot seal packaging prevents theft and "slit grabbing" and the USPS offers inexpensive insurance.  The United States postal Service offers FREE boxes and materials.

Pre-labeled CLICK & SHIP means no time lost waiting on lines and being located close to a major airport and USPA hub (TIA-Tampa International) means faster times on both domestic and international shipments.

We use newspapers for packing.  Formerly working for the Times I get all I need and we avoid the use of plastics, peanuts and airbags which are polluting our landfills. The newspapers are just as good, free and reusable in a fireplace or collected.

If sending me a package, call or email first, let me know you are sending me something, when it's expected and what's wrong or if it's just a routine safety check, which is free except for return postage Please read the shipping instructions carefully under shipping.  

Again, enclose a check or money order PayPal for the return postage. Note: It's $12.80 for the return postage as we only use PRIORITY MAIL via the United States Postal Service.  Put your name on your gear with a sticker or business card. 

Please enclose the charger and /or cable so we may test the whole system and include the module for the flash.  If you do, we'll check the cable, tighten things clean and polish the contacts at no charge. Then we'll both sleep that night. 


NO PEANUTS PLEASE
I use fans to dissipate the gases from solder. I do take a metals blood test every year,  and particulates and the peanuts get blown all over the place. Plus I do not appreciate dirty or used peanuts. I don't do that to you. Use clean newspaper, if a package gets wet the paper absorbs better. 

The Boxes are always wrapped in sealable saran wrap for shipping to protect or for a wet weather leak and so forth.  The contacts are covered with red caps as per shipping and airline regulations.

And the genius who emptied his paper shredder to use for packing, you know who you are, will wait till hell freezes over till I get to his pack, I did not find it funny at all. Use newspaper please. 

I prefer for you to use USPS PRIORITY MAIL when sending a return, DIN, or upgrade. I have specific reasons for this choice. USPS FLAT RATE Boxes Are Free at Post Office and the FRB-1 or medium size flat rate can hold up to twenty pounds at one flat fee. It is $12.80. You can't beat the deal.

Take the email or a note of our discussion and stick it in the package with your address and phone numbers.  Again and I hate to be redundant, include your name address, the nature of the problem or work to be done and your phone numbers and email address.   Those that do not enclose a note, I will let it lay till you figure out who you are and you contact me. Cut and paste the attached email and place this form in the box if you will.   Sometimes we get a package from "BILLY BOB's Swedish Smorgasbord and PIT BARBECUE".  And I am supposed to know it's from William Glickinpooper, Cosnobia, Connecticut. Drives me nuts, almost as bad as peanuts. 

CANADA and  INTERNATIONAL MAIL
Since Canada was not on the list of countries Bush invaded in the past years, this year, surprisingly enough... we have good news!  Better Service to Canada and International Service with Priority Mail.  


CUT AND PASTE

SIMPLE REPAIR or WORK ORDER RETURN FORM

Just print out and enclose in box.   

NAME, and EMAIL:

REPAIR,  UPGRADE THE FOLLOWING: 

SHIP BACK TO:  ADDRESS, CITY, ST, ZIP, COUNTRY. 

DAY, CELL PHONE:   

ENCLOSED LIST:

MESSAGE: 


ORDERS
On new orders payment must be made before we ship or start any work. We try to get it done and ship fast, then a box sits around for three or four days waiting for the customer to call and, this louses us up. We are very liberal on taking care of you. So work with me.

BATTERY TO FLASH CABLES ARE NOT INCLUDED
We prefer you order them and drop ship to me, they come with an invoice with your name on it and we know it's yours. Cables may be ordered from B&H, Adorama, Calumet or any camera store you prefer. I have however found these three to be the most professional, competitive, and timely and have it in stock


I LOST MY INSTRUCTIONS
If you lost your instruction sheets, the number one cause of problems, other than not reading the instructions, you may download the newest version in PDF.



ELECTRICAL STRIKES  -  ACTS OF GOD
Obviously with a charger plugged in all the time there is the chance a charger got killed by a spike as during a storm or during a brownout or the eight million lights on your house during Christmas fried the whole block.

Also areas with brownouts and fringe grids wear out the chargers quicker.

This (Ka-Ka) happens and we'll work with you as long as you are honest with us. Unplug charger when the battery is not connected or when severe electrical storms are present.   


ELECTRICAL ACTS BY THOSE WHO ARE NOT GOD  (AKA THE VILLAGE IDIOT)


Haven't used that once since Bush left Office. Not all of the electrical stuff blows because of God. Man does a fair job of blowing stuff up himself after all they tell us we were made in his image. 

Electrical is covered for a year against defects. We use pretty robust heavy-duty units but nothing is infallible. We do carry replacement chargers in stock. Do not modify, change, alter anything without consulting me first and then I’ll tell you NO!