Thank you for purchasing this Flash Feeder Compact.
Flash Feeder Compact is the new, improved model of the Flash Feeder, which was the first
universal battery supply on the market that was specifically dcsigned for the photographic
industry. It is made for professionals who want to use their professional studio flash equipment
on location. Using Flash Feeder Compact, a photographer is filly independent of mains power
supply. The unit's unique multiple charging possibilities extends its universality and enables recharging of thc batteries even on location where the mains power supply is not available. In
addition, there are different options to extend the autonomy, including a quick battery replacing
system. All integrated automatic systems and protections have been developed to make the use
of Flash Feeder Compact as simple as possible. So a photographer can really "forget" about the
unit and focus on photographing.
Though Flash Feeder Compact is abIe to supply certain larger power packs with connected flash
power up to 12800 Ws (2x6400), it gives the best results when used with compact flashes and
smaller power packs.
Please be sure to read the following instruction manual (including warnings!) carefully before
using Flash Feeder Compact; For additional information, please contact your local distributor or
We wish you success with your location shooting.
Flash Feeder Compact is a compact, multi-functional electronic power supply device. Its
electronics are specially developed to supply studio flash units on location. The unit has an
extensive range of protective measures ensuring operating reliability and long service life. Flash
Feeder Compact incorporates the following sub-devices:
- Sine-wavc inverter for supplying flashes (converts DC battery voltage to the mains-like AC
voltage of 230 V)
- Fast battery charger for charging internal battery:
- Supply from mains
- Supply from 12/24 V external DC voltage (external battery, vehicles cigarette lighter or
solar PV (photo voltage) system)
- BatteryPack(24V/7,2Ah)
- Signalization (visible and audible)
- Heavy-duty. compact water-proof casing
Make sure both switches (12, 1'3) are switched OFF (position "OFF")before connecting any
cord to Flash Feeder Compact (sockets 14, 15, 20, 21). Also check that the flash unit(s) are
switched OFF before connecting to the Flash Feeder Compact.
Before connecting Flash Feeder Compact, check if the input voltages are adapted to those given
on the control panel of this unit:
Mains supply voltage (to inlet 20) must be between 100 and 240 V AC nominal, while the
frequency must be between 50 and 60 Hz.
- External DC voltage (to inlet A14) must be 12 or 24 Y DC nominal. This voltage must not
exceed28 V DC.
In addition, make sure that the input supply voltage of the applied flash unit(s) correspondsto
the output("FLASH SUPPLY")voltageof FlashFeederCompact.This voltage(from outlet 21)
is 230 Yl50Hznominal.
Also the DC load, connectedto the 24Y DC (internal battery) output (15) must be able to take
20-26V DC (up to 30 V DC when the unit is charging).
Check if the audible signal is active - the beeperswitch (3) should be pressedin. The yellow
beeperindicator (a) is ON when the audible signal is active (only when unit is switchedON with
the switch(12 or 13)).
The chargingprocedureis fully automatic,using a three-stepconstantcurrent constantvoltage
control method. The battery is almost fully re-chargedduring the first, fast charging period
- FAST" indicator (S) is ON. The completely dischargedbattery 000%
depth of discharge)can be re-chargedin two and half hours to approximately 75-90% of its
nominal capacityin this first period. After that, the automaticsswitch from fast chargingto float"CHARGER - FLOAT" indicator (7) is ON and (8) is blinking)
fast charging mode (green
where the remaining amount of capacity is recharged.After the battery is re-chargedto 100%,
the (8) indicator stopsblinking and the chargeris in float charging state.You can safely charge
Flash Feeder Compact for up to one week (indicator (7) is ON) without any damageto the
intemal battery.If the battery is only partly discharged,the fast charging time is proportionally
Although the batteries are almost completely charged during the fast charging period, it is
recommendedthat Flash Feeder Compact is further charged until fast charging indicator (8)
1) After eachusewheneverpossible;
2) Always before storage;
3) Every three months during storage.
Anyway, Flash FeederCompact can be used without damageto the battery immediately after
"no memoty"
fast chargingor even when only partly re-charged,since the internal battery has
Charging before use (after long storagetimes): RechargeFlash FeederCompact before use to
compensatethe capacityloss due to self-dischargeduring storage.
!!! Tf is highly recommendedthat Flash FeederCompact is charged as soon
. This will extend the
battery servicelife. A long pausebetweendischargingand rechargingmay causedeterioration
in the battery's performance and shorten its service life. The length of the pause (days)
increasesthe da
When charging, the internal battery level indicator (5) is in charging mode. Immediately after
charging, the battery indicator switches to a normal mode and may indicate "full battery" even
when the battery has been only partly charged. For the correct battery level indication wait 10
minutes (until the battery's voltage stabilizes) or do the following:
Disconnect Flash Feeder Compact from mains (20) or/and external battery (14).
Turn the switch (12) to "FLASH SUPPLY", with no load connected to the output (21). After
a few seconds the indicator (5) shows the actual capacity level of the internal battery.
IMPORTANT. Always make sure that the green "CHARGER" indicator (8 or 7) is ON during
Connect Flash Feeder Compact (20) with properly grounded mains, using the AC power cord
supplied with the unit.
Switch the charger ON with the "CHARGER switch (13). After a short beep, the
"CHARGER" indicator (8 or 7) shows the internal battery is charging. Additional Battery
Pack(s) if connected to (15) or/and Battery Case if connected to (1 I), may also be charged at the
same time.
The charging procedure is fully automatic. The charging time (in fast charging mode) is 2.5
hours to recharge the completely discharged internal battery.
or 13) ON and OFF, as this can cause breakage of the mains fuse (19).
Flash Feeder Compact can be connected (14) with different 12 or 24 V DC sources:
- External Battery
- Cigarette Lighter Socket (vebicle, boat, solar system)
- Solar (Photovoltaic) System
Connect Flash Feeder Compact (14) to the external battery, solar system or into vehicle lighter
socket by means of the DC Power Cord (code FF3-1001-A or 1002-A).
Switch the charger ON with the charger switch (13). After a short beep, the "CHARGER
indicator (8 or 7) shows the internal battery is charging. Additional Battery Pack(s) if connected
to (15) andfor Battery Ca'se(s) if comected to (1 1), may also be charged at the same time.
The charging procedure is fully automatic.
Charging time (fast charging mode) to recharge the completely discharged internal battery:
- 2 hours when charging from 12 or 24 V external battery
Depends on instantaneous power from the solar photo-voltage panel
When the external battery approaches low level, a short beep will sound and a short blink of the
low external battery indicator (6). As the external battery becomes lower, beeping and blinking
becomes more frequent until the charger stops permanently and the low external battery
indicator (6) is ON permanently. When this happens, the charger should also be switched OFF
manually (with the charger switch (13) and disconnected fiom the external battery.
Flash Feeder Compact can be charged fiom either 12 or 24 V DC. It can be connected to a
vehicle lighter socket (car, boat, bus, truck, etc.), with the DC Power Cord with lighter plug
(code FF3-1001) or direct to any 12 or 24 V car battery using the DC Power Cord with clamps
(code FF3-1002-A). Vehicle charging is possible in both cases - whilst driving as well as when
the vehicle's engine is switched off. In all cases, there is an electronic protection against reverse
polarity connection of the external battery.
IMPORTANT. The external battery overdischarging protection functions differently,
depending on the type of the DC Power Cord connected to the unit:
The DC Power Cord with a cigarette lighting plug (code FF3-1001) is made for vehicle (boat)
charging. By using this cord, Flash Feeder Compact automatically stops charging when there
is still enough energy in the starting battery to safely start the vehicle's engine.
IJTTON In spite of this special precaution, there could be a problem when starting the
engine at a very low ambient temperature and/or if the starting battery has deteriorated.
The DC Power Cord with clamps (code FF3-1002-A) is made for direct connection to the
external battery. By using this cord, Flash Feeder Compact efficiently use all of the external
battery's available energy. To prevent over-discharging, the automatic protection stops the
charger at the voltage level, where the external battery is empty - discharged to 100% depth
of discharge. When charging fiom photovoltaic (solar) system, we also recommend the use of
the Power Cord with clamps.
The external battery protections are adapted to the external batteries of (sealed) lead-acid type,
e.g. car starting batteries, For use of other battery types like Ni-Cd, Ni-MU or others, please
consult ELEKTRONA.
In both cases (cord with clamps or lighter plug), Flash Feeder Compact automatically recognizes
the nominal voltage (1 2 or 24 V) of the connected external battery and correspondingly adapts to
ensure maximum protection.
IMPORTANT, Only the use of the original ELEKTRONA DC power cords ensures correct
operation of the protection system.
Before connecting the flash unit(s), make sure that:
- Model lamp is OFF
Recycle speed is set to slow charge (if selectable)
(High powerlcurrent flash unit(s) with recycle speed selector usually works better, has longer
autonomy and is even faster when set to "slow charge".)
Connect a studio flash unit with Flash Feeder Compact (21), using the AC power cord supplied
with the flash. For connecting more than one flash unit, use a grounded multi-outlet AC
extension cord.
Switch the inverter ON with. the "POWER SUPPLY'? switch (12). After a short beep, the green
"FLASH SUPPLY" indicator (10) shows the inverter is operating.
Now, you can switch ON the connected flash unit(s) and start shooting with your camera.
When the internal battery approaches low level it is indicated by a short beep (at first, only
during flash recycling). The lower the internal battery is, the more frequent the beeps are, until
the unit stops automatically. Then the low internal battery indicator (9) lights and the audible
signaI beeps. When this happens, the inverter (power supply) should also be switched OFF
manually (with the power supply switch (1 2)). S e e the "ADDITIONAL ENERGY WSERVE"
chapter for getting some more energy from the batteries.
The maximum power and the maximum number of connected flash unit(s) are limited only by
the total peak current of connected flash unit(s) and by the technology of the flash. So the
maximum total flash power can be as high as 12800 Ws with two low current power packs. On
the other hand, some high current flashes of 1500 Ws might be a problem. Flashes with recycle
speed selector usually work better and have longer autonomy when set to "SLOW
CHARGEIRECYCLE" mode or to turtle symbol.
Model lamps consume a lot of energy; therefore it is recommended to use them only for a short
time. They can be used with most flashes, but in general, model lamps with no regulation work
very well. Some regulated high power model lamps might have reduced output power (at full
power). In some cascs, they might not work well. The maximum model lamp power is
650 W.
When more than one model lamp is used, flickering might be very noticeable.
In most cases, the flash recycle speed is the same as when the flash is connected to the mains
voltage and depends only on flash capabilities. Some flashes with high current peaks may have
considerable longer recycle times and might be even faster when set to a "slow charge" mode (if
available). The recycle speed may also be slower when supplying more than one flash
simultaneously (it depends on the entire current of connected flashes). So, for photography
where the recycle speed is of great importance (e-g. fashion photography), we recommend one
Flash Feeder Compact is used for each llash unit.
The recycling speed can be as fast as 1.5 seconds for 1.500 Ws full powcr, however it depends
considerably on the type of the connected flash unit.
The maximum autonomy depends considerably on the type of flash unit. See our Compatibility
List, where test results of different flash units (different brands and power) with Flash Feeder
Compact are shown. The test results include use of the "additional energy" procedure (see next
The autonomy depends on many factors such as:
- Cwent draw of the connected flash unit(s)
- Flash power in Ws (J)
- Typeltechology of the flash unit(s)
- Number of connected flash units
- Ambient temperature
- Statelage of the Battery Pack, etc.
Flash power packs usually have one or two fans in the pack, ns well as one fan in each head so
t h i s requires power too. The number of shoots might also be lower with several low power
flashes (e,g. 3 x 500 Ws = 1.500 Ws)than 1 higher power (e.g. 1 x 1500 Ws) because each flash
unit has some constant power consumption (fan, electronics, etc.), which is multiplied by the
number of flashes. Besides, t h e smaller flashes usually have greater total current t h a single
larger flash unit.
After the unit automatically switches OFF (repeated audible beeps and the "LOW NTERNAL
BATTERY"indicator is ON), there is still some additional energy left in the battery. To use this
"reservetienergy, turn OFF the unit (12 and 13) and wait for a few minutes. During the pause the
battery will partly recover and some additional flashes will be avaiIable again. If you wait longer,
you get more additional energy.
To obtain good results it is recommended to wait at least 10 to 15 minutes before using this
additional energy. If you repeat this procedure several times, wait longer each time.
t h e different ways to extend the autonomy:
1) By simply replacing the discharged Battey Pack (code FF3-0501 -MA) with a fully charged
2 ) By connecting an Elektrona Battery Case (code FF3-0201-MP) to the power DC connector
(1 I). Battery Cases can be connected in chain to achieve as much power as needed. For best
results, connect the Battery CaseIs) to the unit before starting, when the internal Battery Pack
is stiIl h1l. With one Battery Case connected, the autonomy is prolonged to 350-400%.
3) By charging the unit during the session. Connect Flash Feeder to any 12 V external battery
(or to cigarette lighter connector) by means of the DC Power cords (FF3-1001-A or FF31002-A). For best resdts, it is important to do this at the beginning of the session, when the
intemaI battery is still full. In this case you are limited only by the energy of an external
battery, Dn
as the I0 A fuse might
- When Flash Feeder is heavily loaded for a longer time (e.g. the flash unit is triggered
consecutive1y without pause and/or model lamp is used) the overload protection temporarily
reduces the output power. After a short pause (>I0 seconds), the full power will
automatically be available again.
In case of over-heating, the unit stops automaticalIy, the aver-heating is indicated by an
audible signal beeping and by the synchronised blinking of all LED indicators, which are
ON at that moment. After cooling down, it starts automatically again.
For more infomation about the compatibility of a particular flash unit with Ffash Feeder
Compact, (autonomy, recycle speed, use of model lamps, eventual operating limitations) see
the latest Compatibility List.
AudibIe signalization has beep warnings for:
- Switching the wit ON
- Low internal battery
- Low external battery
- Over-heating
- Internal battery approaching Iow level
- Too low or too high mains voltage
- Over-voltage of internal battery
- Short circuit/over-load at the output
- Emr
Corresponding LED signalization shows the cause for the beep sound. %en the unit is beeping,
one of the following is happening:
- "LOW INTERNAL BATTERY" indicator (9) is lighting for Iow internal battery. The
inverter ("FLASH SUPPLY" (10) is OFF) stops automatically until reset - switch (12) OFF
and ON.After use the battery should be re-charged as soon as possible.
Over-heating is indicating by a synchronised blinking of all LED indicators, which are ON
at that moment. The inverter ("FLASH SUPPLY" indicator (10) is OFF) stops automaticdly.
After cooling it resets automatically. The reason could be a broken fan, covered vent. holes or
closed cover, heavy load in very hot environment (very high ambient temperature), etc.
- If there i s a temporary voltage dip of the internal battery, beeping is also temporary. This
warns the user that the internal battery is approaching low level. Beeping stops as soon as the
internal battery recovers, e.g. during recharging the flash unit it beeps and then stops. The
inverter operates and there is no other visual signalization.
When the voltage dip becomes permanent (more than approx. 12 seconds - low battexy mdor
constant heavy load), the first ofthe above-mentioned cases take place.
In all the above-mentioned cases, the charger ("CHARGER'' indicator (7 or 8) is ON) should
charge normally (from mains and from external DC battery) when either switch (1 2,13) is ON.
The unit is permanently beeping with synchronised blinking of internal battery LED bar
indicators ( 5 ) when there is an internal fault and counter-synchronised blinking, when there is
over-loadinglshoa-cireuit at the output. If it is beeping even after resetting the unit and
disconnecting the load, it indicates a permanent internal fault.
The unit also makes one beep when the external battery is low or when the mains voltage is toe
high ar too low - the "LOW EXTERNAL BATTERY" indicator (6) lights up md the charger
stops charging ("CHARGER" indicators (7, -8) are OFF) automatically. After the external
battery's voltage recovers or the mains voltage returns to normal, the charger starts automatically
The "LOW EXTERNAL BATTERY" indicator and the beep sound may blink if the voltage
(mains, ext. bat.) exceeds the Iimits repeatedly.
The audible signaliiation can be switched OFF by means af the beeper push switch (3).
Visible signalization include:
10 segment battery level indicator ( 5 )
- Flash supply (1 0) indicator
- Low internal battery (9) indicator
- Charger - fast (8) indicator
- Charger - float (7) indicator
- Low external battery (6)indicator
- Beeper (4) indicator
There is a replaceable Battery Pack (code FF3-0501-MA) in the unit. It is made of high-capacity
rechargeable sealed lead-acid batteries. The battery pack is maintenance free and has no
"memory" effect. The Battey Pack should be re-charged as soon as possible after each use as
well as before storage (for 12 hours) and every three months during storage.
The nominal expected life of the Battay Pack is 5 years.
The expected Cycle Life (number of cycles of the battery pack) is:
150-200 cycles (dischargeicharge} at 100% depth of discharge
- 400 cycles (dischargelcharge) at 50% depth of discharge
- 1.200 cycles (dischargelcharge) at 30% depth of discharge
(A11 data by battery manufacturer are valid at ambient room temperature)
In practice, the Iife is a combination of both, the lifetime and the number of cycles. It is also
related to such factors as ambient temperature and rest period between discharge and charge.
WARNING. Before opening the battery compartment always:
- Switch the unit OFF (12 and 13)
- Disconnect the unit from the supply - all cords.
Use only original the ELEKTRONA Battery Pack for Flash Feeder Compact (code FF3-0501MA).
Opening the Battery Compartment and replacing the Battery Pack:
- Turn the battery compartment button (1) one quarter of a turn counter clockwise, push it to
the right and open the compartment door by pulling the button.
- Grasp the blackhandle-strapontheBattery Packwith the right handand lift-outthe
Battery Pack from the unit. If necessary, push the left edge of the Flash Feeder casing down
with the left hand, to prevent lifting the unit.
- Grasp the black handle-strap of the recharged Battery Pack and put it to the battery
compartment. Make sure, that the contacts of themf3atterypack are facing the contacts of the
unit in the compartment. Push the Battery Pack firmly down.
- Close the battery compartment doors. Firmly push the button (I) down and to the left and
then turn the button clockwise to lock the doors.
Avoid short-circuit of the Battery Pack contacts
Do not Charge in a sealed (gas tight) container
Avoid mechanical shocks
Do not dispose the battery into open flame
If exposed to electrolyte (acid), wash immediately with plenty of water.
Dispose of the used batteries safely. Your old batteries will be taken back by lead recycling
smelters. The batteries must be recycled.
Remove the Battery Pack from the appliance before it is scrapped.
We recommend having the audible signal always active by pressing the beeper switch (3).
The yellow beeper indicator (4) is ON when the audible signal is active.
If during the shooting a photographer makes longer pauses (>lo minutes), it is recommended
to switch the unit OFF not to waste the energy in the battery.
As Flash Feeder Compact is heavy for its volume, careless handling (dropping) of the unit
may cause mechanical damage. We highly recommend the use of the original packing or
something similar to protect the unit against mechanical shocks while transporting it by air.
Make sure to turn OFF the switches (12, 13) after supplying flashes as well as after charging.
IMPORTANT. Before changing the fuses disconnect the supply and switch the unit OFF.Use
only thc prescribed fuse values.
The user-replaceable hses are:
- At the mains input (19) - T 2N250V slow blow, 5x20 type fuse
- At the external battery input (1 71, 10A132V AL blade (car type) fuse
- At the 24V internal battery output (1 8), 15N32V AL blade (car type) h s e
Under the battery compartment doors (left of (1 I)), 80N32V, strip type
- On the top of the Battery Pack, 2~40N32VAT, blade (car type) fuses
The shipped version of this device complies with the requirements of EEC directives
891336lEEC "Electromagnetic compatibility" and 73/23/EEC "Low voltage directive".
- When the cover of Flash Feeder Compact is not firmly closed, d o ~ q m i the
e unit t o i n ,
keep it dry, and never use it in wet or dusty conditions or restricted, chemical or explosive
areas. The same care should be taken for studio flash units.
Use the original AC cord s~lppliedwith the unit. lf the supply cord is damaged, a special cord
or assembly available from ELEKTRONA or our dealer service agent must replace it.
- Use the original ELEKTRONA accessories only (DC Power Cords, spare Battery Packs,
Battery Cases,...).
- There are no user-serviceable parts inside the unit (except the Battery Pack in the battery
compartment, which can be replaced or removed following the instructions from "Replacing
the Battery Pack" chapter). Never open the unit or attempt to repair it. It is dangerous to try to
repair the unit by yourself. Your local distributor will inform you about your ELEKTRONA
service station.
Always disconnect all wrds and switch the unit OFF before' opening the battery
Do not use the unit if it is dropped and shows signs of damage or h c t i o n s abnormally. In
such a case please contact our service station.
- Always connect Flash Feeder Compact ((20) inlet) to a properly earthed socket-outlet.
- The ON/OFF switches (12, 13) do not disconnect the unit from the mains voltage; to do this,
remove the power plug from the socket
- Make sure, that no objects be inserted into the ventilation holes and that no objects or liquids
get inside the unit (danger of electric shock, short circuit).
ELEKTRONA cannot accept any responsibility for damage arising from improper use of the
appliance or failure to comply with the instruction manual.
Failure to observe the warning and caution notices can lead to accidents, injuries or damage to
Please keep this Instruction Manual and refer to it as required.
Flash Feeder Compact seems completely dead when switched ON:
- Check the safety button (16) if stuck. Push and pull it a few times.
- The internal battery may be considerably over-discharged. In such case, the unit can only
be charged from the external 12 V DC source (battery or cigarette lighter socket of 12V
only). Charge it as soon as possible and you will save the battery if it has not been left
over-discharged for too long.
Flash Feeder Compact is connected with mains (20), and switched ON, but the unit &
not and "CHARGER" indicators (7,8) are OFF:
- Check the mains fbse (19) (2 A, slow blow). The fuse could break if the switch is quickly
andlor repeatedly turned OFF and ON when the unit is connected to the mains.
- Check if the mains AC power cord is firmly connected to the inlet (A1 1) and to the mains
- Check the presence of mains voltage in the mains socket.
- Also, if the internal battery indicator (A4) is completely OFF, the internal battery is
considerably over-discharged ("LOW INTERNAL BATTERYt' LED indicator (A7) is ON)
or completely empty ("LOW INTERNAL BATTERY" (A7) is also OFF). In such a case, the
unit can only be charged from the external 12 V DC source (battery or cigarette lighter
socket of 12V only).
Flash Feeder Compact is
(ZO), and switched to "CHARGER", but
the "CHARGER" indicators (7, 8) are OFF and the CC1.r)W
the unit ,FRY" indicator(6) is ON:
- The mains voltage is too low or too high. The unit will automatically start charging when
mains voltage returns within the nomal limits. If the mains voltage stays out of the limits for
a long time, the charger should be switched OFF firnually.
The autnnnmv than expected. There could be several reasons for the reduced
- The batteries might not be hlly charged.
- The new Battery Pack (or after long-time of storage) might need a few chargeldischarge
cycles to reach its full capacity.
- The batteries could have deteriorated (several possible reasons).
be used when the low power DC voltage source is used. It is also normal in such case that the
"CHARGER and "LOW EXTERNAL BAITERY' indicators are blinking and the audible
sound is beeping whilst charging. The output power of the supply should be at least 1N12V
or 0,5A124V.
Check the voltage of the solar system. It should be 12 (12 - 15) or 24 (24-28) volts nominal.
I ~ a coolinq
automatic switch ONfOFF .
(1) Charged to 75 - 90% from compfetely discharged int. Bait.
(2) Flash peak current measured at 230 V
(3) D e ~ e n d on
s connected flash type (see the testina fist)
FF3-0201 -MP
Compact Battery Case
with 2x mono power connector
FF3-120 1 -A
DC Power Cord with mono power connectors
connecting external Battery Case to Flash Feeder Compact
DC Power Cord with aigarette Ii~hterConnector. 2rn
FF3- 1001 -A
DC Power Cord with c o n n e c t i o n ~ l k for
~ s external Baneu connection. 2m
FF3-0501-MA Batterv Pack for Flash Feeder Compact
FF3-150 1 -A
DC Power Cord for external charging of one Battery Pack. 0.6 m
DC Power Cord for external charninn of two Battew Packs. 0.9 m
FF3-1503-A , DC Power Cord for external charging of three Battery Packs. 1.2 m
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