Einstein E640 Reliability
I have had two Paul Buff Einstein 640s fail (they just die and won't power on ) on me over the last six months. These units are less than 18 months old. I had about eight other Alien Bees and While Lightning strobes from Paul C. Buff over the last 10 years and never had one problem with them. I don't know if it is just bad luck, or a trend, but if another fails on me I will consider replacing them with another brand. Other than that, I really like the units and the Cyber Commander interface that lets me control the strobes from my camera position.
I just received my a new E640 unit from Paul C. Buff to replace my dead one that I sent in a week ago. I can't fault the service. I just hope the Einstein's reliability is as good as their service.
On another note .... Paul Buff came out with a new Firmware upgrade (v31) for the Einstein units. I bought a 2GB Micro SD card as instructed, it came pre-formatted as FAT16. I downloaded the firmware onto my MAC, copied the firmware to the SD Micro card and when I put it into my Einstein it just went into an endless loop where the fan kept coming on and off.
I then reformatted the card in FAT16 using the MAC Disk Utility, but that didn't help. I called support and they couldn't figure out what was wrong and offered to send me an SD Micro card with the firmware on it (for free). In the meantime my wife brought home her Windows laptop from work. I loaded the firmware onto the card using her Windows machine (the card that was formatted FAT16 by my MAC) and it still didn't work. Then I reformatted the SD Micro card using the Windows Disk Management utility, and then reloaded the firmware .... IT WORKED!
For some reason, unless you format your SD Micro card with the Windows Disk Management utility, it won't work.