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02-18-2017, 01:45 AM   #1
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 2,245
Jinbei studio flashes recalled (Germany) due to potential lethal risk for users

Just to make you aware that the German importer of Jinbei studio flashes seems to be recalling a substantial part of all Jinbei studio flashes sold due to a potentially lethal 220V strike risk.
See: Google Übersetzer

QuoteQuote:
What is the problem with affected studios?

The 230 V mains voltage may be applied to the ignition wire of the flash tube of the affected devices. If the device is switched on and the ignition wire of the flash tube is inadvertently touched with the hands or with live materials, there is a risk of a life-threatening electric shock.
The Germany national product safety authrority has issued a product warning: BAuA - Datensatz Produktsicherheit / Datenbank "Gefährliche Produkte in Deutschland" / Produktinformationen / Produktsicherheit / Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin - Ausgabe eines Datensatzes aus der Datenbank Produktsicher

One discussion on a photo forum here (Studio Jinbei DP-250 steht unter Strom - ist das normal? - Seite 23 - DSLR-Forum) seems to suggest that the issue seems to arise especially in countries with European style (2 pin) power plugs.

08-20-2017, 02:54 AM   #2
Pentaxian
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand
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I just found out about this recall and tried to figure out what the issue is because I own Jinbei DPs III strobes and wanted to find out in what way I might be in danger.

First, I was relieved to find out that the DPs III series is not affected after all. However, even if my strobes had been affected, I wouldn't have thrown them away because four conditions have to come together for any threat to be present:
  1. You have to live in a country where power plugs are symmetrical and it is thus possible to plug them in one of two ways.
  2. You have to plug in the power plug the "wrong way". Initially, there is no way of knowing which is the wrong way around, but if you have a multi-meter or a phase indicator and are comfortable to use it on live power voltage then you can figure out the safe orientation and mark the plug accordingly.
  3. You have to touch the ignition wire on the flash tube, either directly or by holding a conducting object (such as a metal mounting ring) that touches the wire.
  4. The strobe needs to be switched on.
I can't 100% vouch for all of this personally, as the various models may be different, but from all I've read so far, unless all these conditions are present, there is no danger of receiving a shock.

I would never have been in danger of receiving a shock from my Jinbei strobes (even if my model had been affected) because I always turn them off before I change a modifier. I always had the utmost respect for the ignition wire on the flash tube anyhow because very high voltages can run through it and while these may not be able to kill a regular person they are at the very least very unpleasant.

I think it is very concerning that the affected models received "CE" approval despite presenting a safety hazard under certain conditions. I also believe that the manufacturer was negligent in
  • not understanding that they cannot rely on all power plugs allowing one "live" vs "neutral" configuration only, and
  • by not putting in a safety measure that kicks in case the polarity is not as expected and a human or animal gets in touch with the ignition wire.
However, I don't think that the problem is proof of all Chinese products being "low quality" and "unsafe". This is not directed to the OP at all. I'm reacting to some voices on the internet who "knew all along" to avoid Chinese products. Mistakes like that happen everywhere in every industry with any manufacturer. Mistakes like that should not happen, but it is a fact that they do. Luckily, for any Jinbei owner of the affected models, as far as I can see, there is no need to disconnect the strobes and never touch them again. They are not unsafe in principle. They "only" present a safety hazard under certain circumstances which apparently are easy to avoid.
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