Quench Controller in use - Part 1
Before I discuss power issues, lets reveal real world operational results: the Quench controller was an infinite improvement. I am chuffed.
I started the first few dives on my liveaboard trip without using my home brew Quench controller ** and as per prior experience I had to manually adjust the power on each strobe by reaching out to both of the strobes ***.
This very quickly brought back frustrations from prior dive trips. Individually reaching out to both strobes caused me to take my eye off of the subject. This required an effort to re-align my camera and refocus on the subject. Inclusion of the controller (mounted near my camera) allowed me to quickly and easily adjust the strobe power output without ever taking my eye off the subject. Regardless of where I placed the strobes on the end of my arms, my light source control remained in the same place. This meant that light level control adjustment became a repeatable process. I was able to focus on my camera and maintain its orientation.
The trip also included a few experiments with different tray setups. I had settled into a small low profile SEA & SEA dual strobe tray with arm balls mounted on the base of the tray. This is different from most current commercial trays that feature fixed vertical arms on both sides of the camera tray. Every picture of a TTL converter depicted it mounted on top of the vertical tray arm. This placed the converter close to the camera and most importantly meant that the converter did not interfere with the opening of the camera housing. My housing door opens to the left. So I splurged and bought a few ancient TLC trays and arms designed for Nikonos cameras. The "new" trays were wider, heavier and the vertical arms provided a learning curve for me when adjusting the strobe arms as they where now based above the camera instead of at its base. In the end I retreated to my original tray with my SAE & SEA converter mounted on the lower left between the tray and the arm ball mount. This still allowed the housing door to open far enough to easily install and remove the camera and kept the low profile of my original rig. ****
** I think I am a conservative diver. I never take my camera on the first dive of any trip. I dedicate a separate dive to each and every change of gear. A few years ago my divebuddy purchased a new prescription mask. I did our first dive with that mask with no camera. That dive was all about her new mask.
*** The alternative is to adjust the camera shutter or F stop to compensate for poor lighting. I generally adjust my shutter to eliminate blur (1/125 or higher) and set the aperture for maximum DOF. So my normal adjustment is only strobe power.
**** I likely have a very few highly desirable camera trays for sale?