Quadra head protection

It seems many Quadra owners are unhappy with Elinchrom’s inability to provide a protective cover for the heads flash tube. New to this unit myself, I feel the same way.

I found the perfect off-the-shelf, grocery shelf that is, translucent container that makes a great Elinchrom Quadra flash tube protector.  The PDF template I provide below was created for use as a cutting guide.  The template will make it quick and easy to get a secure, perfect fitting and positive locking cover.

The first one I made came out perfect and is as small as it can possibly be.

The second one made here is 20mm deeper to provide some clearance (20mm) between the cover and the front of the flash tube.

What I have in mind, since the plastic seems pretty color neutral, is a possible bare bulb softener, much like the “stofen” type diffusers used on speedlights.  Not sure how this will hold up to the heat generation of repeated, high powered flashes. But., I think with the 3/4″+ clearance in front of the tube it should be okay providing I don’t do too many rapid higher powered flashes.  I really didn’t notice much heat build up in some of my initial tests.

Note: If you plan on using these for flash use, you need to be comfortable with the possible heat issue.  The risk and responsibility are yours.

OK, let’s get started.

1.) Go buy some of this stuff…

Here’s where taking out the trash paid off for me the other day.  After my wife and daughter made some cupcakes this ended up destined for the recycle bin.  It’s weird, but the day before this happened I had been measuring the RQ head for something like this. Nice score, and the cupcakes were tasty too!  This chocolate frosting is in a pretty small container about 4″ tall and exactly the diameter of the RQ accessory mount.

2.) Download the PDF template file here.

3.) Print the PDF template file.

4.) Measure your printout and make sure it matches what’s shown on the ruler below.

Check your printout.  In order for your slot cut outs to line up, the bottom template border needs to be 147mm.  Convert it to inches if you like, but I find metric for this stuff is much easier.

I have no idea what those black blocked up areas are.  By the time I finally got Sketchup to print on a single PDF page at a 1:1 ratio I was sufficiently frustrated; ignore the black blocks.

5.) Cut out the template oversize.

I found that some extra paper at every side EXCEPT the bottom edge makes it easier to get a nice square and flat tape up. So do it about like the image above.

Be accurate in cutting the bottom edge where the cut out patterns are.  This will make for a better fit.

6.) Measure and mark the depth you want the cover to be.

This is the measurement from the first cover I made.  It was cut to 52mm from the top.  This size cover is the SMALLEST size you can make–the tube is almost touching the inside surface of the cover when secured.  As I mentioned above if you want a little breathing room in front of the flashtube to experiment with an RQ “Stofen” type cover, then I suggest making it 72mm.  With the extra 20mm’s you can change your mind later and cut the 20mm off and have a compact cover like this one.  You’ll see the difference later.

7.) Mark your cut line and make the cut.

I find a combination square to work fast in getting you a nice square cut line.  A fine tipped Sharpie will also help here.  Remember, this is the 72mm one.

When you cut, take it slow.  Many light “scores” will get you a better final cut than trying go all the way through in one pass.

To get the expiration/batch printing and the glue that held the label on, I used lacquer thinner–worked quickly.

8.) Tape template to the INSIDE of the cover.

The important part here is just making sure the base of the template is flush with the bottom edge of the cover and that the paper is making contact with the plastic.  About four small pieces of tape did the trick for me.  The template is sized to be right up against the plastic for all your notches to line up properly.

9.) Mark and cut the notches.

You should easily see the dark notch patterns through the plastic to mark and make your cuts.  Take your time and score lightly multiple times to get the full cut.


Finished covers. The left one is 52mm’s deep, the right 72mm’s deep for softened bare-bulb use.

If you were careful with your cuts the covers should twist on and lock–mine work pretty well.

Couldn’t resist hooking up the power to the longer soft-bare-bulb one and popping one off.

I haven’t had a chance to do any meaningful test shots but the omni-directional qualities of a powerful little light like this should come in handy.

HAVE FUN! And, enjoy the cup cakes!

Comments are closed.