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xPLOR/Godox 600 bulb transport protector

If you never have to travel and transport your strobes via airlines, no need to read further. Because I travel for about 45% of my work via airline I am constantly placing my strobes and modifiers into checked luggage. All of that gear is subject to brutal, errr, TSA inspection. They open my luggage around 95% of the time to ‘see’ what’s in those mysterious cases. I use a SKB 2SKB-4814W Deluxe ATA Golf Travel Case to transport my Parabolix, Elinchrom, etc modifiers. For my strobes I carry them in a Pelican 1560 Case With Padded Dividers. I remove the batteries from the strobes along with the bulbs. I remove the batteries to prevent having a TSA agent accidentally turn on one of the units. In the past I didn’t remove the bulbs, but on one trip I discovered the agent (who conveniently neglected to leave an agent ID tag in the case) had broken a bulb. I always pack an additional strobe just as a back up, so it wasn’t a big deal.

Since that time I always remove the bulbs and carry them in my camera carry on bag. I searched long and hard for cases that would safely hold the bulbs. The only case I could find were for the AD200 bulbs and made by Cheetahstand. Alas Edward no longer carries any of the Godox line of strobes, or any of the bulbs or the protectors. Glad I got a bunch before he discontinued carrying them. But fret not, you can make your own out of some PVC pipe.

So here is my solution for AD600 bulbs:

Purchase 2″ inside diameter PVC coupling pipe which is conveniently the exact length of an AD600 flash tube. In the middle of the tube is a ridge which I removed with my Dremel tool. I then glued a piece of shelf liner rubber to the sides of the tube to hold the flashtube snugly in it’s protective home. Not removing the raised ridge will not allow you to place padding on both sides of the tube.

On the closed end I used a 2″ cap and removed all but 1/4″ of the insert flange so that the bulb will fit against the end of the cap. If you don’t remove most of the insert flange the bulb won’t go all the way into the tube.

I used a 1″ hole saw to cut a hole in the end so that I could insert my finger into the hole to push the flashtube out of the protective sleeve. That foam you see is just some leftover padding I had which is high density foam. That keeps the bulb from resting directly against the cap.

I purchased a Kanoni 5mm Thick Protective Neoprene Lens Pouch Bag Case of Soft Plush Lining With a Hook from Amazon for 6.99 and inserted my PVC housing into the bag. An AD600 bulb fits nicely inside that bag WITHOUT my PVC tube. But I prefer to use it to prevent the bulb from being overly compressed when packed in my camera bag which could lead to cracking the bulb.

AD600 bulb inserted into the PVC and neoprene sleeve. The sleeve has 5mm of padding which I estimate has enough shock absorbing property to prevent a rupture of the bulb.

All packed up and ready for packing in my camera bag.

AD200 bulb protector

This is the slick little tube Cheetahstand use to sell. It’s basically the AD200 bulb protector with a matching cap.

Simply wrapping the bulb in a plastic bag gives the bulb enough shock protection to keep it safe during packing. Because the tube is aluminum it keeps it from being crushed. Very slick.

Bulb wrapped up in plastic and inserted into the tube.

Even though Cheetahstand doesn’t offer these any longer, you can easily make one out of some PVC tubing with end caps. I don’t know what diameter, but you can measure the bulb and determine that for yourself. 

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