Home » Gear » Paul C. Buff Einstein 640 Firmware version 30

Paul C. Buff Einstein 640 Firmware version 30

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For all of you PCB Einstein 640 (E640) owners out there, were any of you aware of firmware version 30? I know I wasn’t.

I just so happened to be on the PCB website pondering getting a third Einstein (and perhaps selling my Alien Bee B1600) when I noticed that their firmware page listed version 30 as current. It has a release date of 2012-10-12 and the one thing it updates from version 26 that affects user experience is with regards to the internal fan.

Allows the fan to be controlled by the internal temperatures of the light. The fan will run at slower speeds at cooler temperatures and higher speeds as the light warms up.

I have a theory on why they released this. The fan in one of my Einstein lights makes a loud noise when it first starts up, as if the fan is slightly off balance on the bearings. After about 20 seconds, the loud noise goes away. This can be remedied by swapping out the fan, but I have been hesitant to ship off the light since turn around is about 2-3 weeks, which the bulk of that time is spent in transit via UPS Ground (one way trip of 4 days between me in California and PCB in Tennessee).

But with the above characteristic change in the latest firmware, this will probably eliminate the fan startup noise since it will gradually spin up before it hits full speed, so the fan has time to rebalance itself. Assuming it alleviates this issue, it will probably save a lot of service calls / repairs on Einsteins for this specific user complaint.

Anyway, update your Einstein if you care about this, or just want to have the latest firmware.

Note: The Einstein will be finicky about what MicroSD card you use to upgrade the firmware. I tried a couple of off-brand 2GB MicroSD cards and the Einstein wouldn’t run the upgrade process. I ended up having to use a PNY 2GB MicroSD. Also, make sure you use a 2GB MicroSD or smaller (Einstein won’t like higher capacity MicroSD cards) and format the MicroSD as FAT16. If you stick the card in the Einstein, power it up, and you hear the fan churn but the LCD never flickers white, then the Einstein isn’t running through the upgrade process because it’s not reading the card properly.

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  1. Jay Stebbins

    Hey Ocabj,

    Great blog and work. I has the exact same issue with one of my Einstiens, it is the fan slipping on the shaft. I sent it in to PCB, had it fixed and they upgraded the fingers on my unit. Turnaround was closer to a week, week and a half.

    Firmware 30 is fantastic, I love how quiet the lights are now. Especially since I swapped out the modeling light for a 100 watt bulb. Even at full power the fan is near silent and I just run the light full power.

    Take care,


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