Home · Register · Software · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Lighting & Studio Techniques | Join Upload & Sell

  

Reiving a dead flash
  
 
BGarrett
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Reiving a dead flash


I'm trying to revive an old Vivitar 5600 that I got in an estate sale. I read that you can revive a drained capacitor with a steady diet of fresh batteries, so I've been stuffing it with rechargeables for over a week. Sometimes it will charge up and flash once or twice, but mostly... nothing. Anybody here got experience with this kind of thing? The flash has no signs that it's ever been used, so I hate to just trash it, but how do I tell when it's time to give up?

--Bill G



Apr 10, 2017 at 09:53 PM
PhotoTeacher
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Reiving a dead flash


Usually reforming the capacitor in a flash means that the exceptionally long time it takes to recycle will become shorter as the flash is used more and more. It sounds like you are on the right track, but if you have been at it for over a week, I think you may not be able to reform the capacitor. I take it that the batteries are good, and start out fully charged?


Apr 11, 2017 at 02:58 AM
Fred Amico
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Reiving a dead flash


From my experience, after a week it's time to give up.


Apr 11, 2017 at 04:47 AM
Access
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Reiving a dead flash


BGarrett wrote:
I'm trying to revive an old Vivitar 5600 that I got in an estate sale. I read that you can revive a drained capacitor with a steady diet of fresh batteries, so I've been stuffing it with rechargeables for over a week. Sometimes it will charge up and flash once or twice, but mostly... nothing. Anybody here got experience with this kind of thing? The flash has no signs that it's ever been used, so I hate to just trash it, but how do I tell when it's time to give up?

--Bill G

You're best off just replacing the component that has gone bad. Once a capacitor goes bad, you typically can't 'fix' it.

Just find a suitable replacement (try Digi-Key or such) remove the old part, and solder in a new one. It's not very difficult assuming that's the only thing wrong. Look for a replacement with a similar value and voltage rating, a low ESR and/or high ripple current rating.



Apr 11, 2017 at 05:12 AM
BGarrett
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Reiving a dead flash


PhotoTeacher, the batteries are freshly recharged, and put immediately into the flash. I just changed out a set, and the ready light came on again, so something is working sometimes.


Apr 11, 2017 at 02:48 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



BGarrett
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Reiving a dead flash


Access, I think I will look into replacing the capacitor as you suggest. I'm not handy with that sort of thing, but I imagine there's something on youTube that will show what to do.


Apr 11, 2017 at 02:51 PM
Fred Amico
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Reiving a dead flash


BGarrett wrote:
Access, I think I will look into replacing the capacitor as you suggest. I'm not handy with that sort of thing, but I imagine there's something on youTube that will show what to do.


If you decide to go that route, please be VERY careful, as you can get hurt poking around inside a flash unit - think nice, big shock!



Apr 11, 2017 at 05:57 PM
Access
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Reiving a dead flash


Yeah like he said, be sure to discharge the cap and any others, flash capacitors can be hundreds of volts which is more than enough to really ruin your day.

This is mainly for power supply caps, but the fundamentals are the same. The only difference is you want to keep in mind the ratings for ESR (lower is better) and/or ripple current (higher is better).




Apr 12, 2017 at 01:13 AM
tonyespofoto
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Reiving a dead flash


Back in the day (the Vivitar 283 day, that is) the circuits were quite simple and usually, a little time would reform the capacitor(s) and you would be back in business. My recent experience with Canon 550s now tells me that additional things can go wrong that can'be fixed by extended running. I had a 550EX that I had not used for a while. During its storage, something went bad. Yes, I could keep stuffing batteries into it and occasionally, it would flash, but it would not return to consistent operation. I sent it to Canon, but was told that it was too old to repair. They offered a 'loyal user' discount on a replacement flash which I took advantage of. Apparently, that was not an isolated problem. A second 550 soon exhibited the same symptoms. So I guess you have to just suck it up and cut your losses. That said, I have Vivitar 283s at least 2 decades older than the 550 that are still operational, including a couple of hot-rodded versions. It was common during the 80s and 90s, to use an external battery pack and put an additional capacitor in the the battery compartment. Voila!! You had a 283 with TWICE the factory power with all its automatic features intact and its reliability uncompromised. It was also possible to replace the flash tube and reflector with a bare tube flash, with or without the additional capacitor. Those were the days.


Apr 19, 2017 at 01:49 AM







FM Forums | Lighting & Studio Techniques | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username     Reset password