Challenge, DOA Vivitar 283 Flash

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Uncle Bill, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    My made in Japan Vivitar 283 flash died on me recently. I used it back in late July shooting my friend's Rockabilly act (results in the main gallery) and it was working fine.

    Fast forward a few weeks later, I test it out before putting the flash in my camera and it's dead as in pining for the Fjords of Norway. Tried firing up with fresh batteries, nothing.

    So what's wrong? the contacts look ok, I might give them a quick clean and see if that helps but it is not an intermittent performance issue, the flash is plain DOA as in no power up whine, no flashing light on the back, nada.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    At the risk of stating the obvious:

    A - Make sure the contacts that connect to the battery holder are clean and make good contact (i.e. pull out on them a bit).

    B - Try again with different batteries or at least test the new batteries. It's not likely, but the new batteries could also be bad.

    B - Buy another (since you're not getting any indication of the capacitor charging) or, if you want, take it apart to see if there is an obvious wire disconnect. But be careful as capacitors store a lot of power.
     
  3. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    I'm going to be careful if I decide to open the flash up, heard the early 283's have a higher charge than a Taser. I'm going to clean the contacts. The batteries I purchased this morning and are at full strength.
     
  4. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Put batteries in it turn on, push the button on the back to light up the calculator dial. Does the calculator dial light up? If so, the batteries and power switch are ok, if not you know where to start.

    The internal voltage on all of them is approx 300 VDC, it's only the sync voltage that is lower on the new ones.
     
  5. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    The only thing that lit up on my flash was the light on the back near the bottom right when it was fully powered up. I did not know the calculator dial lit up too.

    Quick update: cleaned the the pick ups in the battery holder with a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol and tried the flash out with the old batteries and the flash lives!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2010
  6. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Bonus. :smile:
     
  7. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    So the ready light is working? If yes, that means it's charging and has fully charged the caps 300V.
    There are two other common failings, the trigger capacitor or the trigger coil.
     
  8. dehk

    dehk Member

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    Oh, quick reminder for you. Thick Rubber Gloves. Zapped myself before with a internal flash from a point and shoot repeatedly, that already wasn't that fun (but i never leaned), i can imagine if you get zap with that.
     
  9. mablo

    mablo Member

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    Viv 283 (at least the made in Japan model) is quite pedantic about the batteries used. Some batteries work, some don't. I've yet to find the logic behind it.
     
  10. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    Found my 283 works nicely with run of the mill Energizers.