Defective Gossen Digisix Meter?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Tom Stanworth, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Hi,

    I bought one of these some time ago and it seems to eat batteries. The instructions say that it consumes so little power there is no need for an off switch, but when I don't use mine the battery is dead in a week or two. I can guarantee that a new battery will be dead in a month. So far I am on my fourth battery. I should add that when it was delivered, with a battery, it was dead.

    Am I right in assuming there is a problem here? Is there something I should be doing to make sure it is in 'idle mode' or something?

    Thoughts?

    Sadly this item sat unused after purchase for a while so the warranty will have expired...
     
  2. thora

    thora Member

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    I also have a Digisix and wish a power button. But my battery has power for a half year aprox. at least.
     
  3. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    My Gossen battery last a long time, I would send it to get fix.

    Jeff
     
  4. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    My batteries (Digiflash) have been lasting about 9 months to a year. Since the LCD display doesn't shut down and there's no power off switch to turn it off, there's some level of constant draw. Are you sure the metering button isn't being inadvertently pressed in a camera bag or in storage?

    Lee
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If Lee L's explanation doesn't apply, it sounds like it has some sort of short. My Digisix battery lasts around 6 months usually.

    It's not very well protected from dust, so it's fairly easy for stuff to get in there. I find I have to open it up and dust it out periodically, particularly when I've been carrying it in my pocket without a case, as I often do, otherwise the buttons stop working.
     
  6. Bob Eskridge

    Bob Eskridge Member

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    I quit using my new Digisix after sending to the US importer Bogen twice with the same problem. They would simply put in a new battery each time and return it to me - in spite of my detailed description of the problem each time.

    My battery seems to drain very rapidly but in fact if you take the battery out and let the meter "rest" for a month or so it will again work for a few hours or days even with the same previously used and supposedly dead battery.
     
  7. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    A while earlier I noticed mine would show a low battery indication, but if I pulled the battery and wiped it off, it would run fine for days. I don't use mine a lot and suspect in humid atmosphere some surface goo builds up increasing contact resistance. That's one of the hazards with electronics that run off very low voltages. Yours is far from the first complaint I've heard about battery life though. I have also wondered about accidental turn-on in storage, as Lee asks, as the soft case is very tight and very soft. I suppose for my infrequent use, pulling the battery when it's stored might be a good idea.
     
  8. labcoat

    labcoat Member

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    Did you get all four batteries from the same store? I'm asking because I've had bad luck with those lithium batterries on several occasions. Some I've bought only lasted for a month a so. One battery even was dead already when I took it out of the packaging and it was still years before the expiration date. So if you've been getting your batteries from the same source, you might want to try to buy the next one somewhere else before sending the meter in.

    Some of the digisixes do seem to have issues, though. Mine gives me different exposures (by +-2/3 of a stop!) when I take consecutive readings of the same spot (that is without moving the meter). At first I thought this was normal, but I have since found out that this is not the case. However, I've also read that other people had exactly the same problem.

    Just some thoughts.
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I definitely have problems with the meter buttons being inadvertently pushed on my digiflash when it is in the case.

    I've taken to buying the lithium batteries at the "dollar" store - 3 for $2.00.

    Naturally, the cheap ones seem to last longer than the ones from the camera store.
     
  10. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    OK, thanks for the info. I am pretty sure the buttons are not being pressed and the batteries are from different locations. I will leave it idle outside the case and free of clutter next time I stop using it and see how it lasts. My gut tells me it has a problem. You guys get 6-9 months and my average is prob 2 weeks. Mine is probably out of warranty anyway so if it is faulty it might be a total loss.
     
  11. kraker

    kraker Subscriber

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    My first Digisix also lasted less than a month on a battery. Swapped it under warranty; the replacement is certainly an improvement, but it's still not what I had hoped for. I'm guessing one battery now lasts between half a year and a year.

    I came across a Gossen Prosix for one euro at a flea market. Put a 9V battery in it, and have been using it for a few years now. Sure, it's more bulky, but at least I can rely on it...
     
  12. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I have found, and others have anecdotally confirmed, that the 'gate time' (the duration of the actual reading of the light level) on the Digisix is so short that some light sources can be difficult to read. Fluorescent lights with a magnetic ballast and an AC line frequency of 50-60 Hz are actually switched on and off 50-60 times a second. The Digisix reading is so short that it can meter peak or minimum outputs varying by a couple of stops with these lamps. The higher speed electronic ballasts (15-20 kHz) are no problem.

    If you have other PWM (pulse width modulated) light sources or a CRT that scans at less than about 85-90 Hz, you can also read only part of the cycle with the Digiflash. Holding down the reading button activates the differential reading mode, and will allow you to see the reading jumping up and down as the 'gate time' of the meter hits different parts of the light output cycle.

    Minolta's Spot Meter M came with flush buttons that were sometimes accidentally pressed in the case. They ended up supplying a raised plastic surround piece that would self-adhere to the meter and prevent this. One could easily make something similar for the Digisix/Digiflash. If you keep seeing the 'out of range' display, "Eu", on the meter when you take it out of the bag or case, it's likely being activated accidentally.

    Despite these oddities, the Digiflash matches my LunaProF perfectly across the entire range and is small enough that I always carry it. I also like the fact that the meter display holds the reading in use because I can always glance at the last reading before taking a new one, then only use the EV change to adjust the exposure from my last setting. That makes it faster in use than most other handheld meters. I always carry a spare battery.

    Lee