Luna Pro vs Waterfall... Instant DEATH?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Toffle, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Today, while photographing Rock Glen falls near Arkona ON, I dropped my Gossen Luna Pro SBC in the water. It was not in the water for more than the blink of an eye, but it was fully submerged. It definitely got a good soaking. The viewing window and selenium cell are both fogged, which I could live with, but I'm afraid that is not the worst of the problem. The needle responds to battery check, but remains dead for all metering.

    Though I would like to think that with a good blast form a hair dryer it will come back to the world of the living, I am afraid it is toast. (soggy toast) Can anyone offer any hope here, or should I begin looking for a new meter? (hopefully one that knows better than to jump in the water. :blink:)

    Cheers (?)
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You need it opened up before drying otherwise you could do more damage, the back plate is glued on and needs lifting carefully and removing, the screws will then be visible.

    Open with care observe what goes where, I've had Gossen meters apart a few times, don't touch the coil area it's very delicate:smile:

    Good luck.

    Ian
     
  3. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    Tom: I cannot comment on the number of lives that a Luna Pro might have, but I can offer some optimism. Several years ago I was photographing from the pool at the bottom of Bond Falls in Michigan's UP. I heard a splash and thought that I startled a frog or turtle. Then looked beneath the dissipating ripples and found that the reptilian looked a lot like my Pentax Zone VI digital spotmeter. It's viewfinder was fogged and the readout no longer worked. When I got home I took it to my repair guy who took it apart, dried and cleaned it, reassembled it and it worked great. And is still going strong several years later. So there is hope.

    By the way, it now is kept on a lanyard around my neck and not in the pocket of a shooting vest!

    Dan
     
  4. CGW

    CGW Member

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  5. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I agree with the others. Let it dry out naturally, without external heat.

    But, I also propose that the first thing you should do when any electronic item gets wet is to shut it off and remove the battery as soon as possible.

    I have seen so many people who drop their cell phones and things like that into water damage them by pulling them out and immediately turning them on to see if they still work. That one split second of being powered on while wet is the single most damaging thing that could happen.

    Electronic devices are MOSTLY inert when the are not under power. But for the mechanical parts; the disk drives, the DVD burners and the fans, your computer could THEORETICALLY be submerged indefinitely if it did not have any power applied to its circuits. It would be theoretically possible to it out of the water, clean it and dry it out and have it work as well as before it got wet.

    But that single moment of, "Gee, does it still work?... CLICK!" will fry any circuits that get shorted out with water. (And the minerals and dissolved materials in the water.)

    The first thing that you should do is turn it off and take the batteries completely out of the device. The second thing you should do is dry it out. I recommend putting it on a sunny window sill with lots of air flow or a similar place.

    Then, after you are sure the device is completely dry, you can perform triage on it to see if it still works or if it can be repaired.
     
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Follow the advice given above and remember before when you took a fall, I said that everything would work out. I think if you dry it out carefully it will work out. Otherwise I recently got one from KEH for $155 LN-

    Steve
     
  7. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    IT LIVES!!! Before waiting for the wise advice of my fellow APUGgers, I took the hairdryer to it, but not too hot, and from a safe distance. I quit when the fogging disappeard from the window, so I hope I did no further damage to it. No doubt it will need to be recalibrated, but the needle now moves and holds its position as it should.

    Ian, there was no glue at all on the back, with only a single screw holding it in place. By far the easiest disassemble I've ever had to do. I will leave it open for a day or two yet to really dry well, but I think I have pulled it back from the brink for one more chance at a full life.

    Thanks to all for the words of advice.
     
  8. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

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    .
    As far as electronic items that have be soaked,
    do you think that it would do any harm to soak it
    in 91% Isopropyl alcohol to displace the water, and
    enhance the drying process. I always thought that
    might be helpful in the first aid for a device.
    Any opinions on that type of pre-treatment before
    it gets to the repair shop.


    Ron
    .
     
  9. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Better still, marinate in a bottle of Stoli. Take to shop. Drink reserved Stoli whether in celebration or for a wake.
     
  10. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

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    .
    That's one way to take away the pain of losing a LunaPro SBC.
     
  11. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I don't know. It might work but there is also a chance that the alcohol could do damage by itself. It'd have to be a case-by-case decision if it is used at all.

    Disassembling the device as much as possible without damaging it is a good thing.

    But remember! There are two kinds of men who would disassemble an antique pocket watch: Watchmakers and fools!
     
  12. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Thanks for all the wise advice... I love this aspect of APUG... after all the "what is the best lens (developer, film, paper, cable release, etc.)" threads and the "complaints about Kodak threads", (and heaven forbid, the exposure and optics epic threads) when I have a problem, APUG is the place to go.

    Cheers,
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Alcohol could melt or deform the plastic case.
     
  14. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Soggy Photo Equipment

    Well it was not a light meter but...

    Several years ago I was heading to Las Vegas to do a shoot and decided I had enough Nikon F2 bodies packed so I took one out and left it on my water bed.

    A week later upon my return I found my water bed bag had failed and the liner of the bed frame contained all the water (nasty water at that) and my Nikon F2 with motor drive looked like a navigational buoy mostly erect standing up partially out of the water.

    I sat up all night and took the camera and motor apart put it all on cookie sheets and dried it in the oven at 100 degrees. Lubed it with molly lube where I thought it needed it upon putting it back together and I was amazed it worked. Worked for a number of years into the future before I sold it telling the buyer a real CLA would be a good idea. It still smelled like a funky 80's water bed.

    So I'm glad you got your meter to work. Always be quick on emergency surgery.

    Lee
     
  15. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Agreed.

    Without knowing the kind of plastic or other sensitive parts are in the device I would not be able to advise somebody to use alcohol.

    For instance, what if the coils of the galvanometer are sealed with shellac? Shellac is fairly waterproof when it is dried but alcohol will dissolve it almost immediately. (Shellac was originally made by dissolving the resin from lac beetles in alcohol.) If the shellac dissolves from the meter coils it would almost surely destroy the entire device.

    And, NO! I'm not taking my Gossen apart just to find out if alcohol will hurt it! :tongue:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2010
  16. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I'll drink to that! :laugh:
     
  17. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Now that the meter appears to work again (it does, doesn't it?) a quick note about the "SBC", which indicates that the meter makes use of a silicon blue (filtered) cell, and hence doesn not have a selenium cell window.
    :wink:

    These meters are quite sturdy thingies. And you can take them apart (in two halves, that is) without doing any damage.
    But i too wouldn't soak it in alcohol. Just let it dry in a constant flow of warm (not too warm) air.
     
  18. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    ya... I knew that... I did call it a Selenium cell, didn't I? I misspoke... I stand corrected.
     
  19. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    It sounds like this episode is mostly settled, but for future reference, here's a trick for drying out electronics that I learned from my mobile-phone cow orkers: Bury it in rice (dry, obviously). Dry rice grains are very hydrophilic and will do a nice job of sucking up the residual moisture. I mostly-resurrected an iPod touch this way---the charging circuitry never came back, but it runs off the wall wart---after it took a dip in the cats' water bowl (thanks, two-year-old son with a fondness for electronics).

    -NT
     
  20. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Water itself does not cause much damage. It's the impurities or other stuff in it which can cause problems.

    Drying out then if necessary, rinsing with pure water and drying out again will often be enough.

    I have known several pieces of equipment to be saved after having drinks poured into/onto them. Sugars in drinks such as Coke can cause problems as they remain on the circuit boards after drying out. Repeated rinsing and drying can remove them.


    Steve.
     
  21. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Rejoice that you did not drop it in salt water! Ka-zapp!
     
  22. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Water is corrosive. Not as bad as cola drinks, but still. Drying quickly is important.
     
  23. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    We have learned a couple of expensive lessons through the misadventures of our daughter. Once, while cleaning the toilet in her very own first apartment, her brand new cell phone slipped out of her robe and into the bowl. (impurities???.. no sh*&!! :D ) Tried the disassemble and the rice thing... tried the wait two weeks. It actually kinda worked for awhile, but the earpice was toast, and she had to use it in speaker mode at full volume... and the keypad would send random figures, making calling an adventure... three months later we broke down and split the cost of a new phone with her. (around the time that her roommate split with the rent money, some expensive heirloom jewellery and became a former best friend. :blink: )

    Six months later, in a new house with much nicer girls :smile:) happy dad) a visitor spilled red wine on her laptop during one of those great parties we all wished we had when we were in our 20s... It was fine... except for the keyboard and touchpad, which could be replaced sans warranty for about 2/3 the cost of the computer when it was new. The computer market being what it is, we put the repair cost into a laptop and ended up with twice the memory, twice the CPU, and a lesson twice learned regarding fluids and electronics. (and a lesson or two in human dynamics... we heard a few months later that former roomie was being sought by the police for identity theft and fraud. :tongue:)

    Hey, it's my thread... I'll decide when it's off topic. :laugh:

    Cheers,
     
  24. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Aah! The Pepsi Syndrome! :D :D :D