Minolta Flash Meter IV won't wake up

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by rippo, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. rippo

    rippo Member

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    So I just got a Minolta Flash Meter IV from KEH. It seemed to work fine and I played around with it for ten minutes or so. It then went into sleep mode and I couldn't get it to wake up! No amount of pushing the "on" button would rouse it, and removing the battery didn't help either. (I don't have the LR44 battery in there as that's just for the optional IR doohicky. Just the AA battery. I did put in an LR44 to see if that made a difference, but it doesn't).

    I then realized that if I keep the battery out for an extended period of time, the unit will work again. It resets to the factory defaults (ISO 64 etc) but continues to function until it goes into sleep mode. If it goes to sleep and I hit the on button immediately, it wakes up. But if it sits for even a few seconds, it's dead.

    Is there something about this meter's operation that I'm missing? Or it merely a bad meter in need of a replacement? Thanks.
     
  2. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Your AA battery is probably dead. Having it work momentarily then die, only to come back for a bit after resting the cell is classic behaviour of a marginal cell.
     
  3. rippo

    rippo Member

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    Unfortunately that's not the problem. I've tried four different batteries, no luck. Same response each time!
     
  4. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    Send it to George at Quality Light Metric. He fixed my Flash Meter IV by replacing the whole main circuit board for $100
     
  5. rippo

    rippo Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion, Chris! But I'm just trying to make sure this isn't operator error before returning it to KEH. I only paid $75 for it so a repair is out of the question.
     
  6. Sowers

    Sowers Member

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    I would try cleaning up the battery contacts. Deoxit or similar (or just scratch it with a pocket knife if you're as cruel to your electronics as I am to mine). My Auto Meter IIIF does some wonky things when the battery is low and/or the contacts are corroded.
     
  7. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Send it back.
     
  8. rippo

    rippo Member

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    Sowers: gave it a try, the first time it seemed to wake up, but then it continued with its bad behavior. There's a window where if I wake it up shortly after it goes to sleep, it will come back. But if it goes longer, it won't come back unless I remove the battery for an extended period of time.

    Jim: Yes, that's the conclusion I'm coming to.

    Thanks for everyone's input. Time to get a working one.
     
  9. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Bugger. Another vote for returning it - KEH are good about returns.
     
  10. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Bought two Autometer IVs used. First was DOA. The second gave totally wonky readings. Suspect long damp storage in the second case since corrosion was evident on the circuit board--nothing to do with battery leakage. Got a Sekonic 558 and never looked back.
     
  11. rippo

    rippo Member

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    polyglot: I spoke with them today and they're happy to replace it. Already have another one on the way. Should be the end of the story (cross fingers).

    CGW: The 558 is a little more than I want to pay at the moment. I've got a Minolta Flash Meter III that works just fine, except a slider has come off and changing between ambient and flash requires a sharp object! But it hasn't given me problems. Was hoping the "upgrade" would be just as good. Hopefully I find a dry one. Thanks.
     
  12. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Minolta cranked out piles of IVs, so many that I think there was a problem with sample variation(poor QC?)--some good, some not. The older models--the Flashmeter III and IV--may have been better.

    I confess to being a Sekonic fan. Have never had any problems with them--ever, even on "experienced" used meters. If $ is tight, the 328 is usually affordable. The 308 is newer and a gem--flash(cord+cordless),incident, and reflected in a pocket-size meter. If you want all this and spot metering, the 508 is a bit more but not outrageously priced used now.
     
  13. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I am a fan of Minolta meters but I must say I do have some problems with them. I got hooked on meter when I bought the flashmeter II. It's fine but I trade it in a couple of years later to get the flashmeter III. it too worked great no problem. I got the spotmeter m for spot and it's fine too. But I sold both of them when I got out of photography in late 80's.
    I got a $2 garage sale spotmeter m and the display in the viewfinder doesn't work but otherwise is fine. I bought a flashmeter III on ebay and it's ok but sometimes it would give a low reading. Something has to do with how the trigger button is pushed. I got a brand new flashmeter VI and it's ok but I feel I have to push the on button a little long to have it turn on. quick push it doesn't turn on.
     
  14. rippo

    rippo Member

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    Thanks, all! My replacement meter will arrive by the end of the week. They've promised to give the 'new' one a re-check, to make sure it's functioning properly before it goes out.