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  1. #1

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    Getting a vivitar 215 flash to work

    I bought a Vivitar 215 flash and discovered it has corrosion on the battery cover and I can't get it to work. I've sprayed deoxydent on it and soaked it in vinegar to no avail. I'm having a similar issue with my Folks old Konica. Do I need a wire brush or something to get this stuff off? Do i need to soak it in deoxydent for a while? Also, I noticed that AA batteries are often 1.2v when this thing wants AA with 1.5v .I did find 1.5 v but it still didn't work. thoughts? thanks!

  2. #2

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    Brush its teeth

    Have an old used toothbrush around? If it's truly just corrosion, get the toothbrush wet, dip it in baking soda (not baking powder - they're different) so that some soda sticks to it, then brush the contacts with the toothbrush.

    If it doesn't work after that, then it might be a loose connection or bad electronics.
    ME Super

    Shoot more film.
    There are eight ways to put a slide into a projector tray. Seven of them are wrong.

  3. #3
    DWThomas's Avatar
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    Regular alkaline batteries should always be 1.5 volts, the rechargeables (NiCad, NiMH) are 1.2. If the flash has sat unused a long time (years) the main capacitor may have degraded and need "re-forming." Unfortunately, if it is seriously degraded it may put enough load on the charging circuit that the charging won't start up, and thus it can't reform the capacitor. That is why folks recommend putting batteries in an unused flash and running it for ten or fifteen minutes two or three times a year.

    I would try harder to clean up the contacts first, that may be the problem; but it may not. I have two quite ancient electronic flashes, one inherited, that have perfect battery contacts but won't start. I suppose a serious electronics tinkerer (like I used to consider myself) could try to get inside and isolate and slowly build up charge on the capacitor with a lab power supply and possibly recover it. Although if I went that far I might try and find a replacement capacitor (which may not be easy). Note that the internals of such flashes use several hundred volts and are not to be trifled with, lest you have an illuminating experience of the wrong sort.

    Edit: According to a manual I found online, it will run on NiCad batteries; fewer flashes but faster recycle than with regular AA cells. They also recommend running it once a month to keep the capacitor formed. That sounds a bit excessive to me, but other than eating batteries doesn't hurt anything I suppose.
    Last edited by DWThomas; 01-07-2013 at 10:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4

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    If you're absolutely wanting another 215...here's one.

    'Pacific Rim Camera' catalog # 155090

    VIVITAR AUTO 215 ELECTRONIC FLASH UNIT, LOOKS EX $15.00
    http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/images/155090.jpg
    http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/images/155090a.jpg

  5. #5

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    Well, I got it working! Someone suggested a fiberglass pen from Rat Shack and with a bit of elbow grease I cleaned it up to get it to work. I'm going to try it on the battery compartment of my Folks old Konica Autoreflex T (It's a bit special to me because it was our "good camera" when I was growing up...my Dad put a funky strap on it which I recognized immediately when I saw it )

  6. #6

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    I think I got one of those pens at Radio Shack. The problem was that while the glass fibers were abrasive and got off the gunk, the fibers could go anywhere and cause trouble.



 

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