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National Computer Electronic Flash Unit.

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by Alan Pearce, Nov 10, 2017.

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  1. Alan Pearce

    Alan Pearce

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    0
    Oct 15, 2017
    I have a Computer National Electronic Flash PE-387S.

    I bought it about 20 years or so and only used it about 4 or 5 times. I was pleasantly surprised as to the quality of my pictures and intended to use it more in my work as a photographer. Circumstances forced me into different work and a different king of life. I wrapped the Flash up in its original box where it has remained for many years. I took the batteries out before storing it away to prevent any leakage that might occur.

    I have now retired from my work and now have reached the age of 87 years old. Recently, I found the box in a cupboard where I first placed all those years ago. The storage has been clean and dry for all this time.

    I put brand new corresponding batteries in and switched it on but simply cannot get it to fire up. it is as dead as a Dodo.

    The unit is still in pristine condition

    Is there anything that I can do or is there anything that you could suggest I do.

    Sincerely Yours. Alan Pearce
     
  2. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

    4,608
    2,151
    Jun 21, 2012
    @Alan Pearce, an electronic flash stores electrical energy in an electrolytic capacitor, discharging that stored energy into the flash lamp when the flash is triggered. Problem is, the liquid part of the electrolyte slowly evaporates, even in the best-sealed, military grade, gotta-work-right-now electrolytic capacitors... the kind used to spin up the electronics for weapons systems. When that happens, the capacitor can no longer store or deliver energy.

    Perhaps you could disassemble your flash and replace the energy-storage capacitor (or capacitors) with brand new ones, but it may be difficult to find an exact replacement after twenty years. Avoid "new, old stock" that you might find on Ebay. Anything older than ten years is suspect. Some people would say five years. Twenty years is really pushing it for electrolytic capacitors. Also be careful working around these capacitors if the power supply for the flash is still operational... most of these electronic flash energy-storage capacitors are several hundred microfarads and rated to store energy up to several hundred volts. They are very dangerous when charged.

    Speaking of pushing it... at 87 years of age, are you "up" to repairing an electronic flash? Any electronics repair experience in the previous century?

    Hop
     
    Cannonball likes this.
  3. dorke

    dorke

    2,342
    665
    Jun 20, 2015
    Welcome to EP.

    Is that manufacture still around,or has it gone the Dodo way?
    You can get it to be serviced.

    How are your skills at electronic repair?
     
  4. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

    4,275
    1,147
    Jun 25, 2010
    Did you insert the batteries correctly?

    Here's the user manual for it:

    https://www.manualslib.com/manuhttp...#manualal/851970/National-Pe-387s.html#manual

    Check that the terminals in the battery holder are clean and still springy enough to offer good contact on the batteries themselves. Even if the main (flash) capacitor is dodgy you should still be able to get the LCD up and running. If not then the fault will be (potentially) more difficult to attend to.
     
  5. Alan Pearce

    Alan Pearce

    3
    0
    Oct 15, 2017
     
  6. Alan Pearce

    Alan Pearce

    3
    0
    Oct 15, 2017
    Any Ideas where I could get it repaired. what sort of establishment should I look for. I live in Milton Keyens
     
  7. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

    4,275
    1,147
    Jun 25, 2010
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