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OT:camera Flash repair Help

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Tony, Jun 20, 2004.

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  1. Tony

    Tony Guest

    I have this vintage camera with hotshoe flash .. this type of flash only
    works with built in capacitor ..there is no battery to charge this unit.
    No matter how long I connect the flash to charger , I can only get single
    flash from it .. and it seems capacitor gets discharged completely ..
    is this mean that, capacitor is defected ?? ( I can replace the capacitor ,
    if I can find the exact model ) ..
    or should I be looking for something else ?

    Thanks and sorry if im posting this in wrong forum.

  2. the Wiz

    the Wiz Guest

    The capacitor in older flash units is discharged with each flash. Modern flash
    units have "power saving" electronics that can turn the flash off when enough
    light has been produced for proper exposure.

    Current hot shoe flash units are powered by internal batteries (usually AA
    cells), using step-up circuitry to produce the 200+ volts needed to charge the

    In most flash units, once the capacitor is charged, the "ready" light turns on
    to indicate the flash can be used.

    If you have a older flash that has a large charger unit, the charger was
    designed to be connected to the flash unit during use. It's probably either a
    studio model (with AC cord, sits on the floor) or an "over the shoulder" unit
    (with large batteries and lots of weight).

    Considering the advances in flash technology, you probably should consider
    buying a new flash unit.

    More about me:
    VB3/VB6/C/PowerBasic source code:
    Freeware for the Palm with NS Basic source code:
    Drivers for Pablo graphics tablet and JamCam cameras:
    Email here:
  3. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Thanks wiz for your reply..
    Im very much sure that , this unit dose more then one shot with single
    charging .. but the flash was not use for well over 10 to 15 years .. so , i
    think there must be somthing wrong with capacitor , discharging after single
    this is portable uint.. and as far as i know, with single charging.. you can
    use this flash for up to two rolles of films..
    i am aware of new flashes , but i like to keep and fix this since is more or
    less vintage unit and goes well with my vintage camera..
    Thanks for any pointer ..
  4. John Miller

    John Miller Guest

    Is there something you're not telling us?
    I began using electronic flash in 1960 with a Crown Graphic (Heiland with
    400-something volt battery), and up until the time of electronic flashes
    with exposure quenching (flash shuts off in response to light reaching a
    sensor), I know of none that provided more than one flash per capacitor

    We can help best if we have all the information (brands, model numbers,
    John Miller
    Email address: domain,; username, jsm

    The less a statesman amounts to, the more he loves the flag.
    -Kin Hubbard
  5. Tony

    Tony Guest

    As i mentioned , the unit is protable hotshoe type.. I did open the unit..
    there is no place for battery .. so i can only assume , this works with
    I searched for this model on the net , but no success. but here it is
    German made. METZ
    model mecablitz 163

    The reason i am sure this unit can give more shots per charge.. is from
    information that i got from the original owner . other then that , i have no
    other info on this .. this is very old flash .. and i like very much to
    figure how to fix it .

  6. John Miller

    John Miller Guest

    Best clue yet. Mecablitz 163. Craig's Camera can supply you with a manual
    for $15. You can probably buy another 163 on eBay for that.
    I'm looking at a picture of it. That's not "very old." :) It has an AC
    adapter. From the looks of it, I'd expect it to have a NiCd battery pack
    (which indeed would fit the PO's description of multiple shots per charge).
    What is the capacity and voltage of the capacitor you found inside?

    John Miller
    Email address: domain,; username, jsm

    You know it's going to be a bad day when you want to put on the clothes
    you wore home from the party and there aren't any.
  7. the Wiz

    the Wiz Guest

    And a 10 to 15 year old NiCad pack probably can't hold enough charge for more
    than one flash. If the flash is on while on the charger, the DC-DC converter
    would likely be powered by the battery charger and not the battery pack itself.

    Sounds like it's time to replace the battery pack.

    More about me:
    VB3/VB6/C/PowerBasic source code:
    Freeware for the Palm with NS Basic source code:
    Drivers for Pablo graphics tablet and JamCam cameras:
    Email here:
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