Question about Vivitar 285HV Flash

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285 not 285HV

I have a broken hotfoot / hotshoe mount on my 285. Who can supply parts and or repair it in Sydney, Australia? Multiple options are good! Thanks for your suggestions.

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You can make your own or repair the shoe.
Use Weld Bond, buy from auto store.
Buy plastic, then cut & stack & Weld Bond.

Posted on Feb 12, 2008


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Broken hotshoe repiar problem

It's a known weak point on that model and is typical of ANY similar large, heavy flashgun which mounts via a hotshoe mount which was never designed for such loads.

Unfortunately, the most common type of break cannot be glued or repaired in any neat fashion, but if the wiring is intact a very rough looking but functional repair can be adapted by fastening external metal repair plates using epoxy resin and very short screws. The unit looks dreadful afterwards, and has zero resale value but it usually works and if done correctly the repair lasts the lifetime of the unit.

If you want a neat repair, then the only option is via the factory (often they just dispose of your broken one and send out another new unit). In the camera club which I belong to some members have found it's more cost-effective to sell the broken unit as spares or repairs on an auction website and to then put the funds towards purchase of a more suitable model (either a smaller, lighter, less vulnerable unit, or a proper off-camera hammerhead type unit like all traditional Metz models). One other member found that his credit card gave him accidental damage cover on purchases for up to ninety days (yours is brand new, so worth checking) and another found that her flashgun (not a Metz, but a similar bad design) was covered by her household contents accidental damage policy, but she had to pay the first £90 of the claim.

In case you're wondering, the "bad design" is an intentional compromise. It's simply preferable for the flashgun to break rather than for it to rip the top of your camera off. That's a major disadvantage with the repair option which I mentioned: further knocks simply mean that something more vital gets broken.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do, please take a moment to rate my answer.

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Sony hvl-f32x

I managed it by buying a broken (non-working) F32X from an auction service for something like 5 bucks. I just made sure (by looking at the photos) that the hotshoe was intact.

Here's how to disassemble and replace foot (I got to this by trial and luckily no error ^^).

  1. Unscrew 2 small screws located under the battery flip cover.
  2. Put the lamp (moving part) in the upright position.
  3. Unscrew 1 small screw above the infared sensor (below the main lamp part which you moved to the upright position).
  4. Remove the cover of the infared sensor by gently pulling forward.
  5. On two sides of the infared sensor there are two small clips which hold the 2 casing pieces together. Then pull the pieces apart gently. Just behind the hotshoe casing you can see a small plastic inset -- place a screwdriver sideways between this inset and the hotshoe to help you separate the two casing parts. Be careful when doing that, don't use too much force, wiggle the casing instead to make this easier (this is the most tricky part).
  6. When the electronics is exposed, there is a single screw in the middle of the motherboard. Remove the screw and gently pull the motherboard away from the casing. You do not have to pull it all the way or disconnect any cables, you just need to make sure the bottom battery connectors are pulled out of the casing just a little, because then under the two middle battery connectors (looking from the top, as if you were putting the batteries in) you can see two screws!
  7. Unscrew those two screws, and the hotshoe will come apart. Pull it out gently and remove a single electrical connector that connects it to the flash.
  8. Do this in case of your working lamp (with a broken hotshoe) and your replacement lamp (with a good hotshoe), and just move the good hotshoe to your working lamp.
Took me about an hour to do this (most time was spent on trying to figure out how to disassemble the lamp), and the lamp works perfectly.

Warning: better test disassembly on the replacement lamp, since even if you break it, all you need it for is the hotshoe, so you can practice on it. Only after you learn how to disassemble the F32X do this on your working lamp.

Hope this helps!
-- Tomasz Andrzej Nidecki (tonid)

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