Question about Vivitar 285HV Flash

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No power for my 'old' Vivitar 285HV Flash

I pulled my old Vivitar 285HV flash out of retirement (stored away for several years, without batteries installed). I would like to use it, with an optical slave, as an off-camera unit since the sync voltage problem keeps me from using it on my newer digital Pentax camera . Alas, after installing fresh batteries and flipping the power switch on -- nothing. Instead of the familiar 'buzz' I got zip. Please, how should I proceed?

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I've got three 285HVs and have had this problem. Obviously, make sure the batteries are good and the door and inside terminals are not corroded. The whine sound that you usually hear is the high voltage circuit. the reason it changes pitch is that the main capacitor is charging. As the charge gets greater and greater, the pitch with go up as the circuit changes the power being fed to the capacitor. If you don't hear the "whine" then it's either the HV circuit isn't working (probably not) or the capacitor has gone bad. These things are sealed but can decay internally due to their structure. Usually this is due to the dielectric components breaking down or the electrolytic goo drying up (usually what causes it).

Sometimes, you can let it sit with good batteries and the switch on to see if it will eventually start to charge the cap. Most of the time tho, this is an indication that the capacitor or the charging circuit is dead. It can be repaired but sending it off will usually be more expensive than replacing the unit.

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Posted on Feb 09, 2009

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1 Answer

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Pull it straight out from the body. See the instructions on page 9 of the manual.

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1 Answer

I have a Vivitar 285 HV flash that hasn't been used for 15 years. Nothing happens when you install fresh batteries and turn it on, is there something else I can try? thanks Ian


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Sep 01, 2010 | Vivitar 285HV Flash

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1 Answer

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Feb 03, 2009 | Vivitar 285HV Flash

1 Answer

No power know


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Jan 27, 2009 | Vivitar 285HV Flash

1 Answer

Vivitar 285HV Stop Working


There is nothing wrong with your flash unit. The regular AA batters are 1.5 v volts each- if 4 batteries are used that is a total of 6 volts for proper operation. The rechargeable batteries are 1.2 volts each and 4 will get you 4.8 volts- thats 1.2 volts short and that is probably the root of our problem .

Try recharging you rechargeable batteries and put the im one more time- if the same problem happens you will have to stick with standard AA batteries. There external 6 volt packs that will work with your flash unit0 the are a bit of an expense at first but you will save on replacement batteries in the long run,.

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Nov 27, 2008 | Vivitar 285HV Flash

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Yes, you can use the flash if your camera has a PC connector.

Or, check the trigger voltage: under 7VDC = OK on hotshoe.


atlee@netzero.com

Oct 31, 2008 | Vivitar 285HV Flash

1 Answer

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This means Battery is low to charge the capacitor.
I suggest you test this with unused new Duracell.

Oct 06, 2008 | Vivitar 285HV Flash

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