Question about Sunpak Auto 544 Flash

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Sunpak 522 and 544 always firing full power


I've got three sunpak flash units. One of them is working flawlessly. The other two on the other hand fire at full power independant of powerratio setting or in manual or auto mode.
What is the problem and is it salvegable?


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  • Tsjappie Dec 14, 2007

    It occurs both in manual as in automatic modes, so this can't be the problem unfortunatly... Also the sensor looks cleand and directing the light straight into the sensor doesn't help either.

    Thanks for the reply!

  • Tsjappie Dec 14, 2007

    I just opened the flash head. The dial controlling the power output in manual is clean and makes good contact, as does the circuitry and dial controlling the automatic part of the flash. The sliders controling which mode is used seem clean and working. The controllights governed by the same sliders work.

    Thanks for the input though!



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Laszlo is likely correct, the turn-off circuit isn't working to cut the flash off. It can be either the capacitor or the SCR (thyristor). Its like micro-surgery to take one of these flashes apart, but it's possible. My Metz 45CT-5 did the same thing, it was a faulty turn-off thyristor.

Posted on Dec 21, 2015

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The probable cause of such behavior is a faulty quench capacitor. The part is specially manufactured to withstand rather high voltage (350 V) and large current peaks (300 A) - despite of its small dimensions - and often goes wrong. Replace it with a capacitor cannibalized from a cheap second-hand shoe-mount flash having the same feature (series thyristor circuitry) and as high guide number as available. Both Sunpak units are highly populated inside, only try to repair them if you have a certain skills in such a job. If any of these explanations is unfamiliar for you then leave the flash alone and take it to a repair shop - there is lethal voltage inside, even long after the unit has been switched off. Good luck! Laszlo (kalaci at index dot hu)

Posted on Jan 24, 2008

  • Laszlo Kalmar
    Laszlo Kalmar Dec 09, 2008

    Did you manage to have your flash repaired? If no, don't you think of selling it? I am interested... Best, Laszlo


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Try cleaning that front flash sensor.


Posted on Dec 14, 2007

  • Alexander Lee Dec 14, 2007

    OK, you didn't tell me that in Manual and Auto are the same.

    Your flash slider may be dirty or shorted. That's the switch or slider that moves or sets to Autos, Manual or TTL.

    Can you open the Flash Head and get to those contact? Try cleaning it.

    Also, look at the sensor wires.


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