Question about Vivitar 285HV Flash

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So, how high a fall can Vivtar 285HV withstand?

Mine fell of the lightstand, 8 feet down. I was pretty confident it'd withstand it. But first it wouldn't start when I switched it on. Then, after forgetting the switch it in the "On" position for 20 minutes I came back to find the green light on the back lighting up (the one beside the knob for the settings dial. But the Green/Red lights did not start, and neither did the signature buzz that always starts when we turn them on.
So, no buzz, no blinking lights and no flash firing when I press the test button or use it with my camera.

Any ideas?

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Re: So, how high a fall can Vivtar 285HV withstand?

Omg, why did it fell? as we know that vivitar flash has so many little components in the inside, since its not really made "crash proof", you might have busted it already.

is the green light only turned on and not blinking?

Posted on Jan 22, 2008

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What is the diff between a vivitar 285 and a vivitar 285hv?

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No power for my 'old' Vivitar 285HV Flash

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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Need diagrams for a Vivitar 285HV Flash

I had the same problem on a new 285HV flash. I pulled it apart and found a blown resistor and track in the head of the flash.
The flash was fairly easy to pull apart, there is a clip hiding behind the blue disk, the rest is just screws.
There are 3 circuit boards, two in the base and one in the head.
The blown resister is in the head and is the large resister next to the violet wire. From the edge of the board there is R22 brown-black-brown, two diodes, another resistor yellow-violet-brown and then the one that died.
I have the service manual for the flash and it is titled 285/285HV but the circuit board in the service manual and in the flash are different.
After much studying of the circuit diagram I believe the value of the resister is 12K 2watt (90% sure, if not it is 10K 2watt).
I replaced the resistor with the 12K and was able to use the extra length of the leg of the resistor to bypass the blown track, used some heat shrink to insulate the leg from shorting out with the board.
I have tested the flash and it is working but I have not used it extensively.

Disclaimer: this board is right next to the capacitor, you don't want to touch it if it has a charge. Use a multimeter to check.

I bought the resistor from here: Part No. P12KW-2BK-ND $0.206 (min order 5 still only a $1.03)

Good luck and remember I am not an electronics tech and your problem may be different to mine.


Jan 07, 2008 | Vivitar 285HV Flash

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