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Try doing a reset - press the "Mode" and "On/off" buttons together for a few seconds and you go back to factory settings. Sounds like you got into some funky mode, assuming everything else is working ok.
The weird noises could signal that the charge system is going bad, the very long warm up is not a good thing.. The flash may need to be repaired, but the cost of repairing an old SB-50 as compaired to buying a new SB-400 or Sb-600 has to be weighed. Take the flash to a local camera shop that sells nion and let them look at it.
It maybe because it overheated he flash tube, nikon flash guns use a thermal cutout, to prevent overheating, usually after approximately 30 / 40 shots, in quick succession. It should start working again after it cools down.
If not you may need to get it checked at Nikon Service Centre.
1) i-TTL: TTL flash control by 1,005-pixel RGB sensor, built-in flash, SB-800, SB-600, SB-400: i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL flash 2) AA (Auto Aperture-type) flash: Available with SB-800 used with CPU lens 3) Non-TTL Auto: Available with Speedlights such as SB-800, 28, 27, and 22S 4) Range-priority manual flash; available with SB-800
You probably haven't changed the camera and/or flash back to TTL mode from wireless mode. Make sure they are both set to TTL, not commander mode and you should be fine. Note that the LCD on the flash will indicate which mode it is with a little graphic. On the D70 you had to switch between TTL and Commander mode to set it up to work using the built in flash as the commander, so you just have to switch back.