My Vivitar 285 Thyristor with new batteries whines while re-charging (I believe that noise is normal). However, only the Red light glows. The Green does not come on. Now, it used to go back and forth between Red and Green and have a 'chirp' when the flash was ready (I assumed it was fully charged). Now, it still 'chirps', but only the Red light glows. I set the flash to M for manual and hit the test button -- it flashes. I set the flash on 'Yellow' and then aimed the flash unit at the wall -- hit the test button and it flashes and the Green light (not the charging Green light) came on saying there was enough light. So, is the Flash completely charged and the Green charg light burned out or is there another problem?
Re: no 'green' light on bacl of my 'old' Vivitar 285
Then I'd say it's a reasonably sure thing that the green light is just burned out, The lights are supposed to be off at first, then red when there's a partial charge, then green when there's a full charge, then flashing between red and green when the "battery saver" kicks in. If you're seeing off, then red, then off, then flashing red, then that means everything in the charging circuit is working perfectly, there's just no green light.
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If the corrosion was from alkaline batteries you may use a damp cloth. But before you do that, try using a wooden pencil with a red rubber eraser. This is likely to remove the corrosion without risk of introducing water inside the flash.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE THIS FLASH ON THE CAMERA OR TEHTER BY WIRE. THe voltage will destroy at least the built-in flash function of your camera. either use a radio slave, an optical slave or you can use it on camera if you use a WEIN safe-synch (approx. $70 USD). If you do not have the users guide for the flash, it can be GOOGLED. Search for "VIVITAR 285 users guide"
Try shorting out Center Pin to Outside Metal Contact after the light turned green. This must fire the flash.
If not, could be the flashtube /or trigger are defective.
Do you have a DVM?
You don't need a Manual. In 285 HV there is only one Power on/off switch. If that switch is on and batteries are new Alkaline (like duracell-no chepo )or fully charged and working rechargebles,and yet the ready light do not come the flash has defect inside.For sure.