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07-16-2017, 05:48 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Melbourne
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Posts: 46
Flash battery compartment repair

I have a Pentax AF540FGZ flash and recently I found that the battery compartment door would not lock closed. The small plastic lugs inside the compartment that provide the 'catch' for the door latches to slide behind, had broken off. Googling around I see that this is a relatively common failure and, like me, there are many owners who are not happy that a $600 flash can be rendered useless by $0.001 of plastic and poor design.

I see there are several solutions offered from inserting a new metal 'catch' by heating a small strip of metal (didn't trust my brain surgery skills), gluing Lego to the outside of the door to hold it shut (really neat solution but no Lego on hand), using tape (used this for a few weeks) and inserting a pin to hold the door shut.

I decided to insert a pin to hold the door shut and my fix was easy, did not require great skill, was cheap and it works a treat. I thought I would share it.

The solution involves drilling a small hole through the back pf the flash and into the battery door so that a pin can be inserted to hold the door closed.

What you need:
  • Electric drill (with a chuck that can hold a 1 mm bit - most can)
  • 1mm drill bit (buy at your local hardware store - $5)
  • 0.6mm Floral pin ($3 at a craft shop)
  • Pair of pliers (to cut the pin)

I found the floral pins in a craft shop but a florist would also have them. They are perfect for the job as they have the large head and at 0.6mm they are strong (note the pack says they are 6mm but obviously a typo)

  1. carefully pick the place for the hole in the door so that the hole avoids the metal contacts. I picked the spot, then marked the outside of the door, closed the door and then marked the spot on the back of the flash
  2. ***the drill bit is very fragile and breaks easily***. I inserted the drill bit into the drill chuck so that only the length required was extended beyond the chuck (that is, keep the drill bit as short as possible to avoid it snapping off)
  3. be carefull to keep the drill vertical and to drill straight into the casing (mine was slightly off-line and you see that I breached the outside of the door slightly
  4. I drilled with the batteries in place so that the door was in its operational position
  5. once the hole is drilled, then trim down one of the pins with a pair of pliers until the correct length is obtained. (and make a couple of spares for your camera bag or keep it in the small pocket of the flap on the flash cover)

Good luck with yours - keep it out of the rain as it is less rain resistant than it was before (not that it was weather sealed in the first place)

07-17-2017, 12:56 AM   #2
mcgregni's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Surrey, England
Posts: 2,152
Thanks for the detailed good fix! With my DIY skills and butter fingers I'll need all the help I can get . ... Luckily so far so good with my battery door, but I do try and minimize the amount of opening and closing as much as possible. Fortunately Ricoh got the newer flash sorted in this respect, and the new door design gives far more confidence and feels much more like the price of the unit would suggest.

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