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10-07-2008, 03:40 PM   #1
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Vivitar 285HV problem

Picked up a 285HV (with spare battery holders and the exention cord to plug the vari power unit into it) off of ebay, and I recieved it today.

Thing is, that when I put batteries into it, and turn it on, the 50% charge light in the back lights up, but it won't go to the 100% green charge (and thus into power saving mode). Swapping batteries doesn't seem to do anything.

Long story short, does this mean my 285 is partially broken? All the modes work correctly, even out to about 12 m on the yellow setting (according to my 50 mm distance scale). Bounce works well too.

So, is there an easy fix (ie replace some parts), or should I just send it back?

10-08-2008, 12:26 AM   #2
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Have you got it set to full power?

10-08-2008, 04:42 AM   #3
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Fully-charged it should flicker red-green on the 285 and 283 - don't know if the HV is different.
10-08-2008, 05:58 AM   #4
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Original Poster
Keith, yup, it's set to "M" on the main dial on the front of the flash. When I set it off, it totally discharges the flash, and then begins to charge up the capacitor. However, it just goes to red, and never hits green.

JCSullivan, I had one other 285HV, and that one flickered red-green when it was fully charged.

Like I said, it appears to work, and it's a bit of a head scratcher.

10-08-2008, 08:14 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Carradale, Scotland
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You have a faulty unit
It appears that the charging circuit has a fault.
You could test it on manual with a few test shots at different apertures and distances to determine just how much charge you are getting. If you divide the guide number by the distance you are focussed on, this will give you the correct aperture to set and should give the correct exposure on a target approximating 18% reflectance, a brick wall wont be a bad choice of target.

If you have a known good flash, you could do comparison checks.

Either way, the unit might be good enough to use, depending on what you paid for it. Or you could just send it straight back for a refund.

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