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07-03-2011, 06:29 AM   #1
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Problem with my flash.

I've had my Vivitar 285 HV flash for over 5 yrs.When I now power it up either on camera or off it fires all by itself without me touching anything.Is it time for a new flash.----thanks--charliezap

07-03-2011, 06:47 AM   #2
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Yes, it's time.
07-03-2011, 06:52 AM   #3
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Does it work properly after that? If it still works, it's your call, but something is wrong. It should not do that. Are you up to a DIY repair? Make sure you discharge the flash completely before you take it a part. Take many pics as you go (got a macro lens?). They will help when you put it back together. You could buy another and sell this one on ebay as a fix/parts unit.
07-03-2011, 12:09 PM   #4

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The 285 and 283 share the same hotshoe assembly. It is attached with two screws from underneath. If you remove those two screws, the hotshoe will come off, but remain attached via two thin wires.

Its possible that the two wires have become frayed, or the solder joints that hold them to the metal contacts in the shoe have become loose, and are allowing the wires to short, triggering the flash.

Or, perhaps the metal contacts have become deformed or pushed out of place, causing the same thing.

If you're handy with a soldering iron, you may be able to re-solder the wires to the contacts. New hotshoes are readily available on ebay, for only a few dollars. There is even a metal shoe that you can upgrade to.


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