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08-07-2011, 06:10 PM   #1
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Flash Melted on K-7, Suggestions?

Hello Pentax Forum,

Short version: Took 99 flash photos, once every 5 seconds, and the lens/clear cover melted from the flash and now it hardly closes properly. How would I go about getting this fixed? Any ideas? Please scroll to bottom for photos.

Longer version: Long time reader, first time poster. My new-to-me K-7 arrived from KEH about a week back and after a very rocky SD card related start the camera started working flawlessly. The battery in particular is leaps and bounds ahead of my wildest expectations.

Because it was used it did not come with a manual, so I was confused when plugging the battery into the charger, the light would light up green, instead of red with the K10d charger. I assumed it was not charging so I did my best to kill the battery on a hike and 600 photos later, still ticking, and the charger was still green.

I decided I must kill the battery and started to use the interval shooting. Took 99 photos twice in a row and still says full. Decided the flash would kill it quicker, so I set it to take 99 photos at 5 second intervals. 8 and a half minutes later it was done, the battery was finally reading no charge. Still a green light! Well I have since learned the green light illuminates while the battery is charging... doh!

Went to close the flash and it was burning hot, noticed that the thing looked weird and it barely stays closed now. It seems to just have melted from the top and bowed outward and downward. I am thinking of taking some fine grit sand paper to remove the protruding bits of plastic, but I kind of want it to be like it was about 12 hours ago. Any ideas? Easy to repair? Impossible? I am on a time limit (I have less than 2 months before I leave the country for 2 years).




08-07-2011, 07:19 PM   #2
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For starters, here is a link to the manual http://www.pentaximaging.com/pdf/K-7_e_web.pdf
If I were you, I even if the camera is out of warranty, contact Pentax and send it in to get a quote on repair. Be prepared to be without if for several weeks. If the repair is too much money then look into a local camera shop to see if they can repair it. One of the great things about the K-7 is the weather sealing. As it is now, your ship will take on water and sink to the bottom.
08-07-2011, 08:49 PM   #3
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Hmmm... this is strange - obviously Pentax never tested the camera in this manner otherwise thry would have designed it differently
08-07-2011, 09:23 PM   #4
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I read somewhere, and unfortunately I cannot remember at the moment, that if you take a certain amount of shots with the onboard flash that you should let it cool for a certain amount of time before using it again. It may have been precautionary but as I recall it was a specific instruction. If I remember where I read it I will post it.

08-07-2011, 10:27 PM   #5
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Does seem like excessive duty cycle...time on vs. time off. Higher the ambient
temperature,harder it is to dissipate heat.On my K20,looks as if diffuser
is held in by bezel.K7 doesnt look that different.If thats the case,
should be a snap (in) to replace.Bezel is small frame around diffuser,
should 'pop' out with some sort of probe and allow replacement/service.
Sounds like "killer" battery for sure.


Edit:Maybe talk with KEH also,they do repairs I believe.

Last edited by BillM; 08-07-2011 at 10:33 PM.
08-07-2011, 10:41 PM   #6
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Wow... that's definitely an overheated flash.

I would have thought some kind of thermistor would have stopped this from happening. By the same token, I'm surprised we haven't seen at least a handful of reports about this happening to others.
08-07-2011, 11:16 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by George Lama Quote
some kind of thermistor
Cool George,'hot' ideal. Have to superimpose logarithmic and expotential curves
to get something fairly linear, thin film diode as temp sensor already fairly flat,
be "right nifty".
08-08-2011, 07:55 AM   #8
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Sand or file the bumps off of the flash to get it to close. You may not get your camera back before you leave. Be sure not to get the little bits of plastic in the camera body.

08-08-2011, 09:53 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by wcchamp18 Quote
If I were you, I even if the camera is out of warranty, contact Pentax and send it in to get a quote on repair. Be prepared to be without if for several weeks. If the repair is too much money then look into a local camera shop to see if they can repair it. One of the great things about the K-7 is the weather sealing. As it is now, your ship will take on water and sink to the bottom.
Thanks for the link!, I looked up Pentax's repair site and they are quoting 15-20 business days plus shipping, plus the diagnosis time, so I don't think I can get it back in time. I have started to call around to repair shops in/near town. A couple charge for the initial diagnostic and state 1-3 week turn arounds even for that, so I was right when I was worried that I only had 60 days. I will post back when I pick one.

QuoteOriginally posted by manishved Quote
Hmmm... this is strange - obviously Pentax never tested the camera in this manner otherwise thry would have designed it differently
Yeah I was very taken aback when I found this. It really goes against everything I know about Pentax's craftsmanship, so hopefully I am the only one goofy enough to run down a battery in this method. I'll just use LV next time.

QuoteOriginally posted by gp1806 Quote
Sand or file the bumps off of the flash to get it to close. You may not get your camera back before you leave. Be sure not to get the little bits of plastic in the camera body.
I think it may come down to this. What do yall think about clear epoxy after sanding it down, just to plug the hole? It will prevent an easy fix in the future, but I figure most repair shops will just replace the entire flash anyway. Thanks for the suggesstions!
08-08-2011, 10:56 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimmyeatapple Quote
I think it may come down to this. What do yall think about clear epoxy after sanding it down, just to plug the hole? It will prevent an easy fix in the future, but I figure most repair shops will just replace the entire flash anyway. Thanks for the suggesstions!
Or make it worse. Might want to call them and ask if they replace just the diffuser/bezel combo. Based on the exploded views of other Pentax units, the flash diffuser and bezel are two separate parts which could be easily removed and replaced (assuming there is no damage to the actual internals - overheated wiring, warped internal plastics, etc). If you do your epoxy job, they will likely have to replace the entire assembly, which could mean a lot more money and could void your warranty if you have any left.
08-08-2011, 05:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by George Lama Quote
Or make it worse. Might want to call them and ask if they replace just the diffuser/bezel combo. Based on the exploded views of other Pentax units, the flash diffuser and bezel are two separate parts which could be easily removed and replaced (assuming there is no damage to the actual internals - overheated wiring, warped internal plastics, etc). If you do your epoxy job, they will likely have to replace the entire assembly, which could mean a lot more money and could void your warranty if you have any left.
I agree, good idea. I took it to a repair shop today (not a shop that repairs many pentax cameras, send out only) and they said no matter what, they will most likely replace the entire flash assembly. I will call Pentax tomorrow too before taking the file and epoxy out and get their opinion. I am strapped for time, because I need to keep testing this thing to make sure it will work for my trip. I will be in a little island nation of Vanuatu for 27 months in some extreme humidity. I certainly don't want condensation all over the flash tube.
08-09-2011, 05:42 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimmyeatapple Quote
I certainly don't want condensation all over the flash tube
Not surprising entire assembly would be replaced Jimmy.Bezel probably affixed
with ultrasonic tack/weld during production.Epoxy might not be best choice
for application.High temp silicone RTV much more suitable in high temp,
damp,and humid enviroments.If entire unit is replaced,would sure like to
see gasket under bezel if possible.
08-09-2011, 06:32 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimmyeatapple Quote
Yeah I was very taken aback when I found this. It really goes against everything I know about Pentax's craftsmanship
You're kidding, right? You use something in a way that it was never intended to be used, and are surprised when it fails?
08-09-2011, 06:57 AM   #14
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I'm guessing they will replace the whole assembly in most cases for some of the reasons stated above. As for why it happened even a large off camera flash will have this happen if it goes through a long enough cycle of flashes without a chance to cool (the larger unit though will dissipate the heat better)
Built in flashes just aren't meant for that much short term use (close to 100 activations in 8 minutes is a huge amount of heat to dissipate even in an air-conditioned environment.)
Hopefully it won't be insanely expensive to resolve (the additional part cost may actually be offset by lower labor costs than disassembling the unit and reassembling)
08-09-2011, 08:31 AM   #15
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You are going to have to replace the flash head anyway, so what you do to that one will not increase or decrease your cost. Just file the bump down to the point where the flash closes properly and if you wish add some clear RTV to seal up the hole, then go with it. You can get it repaired properly later. Careful with the RTV, it does not set up instantly, do not let the RTV ooze down and touch the flash tube. You may want to rig something up to hold the camera in the proper position to allow the RTV to dry. Personally, I would file it down and use that way, then fix it later.
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