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05-06-2013, 04:27 AM   #1
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Think I just fried my flash...any suggestions?

G'day

I have been mucking about at home using off camera flash after doing a workshop on the weekend.. While using my Metz 58-AF1 I noticed a tiny whif of smoke coming from the unit through the grid I had mounted to the front..Naturally, once I saw that I had to do it again, just to prove what I saw.

Naturally there was a 2nd tiny waft of smoke.

Now the flash does not fire at all, the screen lights up, the ready light is green, everything seems to be fine, I even get a confirmation beep, but no flash.

I think I have popped the capacitor.

Does anyone have any better idea? Does anyone know if I can get this fixed? or even better, do it myself?

05-06-2013, 04:36 AM   #2
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Sorry, but even with the most expensive Metz (currently the Mecablitz 76 MZ-5, typically priced above eleven hundred) it's not worth risking ones health or even life for it. There's enough stored power even in a very small flash unit to kill someone; even if that someone were given very specific instructions - it's almost too easy to accidently contact the wrong part, and then the flash unit might not be the only thing that was smoking
05-06-2013, 04:48 AM   #3
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As I recall the capacitor on flashes can be dangerous to work with if you do not know precisely what you are doing.

Metz in Germany lists this as the Service and Support Contact for Oz:
R. Kennedy & Company Pty Ltd
663 Chapel St.
South Yarra
3141 Victoria Phone: 0061-3-98231555
Fax: 0061-3-98277216
E-mail: drulach(at)crkennedy.com.au
05-06-2013, 05:14 AM   #4
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Sounds like you let the magic smoke out.

And as the others have pointed out, the stored energy in the flash circuitry has enough electrical potential to stop your heart. Instantly.

Contact the service folks that Docwrm listed. I hope they can offer a resolution for your expensive flash.

05-06-2013, 05:15 AM   #5
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Original Poster
MFP, thanks for the warning, my training tells me there can be kilovolts stored in a cap, i'm aware of the dangers.

Doc, thanks for the link, I never thought of CR Kennedy, but of course I should have, they are also the Pentax distributor in Oz.

BTW, that address is outdated, they have moved from Sth Yarra to Port Melbourne.

I'll give them a call in the morning, but I fear the cost of repair will be prohibitive.

Thanks guys, all one ever has to do on this forum is pose a question and some kindly soul will chip in the answer.
05-06-2013, 05:17 AM   #6
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...And if one ever does consider the Metz 76, they are actually quite easy to have most any type of repair on them, by a shop
05-06-2013, 05:20 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
MFP, thanks for the warning, my training tells me there can be kilovolts stored in a cap, i'm aware of the dangers.

Doc, thanks for the link, I never thought of CR Kennedy, but of course I should have, they are also the Pentax distributor in Oz.

BTW, that address is outdated, they have moved from Sth Yarra to Port Melbourne.

I'll give them a call in the morning, but I fear the cost of repair will be prohibitive.

Thanks guys, all one ever has to do on this forum is pose a question and some kindly soul will chip in the answer.
Glad to help. I got that address directly from Metz. Perhaps they forgot to send Metz their change of address
05-06-2013, 05:35 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Racer X 69 Quote
Sounds like you let the magic smoke out.

And as the others have pointed out, the stored energy in the flash circuitry has enough electrical potential to stop your heart. Instantly.

Contact the service folks that Docwrm listed. I hope they can offer a resolution for your expensive flash.
Yep, everyone knows electrical circuits operate on smoke; let the smoke out and it don't work no more. That was also part of my basic training in electronics.

Thanks for your help. I appreciate your contribution.

05-06-2013, 08:14 AM   #9
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I dropped my Metz 58 af-1 a few weeks ago and broke the bulb. I was able to replace it myself. It's not easy and I got a pretty good jolt in the process. The hardest thing was figuring out how to open the flash head and how to put it back on.
05-06-2013, 10:06 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
Yep, everyone knows electrical circuits operate on smoke; let the smoke out and it don't work no more. That was also part of my basic training in electronics.
And I don't think anyone has ever developed a way to pour the smoke back in after it has spilled out!

QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
Thanks for your help. I appreciate your contribution.
You're welcome!

QuoteOriginally posted by bgdisc Quote
It's not easy and I got a pretty good jolt in the process.
I think the safest way to work on these things would be to figure out how to, and then discharge the capacitor first.
05-06-2013, 10:34 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
I fear the cost of repair will be prohibitive
Hopefully still cheaper than a new flash unit would be.
05-06-2013, 12:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Racer X 69 Quote
And I don't think anyone has ever developed a way to pour the smoke back in after it has spilled out!



You're welcome!



I think the safest way to work on these things would be to figure out how to, and then discharge the capacitor first.

LOL. I figured out how to discharge it! One way to discharge some of the voltage is to hit the test fire button and then shut it off and take the batteries out as quickly as possible.
05-06-2013, 12:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bgdisc Quote
LOL. I figured out how to discharge it! One way to discharge some of the voltage is to hit the test fire button and then shut it off and take the batteries out as quickly as possible.
There you go!
05-06-2013, 02:56 PM   #14
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Probably it's the bulb, does it look intact? Those things are consumables, and the 58 AF-1 is not exactly a workhorse; so it's time for a new one.
Don't try to discharge the condenser via the test (or whatever) button, I doubt it would have any effect - as the flash is unable to discharge anymore.
05-06-2013, 04:44 PM   #15
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To discharge the capacitor requires shorting it with a resistor.
Not difficult but you need to know what you're doing.
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