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09-24-2014, 07:54 AM   #1
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Clean green corrosion from flash battery contacts?

I made a mistake, I used no name batteries in my flash and forgot to take them out. About a month later I attempted to use the flash but it wouldn't turn on. I opened the battery door and noticed one of the batteries leaked! The offending battery was jammed in place, I was able to extract it using a gentle pull on the battery top knob with a pair of pliers. I have sense purchased a set of eneloop batteries based on the knowledgable folks on this forum. I tried using them in the flash but it still would not turn on. I looked inside and one of the terminals deep in the flash (not the door) has green gunk stick to it. How can I get this gunk off? Is there something I can put on the end of Q-tip that will break-off the gunk without damaging the plastic or the battery terminal? I'm reluctant to take the flash apart yet because I don't want to Impact its water resistance.

09-24-2014, 08:29 AM   #2
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Isopropal alcohol (rubbing alcohol) sometimes works, if not try vinegar or acidic acid.
09-24-2014, 08:42 AM   #3
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Scrape off as much of the gunk you can with something that won't scratch the metal contact. A wooden match stick or toothpick. If they were alkaline batteries than clean the contacts with a weak acid like vinegar or citric acid. Use a cotton swab and sparingly wipe down the contacts. You don't want fluid getting all over the place - do this with the battery opening pointing down. Then repeat with plain water. Then wipe dry.

You could use a product called Deoxit which made for cleaning oxidation and corrosion off electrical contacts. Get the product in the pen dispenser rather than the spray cans.
09-24-2014, 09:06 AM   #4
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Try picking up some electric contact cleaner.

09-24-2014, 09:39 AM   #5
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Another mild acid that will probably work, that you are likely to have around, is coca-cola. Do follow up rinsing with distilled water to get rid of the sugars. Apply the fluids to a q-tip and then rub them on the surface. Don't flood anything!
09-24-2014, 09:55 AM   #6
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I cleaned a flash once or twice with white vinegar and a q-tip. It's easy and painless, and your flash will be as good as new.

It can happen with high quality batteries too
09-24-2014, 10:34 AM   #7
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Depending on the thickness of the deposit, an eraser can remove it through abrasion. Follow with alcohol to remove rubber smear.
09-24-2014, 04:54 PM   #8
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Never heard of vinegar, but it makes sense. Vinegar is a mild acid, I'll have to try that someday.

If it's a light layer of corrosion, the pencil eraser trick works very well, I've used that for computer contacts many times.

If you use any type of liquid, use it on a Q tip, don't pour anything into a camera...Contact cleaner should work ok, it dries quick enough it shouldn't cause any trouble and it's made to use in electronics. Spray it down good, scrub it with a Q tip and you may have good results.

09-26-2014, 10:37 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the recommendations.

QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I cleaned a flash once or twice with white vinegar and a q-tip. It's easy and painless, and your flash will be as good as new.

It can happen with high quality batteries too
I tried cleaning the contacts with apple cider vinegar with Q-tips and tried the flash with new Panasonic eneloop batteries. Alas, it still will not turn on. I will try to take it apart this weekend. Although I'm fairly good at taking things apart, is it a bad idea to disassemble the flash to try to better clean the battery contacts?
09-26-2014, 10:46 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
Thanks for all the recommendations.



I tried cleaning the contacts with apple cider vinegar with Q-tips and tried the flash with new Panasonic eneloop batteries. Alas, it still will not turn on. I will try to take it apart this weekend. Although I'm fairly good at taking things apart, is it a bad idea to disassemble the flash to try to better clean the battery contacts?
My initial suggestion would be to first check the batteries! Dead batteries don't work too well, or so I have noticed in my experience.

I would check that, if it still doesn't work, you could be looking at corrosion on the inside, which if the wiring is corroded, could be a big problem, another issue you could have is that there is a loose connection, asses the issue and see if the pros of taking it apart outweigh the cons, if you don't think the thing is even worth your time, go to Ebay and search for a Pentax AF280T, these can typically be had for around $35.00 or so. And in my opinion is the single best flash unit that Pentax has ever made.
09-26-2014, 06:06 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by newtophotos Quote
is it a bad idea to disassemble the flash
HIGH VOLTAGE HAZARD!!!


There are some serious capacitors in there. While it is likely they are mostly discharged, I would still be very cautious.


Steve

(...remembering taking my flash apart when in college...fortunately no shocks...)
09-29-2014, 05:19 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
I tried cleaning the contacts with apple cider vinegar
This could leave all sorts of residues that you don't want. White vinegar is basically acid, a better choice. You can often hear is fizzle when touching the corroded parts, removing some blue-gray stuff along the way.

A pencil eraser of mild sandpaper could help finish the job.
10-29-2014, 08:47 PM   #13
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If cleaning the the contacts hasn't worked is there some place I can send the flash too and pay them to remedy the issue?
10-29-2014, 09:47 PM   #14
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I would sent it to C.R.I.S. if it's out of warranty.
10-30-2014, 05:09 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
If cleaning the the contacts hasn't worked is there some place I can send the flash too and pay them to remedy the issue?
Baking soda might neutralize the battery acid. Q tip to moisten some dry soda, then carefully swab and remove residue with clean Q tips. Works on car battery terminals!
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