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04-24-2015, 12:40 PM   #1
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External Flash won't Fire with K5 & Sunpak 522

Please help! I can't seem to get my trusty old Sunpak 522 handle-mount flash to fire with my K5. I have the dial set to "X", I've set the desired ISO and aperture and have the sync cord plugged into the K5's X-sync socket and the Sunpak. Both the camera and the flash are fully charged. Yet no matter what I do the flash simply will not fire when I press the shutter release.

I purchased my (barely used) K5 specifically so that I could use both my existing stock of Pentax "film" lenses as well as my Sunpak handle-mount flash and my portrait lights (haven't tried using the portrait lights with the K5 yet, only the Sunpak.) My son's junior prom is this evening and I was really hoping that I could use the bounce flash capability of the Sunpak for his pre-prom photos.

I've reviewed my owner's manual and cannot find anything additional that I'd need to do in order to get the flash to work properly (or at all for that matter!) I would be eternally grateful for any help anyone might have to offer.

My thanks to you all,

Dave
Lindenwold, NJ

04-24-2015, 12:51 PM   #2
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Do you have another flash to use for testing? If not try the popup flash. Disconnect the Sunpak and using the same settings see if the popup will fire. If it does you know the camera settings are OK to fire a flash.

Does the Sunpak fire using the test button? Or on a different camera? Verify that the flash itself is actually working

Do you have a different sync cable? Those are notoriously fragile. Make sure the connectors are firmly plugged in.

Also, what is the trigger voltage of the Sunpak? You should not be using a trigger voltage over maybe 12 volts. Higher than 24 volts can fry the camera.
04-24-2015, 01:02 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by DJS22867 Quote
Please help! I can't seem to get my trusty old Sunpak 522 handle-mount flash to fire with my K5. I have the dial set to "X", I've set the desired ISO and aperture and have the sync cord plugged into the K5's X-sync socket and the Sunpak. Both the camera and the flash are fully charged. Yet no matter what I do the flash simply will not fire when I press the shutter release.

I purchased my (barely used) K5 specifically so that I could use both my existing stock of Pentax "film" lenses as well as my Sunpak handle-mount flash and my portrait lights (haven't tried using the portrait lights with the K5 yet, only the Sunpak.) My son's junior prom is this evening and I was really hoping that I could use the bounce flash capability of the Sunpak for his pre-prom photos.

I've reviewed my owner's manual and cannot find anything additional that I'd need to do in order to get the flash to work properly (or at all for that matter!) I would be eternally grateful for any help anyone might have to offer.

My thanks to you all,

Dave
Lindenwold, NJ
As long as you are at 1/180th or longer (which X-sync is) and the pop-up flash it set down, the flash should be firing. Have you checked visually that the flash it not firing? or are you looking at the images produced from the camera? If you have another cable to try, that would be one of the first things I'd try.
04-24-2015, 11:02 PM   #4
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There are mixed measurements on Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages for the trigger voltage of the Sunpak 522.

With some bad luck, you have fried your flash electronics in the camera. Check the trigger voltage with a multimeter.

04-26-2015, 06:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Do you have another flash to use for testing? If not try the popup flash. Disconnect the Sunpak and using the same settings see if the popup will fire. If it does you know the camera settings are OK to fire a flash.

Does the Sunpak fire using the test button? Or on a different camera? Verify that the flash itself is actually working

Do you have a different sync cable? Those are notoriously fragile. Make sure the connectors are firmly plugged in.

Also, what is the trigger voltage of the Sunpak? You should not be using a trigger voltage over maybe 12 volts. Higher than 24 volts can fry the camera.
Thanks for the quick reply. You've given me a lot to look into and I truly appreciate it. I don't have another camera, flash or sync cord to cross test but now that you've suggested it I'll see what I can come up with. I only hope that I haven't fried anything in the camera.

---------- Post added 04-26-15 at 09:38 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
As long as you are at 1/180th or longer (which X-sync is) and the pop-up flash it set down, the flash should be firing. Have you checked visually that the flash it not firing? or are you looking at the images produced from the camera? If you have another cable to try, that would be one of the first things I'd try.
Thanks for the reply. I was watching the flash directly and it didn't fire.

---------- Post added 04-26-15 at 09:41 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
There are mixed measurements on Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages for the trigger voltage of the Sunpak 522.

With some bad luck, you have fried your flash electronics in the camera. Check the trigger voltage with a multimeter.
Thanks for the fast reply. I have a feeling that the flash is probably much higher than the camera can handle and am seriously worried that I've done damage to my camera. I own a volt meter but don't know much about how to use it. I know even less about how to use it terms of measuring the camera or the flash (especially the flash since there's no hot shoe connection, only the end of the flash's sync cord.) If you can shed any light on that for me I'd appreciate it. Thanks again!
04-26-2015, 01:40 PM   #6
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I think there are a few articles to be found. This is what I did.

Switch flash on and wait till it's charged. Volt meter on voltage range 200V. Measure the voltage between the center pin of the PC connector (that you normally connect to the camera) and the outer of that connector. The volt meter will give you a reading; Pentax does not give a specification, but up to 30V should be safe.

Just so that you don't get a fright, note that if you shorten the center contact and the outer, the flash will fire.
04-29-2015, 03:01 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
I think there are a few articles to be found. This is what I did.

Switch flash on and wait till it's charged. Volt meter on voltage range 200V. Measure the voltage between the center pin of the PC connector (that you normally connect to the camera) and the outer of that connector. The volt meter will give you a reading; Pentax does not give a specification, but up to 30V should be safe.

Just so that you don't get a fright, note that if you shorten the center contact and the outer, the flash will fire.
Thank you!
04-29-2015, 09:11 PM   #8
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