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11-21-2018, 10:30 PM   #1
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K1000 won't sync flash

Hey everyone, hopefully I'm in the right place for this but was hoping someone might have some experience of insight into the issue I'm having.

I found a K1000 at a thrift store and everything seemed fine with it. I got a battery and the light sensor seems to be working, Everything sounds right, film loaded, seems to be shooting fine, but today I went to a local photography shop to buy a flash as the only film I have is 400 ISO which isn't exactly ideal for inside shooting i've discovered. They attached the flash to the hot shoe, and it wouldn't fire when taking a picture. Next they tried attaching the flash to the PC cable port and it still didn't fire. They attached the flash to another camera they had and it fired correctly so I'm thinking that it wasn't the flash. They told me there was something wrong with the flash sync and would probably cost about 90 dollars to fix. Which I mean is basically what I can get another K1000 for, and more than twice what I paid for the camera. Anyone have any suggestions that maybe were overlooked? I looked at Pentax-manuals and am seeing that maybe the contacts could have an issue (of which there are 4)

I'm handy at fixing things but never taken apart a camera, so i'm hesitant to open it up. Any insight at all would be appreciated.

Thanks!

11-21-2018, 10:34 PM   #2
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Did you remember to set the shutter speed to 1/60s?

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11-21-2018, 10:41 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Did you remember to set the shutter speed to 1/60s?
Yes! I had it at 1/60, and the woman at the photography store looked at it, said, "ok it is at 60."

Thank you for the question though, as I didn't mention it in my original post.
11-21-2018, 11:52 PM   #4
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What was the flash and what was the other camera they tried that worked with the flash?

11-22-2018, 12:02 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
What was the flash and what was the other camera they tried that worked with the flash?
The flash I believe was a vivitar. A simple one, no bells and whistles. Was only 25 bucks at the store. As for the other camera I couldn't tell you to be sure. All I know is that the flash worked on the other camera first try every time.
11-22-2018, 12:28 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by HotJuicyBurgers Quote
The flash I believe was a vivitar. A simple one, no bells and whistles. Was only 25 bucks at the store. As for the other camera I couldn't tell you to be sure. All I know is that the flash worked on the other camera first try every time.
Even vintage flashes had different connectors so if it is a single center pin type flash was used and it works on another simple camera then that should be enough to confirm that unfortunately the issue seems to be on your camera.
11-22-2018, 12:47 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
What was the flash and what was the other camera they tried that worked with the flash?
QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
Even vintage flashes had different connectors so if it is a single center pin type flash was used and it works on another simple camera then that should be enough to confirm that unfortunately the issue seems to be on your camera.
That makes sense. Any chance the fix could be something simple though? The camera seems to be fully functional so I don't want to kill it trying to fix something.
11-22-2018, 01:54 AM - 1 Like   #8
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It could be as simple as cleaning an electrical contact inside the camera. The complicated part is getting to the contacts. Much depends on your skill and tool set for working on small, complicate mechanical and electrical devices.

Download the service manuals and search youtube and other sources for repair tips:
Pentax Manuals

The K1000 uses a "standard" Prontor-Compur (PC) flash connector. I believe there used to be "conditioning" tools to clean and reform the contacts.

Try cleaning the external contacts with a contact cleaner.


Last edited by Not a Number; 11-22-2018 at 01:59 AM.
11-22-2018, 02:08 AM   #9
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I think you can get at the contacts by unscrewing the four bottom screws.
11-22-2018, 12:45 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
I think you can get at the contacts by unscrewing the four bottom screws.
According to the service manual it looks like I will at least have to remove the "front standard" which I assume means the front of the camera. I am referring to the first two pages of section 2 of the k1000 manual. I can't really find a good disassembly video of the camera on youtube which is strange considering how ubiquitous the k1000 is.
11-22-2018, 02:53 PM   #11
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Unless the hot shoe has the same symptom, the fault is in the wiring or switch...
In which case remove the base plate first?
11-22-2018, 07:05 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Xmas Quote
Unless the hot shoe has the same symptom, the fault is in the wiring or switch...
In which case remove the base plate first?
The flash wouldn't fire on either the hot shoe or through the PC cable
11-22-2018, 09:23 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Did you remember to set the shutter speed to 1/60s?
Not needed. The K1000 should fire the flash at all speeds, but only properly sync at 1/60s or lower.

QuoteOriginally posted by HotJuicyBurgers Quote
The flash wouldn't fire on either the hot shoe or through the PC cable
Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

Both are fired from the same set of contacts in the shutter mechanism. Fixing this would generally be addressed as part of a standard CLA (Clean, Lube, Adjust). A CLA would also include replacement of seals and mirror bumper as well making sure that the shutter and meter are both working to spec. An amateur might attempt the repair, but only if confident doing a significant disassembly, adjustment and reassembly. Question...Are you sure the shutter is opening? The sync circuit will not close unless the shutter is operational. If you have an ohmmeter, you can check continuity at the hot shoe. Wind the shutter and Put the shutter dial on "B" and check continuity between the hot shoe center contact and the side rail with the shutter closed. The meter should indicate an open circuit. Depress the shutter button (cable release or a helpful friend is useful) and check the contacts again. With the shutter open, the circuit should be closed with very low impedance. Edit: Better to test at the internal contacts as described by the K1000 service manual from pentaxmanuals.com.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-22-2018 at 10:24 PM.
11-22-2018, 10:48 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Not needed. The K1000 should fire the flash at all speeds, but only properly sync at 1/60s or lower.



Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

Both are fired from the same set of contacts in the shutter mechanism. Fixing this would generally be addressed as part of a standard CLA (Clean, Lube, Adjust). A CLA would also include replacement of seals and mirror bumper as well making sure that the shutter and meter are both working to spec. An amateur might attempt the repair, but only if confident doing a significant disassembly, adjustment and reassembly. Question...Are you sure the shutter is opening? The sync circuit will not close unless the shutter is operational. If you have an ohmmeter, you can check continuity at the hot shoe. Wind the shutter and Put the shutter dial on "B" and check continuity between the hot shoe center contact and the side rail with the shutter closed. The meter should indicate an open circuit. Depress the shutter button (cable release or a helpful friend is useful) and check the contacts again. With the shutter open, the circuit should be closed with very low impedance. Edit: Better to test at the internal contacts as described by the K1000 service manual from pentaxmanuals.com.


Steve
Is the shutter functioning? I mean as far as I know. It is opening and closing. I popped open the back, and the shutter opens at all speeds. Before I open the camera could I still check the hot shoe contacts? Any idea how much a CLA should cost?
Even if I open the camera, if cleaning the contacts didn't fix the problem what could even be done?

Also thanks for the warm welcome!
11-23-2018, 12:20 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by HotJuicyBurgers Quote
Before I open the camera could I still check the hot shoe contacts?
I originally thought so, but on reviewing the service manual, I can see that the circuit is probably not easily testable from the hot shoe with an ohmmeter. I tried on my Spotmatic II and KX (similar circuits) and was not able to test.

Pentax Manuals

Addendum: Get both the K1000 and Spotmatic II manuals. Together, they provide a more complete description of how to expose the contacts and items of caution.

QuoteOriginally posted by HotJuicyBurgers Quote
Any idea how much a CLA should cost?
The cost varies, but will generally be over $50 and under $125. If parts are needed that might be extra. Users on this site are partial to using Eric Hendrickson at Pentax Camera Repair. His prices are quite reasonable and his experience with Pentax cameras deep and extensive.

Eric Hendrickson | Pentax Camera Repair

Most competent camera repair persons should be able to do a CLA on a K1000, so checking locally might also be a good idea.

QuoteOriginally posted by HotJuicyBurgers Quote
Even if I open the camera, if cleaning the contacts didn't fix the problem what could even be done?
It could be as simple as cleaning, but might also require adjustment and timing of the FP and X contacts and/or actual replacement of the contacts.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-23-2018 at 10:11 AM.
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