Uh-oh, dead Nikon SB-800?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by JerryPH, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, it seems that I was a little too enthusiastic at the wedding this last weekend and I killed my SB-800 (amazing how easily it happened too... I thought I was being careful but I guess not, right?)

    -A quick call to the local place that I know that could repair it and the quote was $225 to fix it, but "the SB-900 is much stronger and the replacement for the SB-800... and can be yours for $650Cdn, taxes included!". Uhhm... no, thanks. :confused:

    Another long distance call to Nikon Canada's parts counter in Mississauga Ontario netted me the info that I wanted to hear...

    Flash tube: under $15
    Ordinary shipping: free
    Overnight shipping: $11.25

    I opted for ordering 2 flash tubes and overnight Purolator delivery for a cost of under $50 total and the number to Nikon Canada's parts counter is: 905-625-9910

    I know better than to stick a screwdriver into the capacitor of the flash, but know how to safely discharge it as well as the fact that I will be working on the head of the flash not inside the body of it, where the cap is located.

    I'll likely grab a few shots of the process as I fix it.

    In case someone is interested, the part number for the flash tube is SS501-62.
     
  2. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    I just sent one of my SB-600 into Nikon Canada for repair.
    I just don't have the time or know how to replace the bulbs.

    But I would like to compair costs when done.
     
  3. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    Gut it! I wanna see Jerry!

    ~Michael~
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I wish my SB-600 popped instead. Price to repair is near identical to a SB-800 at $225Cdn to fix at Nikon (plus taxes) and that part for a SB-600 at around $12 is a couple dollars less to purchase.

    A "How-To DIY replace your SB-600 flash tube"
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My parts came in!

    Someone gave me a gift... *two* bulbs for $15.85 and $12 for shipping! :D

    Now to get the one missing piece of info I want to verify BEFORE I start. I'd need to make sure of the proper way to drain the cap on a SB-800. Not much info on that on the net... lots on other flashes and cameras, but I am hoping to find something specific to the SB-800... just to be sure.
     
  6. Slaphead

    Slaphead TPF Noob!

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    Well, how exactly did you do it? - I'm always one to try and learn from other peoples misfortunes rather than my own ;)

    by the way, I hope the repair goes well, and thanks for the link to the SB600 instructions. Not that I need it at the moment, but you never know.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    By pressing the shutter too many times within too close of a time-frame at too high of a power, how else? :lol:

    I had the flash set to iTTL with a pocket wizard attached to it. The off camera flash was the main and the on camera flash was to be just a little front fill (I had it set to -2EV on the flash). Apparently it probably still needed full power several times to get the shot. At full power, you need several seconds between 2 shots... and I likely exceeded this. I cannot give you exact numbers, becuase I was concentrating on the B&G and the bridesmaids and parents and what not as they were being introduced.

    I started off concentrating and making sure that I did a "snap-snap!... paaaaaauuuuse... snap... snap-snap!", but I just did 1 too much and that was it. As I said, in the future... set it to a manual setting of 1/4 and then I can shoot till the cows come home safely.

    I'm still looking for SB-800 specific info on how to safely drain the caps... and the next 2 days I am *SO* busy that I won't have time to work on this in time for my Saturday wedding (if someone stumbles on some info about the SB-800 cap draining procedure, I would appreciate it).

    Maybe by Sunday I will find what I need and get it done. :)
     
  8. Cely

    Cely TPF Noob!

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    Im looking forward to your results. Someday my SB-800 may take a dump, and Im sure your guide would help.
     
  9. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Well the cost to fix the SB-600 is $159.00.

    That is the shipping and the repair. I do not solder and I do not have the fine tools required for this type of work co I am happy to pay it.
    As I figure with time to repair and test it is well within what I expected to pay.

    Just and FYI incase anyone needd to ge thier SB-600 fixed.
     
  10. iforland

    iforland TPF Noob!

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    Do you still want to know how to discharge the capacitor?

    IF YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT ANY OF THIS I SUGGEST YOU DON'T TRY IT AND LEAVE IT TO SOMEONE ELSE!!!!


    I've repaired several SB800's & 600's and the method is basically the same (however there are IMPORTANT differences).

    On both you need to remove the side rubber (the one you push to rotate the head) its only glued on. Try not to lose the spring that's under it.

    For the SB800 you need to have the head pointing directly forward (I believe that this is the zero degree position), this is the correct position to align some holes up.

    For the SB600 you have to have the head pointing directly upwards (the 90 degree position), again correctly aligning the holes.

    Now if you look at the side of the flash head where you removed the rubber from there should be 2 small holes, what you need to do is insert a resistor (value between 200 ohms to 2k ohms) HOWEVER MAKE SURE THAT IT IS A HIGH WATTAGE RESISTOR if not if will probably go up with a large bang.

    The resistor should get warm, try moving around a bit to ensure connection, plus I suggest that holding it by hand is not a wise idea.

    I would then advise you that you repeat this process several times, pausing for 20 seconds or so bewteen each go, I have seen capacitors re-charge after the first go.

    Hope that helps.
    Mark
     
  11. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I wouldn't suggest something as low as 200ohms. With a typical flash capacitor the discharge with a 200ohm resistor would only take 0.33seconds. That's a lot of energy to dissipate in 0.33seconds, meaning larger and more expensive resistors for a safe discharge.

    I would suggest something like a 5k resistor. The discharge time would be around 8 seconds, the power requirements are much lower. Just get a stock standard half watt resistor. It'll get hot but then you shouldn't be touching it anyway since it'll be connected to a +200V load.


    Or really the bodgy way to do it is to just fire the flash at Manual full power and then straight away open the battery compartment. The capacitor will have very little charge then and can probably be safely discharged with any resistor.
     
  12. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid TPF Noob!

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    In my experience, frying an SB-600 or 800 is due too to much rapid shooting. One safeguard is to use lithium batteries. When they overheat, the batteries shut down until they cool off sufficiently. Usually a few minutes at most. Once they cool off, they're good as new again. They will overheat and shut down, long before you fry your flash unit.

    Kiron Kid
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009

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