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Thread: Nikon SB-600 Speedlight repair

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    Member RoderickGI's Avatar
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    Nikon SB-600 Speedlight repair

    G'Day folk,

    I have a Nikon SB-600 Speedlight that was dropped. Yes, silly me. ALWAYS lock your Speedlight to its base, particularly when holding it up high for an outdoor shoot on bitumen!

    The only visible damage to the Speedlight was a broken flash tube, so I bought a new one via eBay to fit. The new tube was a bit longer than the original, by about 2.5mm, but I was still able to fit it. Unfortunately it didn't work. As it appeared to be the wrong size, and not the best quality, I contacted the supplier and he offered to send me a second one for free. Okay, so I installed that. A much better fit, better quality . . . but still wouldn't fire.

    I pulled most of the Speedlight apart and found no other significant damage. The flash landed on the corner of the metal shoe and only sustained a very minor mark on the metal. There was a little damage to an internal plastic lip above the shoe, but nothing functional had been touched. No circuit boards were moved, hit, or marked in any way.

    All of the flash functions work except the tube won't fire. All menus, the ready light, wireless and hotshoe operation work, and attempt to fire the flash. I know this because the flash signals that an underexposure may have occurred (three beeps). The capacitor can be heard charging and holds 315 Volt when charged, which is in the right range, so I believe that the capacitor is fine. I found videos on Youtube of SB-600s that had been dropped and one particular component was dislodged, but that component still seems solidly attached. I've tried fresh batteries, resets, and anything else I have been able to find in the manuals (user and repair) and online. For example, inserting new batteries while holding down the power button is supposed to do a low level reset of the microprocessor.

    A second hand SB-600 is worth about AU$200 on eBay at the moment. *removed : read the site rules, in particular rules 3-7: admin* With an SB-700 available from various grey market suppliers at $289, I can't justify the repair. But I would still like to fix it myself if I can. I still haven't pulled it completely apart to check everything, so there may be something dislodged that is preventing the flash firing. It makes a slight click when the manual flash button is pressed, so it is trying to fire.

    So, any ideas what else I should be looking for to repair this SB-600? Any common fault after a drop, other than the flash tube and capacitor?

    All hints welcome. Thanks.
    Last edited by ricktas; 09-10-2013 at 4:36pm.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    It is broken cause you dropped it! As you say you can get a new one at a reasonable price. throw it out and just buy a new one
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Gees Roderick, it sounds like you have delved pretty deeply into the way the flash functions and after reading your methodology it sounds pretty comprehensive and I can't help you with suggestions unfortunately.

    The only thing that I would look into further is the pricing of some of the newer better quality flashes that are coming from China.
    They are receiving plenty of praise and selling for a lot less than the OEM units.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    RoderickGI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    It is broken cause you dropped it! As you say you can get a new one at a reasonable price. throw it out and just buy a new one
    I'm an engineer. Breaking something is a challenge, not an obstacle!

    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Gees Roderick, it sounds like you have delved pretty deeply into the way the flash functions and after reading your methodology it sounds pretty comprehensive and I can't help you with suggestions unfortunately.

    The only thing that I would look into further is the pricing of some of the newer better quality flashes that are coming from China.
    They are receiving plenty of praise and selling for a lot less than the OEM units.
    Thanks Andrew. I was hoping that the parts from China were at least as good quality as OEM. It seems I was optimistic. If only I was an electronics engineer, I might be able to fix it.

    I will have access to an SB-700 if I ask nicely, and don't drop it. But maybe a cheaper unit from China that doesn't matter as much would make more sense.

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