FL-50R died in the rain. Fixed with isopropanol!

Started Nov 17, 2010 | Discussions thread
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FL-50R died in the rain. Fixed with isopropanol!
Nov 17, 2010

I was camping in a foggy, misty rain-cloud on the side of a mountain. My FL-50R stopped working. I removed the batteries and let it dry by the fire, heating it up pretty hot so the vapor pressure of water should push its way out of the flash. I put the batteries back in and I could hear the capacitor charging, but never stop charging. Either the capacitor was shorting, and never got fully charged, or the circuit that detected when the capacitor was full was not working. I brought it home and put it on a heater over night, but it still didn't work in the morning.

Normally I would take it apart and clean the circuit-board, but the flash was glued together after a previous incident ( http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1022&message=31012167 ). I put it in a zip-lock bag, and filled the bag full with 99.99% anhydrous isopropanol, that I got from an electronics store for cleaning circuit-boards. I let the flash soak for an hour, flipping it in various positions while soaking. I took the flash out of the isopropanol, and shook it dry. I let it sit for an hour, then put it on a heater and let it sit for 2 hours. I put batteries back into it and tested it and it worked!

The isopropanol had left a residue behind as it evaporated, so I'm guessing that there may have been some flux on the circuit-board that dissolved off. There might have been a rust trail shorting 2 traces on the circuit board, and when the flux below it dissolved, it got washed away. This isopropanol trick might not work a second time, now that all of the flux is already gone.

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Victoria, BC, Canada
Olympus E510, 14-42, 40-150, 70-300, 50mm Macro, FL-50R
Canon PowerShot S1 IS, Raynox DCR250 Macro Lens
Canon PowerShot S70

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