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What is this component? What does it do?

KingRoach

Mar 17, 2012
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Mar 17, 2012
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Hello everybody, this is my first post.

I've joined this place because I like opening up the guts of broken things to see if there's anything I can fix (usually nothing more than a broken wire or something) but I cannot see why I should not step that up and get into circuit boards.

I've bought this flashgun from eBay with the problem described in this video (please see the video because it is relevant to the behaviour or the circuit).

When I first got it, I could press the buttons, and would see the response on the LCD.

When I once hit the switch (S-off), I heard loud noise from the flash zoom motor and it stopped responding. It became like you see it in the video below.



Now I have opened it and found out there were no borken wires, no capacitors that are visually damaged, but one component was off.

http://i39.tinypic.com/58f12.jpg


And this is where it belonged on the board:
http://i42.tinypic.com/1zldmbs.jpg
http://i44.tinypic.com/5d8g7.jpg

I soldered it where it belonged and in the right direction (I don't know what this component is, but I could tell the direction from the remaining "pink" material on the board where it was broken). But.. nothing happened. Everything is still exactly the same as in the video.

I also tried testing the component with a multimeter for ohmage, but no response, so not likely a conductor.

Can you please help? I want to know what this componenet is, what it does, and if anyone has any idea why the flashgun is behaving this way.

Your passing by is much appreciated.

Regards
 

jackorocko

Apr 4, 2010
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the marking on the board suggest it is a capacitor. Are there any marking on it at all?

Others with surface mount experience might be able to tell you more. Looks pretty big compared to the other capacitors on that board.
 

KingRoach

Mar 17, 2012
8
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Mar 17, 2012
Messages
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Hi jacko. Thanks for your quick reply.

There is absolutely nothing written or drawn on the component itself. As you can see from tehe picture, plain pink/purple. On the board, it only says C24 (and one of its terminals connects directly to a diode on the other side of the board).


And I cannot for the life of me fathom how the board worked both with and without it in exactly the same way. (please notice that the non-responding problem developed while I think this had already been broken much earlier).

And who can figure out why the capacitor only builds charge for only 1 second every time the board is turned on? I cannot imagine such a problem is caused by a dry or old capacitor, and I'm more worried it might be a microcontroller problem because that's what I can do nothing about.
 

davenn

Moderator
Sep 5, 2009
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the fact that you said this......

I soldered it where it belonged and in the right direction (I don't know what this component is, but I could tell the direction from the remaining "pink" material on the board where it was broken). But.. nothing happened. Everything is still exactly the same as in the video.

tells us that the capacitor is damaged. if you have a stand alone capacitance meter, or one as a function of a multimeter, you mite get a rough idea of the value of that capacitor.
Failing that, I would try a few different values like a 0.1uf, 0.01uF, 0.001uf (100nF, 10nF and 1nF respectively) and see what happens.

cheers
Dave
 

KingRoach

Mar 17, 2012
8
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Mar 17, 2012
Messages
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the fact that you said this......



tells us that the capacitor is damaged. if you have a stand alone capacitance meter, or one as a function of a multimeter, you mite get a rough idea of the value of that capacitor.
Failing that, I would try a few different values like a 0.1uf, 0.01uF, 0.001uf (100nF, 10nF and 1nF respectively) and see what happens.

cheers
Dave

Thanks, dave. Any idea where I can order a collection cheap? I'm looking around me for some old boards to see if I can find the part on one of them. but hey!!!!

Shouldn't I worry about the voltage and tolerance of the capacitor before I try one?

I mean, I could probably use the multimeter on the powered board to try to figure out what voltage is between the two terminals, even though I'm worried about doing that seeing how it's a flashgun board and I do not want a full charge to discharge into my body. :)
 

KingRoach

Mar 17, 2012
8
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Mar 17, 2012
Messages
8
Hi again guys.

I think I'll try to salvage a similar (capacitor?) from another circuit board, albeit being a different colour and smaller in size. Now before I do that:

How much should I worry about voltage, tolerance, capacity, polarity, and the heat of the soldering iron when I do that?

I could damage a good capacitor with too much heat, right? I'm using a 30W soldering iron.

Thanks in advance.
 

KingRoach

Mar 17, 2012
8
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Mar 17, 2012
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Update

Hi all. I did what I said I'll do, and there's a little change in the board's behaviour.

I hope you check out this video to notice how the charging up sound is now intermittent.

But there's no other change.

Help?
 

timothy48342

Nov 28, 2011
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Nov 28, 2011
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218
Sometimes when a camra flash charges it makes a high-pitch wine that get higher...

"whoeeeeeeeeiiiiiiii"

Thats nothing like that sound. Your sound (yes, could hear it on the video) was more like a peiso-electric beep, but fast.. "dldldldlddldl" at one pitch. I think that means the circuit is making the sound intentionally. I don't mean the thing is thinking on it's own or anything, I just mean maybe it is some kind of error indicator put their by the designers.

If that is true, it could be related to your "capacitor" or not. So check other things too. I can think of two things. Low battery? You checked to make sure the batteries are good, right? (I know, I know... Of course you did.) Also, case intrusion. Maybe it has a "feature" that prevents charging if the case is open (for saftey). Can you see any physical way the device can tell that it's own case is or has been opened? Some sort of little switch or spring contact?

I think you've made a step in the right direction getting it to do something rather than nothing. Someone already suggested trying a whole array of different capacitors. I think that is a good plan.

Is there a way to do that without de- / re- soldering each time? If you could manage to get come clips of some sort on there, you could try 20 different capacitors in 5 minutes. (At that point you wouldn't be testing various surface mount caps, just regular ones... whatever ones you have lying around. Then if you find a size that works, get a surface mount variety that matches.)

If you can't get clips to stay still, maybe solder the tip of a pin or needle into each solderpad and attach clips to those.

Well, keep workin on it. I'm enjoying the show. :)

--tim
 

KingRoach

Mar 17, 2012
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Mar 17, 2012
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Thanks a lot, Tim. If I find that I have the array of different capacitors in hand, I'll definitely try them without de/re-soldering each time. Your suggestions is very helpful I'll do that.

However, if you check the first video, the sound is very faint because the camera was away, but you can hear that raising-pitch charging sound was actually continuous, albiet it stopps after immediately one second, and only continues to build up charge if you turn the flash off/on.

With the new little capacitor, the same is happening, but the sound is intermittent. Please notice that the pitch IS rising every time, which indicates a different charge in the main flash capacitor.

I'm hoping fixing this part of the board would fix the one-second limit to charger per turn-on. But I'll still have to figure out what to do about the stuck menu. I'm simply keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that fixing one will magically fix the other.

PS: I've just ordered a faulty flash from ebay, the seller says it works and primes but does not flash in the end. I can just take the board from that, the flash bulp from this, and put them together. But this will be devastating for this fix, because then I know I'll never work on it again!!!

I prefer the fix, but I ran out of little surface mount capacitors.
 

KingRoach

Mar 17, 2012
8
Joined
Mar 17, 2012
Messages
8
Hiya forum!

Check this out. I have a fully working flashgun now. Guess what happened?


I removed the new little capacitor and left it with NO CAPACITOR AT ALL. There was another broken wire that I think was the real problem.

I got another used/faulty flashgun off ebay in order to get the parts, but the same little surface mount capacitor was broken there in the same way, but the latter was charging and priming so I knew it wasn't the problem. It also helped me notice which wire was missing.

Now the first flashgun is fully working (I did not add a surface-mount capactor in place of the broken one. Just left it blank), and was about to see what I can do with the second...

when it short-circuited on me and probably burned the board. :D
I'm okay though. No body got electrocuted in the process.
 
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