Repair options for elderly Vivitar 365 potato-masher flash

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digital_archivist

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I'm somewhat inspired by the 'Electronic flash for Crown Graphic' thread in the Large Format section here. So I dug out my circa 1978 Vivitar 365 flash (random web photo of a 365 below), attached it to my Crown Graphic, and shot some test images using my LomoGraflok. It actually worked fine; however, after repeated triggering, I detect a faint 'electronics' odor.

Does anyone know a reliable place to have my 365 serviced? Or should I just use it occasionally until it dies, then pick up a replacement on the auction site.



Vivitar365.jpg
 

ic-racer

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Nice flash. What is wrong with it, battery problem?
 
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digital_archivist

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Nothing so far. But I know that vintage electrolytic capacitors (for example) can fail - sometimes spectacularly. I don't want to ruin my flash.
 

momus

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Never mind the flash, look at that lens! It's unusual to see a Nikkormat dwarfed by an 85mm lens.
 

MattKing

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I'm just trying to get comfortable with describing that flash as "elderly" .....:whistling:
You might see if you can find someone who works on "vintage" stereo equipment.
 

xkaes

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Who knows where that smell could be coming from. What are YOU using as a power source?

I'd use your "potato masher" until whatever is causing the "problem" "dies". Depending on what "dies", you might be able to fix it. If not, these great "elderly" "blow torches" sell for peanuts on EBAY. I've ended up with more Vivitar 283 flashes than I will ever need because they are so CHEAP -- little more than the cost of shipping.
 
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digital_archivist

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@MattKing: I bought the flash new in 1978. People at work think I’m elderly. So… 🙂

@xkaes: I’m just running off the low-voltage battery pack (eight C-cells). I’ve long-since lost the NiCad pack and charger. I do have the AC adapter somewhere in my clutter; not sure if that would make a difference.

Running it until it dies makes sense. I just hate to have something that works damaged because I was too cheap to fix it properly.

I do have experience repairing old electronics (oldest being a mid-30s Philco where the capacitors were buried in tar. That was interesting). I’m not so sure about disassembling the flash without damage, and troubleshooting the Thyristor circuit.

Then again, it’s not like I have much to lose.
 

cramej

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The Sunpak 544 would be a good successor. They can be found for under $50.
 

xkaes

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I asked about the power supply because that might be the problem. Switching it might answer that question.

Anyway, there are over a dozen on EBAY right now starting at under $10 -- in various condition & with various accessories, of course.

Given the competition, it should be EZ to get a GREAT deal.

I won't be bidding -- although the 365 is a winner, I've got enough 283 BLOW TORCHES to last a lifetime. With one 283 on the camera hot shoe, and another on a camera handle/bracket I've got even more power than the 365, Sunpak 544, Minolta 450, Metz..... etc.
 

Fujicaman1957

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I'm somewhat inspired by the 'Electronic flash for Crown Graphic' thread in the Large Format section here. So I dug out my circa 1978 Vivitar 365 flash (random web photo of a 365 below), attached it to my Crown Graphic, and shot some test images using my LomoGraflok. It actually worked fine; however, after repeated triggering, I detect a faint 'electronics' odor.

Does anyone know a reliable place to have my 365 serviced? Or should I just use it occasionally until it dies, then pick up a replacement on the auction site.



View attachment 324629

There's a brand new in the box 365 on Ebay for $ 19.95 plus shipping as of this AM. No LVP-2 or sensor or cord, but you have all that already.
 
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digital_archivist

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That's pretty cool! I understand that it probably has the same issues from deteriorated capacitors as mine does. But a new flash as a spare is a nice thing to have.

Thanks for the tip!
 
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