Nikon SB-E Flash repair info
I have a nikon sbe flash Im trying to get open , but am having a hard time doing that . I found two of the screws and was wondering if there are some more some were on the body of it . I cant seem to find anymore screws on it . I want to open it up and check the capsitors in it , I think thats why It will not power up . Its dead as a door nail .I know that from along time the caps can dry up or just go bad in electronic's .I was wondering if someone has opened one up before and can tell me what I need to two get it opened .
Please let me know how to do it .
Thank You .
#1. "RE: Nikon SB-E Flash repair info" | In response to Reply # 0
blw Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sun 01-Jan-12 08:56 AM
I wouldn't even bother. (And I don't know how anyway.) You can get a new SB-E for $9 (even at keh.com's premium pricing), so it's hard to imagine that you could even buy new caps for it for less money. Even if you can, is it even worth the $9 for your time to do the repair?
It would be different if you were trying to work on, say, an SB-800 ($350), but the SB-E just isn't worth much on the market - and there weren't an awful lot of them to begin with, so few of us have them to go experimenting.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#2. "RE: Nikon SB-E Flash repair info" | In response to Reply # 0
Sun 01-Jan-12 08:57 AM
Update there's a lose contection on the inside of it . It will power up and the ready light will light but no flash . I sill looking for someone to help e with opening it up . I have exprience with working on elecrronics so Im aware of the voltage for the capsitors in having a high charge in them . Ground them out To Me one the safe side , The two terminals on cap . But I need Help opening it up , Im stumped at the point .
#3. "RE: Nikon SB-E Flash repair info" | In response to Reply # 2
Sun 01-Jan-12 09:05 AM
Thanks for your responce , but Im wanting to fix it . I did'nt pay much for it anyway .But Im having trouble opening it up without breaking the plastic housing on it .It has to be screwed down somewhere on it , but I can figure out where . Im still looking for some help . Its nice to say you fixed something and not throw it in the garbage to build up in a land fill somewhere .
#4. "RE: Nikon SB-E Flash repair info" | In response to Reply # 3
Sun 01-Jan-12 10:07 AM
I can understand your desire to get the old gun working.
However, if it is powering up and setting the ready light then it is almost certain that the capacitors are taking and holding a charge. It is unusual for wires to break inside such a sealed unit, though the flash tubes can break or go 'soft', or simply wear out through use. The only way that contacts usually break inside such things is a fault or by being dropped.
Having said that, I can see several screws in the back of the foot and this would be my starting point for any opening activity. Usually the screws are backed up by 'click clips' between the parts. The maker wants to ensure that the case does not open easily, due to the risk of high voltages inside the machine.
However, the risk, work /reward potential does not look good since they are now very low value items.
I have heard the stories of capacitors ageing, but two flash guns, one not used in may be 15 years and one not used in perhaps as much as 25 years came back to life once powered up. A long initial charge up and several cycles appear to have restored them to function.
I suspect that the road to recovery of your gun may be long and hard!
As a lateral thought, get hold of a real breaker and strip that down semi destructively and find out how to do a tear down the right way? It might also be a source of useful spares.
BUT, what out for the capacitors they can kill.
#5. "RE: Nikon SB-E Flash repair info" | In response to Reply # 4
Sun 01-Jan-12 01:43 PM
Thank You for your advice . Its got me stumped as to take it apart for repair .There has To Be some screws on the back of it , but Im unsure of it . Like I said it will light after I tap it and it takes a charge , but it can fire for some reason ,I Know that you mean about the caps in it , Its high voltage in them . I work in the hvac field so Im used to dealing with dischargeing caps all the time . But the plus side is I fixed my motor drive MD-E , It had a bad gear in it . After I get the brass replacement Im set .AS for the flash Im thinking it has some coroded terminals from the last person that owned it , after the battries leaked out in it . That May be thats causing the trouble in the first place . But thank you anyway .
#7. "RE: Nikon SB-E Flash repair info" | In response to Reply # 6
Sun 01-Jan-12 02:06 PM
Leaking batteries, yes they can cause real damage, I was lucky to recover my SB16 after I had some leak.
Fortunately it was mainly the contacts that suffered, but if I had left a little longer it might have been worse.
I would pull those exposed screws and then gently pry the case to see where you meet resistance.
If you suspect corrosion, then I guess that is the first work area to address. It can eat through both PCB traces and wires, - I know I binned an old gun for that reason a few months back.
Fixed,non-removable rechargeable cells leak just like primary cells when they are about 30 years old!
#8. "RE: Nikon SB-E Flash repair info" | In response to Reply # 7
Mon 02-Jan-12 02:23 AM | edited Mon 02-Jan-12 02:28 AM by duckland23
Well I think I fixed it now . Now It will never work again , But the plus side is I found out how to take it apart . There's three screws One under the back side plate, You need to pry off the metal plate on the back side to reach the screw you can see on it . I think if I find a non working one I can make a good one . But for a good replacement flash and low cost too about 20.00 used . What should I buy for a flash . Vivitar 3200 or the 2800 . WHat flash will work with The nikon EM slr Camera . Agood flash for indoor picture taking . Im not a pro so it wont matter or maybe not .
#9. "RE: Nikon SB-E Flash repair info" | In response to Reply # 8
Mon 02-Jan-12 02:27 AM
Oh one more thing that cap was live . When I went to discharge the cap along the terminals on top of the cap it sparked loud with a bang .I know how to work with electronics . Im trained from hvac work to discharge the main cap . It can kill you .
#10. "RE: Nikon SB-E Flash repair info" | In response to Reply # 9
Mon 02-Jan-12 10:02 AM
The SB-E was designed for the camera and gave some integration features that other guns will likely not match. I have seen several SB-Es advertised for $ 8~10 so they should provide a fruitful source.
If you are happy to forgo the integration then it appears that any small gun will likely match, however you will have to use the M90 shutter setting as it will not be set automatically and manually set the aperture. Since the camera was made some 30 years ago I doubt that the voltage or polarity were an issue so most modern guns are likely to be OK and should allow for gun controlled automatic exposure, see below for what I found out about the SB-E.
In March 1980 Nikon presented this little flash together with the Nikon EM. GN = 56/17. It has one mode: automatic! Mounted on a Nikon EM the aperture has to be set according to the scale on the back of the flash and off you go!
This pages has some possibly useful discussion of the issue of alternative flash guns http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/008JsW
They talk about old SB-E examples being like yours DOA. I suspect that many were killed by leaking batteries.
I guess your budget can set the path forward good luck and enjoy the way forward.
#11. "RE: Nikon SB-E Flash repair info" | In response to Reply # 10
pistnbroke Registered since 01st Jul 2012Fri 31-Aug-12 06:50 AM
the case is easy to open ..one screw on the back under the metalic label ..two in the foot. Then it has 3 clips. push in hard on the rear section with your thumb just above the battery door and pull up. You have two more clips at the top...rear should rotate up and off ...suspect is the main transistor RHS just below the coil of copper wire available about a dollar ...putting batteies in wrong has probably blown it.