How to disassemble Ikelite DS51 strobe
Posted 20 November 2016 - 08:33 AM
One of my strobes will suddenly just stop firing, and it's killing me now. Must have a look inside before a doctor will have to look inside my casing!!
Sending it to Ikelite is a no-go at the moment sadly.. $$
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Posted 20 November 2016 - 11:45 AM
Funny you should ask, I recently had a DS160 strobe flood, thank you Delta Airlines. Although I don't have a DS51, I'd like to share my experience with the DS160. On my first dive recently at Bonaire, I didn't notice the small crack in the front of the strobe lens, what I did notice is that the strobe worked for a while until the electronics got wet with seawater and quit. I thought it was the O ring leaking, the one that connects to the battery, I was wrong.
When I got home, I noticed what appeared to be, two slotted-head screws that were visible when the battery was removed. They were actually nuts, each one had a tiny O ring. Once they were removed I was able to separate the front and rear half of the housing, lots of black water ran out, ugh! I found two cracks in the clear plastic, one view-able from the front, and the second crack under the O ring. Taking four small screws out allowed me to take apart the lens assembly, which held the flashtube. Looking inside the main part of the housing, I saw I think four circuit boards, all lined up in slots. To remove them I had to remove two things, first the knob on the top which chose TTS, Full, etc. A phillips screw was removed, and the knob pulled off, revealing a special rubber seal, kind of like an O ring. I then unscrewed the nut inside the housing holding the electrical connector, that allowed the connector to be pulled from the housing, making room for the circuit boards to slide out.
I'm in the process of cleaning up the circuit boards right now, one wire broke off and I found a burned trace. I suspect that when the unit flooded, the oscillator quit, causing full current to go through one of the transistors and inverter transformer, blowing the trace like a fuse. Once everything is thoroughly cleaned with a tooth brush and a small brass wire brush, and after the trace is repaired, the wire soldered back, I will attempt to power up the unit. I've worked with strobe circuits before, even used to design them many years ago, and am quite aware of how lethal they can be. By the way, the three parallel capacitors in the flash circuit are 900 uf each at 300 VDC, so that would be 2700 uf at some working voltage below 300 VDC.
I'm attempting to purchase the front part from Ikelite, I'll let you know how that works. I considered shipping this unit back to them, but the damage was so extensive, I don't think they will offer to fix it, and it may not be worth the money they want.
I'll try to keep you posted on the repair as it continues.
I don't know if any of this applies to the DS51 or not, but I suspect that the designs are similar.
I hope Ikelite will help me out on this and not require me to send the basket-case back to them.
Posted 20 November 2016 - 05:09 PM
I just did this repair on my DS-51.
Look around WetPixel, there are some very complete instructions on how to get your flash apart.
I had accidentally got a drop or two of water inside. Hint, don't wash your flash under a tap.
I took my flash apart according to the instructions, knowing it was only a drop or two of water, put the flash on a heating pad, drove out the moisture and all is well again. And yesterday's dive showed me it is watertight.
Remember, it only takes a drop of water to stop a flash.
And if you don't want to do this to your flash, send it to me. I will give it a good home. ;-)
Posted 23 November 2016 - 01:58 AM
Just a word of safety. The are some very large high voltage capacitors in there. They may still be charge, even after a couple of months. So be careful, you can easily be shock by 300+ VDC.
Canon 7D, hugyfot house,2x ds161 strobe,tokine 10-17mm, canon 60mm 2.8 USM, flickr