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Fixing cooked Z240s

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People may be aware that I've had a whinge in the past about my Inon z240s becoming unreliable over time, and dying on occasion for no apparent reason (at the time). The ready light would come on, the strobe would "fire" and little to no light would come out. The eventual diagnosed cause was overheating and I seemed to kill one on every tropical trip I took. Too many photos, too quickly, on full power in 30 degree water burns out the flash tubes.

 

I had the full internals of one replaced by the service centre in Australia which cost half as much as a new strobe. Since then I've tried to be more careful (moving to macro helped) but the tubes have still progressively been going brown and eventually failing. Recently I gave the one completely dead strobe I had to an engineering friend who took it apart, inspected the insides and ordered some generic flash tubes from the Internet. He put it all back together and after a pressure test I took it underwater. We weren't confident that the flash tubes would match in colour or power....but they did! The below shot has the fixed strobe mounted on one side mount tank and an untouched one on the other side.

 

So, if you find yourself with 6 inons but only 3 actually working at full power...that thing about having to replace the whole guts of the thing just to replace the tubes is not true. On the other hand, get someone who knows what they are doing to do it for you because the charge stored in the capacitor inside is enough to kill you, even after several months. And if you can't find anyone, I'd be most happy to buy your broken non-flooded strobes from you :-)

 

post-26465-0-25084500-1423652812_thumb.jpg

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Liz, this is off your main topic and I just wanted to say I enjoy your cave shots and appreciate you sharing them here. Any chance you will be in Florida, specifically "cave country" in April? I will be there for a week or so doing some shoots for some buds in several systems (Ginnie, Peacock, Cow, Madison and Telford) and would like to personally introduce ourselves and have an exchange of ideas if schedules allowed

.

Best regards,

Don

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Hi Don,

 

Thanks for the invite! In April I am headed to Mexico for a lot of caving and a little bit of cave diving in the Huautla system. I feel a bit silly to be flying to the other side of the world to see just one cave, especially when I'm so close to the Yucatan, the Bahamas and cave country (is there any other part of Florida?). On the other hand if I start adding caves to the trip I may never make it home. I have invites from more than a few of the very friendly Florida natives and I do need to get over there again one day. I'm tentatively thinking Jan 2016...maybe.

 

Enjoy your trip. I look forward to seeing the images.

 

Liz

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Many thanks for sharing this information Liz. I haven't had the misfortune to burn out an Inon Z240 yet but having read your stories I have been cautious about the combination of shooting on high power, warm water and multiple firings.

 

Good to know there is a possible solution if it happens.

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Great info!

I have two old Z240s that is starting to get the same syptoms.

Do you have any details on the tubes your friend ordered? There are many to choose from on ebay...

 

 

Regards

Ole

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Hi Ole,

 

My friend reckons it is a proprietary secret just at this moment...so apologies, but I might have to leave you to some trial and error for that one. I'm pretty sure he ordered a big bag of different sizes and after making sure they would work with the capacitor, tried a few different ones. If you want to post the strobes he is taking orders on repairs.

 

Cheers,

 

Liz

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Hi Liz,

That is understandable. But I live in Norway, so perhaps a bit cumbersome to ship the strobes to Australia. We'll see.

 

 

Regards

Ole

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