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I have an Inon Z240 strobe that has stopped firing. It seems to charge up okay, the focus light works, but I'm unable to get it to fire, either optically or electrically. I'm not sure what burnt out flash tubes look like, but visually they look fine to me. No obvious sign anywhere of water getting in. What do you reckon is wrong with it?

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Hey Alison! I had the same issue, (while I was in Palau, which sucked big time....), strobes would fire just fine on land, and then stop working underwater. Have you tried cleaning up all the connectors as well as your batteries? I think I may have gotten a tiny amount of silicone grease on my batteries. As soon as I did that, they fired just fine, and I haven't had any problems since.

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Thanks for the ideas Katy but I don't think any of these explain my issue.

 

I can't get any fire out of it, on land. I haven't bothered in water since it stopped firing.

 

I've tried a complete switch out of batteries, taking a set from a strobe that is firing perfectly, as well.

 

The connection points all look great. The strobe does its normal warm up hum and the focus light works so I don't think it is a battery or connection issue.

 

I think it's more likely to be some kind of internal circuitry problem but I don't want to spend a fortune sending it overseas for service until I have some ideas about whether it's fixable. In theory the strobe should have a lot of life left in it (there is no sign whatsoever of water entering the battery compartment or at the sync cable connection).

 

On that note, what is the expected lifetime of an Inon Z240 strobe? I have one that I've had in regular use since 2008 that is still working fine.

Edited by Alison Perkins

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Hi Alison

 

What a pain. I've had Inons that have done 10 years service and have really been hammered - and no problem at all.

 

I suspect you are right that it's an internal circuitry issue. Have you tried emailing Inon?

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I'm no EE, but it sounds like your capacitor or it's trigger transistor is shot.

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I am an EE (not specialized on analog electronics like a flash, but still...) and I agree with okuma. That or something in the charging path for the capacitor (an inductor and a transistor or flash IC depending on the design). A burnt-out flash tube is as you would suspect more or less black inside, often near one side.

 

Skickat från min SM-G920F via Tapatalk

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If it's tubes, send it to Steve at TFM in Melbourne for replacement. They start to look slightly brown on the ends and obviously different to a brand new strobe. For me I have burnt out both tubes (easily replaced) and capacitor (harder to fix). Have you been doing any dry cave photography? It was Camooweal that did my capacitor.

 

If you send it to inon via a dealer they don't replace parts and will only replace the entire internal unit of the strobe. Might be worth it if you can get it done under warranty but otherwise it's expensive.

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Hi There,

 

I had a similar issue. What battery charger do you use ? It seems that if the batteries are not equally charged and placed in the strobe there are chances that this may happen. It happened with one of mine. I sent it to Inon and they repaired and sent it back. Of-course as is always the case they never did mention the cause, but by thinking back step by step and checking with another pro photographer i deduced this to be a reason.

 

here is what they wrote :

 

By their idea,
When the camera battery is low , the triger signal from camera is not recognized on Z240 strobe, Z240 recongnize it as "noise"
And it cause some circuit trouble.
And here is the explanation i got from my buddy :
I'd be thinking that there is fault with perhaps your battery charger for the Eneloops (do you use what is known as a Delta V charger - ie. senses voltage and battery temperature?)

This is the one I use, as I did have some battery failures.... all caused by cheap timed chargers. These work by timing the charge to the battery, so if you have only used say 10% of the battery capacity and you put the battery in the charger, so it charges for the full cycle and then overcharges the battery/s. The Star-Delta type chargers sense the voltage and only top-up the battery if it isn't flat. Also its important that the charger senses and charges individual batteries, many charge pairs only, or sets of four. These don't sense each individual battery and then also over charge perhaps one battery over another. Overcharged batteries KILL strobes of any make. As they are then high in voltage, particularly just after they have been charged and put directly in the strobe.

 

I do hope the above helps and that your strobe is still under warranty.

 

This is the charger I use now at all times :

 

https://www.jaycar.com.au/12vdc-240vac-smart-battery-charger-ni-cd-ni-mh/p/MB3551

 

Hope the above helps.

 

Diggy

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The strobe has not been used for dry cave photography, strictly underwater.

 

I use a Panasonic Ni-MH charger or a Sanyo Ni-MH charger. Both take 4 batteries and I only ever charge the same 4 batteries together, straight from use in strobe to charger.

 

The strobe isn't under warranty, and I'm not even sure if there is an Inon dealer in NZ.

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There's one other option - leave it in the shed for a month, no batteries, no cables. Forget which strobe is the broken one, take them all diving and see if it works again.

 

My six Z240s have always been buggy. Being able to fix tubes has been a huge improvement, but they still play up on occasion for no diagnosable reason. At least one of mine only works on S-TTL and the other settings refuse to fire. Another does this temporarily and then swaps and has to be back on Full instead of S-TTL to work. One had a melted capacitor after dry cave shooting. One looks like something got loose inside and shorted across the circuit board - that one is currently cactus. Another won't do a full dump under any circumstances, just a weird little half-fire. I put the most reliable two on the camera and distribute the other four on the dive. If half of them work at full power and one more at some kind of output, the photos normally work. All six working at full power is a good day.

 

I'm looking forward to a pair of retras arriving in June to see if it's me or the strobes that is the problem. I suspect overheating from full power shooting is the underlying cause of the periodic electronic weirdness with the inons.

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