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JustinO

Sea and Sea YS D3 Problem - LED blinks red with full batteries and won't fire

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17 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

It doesn't seem like an lockout problem requiring a magnet to reset as it came good by itself, seems more like a problem  It doesn't seem like a battery issue.  You should be able to rule that out by installing some alkaline cells - they are 1.6V fresh out of the package and while they may not have the current capability of the eneloops they should still charge the strobe just a little slower.  You could also try the magnet thing, I'm sure it won't do any harm - but if it has reset itself and subsequently failed shortly afterwards it seems unlikely to be a permanent solution.

How old are the strobes are they still in warranty?  It sounds like they are not.  It seems like the approach would be either put them in for repair or consider them dead and get something else?  The repair option unfortunately is probably lengthy and expensive. 

Cheers Chris, 

will give the new batteries a go... 

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So a short update. S&S have asked for some photos (presumably to check it is not a flood).  I also have got some advice from Aquaphot on what to do with the YS D2 if the model enters battery protection mode.  Pasted below in case helpful: 

........................................

On the previous version YS-D2 the following caused the issue
If you 'repeatedly' (a little subjective) turn on the strobe under the following conditions, the strobe
will stop firing as the circuit protection is activated:

When the ready lamp does not activate within 30 seconds after the
power switch is turned on, due to drained / exhausted batteries being
used.

When batteries of different makes or different charge states are used.

To correct the error

Please try the following first, but only with batteries in prime condition!
.....

Turn the light level control dial to 1

As you depress the target light switch ...turn the light level control to 32

Release the target light switch, the ready light should start flashing
green.
The circuit protection mode has been deactivated
.......

Note this procedure can only be carried out twice!

............................................

Ends. 

Edited by JustinO

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  Thinking back to the  strobe problems posted here in Wetpixel, the majority of problem strobes are Sea&Sea, we read of just a few in other makes.  In this case, maybe the best approach is to send the strobe back to Sea&Sea, or to the dealer, for repair, replacement or refund. (Even a skilled amateur should Not open nor attempt to repair any make of underwater strobe, they are packed with electronics and are not user repairable.)

Also, it seems the time has come for UW photographers to switch to other strobe makes and inform Sea&Sea of this. Personally, since I switched I have had no more strobe problems.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Kraken de Mabini said:

  Thinking back to the  strobe problems posted here in Wetpixel, the majority of problem strobes are Sea&Sea, we read of just a few in other makes.  In this case, maybe the best approach is to send the strobe back to Sea&Sea, or to the dealer, for repair, replacement or refund. (Even a skilled amateur should Not open nor attempt to repair any make of underwater strobe, they are packed with electronics and are not user repairable.)

Also, it seems the time has come for UW photographers to switch to other strobe makes and inform Sea&Sea of this. Personally, since I switched I have had no more strobe problems.  

I agree with you about S&S. But to be fair i just had to send in one of my 5 year old / 600 dive Inon 330 strobes. The power switch started acting flaky last year not turning off. During my recent trip to Fiji it stopped working all together. Reef Photo will send it to Inon for a $450 complete makeover. All new internal parts including the bulbs i am told.

I bought another 330 to use while that one is being repaired, and will now have a spare.

 

Edited by davehicks

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  Thinking back to the  strobe problems posted here in Wetpixel, the majority of problem strobes are Sea&Sea, we read of just a few in other makes.  In this case, maybe the best approach is to send the strobe back to Sea&Sea, or to the dealer, for repair, replacement or refund. (Even a skilled amateur should Not open nor attempt to repair any make of underwater strobe, they are packed with electronics and are not user repairable.)
Also, it seems the time has come for UW photographers to switch to other strobe makes and inform Sea&Sea of this. Personally, since I switched I have had no more strobe problems.  

Actually this is a bit subjective
I have had two sea and sea strobes none of them had any issues
I have had 4 inon strobes and one was defective
I damaged the sea and sea (hit a door on land and cracked a part) was not impressed with after sales and decided to switch but the actual product was solid
The YS-D2 has a design issue the bulb is too strong for the plastic casing and this results in the reflector getting hot
In the updated version sea and sea has put in place this safety mechanism to protect the bulb. In some cases the users try to circumvent this issue and end up damaging the strobe
Otherwise the strobe is well built has good coverage and power and the ergonomics work great
I almost never shoot at full power is the benefit of an MFT camera usually f/16 on the strobe is plenty but in some cases I shoot full power never on rapid burst and so far no problem


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17 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:


Actually this is a bit subjective
I have had two sea and sea strobes none of them had any issues
I have had 4 inon strobes and one was defective
I damaged the sea and sea (hit a door on land and cracked a part) was not impressed with after sales and decided to switch but the actual product was solid
The YS-D2 has a design issue the bulb is too strong for the plastic casing and this results in the reflector getting hot
In the updated version sea and sea has put in place this safety mechanism to protect the bulb. In some cases the users try to circumvent this issue and end up damaging the strobe
Otherwise the strobe is well built has good coverage and power and the ergonomics work great
I almost never shoot at full power is the benefit of an MFT camera usually f/16 on the strobe is plenty but in some cases I shoot full power never on rapid burst and so far no problem


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A signifcant number of the S&S Chinese-manufactured strobes ended up having issues (this was well documented several years ago). So much so that both of the u/w photo shops in Singapore stopped carrying S&S brand strobes for several years. For a period of time you would not have been able to find a new S&S strobe for sale in Singapore - most people were buying Inon's. 

 

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6 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:


Actually this is a bit subjective
I have had two sea and sea strobes none of them had any issues
I have had 4 inon strobes and one was defective
I damaged the sea and sea (hit a door on land and cracked a part) was not impressed with after sales and decided to switch but the actual product was solid
The YS-D2 has a design issue the bulb is too strong for the plastic casing and this results in the reflector getting hot
In the updated version sea and sea has put in place this safety mechanism to protect the bulb. In some cases the users try to circumvent this issue and end up damaging the strobe
Otherwise the strobe is well built has good coverage and power and the ergonomics work great
I almost never shoot at full power is the benefit of an MFT camera usually f/16 on the strobe is plenty but in some cases I shoot full power never on rapid burst and so far no problem


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I would disagree, one person's experience is just a few data points and to be truthful yours would match a large percentage of users as most buy them and use them without  issues and we never hear from them.  However the collective experience on Wetpixel shows problems arising with S&S more frequently than with INON.  Of course not everyone who has a defective strobe comes to WP for help, but statistically speaking the chance of a problem seems higher with Sea and Sea,   Obviously we don't know how many INON are sold vs Sea and Sea which wo.ld be another factor in estimating the failure rate, but you would guess that sales volumes are not an order of magnitude different.  Clearly from posts on WP we see more S&S failures here than we do with INON.

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4 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

I would disagree, one person's experience is just a few data points and to be truthful yours would match a large percentage of users as most buy them and use them without  issues and we never hear from them.  However the collective experience on Wetpixel shows problems arising with S&S more frequently than with INON.  Of course not everyone who has a defective strobe comes to WP for help, but statistically speaking the chance of a problem seems higher with Sea and Sea,   Obviously we don't know how many INON are sold vs Sea and Sea which wo.ld be another factor in estimating the failure rate, but you would guess that sales volumes are not an order of magnitude different.  Clearly from posts on WP we see more S&S failures here than we do with INON.

I think you missed the point entirely I was referring to this comment

Also, it seems the time has come for UW photographers to switch to other strobe makes and inform Sea&Sea of this. Personally, since I switched I have had no more strobe problems.  

 I did exactly that and actually had my first defective strobe after switching to Inon so that is not the cure

Sea and Sea YS-D2 made in China (brown casing) have been problematic. Yellow casing YS-D2J not really except the protection issue

The strobe is very  powerfull but too small, the flat front does not let the heat dissipate and the plastic material does not help

Inon Z240 were weaker so were YS-D1 so there was no issue

Inon Z330 are also plastic but the dome front helps  the heat dispersion process, Sea and Sea has insisted with the flat front and even the YS-D3 has this protection mechanism. If the design and materials do not change I do not think the heat dispersion will improve and problems will continue.

If I had a full frame camera shooting at small aperture I would be extremely doubtful about using Sea and Sea strobes myself however with my camera shooting wide angle max at f/11 I really have no problems

Yet many shops like backscatter and bluewater photo recommend the YS-D3

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30 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

Yet many shops like backscatter and bluewater photo recommend the YS-D3

Better profit margin, maybe?

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13 minutes ago, TimG said:

Better profit margin, maybe?

I would hope not. It is funny how sometimes shops are brought into the mix and that adds credibility and other times it does not

The owner of backscatter still recommends DSLR does it mean he has lots of old stock to sell?

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3 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

The owner of backscatter still recommends DSLR does it mean he has lots of old stock to sell?

Maybe. Or maybe he does believe DSLR is still the way to go. As a D500 user I wouldn’t necessarily argue against that!

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Just now, TimG said:

Maybe. Or maybe he does believe DSLR is still the way to go. As a D500 user I wouldn’t necessarily argue against that!

So then the recommendation of YS-D3 must be as good as that one

It is unlikely that Japanese cheaper products mean more margin. I think when it comes to retra it must be irritating that they sell directly to consumers. Japanese companies from this point of view are more structured and easy to deal with for them

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Posted (edited)
 This discussion on strobe failures is a collection of personal experiences and opinions, at times sad, but lacking the structured data that can be analyzed to produce valid data on which to base useful conclusions..  
 To be useful, our experiences with strobes, and other equipment such as regulators and dive computers, would need to be gathered into an ongoing data base which can be analyzed statistically. Something similar to what is done with vehicle and airline travel and accidents. For this to happen a deep pockets group such as the dive equipment (strobe) manufacturers would have to establish and maintain it to produce meaningful and useful data - nice, but unlikely.  
Edited by Kraken de Mabini

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1 hour ago, Kraken de Mabini said:

To be useful, our experiences with strobes, and other equipment such as regulators and dive computers, would need to be gathered into an ongoing data base which can be analyzed statistically

Sounds just the job for you, Elias???

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9 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

So then the recommendation of YS-D3 must be as good as that one

It is unlikely that Japanese cheaper products mean more margin. I think when it comes to retra it must be irritating that they sell directly to consumers. Japanese companies from this point of view are more structured and easy to deal with for them

I think the point is they seem to be pushing S&S rather than INON.  Unfortunately the only data we have to go on is the number of people talking about S&S failures.  It's not just the Chinese YS-D2, we have seen issues with a few YS-D3, YS-03, YS-D2J, I don't recall any YS-01 off the top of my head.  INON failures are not often reported, though there were some complaints from cave divers who tend to us ethem at full power more than other people. 

All strobes will have some failure rate.  It's probably valid to say that INON is the more reliable strobe - this would certainly be the case if their sales volumes were similar.  S&S would have to have a significantly higher sales volume than INON for the failures we are seeing to be to be due to sample size.

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I think the point is they seem to be pushing S&S rather than INON.  Unfortunately the only data we have to go on is the number of people talking about S&S failures.  It's not just the Chinese YS-D2, we have seen issues with a few YS-D3, YS-03, YS-D2J, I don't recall any YS-01 off the top of my head.  INON failures are not often reported, though there were some complaints from cave divers who tend to us ethem at full power more than other people. 
All strobes will have some failure rate.  It's probably valid to say that INON is the more reliable strobe - this would certainly be the case if their sales volumes were similar.  S&S would have to have a significantly higher sales volume than INON for the failures we are seeing to be to be due to sample size.

Sea and sea has better sales people than Inon i think it is as simple as that
It has also to be said that Inon products are over complicated historically a weakness in ergonomics
As long as my strobe work I prefer them to my Inons z240 which I still keep
I am not interested in the z330 instead


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I have two relatively new, pristine condition, Sea & Sea D2J strobes, and both failed during my trip to Fiji in Sept 2022. I purchased the strobes just prior to the Pandemic but did not use them much until January 2022 (Maldives). They worked fine when using Duracell rechargeable batteries. For the Fiji trip, I switched to new black Eneloop Pro batteries (stamp appears to indicate 2021 date). After about 4 dives (100 flashes per dive, full manual power with preflash), one strobe turned off without warning and would not turn back on, even a day later. Ultimately, I discovered that tapping the strobe with my knuckles (one time usually) turned strobe back on. Shaking the strobe did not cause it to turn off or on; battery cap terminals were tested to be fine. I do not think the power shut down was due to overheating from multiple flashes because it would not turn on after waiting many hours; only turned on after a tap.

 

After 20 dives, the second D2J strobe blew its flash tube without warning. No moisture, no flooding, essentially pristine condition. The electronic lights still turned on. I contacted Backscatter and my retailer (Mozaik), who is helping me fix the blown tube. Even though blown flash tubes seem to be common in the D2J strobe, Sea and Sea refused to fix it because warranty time had expired. After the blown tube, I wondered about the powerful Eneloop Pro batteries, so I switched back to the Duracell rechargeable batteries. The "working" strobe seemed to shut down less frequently during a dive (once per dive) and I could quickly restart it with a tap underwater. Later, to my surprise, Backscatter mentioned to me that the black Eneloop Pro batteries are linked to blown flash tubes in the D2J strobe but not the newer D3 strobe that replaced the D2J. Backscatter recommends the white Eneloop batteries in the D2J strobe. Wish I had known this! I asked Sea and Sea about using the black Eneloop Pro batteries in the D2J strobe and they said I should continue to use the Eneloop Pro batteries. I just sent the intermittently working D2J strobe to Backscatter for diagnostics. Needless to say, I am very disappointed that two new Sea and Sea D2J strobes failed just beyond the warranty period. I am curious to learn more about the Eneloop Pro batteries and problems with the D2J strobe.

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I have two relatively new, pristine condition, Sea & Sea D2J strobes, and both failed during my trip to Fiji in Sept 2022. I purchased the strobes just prior to the Pandemic but did not use them much until January 2022 (Maldives). They worked fine when using Duracell rechargeable batteries. For the Fiji trip, I switched to new black Eneloop Pro batteries (stamp appears to indicate 2021 date). After about 4 dives (100 flashes per dive, full manual power with preflash), one strobe turned off without warning and would not turn back on, even a day later. Ultimately, I discovered that tapping the strobe with my knuckles (one time usually) turned strobe back on. Shaking the strobe did not cause it to turn off or on; battery cap terminals were tested to be fine. I do not think the power shut down was due to overheating from multiple flashes because it would not turn on after waiting many hours; only turned on after a tap.


 
After 20 dives, the second D2J strobe blew its flash tube without warning. No moisture, no flooding, essentially pristine condition. The electronic lights still turned on. I contacted Backscatter and my retailer (Mozaik), who is helping me fix the blown tube. Even though blown flash tubes seem to be common in the D2J strobe, Sea and Sea refused to fix it because warranty time had expired. After the blown tube, I wondered about the powerful Eneloop Pro batteries, so I switched back to the Duracell rechargeable batteries. The "working" strobe seemed to shut down less frequently during a dive (once per dive) and I could quickly restart it with a tap underwater. Later, to my surprise, Backscatter mentioned to me that the black Eneloop Pro batteries are linked to blown flash tubes in the D2J strobe but not the newer D3 strobe that replaced the D2J. Backscatter recommends the white Eneloop batteries in the D2J strobe. Wish I had known this! I asked Sea and Sea about using the black Eneloop Pro batteries in the D2J strobe and they said I should continue to use the Eneloop Pro batteries. I just sent the intermittently working D2J strobe to Backscatter for diagnostics. Needless to say, I am very disappointed that two new Sea and Sea D2J strobes failed just beyond the warranty period. I am curious to learn more about the Eneloop Pro batteries and problems with the D2J strobe.

I only use eneloop pro and in two years haven’t had an issue
In my opinion the strobe is not well designed for continuous use at full power
So in warm water with multiple continuous shots at full power you are at risk
The strobe flat design and plastic materials do not help heat dissipation is an inherit issue and for me if you shoot a full frame camera f/11 and smaller for wide angle this is not the right strobe
What camera have you got?


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13 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

I only use eneloop pro and in two years haven’t had an issue
In my opinion the strobe is not well designed for continuous use at full power
So in warm water with multiple continuous shots at full power you are at risk
The strobe flat design and plastic materials do not help heat dissipation is an inherit issue and for me if you shoot a full frame camera f/11 and smaller for wide angle this is not the right strobe
What camera have you got?

I have a Sony A6400 mirrorless camera, so not full frame.  I have been setting the TWO D2J strobes at manual, full power, preflash to mainly shoot wide angle closeups (120° diffuser).  I suspect you are correct about overheating after multiple shots.  I thought the strobe would simply shut down for a while if it got too hot, not blow the flash tube. I did not have any problems when using Duracell rechargeable batteries on my previous month long trip to Maldives.  I suspect the Eneloop Pro batteries may be too powerful and enable the strobes to recovery too quickly, thus facilitating overheating.  I will switch to Eneloop white batteries, and will reduce the GN from 32 to 22, and maybe increase ISO a bit.  I typically shoot near f8 and f11 at 100 or 200 ISO, and take ˜100 shots during a 50-60 min dive (I may need to take fewer).  Why does full frame versus APS-C make a difference?

FYI, below is text from the D2J manual, leading me to think the strobe would automatically shut down to protect itself if it got too hot.  This never happened.  The strobe that simply turned off never came on (even after 1 day) until I tapped the strobe case with knuckles.  The other strobe blew the flash tube.  Both strobes were rarely used prior to this trip.

"If the product emits the FULL emission of light in more than 20 continuous bursts, an internal protective circuit will be activated to prevent the reflector in the strobe from overheating, and the strobe will be placed in standby mode (with the READY/TTL lamp lights out) for at least 20 seconds. If this occurs, allow this product to cool naturally for at least ten minutes."

Thanks for your comments.

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The 120 degrees diffuser is not particularly useful use the 100

Why are shooting at full power? You are at f/11 you have two stops to go counting the diffuser

 

I rarely shoot the strobe at full power it is almost never required if you balance ambient light

 

 

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Thanks, I will reduce power to GN 22.  I also use the Fantasea UWL-09 wide angle wet lens which reportedly has 130° view.  That is why I was using the 120 diffuser, but maybe the 100 is sufficient with two strobes.  I never tried the 100 diffuser. 

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Thanks, I will reduce power to GN 22.  I also use the Fantasea UWL-09 wide angle wet lens which reportedly has 130° view.  That is why I was using the 120 diffuser, but maybe the 100 is sufficient with two strobes.  I never tried the 100 diffuser. 

The 120 only sucks more light but doesn’t really do anything to the angle
The 100 will require less power
Shooting this strobe at full power is not a good idea really


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Basically, if you are shooting CFWA and need wider light coverage, the solution is to pull the strobes back, not fit wider diffusers.

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2 hours ago, Barmaglot said:

Basically, if you are shooting CFWA and need wider light coverage, the solution is to pull the strobes back, not fit wider diffusers.

The 120 degrees diffuser has been tested by various users and it is not really helpful it softens the lights but does not make it wider and take away more power from your strobes

The 100 degrees works well and take less than one stop away

The quality of light of the bulb in the YS-D2J is amazing for the price

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45 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

The quality of light of the bulb in the YS-D2J is amazing for the price

Right until it blows up and you have to pay 80% of a new strobe cost for a repair. That game of one-upmanship that Sea & Sea has engaged in with Inon in recent years, driving the same tubes harder and harder with bigger capacitor banks, really has led them down a wrong path. 

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