HELP! My Canon S1 IS flash made horrible loud popping/banging noises and I think it's dead? Fix it o

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by toogerbug, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. toogerbug

    toogerbug Guest

    Hi. This is my first post. My Canon Powershot S1 IS ran out of warranty
    in April 06 (it was purchased April 05 so is about a year and a half
    old!), so I can't get help under warranty. It gets a lot of use, but
    has been perfect until now. (It's my baby, I LOVE it!)

    Anyway today out of the blue while taking a standard picture I hear
    this "pop" kind of an electrical "snap" after the flash flashed. (It
    had been working fine minutes before.) It kept doing this and then made
    a loud "bang" from the flash like broken glass (except there was no
    broken glass). I haven't tried the flash again because I'm scared to.
    The camera works perfectly when the flash is taken off (I tried this
    when it was making the weird snaps, before the big "bang.") and the
    pictures taken when the flash was making those noises are fine too.

    My husband thinks he could fix it if he could find a diagram and part
    for the camera. He said the sound sounded like electrical "arking" to
    him. Does anyone know where I can find this? I've looked on the Canon
    site and can't find it. I called CS and they won't give a diagram of
    the flash because of fears of someone stealing the design. (Can we say
    PARANOID!!!) I still haven't gotten the price for a replacement flash.
    The CS rep said it was potentially dangerous to try to fix it ourselves
    because he said he once saw the flash on a disposable camera melt the
    tip of a metal screwdriver! (Scary!) Dont' want DH to get hurt or
    killed!
    They are going to send a label to send it back to them for an estimate.
    Since it's not under warranty (5 months out of warranty, 1 year 5
    months old!) I may have to pay them about $100 to fix it. One CS says
    they stand firm on the warranty, another said maybe they'd work with
    me, but no gaurantees.

    I did find out that I could trade it up for the Canon Powershot I2 IS
    for $200 plus surrendering the now broken camera. But if this is how
    Canon cameras last and work-I don't know about that.
    I LOVE the camera and don't want to buy another one (don't want to
    spend the money *frown*). It is RIDICULOUS to get this short of a life
    out of a camera and I am MAD!!!!
    Any advice or help. I'll be calling both Canon again and Best Buy
    tomorrow! Is this normal for Canon cameras? 17 months is a pretty short
    life span for $300! Is Canon crap or what, did I just happen to get a
    bad apple (this is my first Canon)? Is the customer service always so
    bad? Should I repair or upgrade? I mean, if I'm going to have to spend
    $100, I might as well fork over another $100 for a new one, right?
    HELP!!!!
     
    toogerbug, Sep 29, 2006
    #1
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  2. toogerbug

    Guest

    toogerbug wrote:
    > Anyway today out of the blue while taking a standard picture I hear
    > this "pop" kind of an electrical "snap" after the flash flashed. (It
    > had been working fine minutes before.)

    Sounds like a capacitor has exploded (do they still use caps for
    flashes?) or some section of the high voltage circuitry has broken
    down. Doesn't take much of a breakdown to make quite loud noises, by
    the way..

    > I haven't tried the flash again because I'm scared to.

    Wise - the damage may be complete and it may simply not work.. but it
    might also have left a short and if enabled, discharge your battery
    quickly or do other damage..

    > My husband thinks he could fix it if he could find a diagram and part
    > for the camera.

    He may be right, but I think he is an optimist if he hasn't worked on
    this type of equipment before.

    > I called CS and they won't give a diagram of
    > the flash because of fears of someone stealing the design. (Can we say
    > PARANOID!!!)

    Not paranoid. Just lying. They just don't want anyone else to fix it
    (or be tempted to try).

    > I still haven't gotten the price for a replacement flash.

    And I doubt you will be able to.

    > The CS rep said it was potentially dangerous to try to fix it ourselves

    Well, you *can* get a nasty boot off a flash circuit, even an allegedly
    dead one..

    > because he said he once saw the flash on a disposable camera melt the
    > tip of a metal screwdriver!

    Haha! Two lies. Or that musta been a very fine bladed screwdriver..
    Flash circuitry can deliver very high voltages, but not high current.
    There is no way in hell it would have melted a screwdriver. Having
    said that, if you short out a high capacity rechargable battery,
    whatever is shorting it *will* get very hot for while...

    > They are going to send a label to send it back to them for an estimate.
    > Since it's not under warranty (5 months out of warranty, 1 year 5
    > months old!) I may have to pay them about $100 to fix it.

    That's probably not unreasonable, all things considered, and if you can
    get them to commit to that as a fixed quote, do so. That's if you
    *really must* keep the camera. But maybe this is a sign that you
    should move on...

    > One CS says
    > they stand firm on the warranty, another said maybe they'd work with
    > me, but no gaurantees.


    Get their names!!!! Don't let them get away with more lies and fake
    promises! Can you tell I don't like big corporations methods much?
    (Not just Canon - everyone!)

    > I did find out that I could trade it up for the Canon Powershot I2 IS
    > for $200 plus surrendering the now broken camera. But if this is how
    > Canon cameras last and work-I don't know about that.


    One dead camera does not make a survey, but you should be aware of this
    sort of thing - it happens too often. Get an extended warranty if you
    can. If they don't offer one - what does that tell you?

    > I LOVE the camera and don't want to buy another one (don't want to
    > spend the money *frown*). It is RIDICULOUS to get this short of a life
    > out of a camera and I am MAD!!!!


    Welcome to the digital, throwaway age.

    > Is Canon crap or what, did I just happen to get a
    > bad apple (this is my first Canon)?


    Time will tell over the next few years...

    > Is the customer service always so
    > bad?


    Just depends on where you are, and how your local service division
    operates, along with Canon's overall management attitude.. If you are
    firm with them, and keep records of everything said, and make veiled
    references to taking matters to the appropriate authorities, you can
    often get a better level of service... (O:

    > Should I repair or upgrade? I mean, if I'm going to have to spend
    > $100, I might as well fork over another $100 for a new one, right?
    > HELP!!!!


    Sadly, I think I would be tempted to cut my losses and get a new camera
    with an extended warranty...
     
    , Sep 29, 2006
    #2
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  3. toogerbug

    toogerbug Guest

    Thanks so much! I would never have known the guy was lying about the
    screwdriver and I guess the fact that hubby didn't know means he REALLY
    has no business trying to fix the camera!

    It sounds like the poor baby (my beloved camera) has died. And of
    course I didn't buy the extended warranty! After years of buying them
    and never using them, I got to thinking they are a rip off-maybe I was
    wrong. (*smile*) I know I'll get one with my next camera!

    I may try and send it in and see if I can get them to fix it for free
    or discount. If I can't get an agreed upon price (with the persons
    name) I'm comfortable with in writing-forget it. No way am I paying
    $100 to fix a $300 camera thats only a year and five months old.

    This is hard to believe and stomach that you spend this much money on
    something with such a ridiculously short life span. As much as I have
    used and loved the camera - NO WAY would I have paid that much for this
    short of a life. It is disheartening to hear it happens with
    freequencey.

    We'll see what happens...I am still MAD!!!
     
    toogerbug, Sep 29, 2006
    #3
  4. toogerbug

    Lionel Guest

    On 29 Sep 2006 00:42:35 -0700, opined:

    >toogerbug wrote:

    [...]
    >> The CS rep said it was potentially dangerous to try to fix it ourselves

    >Well, you *can* get a nasty boot off a flash circuit, even an allegedly
    >dead one..
    >
    >> because he said he once saw the flash on a disposable camera melt the
    >> tip of a metal screwdriver!

    >Haha! Two lies. Or that musta been a very fine bladed screwdriver..
    >Flash circuitry can deliver very high voltages, but not high current.
    >There is no way in hell it would have melted a screwdriver. Having


    Totally untrue. A charged cap can, *AND WILL*, source a massive amount
    of current when shorted out. I have personally seen large, charged
    cap's blow pieces off the tip of a screwdriver, & a flash capacitor is
    more than large enough to do that. Those of us who do electronic
    repair as a job are justly paranoid when working around potentially
    charged high voltage capacitors for exactly this reason. Such an
    explosion could easily blind an unsuspecting amateur trying to repair
    the unit.

    Please don't give people this kind of dangerous advice. How would you
    feel if the OP's husband lost his sight because he believed your
    incorrect claim?
    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Lionel, Oct 1, 2006
    #4
  5. toogerbug

    Guest

    Lionel wrote:
    > On 29 Sep 2006 00:42:35 -0700, opined:
    >
    > >toogerbug wrote:

    > [...]
    > >> The CS rep said it was potentially dangerous to try to fix it ourselves

    > >Well, you *can* get a nasty boot off a flash circuit, even an allegedly
    > >dead one..
    > >
    > >> because he said he once saw the flash on a disposable camera melt the
    > >> tip of a metal screwdriver!

    > >Haha! Two lies. Or that musta been a very fine bladed screwdriver..
    > >Flash circuitry can deliver very high voltages, but not high current.
    > >There is no way in hell it would have melted a screwdriver. Having

    >
    > Totally untrue. A charged cap can, *AND WILL*, source a massive amount
    > of current when shorted out.


    Enough to *melt a screwdriver*...?

    > I have personally seen large, charged
    > cap's blow pieces off the tip of a screwdriver

    Hang on, the story is very different - it 'blew' up and took 'pieces
    off' a screwdriver? What, pieces of metal came off? Or chrome
    plating? Is that 'melting'? How did this cap 'blow' - *because* it
    was suddenly discharged, or was there some other problem? I'm
    interested in how the dangers actually arise, so perhaps a bit more
    info might be more helpful.

    > & a flash capacitor is
    > more than large enough to do that.

    'That' being 'melt a screwdriver'? On a compact digital flash circuit?
    If it can really *melt a screwdriver tip*, I stand corrected, but am
    very surprised and would like evidence. I would accept that it could
    cause quite a large spark, get very hot, create a few arc marks, and
    perhaps melt the solder metal in a very localised area where the
    contact took place? But melt the entire tip? I'll bow to your
    expertise, but would like to see a picture of such tool damage...

    > Those of us who do electronic
    > repair as a job are justly paranoid when working around potentially
    > charged high voltage capacitors for exactly this reason. Such an
    > explosion could easily blind an unsuspecting amateur trying to repair
    > the unit.
    >
    > Please don't give people this kind of dangerous advice. How would you
    > feel if the OP's husband lost his sight because he believed your
    > incorrect claim?


    I apologise for not being more specific about the *other* dangers of
    playing with cap's, but you will note I advised against it, in the bits
    you didn't refer to.. I merely questioned the veracity of the melted
    screwdriver story, and if that was taken as carte blanche advice to
    blithely go ahead and rip a camera to pieces and play with charged
    capacitors, I am immensely sorry!! Next time I shall supply a detailed
    treatise on safe working practices when working with electronic
    equipment.

    Anyway, I'm now going to use my mobile phone near a petroleum
    station... (O;

    (Where are the MythBusters when you need them..?)
     
    , Oct 1, 2006
    #5
  6. toogerbug

    Lionel Guest

    On 30 Sep 2006 22:45:13 -0700, opined:

    >Lionel wrote:
    >> On 29 Sep 2006 00:42:35 -0700, opined:
    >>
    >> >toogerbug wrote:

    >> [...]
    >> >> The CS rep said it was potentially dangerous to try to fix it ourselves
    >> >Well, you *can* get a nasty boot off a flash circuit, even an allegedly
    >> >dead one..
    >> >
    >> >> because he said he once saw the flash on a disposable camera melt the

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    >> >> tip of a metal screwdriver!

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    >> >Haha! Two lies. Or that musta been a very fine bladed screwdriver..
    >> >Flash circuitry can deliver very high voltages, but not high current.
    >> >There is no way in hell it would have melted a screwdriver. Having

    >>
    >> Totally untrue. A charged cap can, *AND WILL*, source a massive amount
    >> of current when shorted out.

    >
    >Enough to *melt a screwdriver*...?


    No - enough to "melt the *tip* of a metal screwdriver". Exactly as the
    OP said in her post, & something I can verify from personal
    experience.

    >> I have personally seen large, charged
    >> cap's blow pieces off the tip of a screwdriver


    >Hang on, the story is very different


    No it's not.

    > - it 'blew' up and took 'pieces
    >off' a screwdriver? What, pieces of metal came off?


    As I said, I've actually seen this myself (and done it deliberately,
    when I was young & dumb). What happens is that the massive current
    actually vapourises part of the metal. If the charge is big enough
    (which is common on power supply filter caps, & not uncommon on
    flashgun caps), the explosion will also eject specks of molten metal &
    hot metal fragments.
    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Lionel, Oct 1, 2006
    #6
  7. Re: Energy stored in flashguns....

    wrote:
    []
    > Enough to *melt a screwdriver*...?


    Yes - well parts of a screwdriver - such as the "tip of a metal
    screwdriver" quoted.

    It's not the current - it's the energy which matters. IIRC, it's 0.5 * C
    * V^2, so dependant on the square of the voltage, and the voltage can be
    quite high in flashguns.

    Didn't flashguns used to be rated in Joules at one time?

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Oct 1, 2006
    #7
  8. toogerbug

    Lionel Guest

    Re: Energy stored in flashguns....

    On Sun, 01 Oct 2006 08:55:50 GMT, "David J Taylor"
    <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk> opined:

    > wrote:
    >[]
    >> Enough to *melt a screwdriver*...?

    >
    >Yes - well parts of a screwdriver - such as the "tip of a metal
    >screwdriver" quoted.
    >
    >It's not the current - it's the energy which matters. IIRC, it's 0.5 * C
    >* V^2, so dependant on the square of the voltage, and the voltage can be
    >quite high in flashguns.


    Around 400V, from memory.

    >Didn't flashguns used to be rated in Joules at one time?


    Yep. Also in Watt/seconds, which is a bit more useful for
    photographers.
    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Lionel, Oct 1, 2006
    #8
  9. toogerbug

    ASAAR Guest

    Re: Energy stored in flashguns....

    On Sun, 01 Oct 2006 19:11:17 +1000, Lionel wrote:

    >> Didn't flashguns used to be rated in Joules at one time?

    >
    > Yep. Also in Watt/seconds, which is a bit more useful for
    > photographers.


    Watt*Seconds, I think, not Watt/seconds. If you had two similar
    flashes, but one produced half the light output (using 1/2 the
    energy) in half the time, they'd both have the same Watt/seconds
    rating.
     
    ASAAR, Oct 1, 2006
    #9
  10. toogerbug

    Paul J Gans Guest

    Re: Energy stored in flashguns....

    ASAAR <> wrote:
    >On Sun, 01 Oct 2006 19:11:17 +1000, Lionel wrote:


    >>> Didn't flashguns used to be rated in Joules at one time?

    >>
    >> Yep. Also in Watt/seconds, which is a bit more useful for
    >> photographers.


    > Watt*Seconds, I think, not Watt/seconds. If you had two similar
    >flashes, but one produced half the light output (using 1/2 the
    >energy) in half the time, they'd both have the same Watt/seconds
    >rating.


    A joule *is* a watt-second.

    ---- Paul J. Gans
     
    Paul J Gans, Oct 1, 2006
    #10
  11. Re: Energy stored in flashguns....

    "David J Taylor" <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk> writes:

    >It's not the current - it's the energy which matters. IIRC, it's 0.5 * C
    >* V^2, so dependant on the square of the voltage, and the voltage can be
    >quite high in flashguns.


    In addition, flash capacitors are designed for high discharge current,
    since they routinely discharge all their energy into the lamp in a
    millisecond or two. This means lower internal impedance than your
    regular filter capacitor.

    >Didn't flashguns used to be rated in Joules at one time?


    Yes. It was usually called watt-seconds, but one watt-second is one
    Joule.

    Dave
     
    Dave Martindale, Oct 1, 2006
    #11
  12. Re: Energy stored in flashguns....

    ASAAR <> writes:
    >On Sun, 01 Oct 2006 19:11:17 +1000, Lionel wrote:


    >>> Didn't flashguns used to be rated in Joules at one time?


    >> Yep. Also in Watt/seconds, which is a bit more useful for
    >> photographers.


    > Watt*Seconds, I think, not Watt/seconds. If you had two similar
    >flashes, but one produced half the light output (using 1/2 the
    >energy) in half the time, they'd both have the same Watt/seconds
    >rating.


    Right. Watts times seconds is total energy. Watt-seconds are actually
    the same unit as Joules, since a Watt is defined as one Joule per
    second.

    Dave
     
    Dave Martindale, Oct 1, 2006
    #12
  13. toogerbug

    ASAAR Guest

    Re: Energy stored in flashguns....

    On Sun, 1 Oct 2006 17:45:46 +0000 (UTC), Paul J Gans wrote:

    >> Watt*Seconds, I think, not Watt/seconds. If you had two similar
    >>flashes, but one produced half the light output (using 1/2 the
    >>energy) in half the time, they'd both have the same Watt/seconds
    >>rating.

    >
    > A joule *is* a watt-second.


    And a joule most definitely is *not* Watts per second. I
    originally wrote "watt-second" as you did, but for those not aware
    of what it represents, replaced the hyphen (minus sign) with "*" to
    indicate multiplication. Is there some reason why you didn't say "A
    joule *is* a watt/second"? My response was to Lionel, who said
    "Also in Watt/seconds, which is a bit more useful . . ." I think
    that we both realize that "watt/seconds" is wrong, although if read
    aloud without pronouncing the math. operator, who would know? :)
     
    ASAAR, Oct 2, 2006
    #13
  14. toogerbug

    ASAAR Guest

    Re: Energy stored in flashguns....

    On Sun, 1 Oct 2006 18:42:14 +0000 (UTC), Dave Martindale wrote:

    >> Watt*Seconds, I think, not Watt/seconds. If you had two similar
    >> flashes, but one produced half the light output (using 1/2 the
    >> energy) in half the time, they'd both have the same Watt/seconds
    >> rating.

    >
    > Right. Watts times seconds is total energy. Watt-seconds are actually
    > the same unit as Joules, since a Watt is defined as one Joule per
    > second.


    Yep. I knew that despite couching the reply with a softer "I
    think". Maybe also adding it because "Watt*Seconds" is not how it's
    traditionally written, but I was trying to make more obvious that
    there's an implied multiplication (not division) operator between
    Watt and Seconds.

    "Cogito Ergo Watt?" -- Jewell
     
    ASAAR, Oct 2, 2006
    #14
  15. toogerbug

    Paul J Gans Guest

    Re: Energy stored in flashguns....

    ASAAR <> wrote:
    >On Sun, 1 Oct 2006 17:45:46 +0000 (UTC), Paul J Gans wrote:


    >>> Watt*Seconds, I think, not Watt/seconds. If you had two similar
    >>>flashes, but one produced half the light output (using 1/2 the
    >>>energy) in half the time, they'd both have the same Watt/seconds
    >>>rating.

    >>
    >> A joule *is* a watt-second.


    > And a joule most definitely is *not* Watts per second. I
    >originally wrote "watt-second" as you did, but for those not aware
    >of what it represents, replaced the hyphen (minus sign) with "*" to
    >indicate multiplication. Is there some reason why you didn't say "A
    >joule *is* a watt/second"? My response was to Lionel, who said
    >"Also in Watt/seconds, which is a bit more useful . . ." I think
    >that we both realize that "watt/seconds" is wrong, although if read
    >aloud without pronouncing the math. operator, who would know? :)


    The 17 thousand nit-pickers in this group? :)

    My apologies for not making less of it.

    --- Paul J. Gans
     
    Paul J Gans, Oct 2, 2006
    #15
  16. toogerbug

    John Turco Guest

    Re: HELP! My Canon S1 IS flash made horrible loud popping/banging noisesand I think it's dead? Fix it or replace it? Is Canon's CS bad?

    Lionel wrote:
    >
    > On 30 Sep 2006 22:45:13 -0700, opined:
    >
    > >Lionel wrote:
    > >> On 29 Sep 2006 00:42:35 -0700, opined:
    > >>
    > >> >toogerbug wrote:
    > >> [...]
    > >> >> The CS rep said it was potentially dangerous to try to fix it ourselves
    > >> >Well, you *can* get a nasty boot off a flash circuit, even an allegedly
    > >> >dead one..
    > >> >
    > >> >> because he said he once saw the flash on a disposable camera melt the

    > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    >
    > >> >> tip of a metal screwdriver!

    > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    > >> >Haha! Two lies. Or that musta been a very fine bladed screwdriver..
    > >> >Flash circuitry can deliver very high voltages, but not high current.
    > >> >There is no way in hell it would have melted a screwdriver. Having
    > >>
    > >> Totally untrue. A charged cap can, *AND WILL*, source a massive amount
    > >> of current when shorted out.

    > >
    > >Enough to *melt a screwdriver*...?

    >
    > No - enough to "melt the *tip* of a metal screwdriver". Exactly as the
    > OP said in her post, & something I can verify from personal
    > experience.


    <edited, for brevity>

    Hello, Lionel:

    I experienced something similar, about 20 years ago, when trying to fix
    a Kodak 110 film camera, whose built-in electronic flash was dead.

    After disassembling the Kodak, I later asked my brother for assistance
    with it. At one point, he evidently touched part of the "flash
    circuitry," because he received a very nasty shock!

    It was nothing actually serious, luckily, but it did burn a small, black
    hole, in his fingertip.


    Cordially,
    John Turco <>
     
    John Turco, Oct 2, 2006
    #16
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