View Full Version : Opening up A11 Flash Case

David Hughes
03-31-2010, 02:13
The title says it all. I've just removed a very, very old weeping battery from an A11, after drilling a small hole in it and putting a screw in the hole and levering the battery out like a lollipop.

Now there's a limit to how much muck I can fish out and I can't really dunk it in some neutralising chemical and so I'd love to get at the innards without damaging it.

Has anyone any experience of this? I've seen too many destroyed by idiots leaving batteries in them...

Regards, David

03-31-2010, 03:20
No, but I hope somebody does. I have one that just died mysteriously and I would love to open it and poke around. Wasn't from the battery. BTW, I think it would not hurt to dumk the lower part, if not all of it in vinegar, then shake it and let it dry out well after cleaning with grit of some sort. I had to soak a flash in hydrogen peroxide once and it worked fine afterwards.

03-31-2010, 03:55
Unfortunately, Olympus used a non-replaceable battery.

You should always be careful when opening any electronic flash. The units have a capacitor that stores electricity.

A couple of years ago, I worked on a colleague's little digital P&S. It used two AA batteries. I accidentally shorted the capacitor with my thumb. It burned two tiny holes into the end of my thumb, delivering one hell of a shock in the process.

Be mindful of that before you start digging around inside one of these with a metal screwdriver. These are sealed units for a reason.

David Hughes
03-31-2010, 08:40
Thanks both, for the encouragement and warning.

I've been poking around in it since with a dry test tube brush and then a thick pipe cleaner and have got the contacts back to shiny and nice but there's still muck stuck in places. It was a Duracell battery and doesn't seem to have corroded anything. That was a surprise; I don't know whether to thank Olympus for stainless steel or acid proof fittings or Duracell for user friendly batteries.

Anyway, if any one else has an answer we'd all like to share it.

Regards, David

03-31-2010, 08:52
Was this a lithium battery? I'm seemed to recall that it was. I was a bit surprised that it wasn't user-replaceable AAAs.

I'd have to look closer at mine, but I don't know if they heat weld the plastic shell or if it's just a pressure fit. I suspect that the seams are melted to prevent leakage. You might be able to use a small pen knife along the seam that would allow you to open it.

03-31-2010, 09:08
Assuming this is an A11 flash for the XA series, it uses a AA battery.

I would throw away the flash and look to ebay - no idea how a crippled flash might affect your XA.

David Hughes
03-31-2010, 12:54
Hmmm, it was just recognisable as an AA battery. I think the other version (not the A9) had a built in battery and was only for the XA4?

Trouble is, I always seem to get the bodies with two dead batteries in them and a dead one in the flash. I've realised that this trend means I should look out for a decent flash as their low worth means few will survive. And I've not seen an A16 for sale for a while.

Regards, David

John Hermanson
04-01-2010, 04:56
A11 used one AA battery. A 1 L flash used non-user replaceable 6V lithium battery. Battery leakage in a A11 is often a losing proposition, often requiring circuit replacement. John

04-01-2010, 08:04
And the moral is.....................remove battery if not using camera for a while.
In fact this thread made me check mine which is fine.But I do use the XA and A11 regularly,FWIW

Cheers Dave

David Hughes
04-02-2010, 05:22
I don't think they realise the things have batteries. I've bought lots of cameras in charity shops with a dead battery or two in them and a half used film.

And I've a small collection of (carefully labelled) second-hand batteries from the same source: very useful at times. And the old films come in handy for checking things are working and practising cutting the leaders for the older cameras.

What's even odder is the number of people selling camera after camera on ebay who haven't realised that a battery is needed to test them. I don't expect them to have one of everything, ranging from a couple of 90v HT ones down to a LR44 but they could cover a lot of them with 3 or 4 batteries.

Regards, David

04-02-2010, 05:49
By the way, I was wrong about my flash unit. I have the sealed A1L, not the A11. It also fits the Olympus XA.