Corroded flash contacts
I'm usually pretty diligent about removing batteries from my flash units, but this time I forgot and I had a AAA leak inside an unused flash unit.
I cleaned the contacts with sand paper, white vinegar, and rubbing alcohol, but I still cannot get the flash to power up when I put fresh batteries. There's still some corrosion on the terminals which are at the back of the battery box in an area hard to reach even with a cotton swab.
I read about the dangers of opening up a flash and being zapped by the electronics, so I'm not sure what steps to take next...other than the steps that take me to the trash bin :P
If it helps, the flash in question is one of those tiny Sunpak PF20XDs.
I hope the problem isn't further into the flash than the contacts. I've done what you did above and easily restored power.
Most likely, corrosion/dirt got further on the contacts. A flash could be discharged by firing it but I wouldn't really suggest to open up a flash if you are not familiar with this kind of electronics. Flash capacitors can really held some power on them and it could be dangerous. I would say hand it over to someone who is familiar with electronics or trash bin. Try pulling the contacts a bit further against batteries. Probably cleaning process flattened them and they are not having a full contact on battery.
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