Replacing the bulb in the 580 EX II

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lion mclionheadlion mclionhead 06/02/2020 at 06:420 Comments

The lion kingdom's 580 EX II died after 12 years.  Lions took many indoor photos with it.  

Then, this arrived.  It behooves humans to get a bulb assembly rather than a bulb.

The bulb is very hard to replace on its own.  There was a starting guide on

It's essential to discharge the capacitor.  It still had 200V after 2 weeks with no batteries.

There is a discharging hole with electrical contact inside, exposing the capacitor's + terminal.  This must be grounded through a 10k resistor to the flash ground, without touching the resistor or ground while touching the + lead.  The trick is to keep 1 paw behind your back while holding the + lead with your other paw.

A few screws revealed the electronicals.

The bulb assembly is on a corkscrew drive.  The corkscrew drive moves it to adjust the spread of the beam.

The 12 year old bulb was cactus.

4 cables connected to the assembly.

The old bulb & silicone were liberated, after discovering the bulb was as fragile as paper.

Then 1 end of the new bulb was soldered in before inserting it back into the enclosure.  

This was the wrong way to insert the silicone. 

The lion kingdom did what it could with the silicone on 1st.  The soldered end went back into the assembly.  The unsoldered end received its silicone 1st, then wire, & finally heat shrink.  The heat shrink was too long, but if the sharper turns break the wire, there's more wire from an old LCD backlight in the apartment.

Based on the challenge of getting the silicone on, all 3 wires clearly need to be desoldered from the PCB 1st.  The wires should be soldered to the bulb without the silicone.  Then, the heat shrink should be put on.  Then, the silicone needs to be fed around the wires before soldering the wires back on the PCB.  The assembly probably doesn't need to be taken off the corkscrew drive if you have the right tweezers.

The lenses only go on 1 way.

Reassembling the 4 wires showed how the 580 EX II wasn't designed at all for manufacturability.  They wanted the best possible flash, no matter how expensive it was.  

Then, the deed was done, showing what a luxurious flash it was compared to a cheap flash from 40 years ago.