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Sola 1200 Photo switch not working

Discussion in 'Strobes and Lighting' started by cleomagic, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. cleomagic

    cleomagic Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: San Jose, CA
    150
    31
    28
    Apologize for posting this in both the L&M Section and the Lighting Section, but we're hoping there may be some member who has a recommendation faster than L&M can respond.

    We have a Sola 1200 Photo. The light does not turn and we've narrowed it down to the switch mounted on the outside of the body. We've verified that all the electronics, battery, and LED module work. We've been able to turn it into all modes when using a magnet. We leave on Sept 19th for Lembeh. Any recommendations for a quick fix? We just don't have time to send it in for repair.
     
  2. davehicks

    davehicks Barracuda

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Seattle
    328
    202
    43
    You can take this light apart with some care and see if the switch is out of alignment or maybe the magnet on the switch is corroded. Perhaps you can replace it with an appropriate magnet from Amazon or such.

    I've replaced the batteries in a Sola 1200 before so I know it can be safely opened and resealed.

    Beyond that, I'd suggest buying or borrowing a replacement light. I see some used sola 1200's on ebay for under $200. FYI you can buy a replacement battery for under $25 and replace it with some light soldering.
     
  3. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    3,345
    1,255
    113
    if you have time, maybe consider calling L&M? they may be able to work something out for you, although it may involve driving down to seaside
     
  4. cleomagic

    cleomagic Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: San Jose, CA
    150
    31
    28
    After further disassembling the switch we've determined that the magnet is completely corroded. 5mm diameter magnets are on order from Amazon ... should be here on Sunday. (We did move all of the internals to another Sola 1200 body and they worked perfectly which is how we know that it is the switch.)

    The owner of our local dive shop offered to swing by L&M on Monday to see if he could get this resolved through them. The only issue would be whether he could get the light back to us by Wednesday night (L&M dependent). Now that we have a better idea of exactly what the problem is and a good line on how to repair (at least for now), we will likely not pursue this option at this time.

    Will post more on Sunday as to how effective our repair is.
     
    davehicks likes this.
  5. cleomagic

    cleomagic Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: San Jose, CA
    150
    31
    28
    Magnets have arrived from Amazon and the Sola switch is repaired. We removed the Light and Motion magnet (and plastic sleeve) and replaced it with several 5mm x 1mm magnets.

    We ordered 5mm x 1mm magnets from Amazon as we weren't sure what the correct max depth would be. 5mm in diameter was perfect and we probably used about 4 or 5 magnets. 1mm is really short and there were 150 in the package so we didn't really count. We basically pushed the magnets into the hole until they bottomed out and then slid off all the extra magnets and reassembled. Next up the salt-water and depth test in about a week:).

    The repair was inexpensive enough that if the magnets don't last, we have plenty of replacements available.
     
    davehicks and Ministryofgiraffes like this.
  6. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
    744
    570
    93
    this is a great example of why it's a good idea to test all your kit at least 10 days before a trip so you can sort out any issues before your trip takes a big hit. thanks for posting all of the follow ups as well. this may save someone else's trip in the future :)
     
  7. cleomagic

    cleomagic Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: San Jose, CA
    150
    31
    28
    Agreed on checking all the gear in advance. These were the last items on our list to charge/check. Next trip, they'll be first! (We did have Amazon Prime in our hip pocket and could have gotten a new light on Tuesday if we ordered tonight as our favorite local dive shop didn't have one in stock.) The $8 worth of magnets save used a few bucks!

    We've also added some spare magnets to our Save-a-trip kit.
     
  8. davehicks

    davehicks Barracuda

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Seattle
    328
    202
    43
    That's awesome! So cool that you were able to DIY it! I've seen a few of these magnetic switches fail due to corrosion of the magnets. I wonder if you can seal the new magnets with something like a bit of epoxy to delay a repeat of the problem?
     

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