My Canon 550ex wouldn't switch on yesterday. Completely dead. Changed the batteries (twice). Still nothing, no indication of life. It was fine last time I used it about a week ago.
Is there anything that can be done?
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After trying as few things and playing around with the flash with no success, I found the following thread on the web.
The advice given is :
Rub all the battery contacts very briskly with a clean rag that is just ever so slightly damp.
I actually works! To rub the terminals inside the battery compartment I wrapped a thin, slightly damp rag around the eraser end of a pencil and gave it a few spins. The terminals didn't look corroded or damaged. Afterwards the speedlite switched on, good as new.
All I know is I was just about to go out and buy a new Flash Gun for my 5D MkIII as both my flashes had failed, the problem I realised was I hadn't used my Flashes for a couple of years, they were not well used but both my 580EX ii and my 430EX failed to even show a glimmer of a spark. Then I read about cleaning the contacts with a slightly damp cloth wrapped around a pencil rubber(eraser). I am now the proud owner of two working flashes, and a few hundred pounds better off.