Repair guides and support for the Canon Speedlite 430EX II external flash assembly.

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Why is my flash making a high pitched whine constantly?

This flash has been functioning in the past, but recently I detached it from an Off-camera Flash Hotshoe Connector Cord while it was still on, and it fried it somehow. It smelled like fried electronics and now it won't turn off. The only way I can make it stop its high pitched whining is by removing the batteries. As soon as I put the batteries back in, it starts whining again. Also, it no longer shows anything on the screen and doesn't respond when I attach it to my camera. Is there a way to repair this?

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While older flashes have a true on/off switch that physically cuts battery power to the electronics, newer flashes like the 430EX switch power on and off by electronic means. It looks like the electronic switch has shorted out, or the command circuitry has developed a problem so it leaves the electronic switch eternally on.

The whine you hear is the inverter that charges the high voltage supply (300V or so) to the flashbulb. Normally speaking the inverter should work only for a few seconds each time after the flash has been fired.

It is very unlikely you can fix this yourself. Repairing this sort of faults requires advanced knowledge of modern electronics and troubleshooting, and it might even be necessary to replace an entire circuit board - which is something that can normally be handled only by authorized service centers.

Warning: Flash circuits carry high voltages that may persist for quite some time even after batteries have been removed. DO NOT dismantle the unit unless you know exactly what you're doing!

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If you've fixed this before, please take a look here:

Speedlite 430EX I - Capacitor/Transformer/Inverter Troubleshooting..

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