Ikelite Logo Copyright 2013

Frequently asked questions about DS strobes

Most questions about product assembly and operation are covered in the product instruction manual. Please read your manual thoroughly before attempting to operate your Ikelite equipment.

Click any question and the answer will magically appear!

Firing + exposure

Most DS strobes will operate in TTL when set properly and attached to an Ikelite TTL system. We've tried very hard over the years to produce what we call "smart" housings and "dumb" strobes. By building sophisticated TTL electronics into our housings we can usually make sure even older digital strobes will be able to communicate according to the newest TTL protocols. Hence your strobe is still good long after the camera becomes obsolete. Refer to the web page or instruction manual for details on strobe compatibility by serial number.

New strobes are compatible with all past and current Ikelite TTL systems.

Set the camera at its widest aperture (like f/2.8) and trip the shutter while the camera and strobe are aimed at a very close, well-lit subject. The strobe should produce only a small blip of light. Repeat this with the lens covered and the strobe should produce a full power flash.

Some strobes will emit a flash by themselves when turned on or switched between power settings. This is considered to be normal as long as the strobe does not continue to fire by itself when left in that setting. Repeated auto-firing or self-firing of the strobe is almost always caused by a bad sync cord. If the problem persists after replacing the sync cord, please return the strobe to Ikelite for evaluation.

An AF35 or DS strobe attached to an optical sensor may fire at very shallow depths or when they detect the flash from another diver's camera. This is normal and unavoidable. To conserve batteries the strobe should be turned off when not in use.

DS50 and DS51 strobes

The battery compartment door should be tightened snugly with a coin or screwdriver for leverage. The top of the door should end up flush with the body of the strobe. Do not continue to muscle the thumbscrew past the point of snugness, which risks turning the battery compartment post and cracking the strobe body.

A new clear battery door allows you to see when the battery compartment is properly sealed. The clear battery door assembly #9440.45 is available for purchase to carry as a spare or to update older 50, DS50, DS51 and AF35 strobes.

It is not necessary or recommended to lubricate the battery door o-ring. While lubricant will not damage the strobe, excessive lubricant can attract dirt and interfere with the seal.

Flush the battery compartment well with fresh water and allow to dry completely with air from a blow drier or scuba tank. Rinse with alcohol and dry completely again. Do NOT reuse batteries that have been exposed to water. Install fresh batteries and test.

When you return to your trip and/or if the strobe is still not working, return to Ikelite for repair of the flooded battery compartment.

The DS50 and DS51 Substrobes accept four "AA" alkaline, NiMH or NiCad batteries. Lithium Ion batteries are NOT recommended due to their effect on the strobes' recycle times and the batteries' thermal switch characteristics.

DS125, DS160, and DS161 strobes

It is not necessary or recommended to lubricate the battery o-ring. While lubricant will not damage the strobe, excessive lubricant can attract dirt and interfere with the seal.

Ikelite Frequently Asked Questions

Can't find the answer to your questions? We're here to help! Visit our Contact Page to find phone number, email, hours and more!