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Repairing digital cameras with duct tape

Posted by TonyP-191937 - Created: 14 years ago
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After I discovered that it costs about 250 EUR plus parts and shipping to get a digital camera repaired I had a go at repairing my daughter's Canon S10.  When switched on the LCD was black and all the pictures were black.  Also the memory card door was loose, giving CF errors and the rechargeable battery would not hold its charge for more than 3 or 4 shots.  It was already the 4th battery to fail and they cost about 50EUR each

I took the case off and pushed on all the connections and the LCD started working again.  I put pieces of duct tape on the connections to stop them coming loose again.

A piece of duct tape on the memory card door fixed that problem and I was just left with the bad batteries.

You wouldnt think that you could use duct tape to repair bad batteries, but I had heard that Canon batteries often fail because  a diode in the charging circuit inside the battery fails.  These batteries have a third contact in the middle that is used for charging and when the diode fails the charge leaks out of the middle contact when the battery is in the camera.  A diode is a sort of one-way valve for electricity.

I tried charging a dead battery and then sticking a piece of duct tape over the third (middle) contact before replacing it in the camera.  It worked fine, I was able to fire off at least 40 flash shots without any sign of the battery running down!  I tried the same trick with another old battery that I had forgot to throw away and that worked fine too.  You have to remove the duct tape to recharge them.  Adding and removing the duct tape seems to replace the function of the failed diode.

A while back this same camera had failed with an E18 error.  That means the mechanism for extending the lens barrel has jammed.  Usually it is because a grain of sand has got in between the barrel and the camera.  I fixed that by sticking a piece of duct tape on the face of the lens barrel (not the shutter that protects the lens) and pulling it while turning the camera on.  That freed the mechanism and it worked fine afterwards.

Although I fixed the camera yesterday, I thought I had better wait until today before posting otherwise nobody would believe me.

I had heard that duct tape and WD-40 are the only two tools you really need but I wouldn't have thought they would be so useful for delicate electronic equipment.

Tony

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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by Rosbif-185958 - 14 years ago

Um..........................

 

At this moment i am typing with one hand whilst the other one is holding down the shutter button of my Canon S20.  Nope the batt flat indicator light hasn't come on yet and that's oooooo 60 flash shots onto a microdrive.  I got 2 batteries that used to be worth about 10 or 11 shots each with turning on and off the camera in between as in normal usage... now, as a sound engineer, I have a (just passed the camera to someone else cos my thumb hurts and I can't type) large supply of gaffer tape.. A small square over the offending connection has just saved me several hundreds of Euro as I don't need a new camera now....

My microdrive appears to be full.  That'll be 100 Flash shots then onto my already half used Microdrive.  This has NEVER happened before cos I simply can't be bothered to charge the batteries often enough to do that.  A quick reformat then test continuation..... 

OK 113 photos before the battery flattened.  I just so happen to have the other one here without any Gaff on it... hang on: shouldn't take long

There - 27 Continuous shoot flash fotos and the batt flat light was on for the last 12

T H A N K S   TonyP  !!!

Gaffer tape ROCKS

Rosbif ;)

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Posted by TerryT-188383 - 14 years ago

TonyP, Much applause for your effort. A friend told me about a teacher of his who would talk of the merits of his Holden(Australian GM subsidiary) HQ sedan circa 1973. Having owned one, they are indeed a veritable tank. This teacher would often proclaim that you could fix it with not much more than a screw-driver and a beer can( I dunno how, but that's what he reckoned). So at a school camp one weekend someone slashed all four of his tyres. He was left staring at it probably realising that his beer can would have been more useful as a can of beer. Ungraciously my friend was silently challenging him, "Let's see you fix that with a can of beer!". Ah - school days! A pity the teacher hadn't heard the wonders of spinifex.  Please don't take this as a cautionary tale, unless of course you're a teacher and heading off on camp soon. As for the thousand mile an hour tape, I think it got its name when someone used it to wax their legs. When it was ripped off, the waxee took off at the aforementioned speed. Or was it that the sound of the tape tearing those follicles out sounded like a jet going a thousand miles an hour? Much respect to the duct.

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 14 years ago

quote:How would they repair a leaking fuel line or a punctured tyre without duct tape?

Somebody beat me to the answer about the punctured tyre :

quote:Punctured tyre without duct tape? Spinifex! As seen on a doco on the ABC(equivalent of the Beeb in Australia) on Aboriginal bush mechanics. The tube gets chucked and the new tubeless is filled with native grass (or equivalent .... even sand)

And as for the leaking fuel line .....  you remove a brake pipe (after all,  there are four of them) and hammer the two ends into the fuel line where that is broken.  Failing that,  you divert the fuel line into the cabin of the vehicle,  put the petrol into a bucket held between a passenger's legs,  and have the end of the line sucking from that.  I am not joking!

quote:Africans repairing their vehicles ??? Naaaah ... you are dreaming ......holding the pieces together maybe but repairing ?? ...that's hard to believe..  

We are not talking about repairs as in 'preventative' or 'cosmetic'.  We are talking about 'immugency ripair' after it has ground to a halt either through mechanical failure, overloading (33 Africans into 8 seats can be made to go!), or impact with a solid object such as a tree, donga, or another vehicle.

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Posted by Leswit - 14 years ago

Mike P ......Africans repairing their vehicles ??? Naaaah ... you are dreaming ......holding the pieces together maybe but repairing ?? ...that's hard to believe..  M.Lez

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Posted by TonyP-191937 - 14 years ago

thousand mile an hour tape!

Isnt that the stuff EasyJet uses to keep their avionics going and stop bits shaking loose in the turbulence over the Alps?

I'm sure its just ordinary duct tape with a CAA stamp and an aeronautical price tag.

Tony

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Posted by TerryT-188383 - 14 years ago

Punctured tyre without duct tape? Spinifex! As seen on a doco on the ABC(equivalent of the Beeb in Australia) on Aboriginal bush mechanics. The tube gets chucked and the new tubeless is filled with native grass. Heaps of refilling stations.

Duct tape? Get ya hands on some thousand mile an hour tape, you won't go wrong.

TonyP, a hundred years from now the camera will have disintegrated(or self-imploded) and only the the skeletal system of the your duct tape will be left. Thereby creating a new branch of archaeology.

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Posted by wendy-179831 - 14 years ago

Gaffer tape holds the film industry together - without it there'd be no movies. And while black 1 inch is the staple, a really good movie can get made if each crew member has at least 3 rolls in 3 colours hanging from their belt. (I can't think of a day on the movies when a piece of gaffer couldn't solve a crisis :-)

MikeP, you left pantihose out of your African toolbox.

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Posted by Collie21 - 14 years ago

The black tape you referred to is I believe gaffer tape, a more durable version of duct tape (unless the two are the same), you can use it to remove dirt that wd 40 can remove too, and to clean air filters and in some cases stick up ceilings. You would be amazed at what you see in film sets stuck up or held down with gaffer tape. If you really want the ulitmate kit however you gotta throw a zippo in. with a flame you can repair a lot of stuff.

Collie21

hey does that wall have a crack in it?

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Posted by TonyP-191937 - 14 years ago

You mean African car mechanics get by without either duct tape or WD-40?  I find that hard to believe. 

How would they repair a leaking fuel line or a punctured tyre without duct tape?

Tony

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 14 years ago

African car mechanic's tool kit :

Hammermonkey wrench or shifting spannerwire coat hangers screwdriver  a lot of strength and faith. 

Most taxis in Africa and parts of Asia are kept running for years on this recipe.