Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

« No LegsMainHard to be a Girl »

Getting my hands dirty

569 words on

Tonight I got my hands dirty, proverbially at least. Everybody who knows me will chuckle at the though of me handling dangerous tools such as a screwdriver or even a soldering iron. And yet, unbelievably I did. The aim, of course, was to fix the nice old camera, a Canon-EF. For now it looks like I succeeded.

Parts taken from camera The first step was to open the camera. To do that you don't need a small but a really tiny screwdriver – which I don't have. Luckily, Ansgar could borrow one from his lab which worked perfectly. There's nothing like having the right tools. The camera's base is attached to the body by just two tiny screws – and there was a bit of sand in the little rim around the base, no doubt a consequence of having used the camera at beaches and in deserts during the past thirty years. Afterwards the was another little structure holding the battery containers in place to remove. Everything made of solid metal (compare this to a TiBook: A plastic base attached to a flimsy metal structure using eight screws).

Camera before fixing with computer displaying manual in background Using the service manual I found, I was reassured that nothing had gone wrong so far. the manuas even gives you useful information like the warning that the battery test button can fall out when opening the base. It did – but I wasn't worried. Amazingly everything was in place as the manual stated – down to the exact colour of the wires as given on the main section for this topic. That's very useful, helping me to quickly see that the problem was indeed what I had suspected and that, in principle, the repair was a trivial one: Replace the missing battery contact in the right container by something adequate and solder it to the blue wire again. (Again this experience is quite different from that with computers: When replacing the hard drive in my dad's 'Pismo' Powerbook, the manual explicitly stated that the drive is mounted by a couple of ordinary screws, only for me to find out that I actually needed a Torx screwdriver for the job).

Camera before fixing I had alreay bent a little piece of metal that I broke from old and broken SCART adaptor to serve as a replacement battery contact. However, I am not good at all at soldering, even with the professional (looking?) soldering iron that currently resides in our flat. The number of times I soldered can easily be counted with one hand only. Thus getting the different parts to actually stick together satisfactorily took quite a while and wasted two little cables – all I had as I thought I'd better replace the blue cable with a blue cable for not to ruin the nice consistency with the manual.

Camera after fixing To be on the safe side, I covered the (excessively large) joints with sticky tape to avoid any short-circuits – those batteries are quite expensive. And, magically – after a bit of squeezing – the batteries fitted in and, most importantly, worked. I was quite amazed as I had expected this to require a second or third try before it worked out.

Looking at the innards of the camera, I noticed that it must be the first revision of that model that was released. According the the manual, latter versions have an extra circuit to do some adjustments depending on temperature which don't exist in mine.


July 29, 2003, 23:58

Tagged as hardware.

Add your comment

« No LegsMainHard to be a Girl »

Comments on




This page

Out & About

pinboard Links


Received data seems to be invalid. The wanted file does probably not exist or the guys at last.fm changed something.