01 : EXCESSIVE
"OFF" current :
A Freshly charged set of NiMH'ds should last around 3 months without
use. IF you find that they are flat in a week or so, then you
have 1 of 2 known problems. Here we'll deal with Excessive leakage,
due to a leaky capacitor or RTC.
The "OFF" state current should be approx 0.4 - 0.5mA,
and 0.3 - 0.4mA for the S7000. To measure it you will need a multimeter
(digital is not necessary). A variation of 50% is fine. Turn the
camera off and pop open the battery door. If you have an assistant
handy, short out 1 pair while the meter leads are across the 2nd
Refer R1C1 (Yeah I know, the batteries aren't
there .. shaddup, I'll fix it tomorrow.)
If you don't have an assistant or need to do a long-term current
test, then make up a lead as per R1C4.
Use thin wires and split them up to allow the door to close. (IF
it won't, just hold it down with tape. The idea is to "interrupt"
one of the batteries ie one piece is taped to the TOP of a battery
and the other to the shorting plate (on the door hinge). Other
ends go to the meter.
If the current is 2mA or greater, then you have a FAULT. This
problem was rampant in the early days but seems to have mostly
gone. Most likely a "batch" problem, one of MANY.
02 : SINGLE
CELL "shorting" : (aka "single cell anemia")
This is currently occurring in EPIDEMIC proportions ! and is wiping
out whole cane plantations ... ok, the last part was embellished,
I got carried away. BUT it IS SERIOUS (mid-1994)
Refer to R1C2 and R1C3.
The pretty black colour
is derived from "conductive" carbon mixed into the plasic.
A "seal" coat is applied to stop it shorting. With time,
sometimes NOT that much, the SPRING rubs this coating OFF the
TAB. Since the SPRING is part of the BATTERY circuit, VIOLA, we
have a short (110ohms) to FRAME. It's easy to diagnose - your
batteries will seem to last 1-2 days ONLY, and you'll find ONLY
1 is flat !! (The bottom right one). The fix is easy. Slip approx
1/2" of heatshrink plastic over the end of the SPRING section
(Toggle part). Heat to secure it. That'll hold you for a while.
In a pinch, just cover the TAB with tape or varnish.
DETAILED REPAIR :
As can be seen in R2C1
and R2C2 ... First the Battery cover is removed by "unclipping"
it as shown. A piece of heatshrink is slid over the Tab, leaving
a few mm overhang. Use either a hair-dryer or paint-stripper to
shrink the tube. DO NOT just shove the nozzle over the Tab and
cook the SHIT out of it ! It doesn't need to be RED-HOT, just
warm-hot. "Sweep" the airflow over the Tab, holding
it there for a few seconds at a time. You will see the tubing
start to shrink and form tightly around the Tab. THAT'S IT. As
mentioned before, it is the end END of the Tab that needs to be
covered. NOTE : IF you use BLACK heatshrink, TEST IT !! The last
thing you want is to find is that it is ALSO conductive !!
03 : CF cards
flattening the battery : S7000.
Another curent epidemic. Mainly only a problem with SANDISK (=Fuji)
CF cards. Fuji has issued recalls in MOST countries (NOT very
public though :-) ). Just contact your Fuji agent for instructions.
The problem is due to the CS (chip select) line holding
up too long after the "OFF" signal and thus remains
ON. A "QUICK FIX" can be achieved by either "popping"
the battery door open and close OR the the doing the same to the
Flash Card. In RW, it is fixed by either EXTENDING the "power
OFF" pulse (Firmware) OR increasing the "DRIVE"
current to the Discharge Transistor (or Replacing it). OR using
a CF brand that doesn't have the problem !! Refer http://www.propassion.nl/finepix/
for the current list
of compatable CF cards. My favourite CF card is still the RiData
52-150X series, a fast CF at a decent price.
04 : DUST !! ... The eternal curse
Update : 21 April 2006
: FIRST you need to
work out WHAT the contamination IS !! It may be Dust, Spores,
Condensation residue, smoke deposits or smudges from other enviromental
sources. Hopefully this weekend, I'll add a section on HOW to
Identify your INFECTION. .... in progress ...
For NOW, for those who are certain enough that it IS a dust issue
(info from the many Forums etc), we can continue ...
We have a few good methods now for ridding us of the dust problem.
Dust can either settle on the CCD (actually the IR filter which
sits on top of it), the rear of the front glass or less occasionally
on the inner glass Focus lenses. If the dust particles are large,
they can OFTEN be removed by the simple -
(a) Tapping_Method : Hold the cammie with the lens slightly drooped.
Apply short medium / hard Taps to the Top of the cammie (start
at the base of the lens). You can also use a hard rubber device
(a mallet is too big). Much success has been had, especially with
larger dust particles).
(b) Blowing_Method : You need a can of AIR. Yeah you can buy air
in a can ( it's Compressed), Techies use it all the time.
NOTE : Test Using it FIRST !! You do NOT
want propellant being blown into the Lens section !! So Always
hold the can upright. In the past I suggested removing the Lens
Cover and blowing in through the centre gap (covered by a black
cloth), BUT there is a MUCH better entry point. Either remove
the Front Glass COVER and blow in through the (quite large) gaps
there, or Remove the Front Glass completely. Refer the Lens section.
This gives us excellent and easy access. Try a few quick bursts
first, it's may be enough. Some users have had to try for a minute
or so before they succeeded. Try different angles too, as the
trick is to create an air-flow pattern that passes over the CCD.
DO NOT use a garage tyre pressure pump !!!! Yeah, someone did
once and blew the cr@p outta the insides. True story ! Update : 21 April 2006 : IF you
don't see any improvement after say 1/2 can, think of quitting.
The probability ratio of dislodging dust TO adding dust starts
to change about then (see other note above).
The next method is the
(c) Sucking_Method : Start up your Vacuum Cleaner and remove the
attachments (so you're left with a plain tube). As in (b), either
remove the Front Glass Cover or the Glass itself. With your hands
form a seal between the Vacuum Tube and the cammie Lens. Create
gaps in your fingers to control the amount of suction. Believe
it or not, this works extremely well. Air is drawn in through
the cammie Internals eg Battery Compartment etc. Don't tempt fate,
use a NEW air bag and do a dry run first. If you have variable
suction control, even better.
It has often been said that using an adapter ring and UV filter
will stop dust getting in. This isn't strictly true, its just
a poor design and in fact, most of the dust is already in the
cammie from manufacture. BUT there are other MORE important reasons
to have the adapter tube and UV filter fitted, namely protection
of the lens ... THE MOST common and most expensive fault.
05 : SPORES
!! ... are actually
quite common, in hot / humid enviroments and usually take a few
weeks to months to become visible.
The trouble with spores is - the bastids seem to prefer to set
up a culture on the IR Lens or IN the other Lens coatings. I have
also found them UNDER the IR lens (got past the rubber seal) and
in 1 case INSIDE the CCD Cavity !! The CCD is covered by a glass
plate, glued down by a tough Silastic type compound. In this incident,
the cammie was dunked briefly in a mountain spring river. The
mineral salts ate through the glue in no time and a beautiful
nativity culture had sprung up in the cavity. I killed them before
they elected their first president !! I DON'T negotiate with spores
I have used various methods
to kill spores. The easiest is -
(a) Place the cammie in a Very DRY, Cold air-conditioned room
for a few hours, preferrably near an air-flow. This can't actually
Remove the spores, but If the culture isn't too large, the dead
spores are not at all visible.
(b) Similar to above, but spray an anti-bacterial agent in the
air-path. NOT TOO close to the cammie and NOT TOO Intense. You
don't need much.
(c) Dismantle the cammie and clean with IsoPropyl alcohol (or
similar). A pain in the neck, but there's no other option.
06 : Can Focusing
on the Sun damage the CCD?
Another historic question (nearly) answered.
I've recieved a few "supposed" Sun damaged CCDs over
the years and was about to rule the case BUSTED !! Some were diagnosed
by engineers, Uni researchers and Professional users. My test
procedure was simply -
Remove the CCD (without IR Filter) and drop it into a KNOWN GOOD
Cammie, and take a few test shots. If they showed clear, case
CLOSED ... no damage. IF the "spots" were still there,
then I'd examine the IR Filter and IF that was clear, split open
the Lens system. Of all the CCDs tested, there were 2 that were
definitely not dust, water vapour smudges etc. (similar to Pix
R2C4-C5 above). I examined these under
a 3D microscope, and found BOTH were actually dead spores (these
are quite dark and sitting so close to the CCD makes them difficult
to diagnose). It was a closed case ... that is UNTIL I recieved
this LAST CCD. Refer R2C4-C5 -
What happened was...
I was taking some shots of Castlerigg Stone Circle in the Lake
District with the low winter sun behind, which was covered completely
(so I thought...) by dense black clouds - I'll attach the picture.
Suddenly, the sun shone through a pinhole in the clouds. Now -
because I'd locked the exposure, the iris was open far more than
it would have normally been, but I had to do this to pick out
the stones with the light behind. That shot was perfect - as the
light masked the burn, but all subsequent shots had a black dot
I stripped the CCD out and there's actually a small bubble in
the CCD itself. Not in the filter fitted in front of it, but the
CCD itself ! Looks like it's actually melted slightly!
.... and BUGGER me dead
.. he was RIGHT !!! Stupidly, that weekend I had a 21st to shoot
and grabbed the TEST cammie by mistake. Now I have 300 Pix to
P/Process to get rid of DAMN spots !! grrrrrrrrr
I pulled the CCD out and checked the Glass seal. It was tight
and completely intact. In fact removing it was very difficult.
I had to smash it off (ok, I got lazy) .. and there on the CCD
surface were the bubbles !! FINALLY PROOF !! ... well maybe. But
now I have MORE questions -
(1) Can only a brief exposure to the sun have caused this ? If
so, why don't we have dozens more cases ?
(2) It's an odd pattern, isn't it ? And why 2 spots ? Why no Tracking
marks or partial damage areas ?
**Further study - 06
April 2006 ( Note: The
following is partly assumption based on engineering studies to
date. IF you know any of it to be incorrect, please let me know.
The brittle dark grey coating IS in fact the Photon-electron displacement
layer and includes the RGB lenses. It is bonded directly to the
Silicon layer (and I'm guessing this is where the recent Sony
production problem lay ie poor bonding). Photons strike the Top
of the Photo-active Layer, causing electrons to be released from
the bottom (a physical reaction) and are captured in the Silicon
layer. Many photo-detectors work on the same principle. Very close
examination shows the 2 - 3,000 rows and colums on the Silicon
surface. The Photo-active Layer feels similar to that found on
scratchie tickets. I scraped away one of the perfectly formed
bubbles, revealing a hard ceramic like Silicon surface. Even under
my highest zoom, I could see no damage or dis-colouration at all
compared to the surrounding area. Even though the dark grey Layer
is VERY flaky, it is quite brittle (hard) and seems to have a
high melting point. I will need to test that further.
(3) IF the ceramic like Silicon surface had in fact over-heated,
I doubt I'd expect 2 perfectly formed bubbles. It just doesn't
make sense, and I can't see that much energy making it through
all the lens elements (coated) PLUS the IR filter PLUS the glass
Next free time, I'll set-up a large magnifying lens and see how
much heat is needed to deform the surface (and replicate the bubbles).
Even if I manage to replicate them, I still have to prove that
it wasn't just a rare faulty CCD, because if so, I don't consider
this test sample to be relevant (weighted) to the test results.
Luckily I have a one more that has volunteered to give its life
13 April 2006 : After
Consultation and answers from the owner, and a few quick tests,
I'm declaring ..
!! The SUN can not damage a CCD (even with MORE than REASONABLE
The best hypothesis (in this particular incident) is that - there
was a faulty CCD to begin with, added to other enviromental factors
OK .. I need a fresh lens to do more realistic tests. Someone
must have a dead cammie !!! STAY TUNED.
FIRING ADAPTER : An example of a Adapter ti fit a Standard Firing
Cable. Even though dragonminds.com has ceased trading, I'm leaving
the notes up, so others may be able to get ideas on how to manufacture
PLEASE NOTE: All Exploded
Views and pix are in my galleries at www.pbase.com/digsys/
An excellent camera Forum
where I live : www.dpreview.com
FOR ANY ENQUIRIES Please email me