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In March 2007, my daughter Yana went to the beach with my Canon 20D camera, which I had given to her on effectively permanent loan. It got hit by a wave, and the insurance determined that it was a write-off, giving her a new 30D in exchange. But I wasn't happy with just writing it off, so I played around with it a bit. The summary? It's a write-off. Here are the relevant entries from my diary of the time. Follow the Images links for many more photos, all taken with a compact Nikon “Coolpix” L1.


Monday, 9 April 2007 Today's diary Today's images top next last

Spent some time today looking at the Canon EOS 20D that Yana brought back with her. She had subjected it to sand and water on the beach a few weeks ago, and the camera shop had declared it to not be repairable. But it almost worked. Took it apart and found that the damage was, indeed, relatively minor:


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So why doesn't it work reliably? My best bet is that the control knobs have got wet and no longer work reliably. But they're probably just switches. I'll leave it to dry out and then put it back together.


Thursday, 12 April 2007 Today's diary Today's images top previous next last

Put the Canon camera together and was able to take a few photos before it stopped responding again. It was becoming fairly clear that water must have got in the front somewhere, so found a way to take the front off—in fact, the camera is quite nicely put together—and discovered some more serious damage, including a miniscule resistor that had been corroded off altogether:


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In the first photo, the resistor (marked “753” is visible below the solder joint with the pink wire. It was loose, though, and in the following photo (rotated by 90°) it's missing. The third photo shows how tiny it is. I can't think of any way to fix that; hopefully it won't make too much difference. Otherwise I suppose the camera really is a write-off.


Saturday, 14 April 2007 Today's diary top previous next last

There's a positive side to documenting my problems in this diary. Today I got a message from Thomas Maynard referring to the missing resistor on my Canon EOS 20D:

You can do SMT (Surface Mount Technology) soldering at home at your workbench. Here is a link to an introductory SMT kit. I bring it to your attention not for its applicability to your camera issues but for the accompanying PDF manual that describes clearly and concisely what you need and how to perform SMT assembly at home.

Unfortunately, this particular kit looks simple in comparison with the problem I'm up against: firstly, the resistors in question are much larger, and secondly they're on an epoxy circuit board. In my case, the substrate is plastic ribbon:


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Sunday, 15 April 2007 Today's diary Today's images top previous next last

Finally got round to putting the Canon camera back together today. I'm a little dubious about some of the connectors. They're tiny, and the alignment seems very critical. In particular, in the second photo below, it looks as if the holes in the tape should line up with the black clips below; but they don't. I tried quite hard to line them up, but that seemed to be the only way they would fit.


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As a result of the lost resistor, I was expecting some loss of functionality, but it turned out to be complete: when I turned it on, the camera did nothing. If I hadn't got an electrical shock from one of the side connectors (flash? I wasn't expecting anything like that), I would have suspected that the battery no longer worked. That's disappointing.

Taking close-up photos of the components has unexpected advantages, though. On looking at one, a fair amount of residual corrosion can be seen:

 
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There's a question, of course, as to whether this is corrosion or reflection, but at any rate it's clear that it needs cleaning. It's also interesting to note the indentations from the pins of the connector. I wonder if cleaning would help.


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