Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sony DSC-F828 loose lens turret - part 8

With the lens turret swivel mount screws nicely tightened up and secured, we can now carefully retrace out steps. There key things to keep in mind when reassembling are screw tensions, don't miss out on any steps, or parts, look for pinched cables and cables that are not properly seated. Work you way backwards through steps 8 to 1 or if you are really confident you can just use this part which will get you back to power on:

Step 1:
Make sure you replace the swivel mount bearing washer and be careful with the grease and potential for contamination.

Step 2:
When you replace the retainer, make sure you have the dentent engaged in the slot otherwise entrapment will occur. Tighten the three retaining screws evenly and apply enough pressure to just prevent the swivel mount binding.

Step 3:
Reset the swivel mount and the plastic cable tie-down seat. Ensure the screws holding the lens turret swivel mount on the camera body are very tight.

Step 4:
Reseat the flexible cables and pass through the swivel mechanism without undue twisting or distortion. Screw the seating mechanism into place. Test the swivel can rotate about the flexible cables without undue rubbing, bending, twisting or abrasion.

Step 5:
Ensure the flexible cables are properly seated in their appropriate slots in the camera body. 

Step 6:
Pass the power cable through the lens turret swivel mechanism via the guide.

Step 7:
Present the camera back to the camera body as shown. Carefully inspect your work done so far looking especially for flexible cable that are not seated properly. Fit the camera back cables to their matching headers. Carefully close the camera back onto the camera body. Do not force anything. It should go into place easily. Carefully inspect for any flexible cables that may be pinched.
Step 8:
Apply all screws to the camera back. Tighten firmly with Lock Ace on each screw.

Step 9:

Plug the power cable in to the lens turret and route the cable via the plastic lugs as shown.

Step 10:
Ensure the tripod mounting bracket is attached.
Step 11:
Reattach the lens turret to the swivel mechanism. Again, make very sure these screws are tight and use Lock Ace or similar.
Step 12:
Reseat the three flexible cables. Make sure the ferrite is in place. Ensure the cables are slotted into the headers properly.

Step 13:
Restore the small connector cable to its position as shown.

Step 14:
Present the side cover to the lens turret assembly and connect the flexible cable.

Step 15:
After carefully checking the work done, and ensuring there will be no pinched cables, carefully screw into place the side cover.

Ensure there are no parts left over.

Fit the memory cards and battery into the camera and turn on. The camera should now spring back into life with no ill-effects and a rock steady lens turret mount. 

Thanks for reading through this. All constructive comments appreciated.

Sony DSC-F828 loose lens turret - part 7

In this part we will inspect and repair the lens turret swivel mount.

Step 1:
Observe the detent mechanism and the three screws holding the retaining plate on the swivel.  If these screws have come loose then this may be the cause of your problem. Tighten each screw in small amount sequentially in order to apply even pressure to the swivel. The swivel should not be loose, and the amount of tension applied should be enough to require firm pressure to rotate the lens turret. Warning - ensure the plate is only tightened with the spring loaded detent in the slot provided, otherwise the detent will be trapped under the retaining plate and become distorted when you try to tighten the screws.

Step 2:
If the swivel retaining plate screws are not the cause of the problem, then remove the screws and the retaining plate and set safety to one side.

Step 3:
Carefully lift the washer out of the swivel mount bearing slot. Note the part has a grease lubricant. Be careful to not contaminate the grease or the bearing slot, or introduce grease by contact with other parts of the camera. With the washer out of the way, four screws will be revealed. These must be nipped down very tight and held in place with Lock Ace or similar.

This should now have addressed every possible cause for having a loose lens turret. In the next part we will quickly review the reassembly.

Sony DSC-F828 loose lens turret - part 6

In this part, we will withdraw the flexible board ribbon and power cables from the lens turret swivel mechanism. This will allow us to separate the swivel mechanism from the camera body. We can then inspect the swivel mechanism and initiate the necessary repairs.

The three flexible board ribbon cables pass through the swivel mechanism. Note the clamp used inside the camera body to secure the three flexible boards, bolted down by 2 x 1.7mm screws (item 6) above must be removed before the ribbon cables can be withdrawn.
Step 1:

The silver screws either side of the ribbon cable must be undone. You will need the screwdriver extension to reach the one on the left. Use a tiny dot of petroleum jelly on the screwdriver tip to hold the screw while you lift it out (do the same later when you put it back)
Step 2:
Here we can see the ribbon cable clamp has been removed and the flexible cables have carefully been folded back over the camera body and out of the way.

Lift the ribbon cable clamp seat up, off the locating dowel and the two cast pillars that accept the clamp screws, and place safely to one side. Observe the detent spring mechanism on the inside left of the swivel mechanism. Warning! -  the flexible ribbon cables must be moved out of the way as described in Step 1 and 2. Failure to do so will result in the detent spring mounts damaging the flexible cables when the next step is attempted.

Step 3:
Remove the two retaining screws attaching the lens turret mechanism to the camera body. Next, with the cables safely out of the way, grasp the camera body in your left hand as shown and rotate the lens turret swivel mechanism out of its seat in the camera body. (Rotate the lens turret up, or clockwise in the view shown here). Carefully set the camera body to one side.

In the next part we will examine and repair the lens turret swivel mechanism.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sony DSC-F828 loose lens turret - part 5

Now we have the lens turret off the camera, its time to remove the swivel assembly so we can tighten up those loose screws. Here are the steps:

There may be subtle differences between your camera and the version described here. Note there are 8 x 2mm screws to be removed and two flexible board ribbon cables to disconnect before the back can come off.

Step 1:

Remove the two screws at the left hand end of the rear cabinet assembly.
Note one of the screws is partially hidden by the camera strap attachment point

Step 2:

Remove the two screws at the right hand end of the rear cabinet assembly.
Right hand end, rear cabinet assembly, lower screw

Step 3:

Remove the two screws on the bottom of the rear cabinet assembly.
Both screws are located near the battery access cover

Step 4:

Remove the single screw on the top of the rear cabinet assembly.
One screw in the top of the rear cabinet assembly

Step 5:

Remove the single screw on the top right hand end adjacent to the thumb wheel selector.
In this image you can see there are three screws in total. The one referred to in step 5 is lower left. The others are removed in step 2

Step 6:

Carefully withdraw the rear cabinet assembly housing away from the camera body. It should not require any force. If it appears to be hanging on at any one point, it is almost certain you have not removed a retaining screw.

Step 7:

With sufficient room, disconnect the two ribbon cables from their sockets on the boards at the camera body end. Note one header is a slot receptacle and the other is a miniature dual in line connector.
The rear cabinet assembly will come clear and leave enough room to access the two connecting flexible board cables.

Step 8:

With the rear cabinet assembly now separated, place it safety to one side.
The rear camera assembly is now separated. Note the differences between the two flexible cable connectors.

This now exposes the inside of the lens turret swivel mechanism. In part 6 we will show you how to withdraw the flexible board ribbon cables and power wires that pass through the swivel mechanism. It is extremely important that you complete part 6. DO NOT ATTEMPT to remove the swivel mechanism until the ribbon cables have been moved well out of the way

Sony DSC-F828 loose lens turret - part 4

In Part 4 the challenge is to remove the lens turret assembly from the swivel mount.

Follow the numbered steps. The photos below will assist.

Step 1.
Remove the tapping screw holding the radiation shield in place.

The bright silver tapping screw holds the copper shield and three ribbon cables in place. Remove the screw.

Step 2.

Remove the tape and fold out the copper shields. The copper shields may have been glued down in the factory, but they will separate with a bit of gentle pressure.

Note the retaining strip holding the flexible cables in place. Do step 3 then the retaining strip can be be lifted off the dowel at the end near the bottom of the image, and drawn out from under the claw at the other end. Note the plastic dowel near the claw has broken off in this example

Step 3.

Carefully draw each of the three flexible board ribbons from the terminating headers on the lens turret board.

Note - some headers have a brown strip that may be lifted up and snapped back into position. This helps clamp the edge connector and aids in removing and positioning the connector. In this image you may notice the brown strip has been lifted up.

Step 4.

The retaining strip holds the three flexible board cables in place is now visible. This is located by two plastic dowels and has one end held down by a plastic claw. Carefully lift the retaining strip up off the dowel at the opposite end to the claw then draw it out from under the claw and off the other dowel.

Remove the flexible board ribbon cables from the retainer housing
Step 5.

Carefully lift the flexible board ribbon cables up and clear of the terminating board and retaining strip. Be very careful to not drop or loose the ferrite core which is attached to the flexible board at the bottom of the stack of three.

Step 6.

Remove the small flexible board strip connecting the lens turret board designated AJ-006 to the board behind the lens turret, on the camera body.

Disconnect AJ-006 at both ends and set safely to one side to avoid damage. Note it is only a small, 6 pin cable. It is located under the lens turret assembly, just near the tripod mounting block.

Step 7.

Undo the two retaining screws holding the lens turret in place on the camera body. These are located on the right hand side of the lens - one is near the ACC socket and the other is up near the pop up flash.

Here are the two lens turret retaining screws mentioned in Step 7

Step 8.

Carefully disconnect the two wire power cable from the lens turret assembly. The lens turret can now be set carefully to one side. Note the route used to keep the white wires in place where they will not be likely to abrade or be damaged by movement.

Firmly and gently withdraw the two wire plug from the lens turret and take the loom out of the routing clips. Watch out when you put the lens turret down. It can roll away - you don't want it falling on the floor!

Now we have the lens turret out of the way, we can now see the swivel assembly much more clearly. It may still not be possible to clearly see what is causing the looseness. We will look at that in part 5.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sony DSC-F828 loose lens turret - part 3

OK, so now we can get down to the disassembly.

Remember, the objective is to tighten up a loose lens turret. Because there can be multiple causes, you may not have to go all the way through this process. 

Step 1

Remove the camera lens cover, lens hood, carrying strap, battery and memory card or cards.

Step 2.

Remove the 6 x 2mm retaining screws on the cabinet side cover.  See diagram below, bottom right. Carefully lift off the cover. Disconnect the flexible board ribbon FP-751 from the SW-410 board which sits inside the cabinet cover.

Leave SW-410 attached to the inside of the cabinet cover. Disconnect the flexible board from its socket at the camera body end.
With the camera the right way up, remove the two screws either side of the OPEN (FLASH) decal
With the camera body upside down, remove the three screws on the bottom near the tripod mount. Notice one of the three target screws is missing in this image. 

With the camera the right way up, and with the back facing towards you, remove the one screw at the back end of the side cover.
Finally, carefully remove the flexible board from the socket on the camera body and set the cabinet side cover to one side.

Carefully inspect the four screws which retain the lens turret swivel mechanism in the camera body. It may be possible that one or more of these have come loose. Note, only three retaining screws will be visible. To gain access to the fourth screw, you will need to carefully rotate the lens turret about the camera body to reveal it via an access detent as shown above.

If tightening these screws cures the loose lens turret problem then simply apply some 'Locktite' to the screws, and nip them down nice and tight. Reverse the disassembly taking special care to ensure the ribbon cable is slotted back in to position properly and that it is not pinched when the side assembly is screwed down.

Otherwise, the loose turret will be caused by a problem with the swivel mechanism. You will now have to move on to Part 4 and further disassembly.

Sony DSC-F828 loose lens turret - part 2

Hi and welcome back again folks.

In this part of my post, I'll describe to you more or less what tools and so forth is needed and give some start up tips.

OK - first up lets get some tools and a work area sorted out. You will need:

  • A good size, clean and uncluttered work space.
  • Good strong light.
  • A free standing magnifying lens, preferably the illuminated type.
  • Size 000 Phillips Head jeweller's screw driver.
  • White towel work mat.
  • Small, flat blade pliers.
  • A copy of the DSC-F828 service manual.
  • Small white bowl for screws, and small box for larger parts
  • Petroleum jelly
  • 'Locktite' or similar
  • Anti-static earthing system
The pliers I selected are used primarily for handling the flexible printed circuit ribbon cables or 'boards'. The ribbons need to be gripped carefully and gently and pushed or pulled evenly, slowly and accurately into or out of their terminating slots. (See the diagram below provided by Sony in their Service Manual). The flat pliers shown, not having teeth or serrations, will provide the best grip without the risk of damage.

6" flat blade pliers are recommended.
The jeweller's screw driver should be the type that you can push down hard against a rotating head piece in the handle to stop the bit riding up out of the screw head slot while turning. In order to get extra purchase on the screw while applying a load, it should have a reasonably big handle for you to grip. It should also have an extension piece to allow you to reach into hard to get corners.

This type of jeweller's screw driver provides the best reach and gripping power

The service manual for the 828 is not absolutely essential for this job as hopefully I have provided all the information necessary and plenty of photos. Still, I think it is a very useful guide and seeing as it can be found on the internet fairly easily and free of charge, it is probably worth the extra effort. Try

I strongly recommend you consider using an anti-static mat, and wrist strap to bond yourself and the work bench to earth while working on the 828. This is easily overlooked as being an unnecessary inconvenience but the problem with static is well documented and static discharge counter-measures are standard practice in professional workshops. It is not hard to do, can be used many times, and pays for itself in avoiding unnecessary damage.

Keep the work area clean and tidy. Drinks, food stuffs or other contaminants on the work bench invite disaster. Work as much as you can in a dust free environment. Place all parts together in a small box that can be labelled and sealed. Any static sensitive components should be stored in anti-static bags.

Here are some tips from the Sony Service Manual.

  • Check the area of your repair for unsoldered or poorly-soldered connections. Check the entire board surface for solder splashes and bridges.
  • Check the interboard wiring to ensure that no wires are "pinched" or contact high-wattage resistors.
  • Look for unauthorized replacement parts, particularly transistors, that were installed during a previous repair. 
  • Look for parts which, through functioning, show obvious signs of deterioration. 
  • Check the B+ voltage to see it is at the values specified.

Flexible Circuit Board Repairing:
  • Keep the temperature of the soldering iron around 270°C during repairing.
  • Do not touch the soldering iron on the same conductor of the circuit board (within 3 times).
  • Be careful not to apply force on the conductor when soldering or unsoldering.

Beware of the dreaded Capacitive Discharge Flash-unit. The follow again is with thanks to Sony:

As for human factors - here are a few tips for success from my experience working in Aviation Quality and Safety management. I don't think they will go astray here:

  • Read and study the method for repair so you have a good understanding of what is to be done and how to do it.
  • If you are not sure about something, then ask.
  • Work in short sessions then take a break.
  • Review every step you have taken. Look at it from all angles and think carefully about the consequences of what you are doing. For example when screwing something down, have you pinched something else? When unscrewing something, is there a loose piece that can fall off and be lost or broken, e.g. a ferrite bead.
  • If you feel you are having to push or pull hard, exert force or are having to lever anything then you are doing it wrong - stop, look and study what the barrier is because you will probably break something if you keep going.
  • If you feel frustrated, inclined to swear or curse then stop. It should be a pleasant experience and if it's not then you are probably doing it wrong. Stop, take a break, review the situation and then start again on a different tack.
  • If you feel tired, unwell, rushed, or if you have taken any drugs, alcohol or medication that can affect the quality of your work, then stop. Any kind of visual impairment, steadiness of hand, or rationale of thought is a barrier to success.
OK, in part 3 we move on to disassembly.

Sony DSC-F828 loose lens turret - part 1


Hi folks - here I am back again, and this time I have some detail on how I managed to successfully repair the loose lens turret on my Sony DSC-F828. I 828 owners will find this blog of some interest or use.

Sony DSC-F828

I have had my F828 for about 6 years now and it has provided reliable service, and excellent photographs. Although it's 8 Megapixel capability, the small screen, lack of HDMI and limited zoom are somewhat dated, the 828 still has redeeming features which I like. The big 28-200 mm Carl Ziess Vario-Sonnar 7 x zoom lens has an excellent quality that is hard to match. The four colour HAD sensor works well. I still very much like the bulky feel of this solid camera with its swivel body idea (although the swivel body never really became all that popular). The infra-red night framing capability and hologram laser focus system for taking pictures in totally dark situations is hard to beat for the interests and work I have.

After six years on the road however, the 828 has started showing serious signs of ageing and the time came for an overhaul. Not withstanding the occasional screws that come loose (I know the feeling well), and the need for an occasional tweak, and once the need to reseat a flexible cable inside the camera, the biggest issue has been the gradual loosening of the lens turret. It had gotten to the point where the damn thing was so seriously wobbly on the camera body it felt like it was ready to fall apart at any time.

A cruise through the various internet posts indicated a lot of other 828 owners have had similar problems. It was clear however that while several remedies were described for loose lens turrets, the fix for my particular situation wasn't described anywhere that I could find.

I had looked at this a couple of times, but was always put off by the complexity of the 828's construction. That is until I decided I couldn't live with it any more.

With a big trip overseas coming up, I decided I wouldn't trust the F828 in that condition. Faced with the choice of fixing it or buying a replacement camera, I decided to have a go. If the 828 died 'on the operating table', well too bad and so long old friend. If it could be restored, well then the new lease of life would be celebrated by going on holidays together. (I'm still tempted to buy a new Sony A55 though).

So that's the background folks. I carried out the repair quite successfully and operationally the 828 is back to 'as new' condition - not withstanding some cosmetics as one would expect. 

I kept notes and photographed the repair and decided to share the experience here.

As a footnote to this - having the camera repaired professionally would probably cost more than the camera is worth. Following this guide is entirely at your own risk. I can't take any responsibility for misinformation, errors, mistakes, omissions or any other buggery that causes you grief or damage to your camera. In other words, the risk is all yours, but so is the fun and self-satisfaction of fixing it for next to no outlay.

OK, so on with the How To. In Part 2 of this post, I will describe what's needed to get started doing your own repair. See you then, and please - don't forget to leave a comment.