28 April 2018

Mad Thag's Camera Repair

The Lovely Harvey generally has bad luck with electronics.

This includes cameras most especially.

I got her a Canon Powershot SX120IS when it was a new camera back in 2009.

Just in time for Special Olympics season 2016, it started changing modes at random, often defaulting to the AUTO shooting mode instead of the preferred Program or Sports modes.

At the time there weren't reliable instructions for how to take it apart, but no matter there weren't parts available.

After my legal drama and The Boy's frequent elopements in 2017, there wasn't much call for a better camera than was on Harvey's phone.

Fast forward:

There was a bit of grousing about how I got a new camera when MY camera broke...

So a cabal of me and my friends pooled our resources to get her a NEW and IMPROVED! camera in the form of a purple Canon Powershot ELPH360HS.  It's officially her birthday present, but I gave it to her early so she could Grok it in its fullness before Special Olympics starts in earnest.

While she likes it, it's a very small little thing and she'd still like one more like the old 120 for knock-around use.

I figure, "it's a switch, how hard can this be to replace?"  So I searched for disassembly guides and found a decent complete tear down on YouTube.

"That's EASY!" I cry and I proceed to take the SX120 apart.

Know what the problem was?

There are four little metal fingers in the dial, they drag across a series of concentric traces on a circuit-board.  There were lots of little tobacco fragments up inside that area of the camera.  The dial is right above the battery compartment and I think some tobacco from Harvey's cigarettes was floating around her purse and infiltrated through the battery compartment.

I cleaned out the switch area really good and made sure all eight fingers were equally proud of the dial and making good contact with the traces then put it all back together.

Et voila!  She is working again!

I think that while the SX120 is a capable camera with a comfortable form factor, the far superior capabilities of the ELPH360 are going to win out.  Plus! it's as cute as the Dickens in purple, you can't help but love it!

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