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Dead GSN, Simple Solution?
Old 02-25-2006   #1
MikeI
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Dead GSN, Simple Solution?

Hi guys, new member to the site and have been reading through everyones posts for hours amazed at the amount of help and expert advice being offered out to the less knowledgeable! So I'd like to thank all those that respond in advance for your time and advice.

So my story is I bought a GSN off of ebay for cheap, risking that it was a functional camera, unfortunately, it seems like it isn't!

The camera almost looks brand new, everythings clean, and film advance sounds crisp and such, but the shutter blades won't open (but they do move very slightly when the shutter button is depressed), and there appears to be no life from the battery or LEDs on the top of the camera...

Could this problem all be tied together (ie a completely useless camera )? or is there some way to fix this without too much of a hassle?

I'll try and put up a pic of the shutter as it looks wierd to my amateur eye the way they are positioned in the close umm.. position.

Thanks again in advance, and look forward to reading what your thoughts are!

Mike
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Old 02-25-2006   #2
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are you sure the shudder isn't opening? With no battery it fires at 1/500s which is too fast to see from the front. Try looking through the back of the shutter.
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Old 02-26-2006   #3
john neal
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It could be that the wire from the top of the battery compartment has broken / rotted off. This is quite common and would cause the failure of all the lights - it would also mean that the shutter is firing at 1/500 all the time.

If the shutter does not open at all, when looking through the back of the camera, this is probably a second problem.

I would suggest having a chat with Greyhoundman, he is the local guru on all things "G"
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Old 02-26-2006   #4
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Thanks guys, I've tried the shutter with the back open in front of a light source in a dark room and didn't see anything in any of the modes, so I really think its like their stuck or something.

John, I suspect that it is a lead that has broken, but can't really have any way to find out without either opening it up or figuring out how to get the shutter to work.

I also forgot to mention the first time that the timer lever doesn't travel the full distance or even work, and when I first opened the battery compartment, there was a small amount of battery leak in the interior which I cleaned out... Could those be a potential cause?

Thanks,
Mike

I don't know if this will work, but I'd just like to post some pics of the shutter blades to see if their in their normal "closed" positions...". Hopefully this works!



Quote:
Originally Posted by john neal
It could be that the wire from the top of the battery compartment has broken / rotted off. This is quite common and would cause the failure of all the lights - it would also mean that the shutter is firing at 1/500 all the time.

If the shutter does not open at all, when looking through the back of the camera, this is probably a second problem.

I would suggest having a chat with Greyhoundman, he is the local guru on all things "G"

Last edited by MikeI : 02-26-2006 at 00:40. Reason: Add pics
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Old 02-26-2006   #5
Todd Frederick
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These cameras are so inexpensive, and so good, that if all else looks fine, it's well worth the cost to have it repaired. The repairs are not expensive.
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Old 02-26-2006   #6
john neal
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Mike,

There is a good probability that some of that leaked battery worked it's way up the spiral spring and has damaged the spring, or the solder joint at the top (inside the camera). I have seen this several times and, depending on the level of damage, it is easily fixed with a soldering iron. If the spring wire has rotted off and left nothing to solder to, you really need a replacement battery chamber (I have a couple of good ones - you can have one for the cost of postage).

The timer lever could easily explain the non-functional shutter. If it is not getting to the end of its travel, the shutter will not release. If it is "armed" when you press the shutter button, you may see some slight movement of the shutter blades as they settle onto the release pawl. Unfortunately, the pawl is not releasing to open the shutter. NOTE - this is somewhat conjecture without actually seeing the camera.

You can find instructions around the web for getting inside your G and putting it to rights, it only needs a basic knowledge of twiddling screwdrivers. However, I would suggest contacting Greyhoundman about carrying out the repairs for you, if you don't feel comfortable with some tinkering with the innards. Dave does excellent work and is very reasonably priced.

Hope that helps
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Last edited by john neal : 02-26-2006 at 12:05.
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Old 02-26-2006   #7
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Thanks guys, good info to think about!

John: If I wanted to check the connection of the lead, I assume that I'd go about this by taking the top off the camera? As for the timer, I don't know where its upper and lower limits are as it only travels slightly in the middle of its slot, but to try and get that working again, would I have to open up the lens assembly? Having read a bit about that process, oh boy!

I'd love to send it for repairs, but am curious as to the typical repair costs (also must consider shipping fees unfortunately!) for work on these types of cameras...

Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by john neal
Mike,

There is a good probability that some of that leaked battery worked it's way up the spiral spring and has damaged the spring, or the solder joint at the top (inside the camera). I have seen this several times and, depending on the level of damage, it is easily fixed with a soldering iron. If the spring wire has rotted off and left nothing to solder to, you really need a replacement battery chamber (I have a couple of good ones - you can have one for the cost of postage).

The timer lever could easily explain the non-functional shutter. If it is not getting to the end of its travel, the shutter will not release. If it is "armed" when you press the shutter button, you may see some slight movement of the shutter blades as they settle onto the release pawl. Unfortunately, the pawl is not releasing to open the shutter. NOTE - this is somewhat conjecture without actually seeing the camera.

You can find instructions around the web for getting inside your G and putting it to rights, it only needs a basic knowledge of twiddling screwdrivers. However, I would suggest contacting Greyhoundman about carrying out the repairs for you, if you don't feel comfortable with some tinkering with the innards. Dave does excellent work and is very reasonably priced.

Hope that helps
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Old 02-26-2006   #8
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Set it to wide open F1.7 and try the shutter again looking at the back of the lens into a bright light.
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Old 02-26-2006   #9
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When I got my GS the battery compartment looked very clean but somehow the old battery managed to creep up the spring and detach the connecting wire.

The way I fixed it probably not recommended but I manages to pull the spring out from the battery compartment, sodlered a new wire to it and threaded it back into the camera.
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Old 02-26-2006   #10
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Alright, so with some fiddling, I've managed to solve half my problems!
I worked the timer back and forth hard enough to get it back to the start position and now the shutter fires! Hooray!

All thats left in the dead battery terminal (I'm hoping). If I pull the spring out, how will I solder the end back to the wire inside the camera? or is it in the compartment? So I actually still do need to take the top plate off the camera right? I need to get one of those tools that adjusts to fit in the pinholes first, or is there an easy way to fashion a tool myself?

Thanks again for the help,
Mike

PS, the battery I got doesn't seem to have the same name as what everyone else is throwing around on the Yashica forums, but it is 6V (105mAH), and fits perfectly into the adapter, so I assume it's an appropriate one, its a Nexxtech alkaline 2300469. Should be ok no?

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The way I fixed it probably not recommended but I manages to pull the spring out from the battery compartment, sodlered a new wire to it and threaded it back into the camera.
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Old 02-26-2006   #11
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yep you've gotta take the top of the camera off. It's easier than it looks.
To turn the pinholes use the two prongs of a voltage meter.

then you'll see if the wire coming from the battery is still attached.

again, yanking the spring out is not recommended. I think I got lucky with mine.
If you can remove the battery compartment it's probably better.
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Old 02-26-2006   #12
john neal
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Mike,

Good news on the timer - I would now leave it alone and not use it again!

I would suggest checking that your battery is the right way around (positive to the battery cover) and that you are getting good contact with the cover. If the little sticker is still on the inside of the cover, remove it and make sure that the metal surface is clean. I had one GSN that would not light up due to glue residue, even though it was otherwise perfect.

If that does not solve things, you could remove the top plate - I use a piece of silicon rubber to undo the winder screw with my thumb (and the little asa dial screw), so you don't need a pin spanner. Just be careful on reassembly that you don't overtighten and break the screw (I have done that!). Hold the asa dial in the right place with some masking tape to make things easier.

This will let you see if there is power getting to the battery test switch - check between the white wire and the camera body (body is +). If that is OK then you need to check the rest of the circuit, bulbs etc. If there is no power, you will probably have a failed joint at the top of the battery spring.

Unfortunately, the battery spring to wire connection is not accessible under the top plate, you have to take the lens panel off the front of the camera. Now this is not as hard as it sounds - the leatherette will normally peel back from the lens quite easily to reveal the lens plate. Don't peel it any more than that and you will find it easier to reapply.

There are 4 x-head screws to undo, one of which is under the Yashica logo, so just ease that off with something straight and moderately sharp - I use the end of a steel rule and just push along the long edge of the logo. When you have the screws out, gently pull the lens panel forward and it will disengage from the body. Don't pull to hard as it is attached by a number of wires that go variouls places in the body.

Now look for a white wire soldered to the top of the battery chamber - that's the main power feed into the camera. It wil be apparent if this has roted off the top of the spring. Once repaierd, try the battery test button with a good battery in place (yes your 6V alkaline should be OK, providing it fits in the adapter and you have it the right way around - positive to the battery cover).

Reassembly has only 2 tricks - making sure the RF link engages and getting the shutter cocking bar back in place. These can sometimes take 5 or 50 tries, I have once got it back on the first attempt!

If you are going this far, you might as well check on the condition of your "Pad of Death", and replace it if it looks at all dodgy.

This sounds a bit scary if you have not done it before, but if you are careful and follow the instructions that you can find around the web, you will be OK. As I said before, if you are not up for the hassle, try Graeyhoundman, he's US based and a very nice man to deal with.

Hope that helps.
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Last edited by john neal : 02-26-2006 at 23:57.
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Old 02-27-2006   #13
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Quote:
Unfortunately, the battery spring to wire connection is not accessible under the top plate,

This is true, as far as it goes. However, you can also gain access to it by removing the viewfinder, which is a lot easier than removing the lens/meter assembly. It all depends on what shape your Pad of Death is in. This is the rubber pad that cushions the shutter rods when they are released to return to their original positions when you rotate the film advance lever. See the posted pictures for more details.

Since your camera is a GSN, the POD may be in good condition. I have received many GSN's where the POD is a clear amber colored plastic or rubber that is perfectly solid. I have received others where it is a crumbling mess. Take a small screwdriver or something similar and poke it a bit. If it is deteriorated, it should be obvious. If it appears solid, you are good to go! Then it would make more sense to just remove the viewfinder. There are two mounting screws for the viewfinder. Unfortunately, one of them is hidden under the metal light shield glued to the top of the viewfinder. This will pop off with just a little coaxing from a thin knife blade. Once the viewfinder is off, the white wire/battery spring solder joint (or what's left of it...) will be perfectly accessible. If it is corroded off, the corrosion may have traveled all the way up the wire under the insulation, which will require the complete replacement of the wire. If not, then clean the top of the battery spring and re-solder it on.

Good Luck. Hope this helped!!

Russ
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Old 02-27-2006   #14
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That sounds easier as I've looked over the instructions to removing the lens/shutter assembly and think it looks like I'd get very lost! So to remove the viewfinder, where do I find the screws? The "metal light shield", is that the plate at the bottom of the hotshoe? am I supposed to slide that off to access a screw? where is the other screw that you mention? Do I start by just kind of 'popping' the front and back viewfinder parts off?

Thanks for the great advice,
Mike

*UPDATE*
Ohhhh, I've just taken a look at the pics you've attached and am pretty sure now that you are talking about the two screws once the top is off! I'm still having trouble getting the ASA dial and advance lever off as I can't seem to get a grip on them (while using the wrong tools for the job)! So I'll definitely try this method once its off... Thanks again

Quote:
Originally Posted by b1bmsgt
Then it would make more sense to just remove the viewfinder. There are two mounting screws for the viewfinder. Unfortunately, one of them is hidden under the metal light shield glued to the top of the viewfinder. This will pop off with just a little coaxing from a thin knife blade. Once the viewfinder is off, the white wire/battery spring solder joint (or what's left of it...) will be perfectly accessible. If it is corroded off, the corrosion may have traveled all the way up the wire under the insulation, which will require the complete replacement of the wire. If not, then clean the top of the battery spring and re-solder it on.

Russ

Last edited by MikeI : 02-27-2006 at 19:52. Reason: Add to message
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Old 02-28-2006   #15
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Sorry I wasn't more specific...yeah, this is after you have the top off. What I use to remove the ASA dial is a pair of pointed tweezers. I have a pair of snap ring pliers for the winder, but they are usually not very tight so the tweezers might work for that also. Once you get the top off it will be hanging by the flash synch wire so be careful there. With the top off, you will see the cover on the viewfinder that you will need to pop off, and the screws will be evident. When you replace the viewfinder cover, use a rubber cement or similar. Don't use super glue or model airplane glue as these could damage the viewfinder. While you have the cover off you can clean the viewfinder lenses with your breath and a few Q-tips. You really only need to clean the round window on the back and the square one on the front of the viewfinder. Don't touch the angled glass as it's coating is very delicate. You can clean the windows on the top the same way before you reinstall it.

For some excellent advice on removing the top, try this LINK.

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Old 02-28-2006   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeI
That sounds easier as I've looked over the instructions to removing the lens/shutter assembly and think it looks like I'd get very lost! So to remove the viewfinder, where do I find the screws? The "metal light shield", is that the plate at the bottom of the hotshoe? am I supposed to slide that off to access a screw? where is the other screw that you mention? Do I start by just kind of 'popping' the front and back viewfinder parts off?

Thanks for the great advice,
Mike

*UPDATE*
Ohhhh, I've just taken a look at the pics you've attached and am pretty sure now that you are talking about the two screws once the top is off! I'm still having trouble getting the ASA dial and advance lever off as I can't seem to get a grip on them (while using the wrong tools for the job)! So I'll definitely try this method once its off... Thanks again
It always sounds easier if you already know what you are doing!

At least with a GSN you can afford to replace it if you putz it up. Be bold! Dig in!
(I have a drawer full of lens parts resulting from that attitude! )
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