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Konica Hexar AF Hexar button fix step-by-step
Old 06-17-2011   #1
bensyverson
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Talking Konica Hexar AF Hexar button fix step-by-step

Recently, both of my Hexars developed the dreaded shutter button problem. The buttons went from "fluky" to "completely inoperable" in a few short days, so I decided to attempt a fix and document my steps. It was much easier than I expected!

First, you need to carefully peel back the covering on the front just enough to get at two screws. I found that a tiny flathead screwdriver helped in getting between the body and the covering and leveraging it up.





After removing the other three exposed screws on the top plate, you can lift it up carefully. You shouldn't need to desolder the hotshoe—just position the top plate so it's out of your way.



Using a small screwdriver, open the ribbon cable lock and slide the ribbon cable out. Then unscrew the three screws holding the green PCB to the camera:



Underneath, you'll see the problematic button.



You'll need to pry the metal part of the button off of its plastic base, carefully. I chose to do this in an area where there was no danger of breaking a PCB trace:



It can be a little tricky to catch the metal rather than the plastic when you're trying to pry it off. But when you catch it just right, it'll pop right off:



Removing that metal cover, you'll see a plastic button and metal contact on top of the plastic base:



Carefully remove them, and then clean them. I just used a q-tip and a little rubbing alcohol. Then I polished them briefly with a microfiber cloth. In an attempt to improve contact, I bent the little legs of the metal "crab" piece down, very slightly.



Be sure to clean off the base of the button as well. In the case of one of my Hexars, I think a few tiny specks of dirt on this base were the cause of the malfunction. This button is clearly not very well designed.





Wipe everything with a microfiber cloth to ensure that everything is 100% dry and clean, then carefully reassemble everything, working backward.

Take the opportunity to use a microfiber cloth on the inside of the viewfinder elements. They can get dusty.

When it comes time to replace the top plate, the aperture and mode dials need to meet up with parts on the green PCB. A good method for me was eyeballing it to get it close, partially closing the top cover, and then carefully turning the dials back and forth until they clicked into their places. I also had to push the hotshoe wires around to keep them from getting caught. You'll know everything is correctly in place when the top cover meets up with the body without any resistance.

That's it! Both of my Hexars have been restored to perfect health. Because that button has such a tiny contact, I wouldn't be surprised if I need to repeat this maintenance step every year or two.

I've also posted a gallery of these images elsewhere. There was once a good Hexar wiki on Silvergrain Labs, but it seems to have disappeared. Until anyone objects, I've posted an archive of that information on Scribd.
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Last edited by bensyverson : 06-17-2011 at 14:23.
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Old 06-17-2011   #2
kzphoto
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Nice. I'm sure this will be of some help to everyone.
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Old 06-17-2011   #3
johannielscom
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Yup, I've done several of 'em like this.

There used to be a pictorial on the SilverGrain wiki showing this as well, but I recently read it was gone and indeed all links to it were dead. I planned on creating my own pictorial but since I do not own a Hexar at the time the project got stuck

Like KZ said, this sure will help some folks out! Kudos!
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Old 06-17-2011   #4
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Thanks, guys! I just edited the post, because I remembered that I posted an archive of the Silvergrain information on Scribd. It recommends replacing the button altogether, but I'm not quite there yet.
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Old 06-21-2011   #5
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I was having the same problem. Thanks a bunch man!
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Old 06-21-2011   #6
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Very much appreciated!

Thank you.
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Old 06-21-2011   #7
Dr Gaspar
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Hey one question, since I'm doing it right now. When you said:

"Using a small screwdriver, open the ribbon cable lock and slide the ribbon cable out. Then unscrew the three screws holding the green PCB to the camera"

I can open the ribbon, pulling it to the right lighty, but then I have to pull up to get the cable out?
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Old 06-22-2011   #8
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Ok, nevermind! I fixed it two hours ago. Again, thank you!

Was kinda hard to lift the metal cover, but after a few minutes... I got it right.
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Old 06-22-2011   #9
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Sorry I missed your post, Dr Gaspar! Glad you got it worked out. That metal cover is definitely the trickiest part!
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Old 06-22-2011   #10
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Nice one. I have done this twice now-- the first time was a horror show, while the second time only took 10 minutes.
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Old 06-22-2011   #11
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Thanks! Currently sans-Hexar but I have a habit of buying them over and over.

Is there a source to buy an entirely new switch if desired?
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Old 10-23-2011   #12
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Here you go frank. Alps SKRNPAE010.

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/...2bCHudIw%3d%3d

http://alps-electric-inc-aei.industr...s-s/skrnpa.htm
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Old 11-04-2011   #13
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Thanks for this.

I just fixed mine and it seems to be working better. Though I think I got a few grey hairs at the moment of popping off the metal clip, it was a successful operation. I bent down the "crab legs" slightly as suggested. Good to go!

Cheers,

DB
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Old 01-09-2012   #14
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I did this again recently, and this time around, I didn't remove the ribbon cable—I just pushed the circuit board aside and held it down with the strap (it wanted to snap back).
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Old 01-09-2012   #15
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It looks like it is better to prise up the metal cover from the side rather than from the front as there is no metal bar beneath where the flat bladed screw driver is inserted.
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Old 01-09-2012   #16
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You can't do it from the side... There are tabs at the front and rear, and one of those tabs needs to be disengaged.
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Old 01-09-2012   #17
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You can only rotate the flat blade so far before meeting the bottom bar of the tab, but I suppose it's best to get started there. I suspect I'll end up having to do this eventually.
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Old 01-12-2012   #18
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hi guys

I fixed my Hexar myself today. As expected I did damage something :'( but apparently not that serious.

One of the legs of the cable ribbon holder got broken while removing, but when placing it back it seemed to still really lock the cable tightly.

I hope this will stay this way, though it took me quite some force to get the cable lock in the socket, so I would be very surprised if it would easily fall out.
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Old 01-12-2012   #19
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I did the same thing--just the lower portion of one of the legs. It went back on secure, the same as yours. I've seen no ill effects--works fine. I've been using the camera for a couple of months since the fix.
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Old 01-12-2012   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogbunny View Post
I did the same thing--just the lower portion of one of the legs. It went back on secure, the same as yours. I've seen no ill effects--works fine. I've been using the camera for a couple of months since the fix.
thank god!
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Old 01-15-2012   #21
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Hey guys

anybody had done this and still, at the end of their first next roll of film, experienced a shutter issue?

I did the step by step cleaning and it all seemed to work out well. But today during the last 10 shots of the current and first roll after cleaning, I noticed the shutter not firing all the time. When I press really hard it would fire.

Should I go through the process again?
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Old 01-15-2012   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaimiepeeters View Post
Hey guys

anybody had done this and still, at the end of their first next roll of film, experienced a shutter issue?

I did the step by step cleaning and it all seemed to work out well. But today during the last 10 shots of the current and first roll after cleaning, I noticed the shutter not firing all the time. When I press really hard it would fire.

Should I go through the process again?
Yes. I had to do mine three times before the fix "took". Each time I did it, I thought everything looked immaculate. I didn't do anything differently each time I repeated either. It's been almost a year now with no shutter problems.
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Old 01-15-2012   #23
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OK!

is there anything that you might have overlooked the first time. In a sense of not having cleaned something well enough, not having made sure something made contact? Just trying to figure out what to do to make it perfect.

I dont mind having to do it 3 times, if that makes it successful.
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Old 01-15-2012   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaimiepeeters View Post
OK!

is there anything that you might have overlooked the first time. In a sense of not having cleaned something well enough, not having made sure something made contact? Just trying to figure out what to do to make it perfect.

I dont mind having to do it 3 times, if that makes it successful.
I guess it just took three cleanings - next time, I'll just clean for longer or repeat a few times before I reassemble. I think maybe the base wasn't getting cleaned very well because I used just a little cleaning solution on the Q-tip each time since I didn't want to get anything wet into the camera. The crabby think I actually soaked in cleaning solution so I'm pretty sure that was clean from the first time.
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Old 01-15-2012   #25
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Noted.. will redo the entire process as soon as I can get my hands on a tiny screwdriver again.
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Old 01-23-2012   #26
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thanks for posting this. just finished cleaning mine and it is working perfectly now.
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Old 01-28-2012   #27
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I just fixed mine using this procedure. Thanks.

There was a brownish film of oxidation or crud on the contact pads of the switch. A q-tip swabbed the center(ish) ones clean but it wouldn't reach into the two corners where the other two pad were. I stuck a tiny precision slotted screwdriver into the wet q-tip and twisted to get some cotton floss wrapped around the end. Using that, I could reach into the tiny corners better.

It works perfectly now.
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Old 02-07-2012   #28
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thanks a lot for the step by step instructions, just fixed my hexar yesturday and is now working perfectly! I noticed the 'crab' piece was looking super flat so I bent the legs down slighty also, could it be that after 30,000+ shutter clicks that the crab just gets flattened, therefore looses contact?
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Old 02-07-2012   #29
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Yeah, could be!
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Old 02-07-2012   #30
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It's not just that the two-way tactile switch (the 'crab' thing) gets dirty, but it has minute oxidation on it that can cause the shutter to malfunction.

I've always cleaned the switches on the cameras I did with vinegar. Polished them with a soft cloth and vinegar and the problem never re-occured.

Oh, and I used a needle tip to pry the metal switch cover off, the screwdriver approach always got me jumpy since you need leverage and it could either press the screwdriver onto a part of the camera that isn't designed for taking force or in bad cases you could pop off the whole button assembly if the soldering gave way. Using a needle tip sure was fiddly but I felt more assured... Maybe I was worried too much for nothing though.


Happy shooting! <---More Hexar goodies here.


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Old 02-08-2012   #31
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Thank you, Ben. Great info. I've printed it out for future reference.
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Old 02-13-2012   #32
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Just posted in another thread. I did mine once just after getting it and all was fine for, oh 4 months but just recently it started acting funny again. Think it might be the cold and damp getting to it. Done the clean again but haven't tried bending the crab.

Both times I've had mine apart I have left the ribbon connector on and just flopped the pcb over out the way.
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Old 03-10-2012   #33
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awesome, great instructions. I just ran across this page cuz my 2 week old hexar started pooping out today. I popped it open using these instructions and 20 minutes later it's good as new again. thanks!
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Old 04-12-2012   #34
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Followed the instructions and the camera works like new! Thank you for the detailed pictures.
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Old 04-13-2012   #35
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how i wish someone could do the same to the Contax T2...
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Old 06-23-2012   #36
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I am stuck at the ribbon cable step. I can prise the edge component towards the side, but then am I to lift the black plate up with the blade of the screwdriver? Does the clip rotate upwards away from those two metal bars at the front and the back end of the clip???...

Worried I will damage something. I have never opened a cable clip like this before. In the pictures it doesn't look like there is a soldered on black component on the end of the ribbon when it's free.

Help!
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Old 06-23-2012   #37
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Bump. I've looked for ribbon cable removal on Google and cannot find anything with sufficient detail.
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Old 06-23-2012   #38
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I got it. I prised open the little clip of the ribbon cable lock, which sees that move laterally and then freeing space for the ribbon cable to be slid out. I used an opened paperclip to prise the cable out.
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Old 06-23-2012   #39
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Appreciate the detailed info. Thank you.

I've saved this link in case my much-beloved Hexar goes bad some day. Hope I don't have to to perform the surgery too soon.
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Old 06-23-2012   #40
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I am now stuck at the prising the metal cap off stage. I can't see any glue. I doubt anyone would glue it on. The opening in the vertical front of the clip slips over a protrusion in the front face of the plastic platform to keep it on. With the edge of the flat bladed screw-driver I have shaved that flat and flush with the metal surface, but still I cannot move the clip. Following Johann's suggestion I have managed to get a pin between the edge of the top and the plastic platform and I can move it just a little, but it won't move much. I am worried that if I apply to much force with the screw driver I'll lift the clip and the plastic platform clean off its soldered connection to the board. A crochet hook-like micro tool or dental hook might be the thing to prise the clip free a little before lifting if off. I am close to giving up on this. Mine may just be too tight to work on.

I would welcome any suggestions.
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