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06-06-2021, 08:24 PM - 6 Likes   #1
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Pentax Q - battery or capacitor- ? Destructive devolution of a "dead" Q10

I recently bought a Q10 , advertised as "won't power on", along with an 02 zoom and 3 batteries, charger, etc.

Why- curiosity about why some Qs (maybe many or perhaps only a few) seem to suffer from clock setting failure syndrome and eventually complete "won't start up" failure.

So with a "no cost" body due to the value of the still functioning lens and ancillary stuff received, I decided to disassemble the Q10. It did not take long to realize that this tiny
engineering and construction marvel was not intended to be "repaired". Perhaps the original Q with its metal frame and slightly different construction may be- but that is yet to be determined but a similar original Q body is next in line!

As mentioned in one of the older threads on a similar repair, the Q10(and likely the Q7 and QS1) are constructed of discrete but compound circuit boards connected by ribbon connectors but also by wired and soldered connections. What this means is that the several boards are not designed for routine repair; given enough time they might or could be repaired- but at a prohibitive cost in time and parts.

The inner assembly fits quite tightly into the plastic body and is held in place by several dozen small screws.

See the layers of component boards and connectors in the accompanying pictures. The ribbon connectors are not substantial and likely cannot be reattached reliably, any wired/soldered joints are also tricky to address- so these were sacrificed to reach even partial disassembly.

The likely source of both clock and start up problems is indeed a battery, looks like a secondary Li button cell, approximately 5mm diameter and 1.2mm thick. It is welded to a bracket and attached to a 4 layer circuit board, buried deep in the body of the camera.

The battery in this camera had failed, evidenced by leakage and subsequent corrosion.

Picture 3 shows the "middle board" in situ from the top; it is the left board in picture 5. Picture 5 also shows the lower side(right in the picture) of the top circuit board from Pictures 2.

The middle board contains the card reader and the the battery on its "under" side, the same board is shown turned over in picture 6.
The physical location of the battery is on the lower left of the circuit board when in the camera; and is then at the center, bottom, middle of the body, just near the tripod screw hole;
it is not accessible until the boards are free and the connections to both separated.

The last two pictures, 7 and 8, are crops showing the mounted battery and corrosion.

It is "possible" that someone could change this battery- IF they could get to it without disrupting the many layers and connections that must be moved/disconnected to physically reach it.

My observation is that the designers never intended for these cameras to be serviced, and what we are seeing is a "normal" failure % of the back up battery in cameras some 8-12 years old.

What to do?
1- Do not let the internal battery go dead, it has a finite number of lifetime cycles, so keep the main batter charged and in place to reduce the cycling of the small battery
2- Use the camera regularly- can't hurt and may help. JMHO

More to follow on disassembly and comparison with this Q10 of the original Q with the same "problem". My son has a white Q bought in the same "non functioning" condition.
Given the knowledge gained in deconstructing this Q10, perhaps the Q will surrender without fatal damage!

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PENTAX Q7  Photo 
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06-06-2021, 08:55 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I'm impressed!

I used to razz my father (a mechanical engineer) about the designed non-repairability of so many products. You'd think this battery could be made much more accessible.
06-07-2021, 12:48 AM   #3
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Can you tear the battery out avoiding a full disassemble? Just need to get it out as a preventative measure. Stop it polluting the other components.
06-07-2021, 01:06 AM   #4
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interessting! Do you think it would be possible to transfer the inner stuff of a Q-S1 in the metal body of a Original Q? From outside it seams, that the screws are in identical place at both bodys.

06-07-2021, 02:17 AM - 1 Like   #5
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The short life of modern electronics has clinging to my manual film cameras like Linus to his security blanket.
06-07-2021, 06:21 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2old4toys Quote
Can you tear the battery out avoiding a full disassemble? Just need to get it out as a preventative measure. Stop it polluting the other components.
Tear it out without disassembly- no.
I believe the battery has to be "live" for the camera to function; I'm pretty sure it has other functions than just the clock.

---------- Post added 06-07-21 at 06:27 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pid Quote
interessting! Do you think it would be possible to transfer the inner stuff of a Q-S1 in the metal body of a Original Q? From outside it seams, that the screws are in identical place at both bodys.
No, I believe the inner body is somewhat different, the plastic and metal bodies do not come apart the same way.
Some of the screws are in different spots between the Q and the Q10; but I have not disassembled a Q-S1, so this is just opinion.

---------- Post added 06-07-21 at 06:30 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
The short life of modern electronics has clinging to my manual film cameras like Linus to his security blanket.
For sure!
But when the modern digital camera masterpiece works, what a magnificent image machine!

Last edited by DonV; 06-07-2021 at 06:31 AM.
06-07-2021, 12:46 PM   #7
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The battery even seems to be spot-welded to the battery holder. So replacing also needs soldering.
Strange, a camera with a designed lifespan of some 5 to 7 years (the lifetime of a button battery).

There should be a law that would forbid this kind of designed lifespan combined with non-reparebility (ehhh is that even a correct english word )
.

06-07-2021, 06:50 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sakura Quote
The battery even seems to be spot-welded to the battery holder. So replacing also needs soldering.
Strange, a camera with a designed lifespan of some 5 to 7 years (the lifetime of a button battery).

There should be a law that would forbid this kind of designed lifespan combined with non-reparebility (ehhh is that even a correct english word
.
Yes, the battery is spot welded to the bracket, which is then attached to the board; there must be another contact under the battery also- maybe just a friction connection.
Soldering would not be a good substitute, as it would transfer too much heat to the very small battery; the spot weld is "quick" and does not generate damaging heat.
Battery pack rebuilders have the spot-weld device and could do such a job, IF one could get to the battery in the first place to remove it.


"Non-repairability" is a good compound word; I agree such a design should be avoided!
06-07-2021, 11:15 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DonV Quote
I recently bought a Q10 , advertised as "won't power on", along with an 02 zoom and 3 batteries, charger, etc.

Why- curiosity about why some Qs (maybe many or perhaps only a few) seem to suffer from clock setting failure syndrome and eventually complete "won't start up" failure.

So with a "no cost" body due to the value of the still functioning lens and ancillary stuff received, I decided to disassemble the Q10. It did not take long to realize that this tiny
engineering and construction marvel was not intended to be "repaired". Perhaps the original Q with its metal frame and slightly different construction may be- but that is yet to be determined but a similar original Q body is next in line!

As mentioned in one of the older threads on a similar repair, the Q10(and likely the Q7 and QS1) are constructed of discrete but compound circuit boards connected by ribbon connectors but also by wired and soldered connections. What this means is that the several boards are not designed for routine repair; given enough time they might or could be repaired- but at a prohibitive cost in time and parts.

The inner assembly fits quite tightly into the plastic body and is held in place by several dozen small screws.

See the layers of component boards and connectors in the accompanying pictures. The ribbon connectors are not substantial and likely cannot be reattached reliably, any wired/soldered joints are also tricky to address- so these were sacrificed to reach even partial disassembly.

The likely source of both clock and start up problems is indeed a battery, looks like a secondary Li button cell, approximately 5mm diameter and 1.2mm thick. It is welded to a bracket and attached to a 4 layer circuit board, buried deep in the body of the camera.

The battery in this camera had failed, evidenced by leakage and subsequent corrosion.

Picture 3 shows the "middle board" in situ from the top; it is the left board in picture 5. Picture 5 also shows the lower side(right in the picture) of the top circuit board from Pictures 2.

The middle board contains the card reader and the the battery on its "under" side, the same board is shown turned over in picture 6.
The physical location of the battery is on the lower left of the circuit board when in the camera; and is then at the center, bottom, middle of the body, just near the tripod screw hole;
it is not accessible until the boards are free and the connections to both separated.

The last two pictures, 7 and 8, are crops showing the mounted battery and corrosion.

It is "possible" that someone could change this battery- IF they could get to it without disrupting the many layers and connections that must be moved/disconnected to physically reach it.

My observation is that the designers never intended for these cameras to be serviced, and what we are seeing is a "normal" failure % of the back up battery in cameras some 8-12 years old.

What to do?
1- Do not let the internal battery go dead, it has a finite number of lifetime cycles, so keep the main batter charged and in place to reduce the cycling of the small battery
2- Use the camera regularly- can't hurt and may help. JMHO

More to follow on disassembly and comparison with this Q10 of the original Q with the same "problem". My son has a white Q bought in the same "non functioning" condition.
Given the knowledge gained in deconstructing this Q10, perhaps the Q will surrender without fatal damage!
Thanks for this tear down report. Amazing info. Can you tell if the battery is rechargeable?

Another question since the camera is in pieces. Do you see any way to remove the shield/filter assembly in front of the sensor? Some are cutting the filter out for infrared photography. It would be great for this and more clearance for adapted lenses if the shield could be removed thru the camera mount.

Thanks,
barondla
06-08-2021, 12:56 AM   #10
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Thank you for your research. Do you think it is 3V li battery cell?

The main problem would be to weld the metal bracket with new cell but it is possible to buy the set - cell with bracket welded. Example: cell with similar sizes: https://pl.farnell.com/seiko-instruments/ms412fe-fl26e/rechargeable-battery-...mah/dp/3534573 (sorry, I have found it in the Polish shop (language) - here it is possible to choose cell sizes; but the model is MS412FE FL26E and this model I found on the ebay also). The lower pin is connected differently but maybe it would be possible to bend it and solder it to the board.

So can you determine the voltage of the cell? Is it 3V?
06-08-2021, 06:49 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bladawiec Quote
Thank you for your research. Do you think it is 3V li battery cell?

The main problem would be to weld the metal bracket with new cell but it is possible to buy the set - cell with bracket welded. Example: cell with similar sizes: https://pl.farnell.com/seiko-instruments/ms412fe-fl26e/rechargeable-battery-...mah/dp/3534573 (sorry, I have found it in the Polish shop (language) - here it is possible to choose cell sizes; but the model is MS412FE FL26E and this model I found on the ebay also). The lower pin is connected differently but maybe it would be possible to bend it and solder it to the board.

So can you determine the voltage of the cell? Is it 3V?
Yes,
approximately 3 volts is the LI cell potential; it is a single cell.
I cannot see the markings for a number, they are obscured by the bracket.

MS412FE FL26E would appear to be adaptable if close in physical size.

Good work on finding a similar battery and source for it.
06-08-2021, 11:27 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DonV Quote
Yes,
approximately 3 volts is the LI cell potential; it is a single cell.
I cannot see the markings for a number, they are obscured by the bracket.

MS412FE FL26E would appear to be adaptable if close in physical size.

Good work on finding a similar battery and source for it.
You could break the bracket of the battery, it is totally disassembled anyway
06-08-2021, 12:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sakura Quote
You could break the bracket of the battery, it is totally disassembled anyway
I could break the bracket, but I suspect the markings on the cell are obliterated when it is attached.

The cell mentioned above would no doubt work, if you could attach it to the board - assuming no connections were damaged in disassembly/assembly.
06-09-2021, 11:18 PM   #14
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I wouldn’t mind doing a 1 off surgical operation to replace the old lithium button cell with a capacitor instead.
06-10-2021, 07:58 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
The short life of modern electronics has clinging to my manual film cameras like Linus to his security blanket.
When my Mother (RIP) first started talking about digital photography - around 2005 - I sent some Kodachrome 25 {even then no longer available} slides to a pro to have them scanned. A careful examination of the scans, compared to the original slides {then proclaimed as the finest grain film available} convinced me that I could do better once I could afford a 6mp digital camera. Once I got a K-30, I mounted on it the Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7 lens used to take those slides and got even better detail than I had ever gotten with Kodachrome …. the lens had not been the weak link. Yes, I still have the “Super Program” used to take those slides - but now I have an eight-element Takumar 50mm f/1.4 mounted on it - but hardly ever use it. I do such better photography with my KP these days ….. even my Q-7 is usually better.
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