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11-05-2020, 10:53 AM - 11 Likes   #1
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Pentax K-1 Disassembly: incomplete and dangerous

Warning: This is an unofficial and incomplete disassembly that I did a year or so ago because no one would repair my salt water corroded camera and I figured I might as well try. Use at your own risk.


A few checklists first:
- Make sure you have a tray to keep track of all your screws.
- Even if you don't damage any electronic components during the disassembly/reassembly process you should assume that the weather sealing that came with the body is completely busted.
- Plumbers tape is necessary to tighten screws (some places call it thread seal tape).
- Disassembling the body completely requires a soldering/desoldering kit. Make sure you familiarize yourself with these tools, and even with these tools, you will very likely destroy some of the functional modules of the top plate (GPS, microphones, speaker.
- The SR system is calibrated during manufacturing. Messing with the logic board in any way shape or form is likely going to cause focus and SR issues even if no components are damaged.
- Remove lens and battery, put on lens cap before working.

Basic instructions:
1. Remove all bottom plate screws. This includes the screw next to the shutter release cable port and two hidden in the battery compartment.
2. Remove bottom plate.
3. Remove all top plate screws. This includes the screw above the lock graphic button near the "RAW/Fx1 button", the two on the left and right of the viewfinder, and also another screw hidden under the leather thumb guard below the AF / AE-L buttons.
4. Remove all back plate screws. There is one hidden under the shutter release cable rubber.
5. Lift the top plate at most 1 inch away from the body. You will see a ribbon cable attached to the top side of the main body, and some loose wires attached to the back side of the main body. Tilt the top plate away from the shutter button side and towards the PASM dial.
6. Detach the ribbon cable carefully.
7. While holding the top plate near the body to prevent the loose wires ripping, slowly tilt the camera body so it rests on the lens mount. [The backplate is rickety during this step, so be careful about how you handle the main body]
8. Rest the top plate against a surface to prevent any tension on the loose wires.
9. Wiggle the back plate loose and lift it up at most half an inch. You will see two ribbon cables attached to the main logic board.
10. Tilt the back plate away from the viewfinder and towards the tripod screw thread. Detach the two ribbon cables. The back plate can now be disconnected safely and the main logic board can now be accessed.
11. From the perspective where the viewfinder is at center top, detach all ribbons at the top left of the logic board and desolder all loose wires. The top plate can now be safely removed.
12. Detach all remaining ribbons and desolder all remaining loose wires. The logic board can now be unscrewed from the main body. [Warning: I was able to access the corroded areas of my camera at this point already so I stopped here. From an assembly design standpoint it is unlikely that there will be ribbons or wiring on the other side of the logic board, but you should remove very carefully just in case.]

Unless there are very specific components you wish to access, I don't recommend removing the front plate as it is not very crucial to accessing the main components. If you really wish to do so, there is a small screw on the bottom side you need to remove after step 10. Rest the body on its bottom side after removing the screw, and then slowly wiggle the front plate loose.

- Technically speaking, you can also unscrew all of the individual modules of the top plate during steps 7-9 to detach the top plate, but you will have a lot of small components hanging loose and the reassembly of the top plate is extremely tricky. The disassembly of the components is difficult because many of the component wires are interwoven. NOT Recommended.

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11-05-2020, 11:03 AM - 7 Likes   #2
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It's disgraceful how much they charge for cameras, isn't it.... .... ?

11-05-2020, 11:10 AM   #3
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Now my eyes hurt.

Please tell us you repaired it.

The salt corrosion is evident on the metalwork. I wonder if cleaning it all out, especially on the PCB's and connectors would help at all.
11-05-2020, 11:13 AM   #4
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Thanks for sharing this! But the big question did you fix it? How did you remove the corrosion?

11-05-2020, 11:14 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Thank you for sharing.
Some info about disassembly is here as well
How Pentax K-1 is upgraded to K-1 Mark II | YURA photography
11-05-2020, 11:19 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Original Poster
I brushed the corroded areas with shellac thinner (basically pure alcohol with a tiny bit of nasty stuff so people don't drink it) and put it back together. Didn't work.

The screen and system were generally responsive, it was only during photo capture that the camera would freeze. Live view also showed significant artifacting and banding coming off the sensor.
11-05-2020, 12:08 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
It's disgraceful how much they charge for cameras, isn't it.... .... ?

I was just thinking the opposite, seeing all the hand soldered wiring. It really is a wonder how they could stuff so much in such a small packet and how much handiwork i think it will take (considering my own years long experience of repairing a lot of different equipment at a component level ).

But as already said, it really really hurts to see such a lovely piece of equipment in such a condition

Last edited by Sakura; 11-05-2020 at 12:14 PM.
11-05-2020, 12:13 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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Note to self, never buy a used K1 from someasiancameraguy.

Salt water is horrible when it comes to electronics, amazing how little it takes and how fast it will start causing problems.

Sounds like you had nothing to lose trying to fix it yourself but you can see why a repair facility will not want to waste time.

11-05-2020, 12:31 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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@KiloHotelPhoto. I think should feel sorry for @someasiancameraguy, after all he outed himself. This is really interesting to see how much stuff is in these machines.
@someasiancameraguy thanks much for sharing.
11-05-2020, 01:22 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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Sorry for the loss of your camera! But my observation is that all of this business about cameras being "too big"....I wouldn't want it any smaller! I remember having to fix an E-Mac (i think it was called...) for my daughter years ago---it infuriated me how tight everything was. I love me my PC full size towers---soooooo much space inside.
11-05-2020, 02:05 PM   #11
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i've worked on electronics off and on since i took 2 years of radio and tv repair in high school. initially learned on tubes and transistors you could actually see. we called them ash cans but i have no idea why. they were starting to transition to solid state in the late 60's i graduated in 1970. i can't believe all the stuff inside such a small space and have no desire to attempt this. kudos to someasiancameraguy for taking a crack at this.
11-05-2020, 02:06 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Disassembly is the easy part. Putting it back together using all parts is another story...
11-05-2020, 03:28 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by someasiancameraguy Quote
Warning: This is an unofficial and incomplete disassembly that I did a year or so ago because no one would repair my salt water corroded camera and I figured I might as well try. Use at your own risk.


A few checklists first:
- Make sure you have a tray to keep track of all your screws.
- Even if you don't damage any electronic components during the disassembly/reassembly process you should assume that the weather sealing that came with the body is completely busted.
- Plumbers tape is necessary to tighten screws (some places call it thread seal tape).
- Disassembling the body completely requires a soldering/desoldering kit. Make sure you familiarize yourself with these tools, and even with these tools, you will very likely destroy some of the functional modules of the top plate (GPS, microphones, speaker.
- The SR system is calibrated during manufacturing. Messing with the logic board in any way shape or form is likely going to cause focus and SR issues even if no components are damaged.
- Remove lens and battery, put on lens cap before working.

Basic instructions:
1. Remove all bottom plate screws. This includes the screw next to the shutter release cable port and two hidden in the battery compartment.
2. Remove bottom plate.
3. Remove all top plate screws. This includes the screw above the lock graphic button near the "RAW/Fx1 button", the two on the left and right of the viewfinder, and also another screw hidden under the leather thumb guard below the AF / AE-L buttons.
4. Remove all back plate screws. There is one hidden under the shutter release cable rubber.
5. Lift the top plate at most 1 inch away from the body. You will see a ribbon cable attached to the top side of the main body, and some loose wires attached to the back side of the main body. Tilt the top plate away from the shutter button side and towards the PASM dial.
6. Detach the ribbon cable carefully.
7. While holding the top plate near the body to prevent the loose wires ripping, slowly tilt the camera body so it rests on the lens mount. [The backplate is rickety during this step, so be careful about how you handle the main body]
8. Rest the top plate against a surface to prevent any tension on the loose wires.
9. Wiggle the back plate loose and lift it up at most half an inch. You will see two ribbon cables attached to the main logic board.
10. Tilt the back plate away from the viewfinder and towards the tripod screw thread. Detach the two ribbon cables. The back plate can now be disconnected safely and the main logic board can now be accessed.
11. From the perspective where the viewfinder is at center top, detach all ribbons at the top left of the logic board and desolder all loose wires. The top plate can now be safely removed.
12. Detach all remaining ribbons and desolder all remaining loose wires. The logic board can now be unscrewed from the main body. [Warning: I was able to access the corroded areas of my camera at this point already so I stopped here. From an assembly design standpoint it is unlikely that there will be ribbons or wiring on the other side of the logic board, but you should remove very carefully just in case.]

Unless there are very specific components you wish to access, I don't recommend removing the front plate as it is not very crucial to accessing the main components. If you really wish to do so, there is a small screw on the bottom side you need to remove after step 10. Rest the body on its bottom side after removing the screw, and then slowly wiggle the front plate loose.

- Technically speaking, you can also unscrew all of the individual modules of the top plate during steps 7-9 to detach the top plate, but you will have a lot of small components hanging loose and the reassembly of the top plate is extremely tricky. The disassembly of the components is difficult because many of the component wires are interwoven. NOT Recommended.
ow my God.....
What a monster!
Congrats by your work
11-05-2020, 03:56 PM   #14
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I have no intention of ever disassembling my camera, so I'll just sit here and admire all the tech they can cram into one body.
11-05-2020, 05:01 PM   #15
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Without the diagnostic and calibration software and interface cables there's not much you can do the check and adjust SR, shutter and so on.
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