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03-25-2023, 09:39 AM - 3 Likes   #1
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Repair of solenoid issue K-30 K-50 K-70 K-S1 K-S2 in the US

I posted this in the K30 and K50 forum but the moderator suggested I post it here.

Hi All

I have just received back my K-30 after having its solenoid replaced and it is working great. For all of you who, like me, are not DIYer's, I want to pass on and recommend someone in the US who can replace the solenoid. You will need to have a donor camera or the replacement solenoid. I sent him a K-X. Let him keep the 2nd solenoid.

Eric Wethington <penk20d@gmail.com>

He can either do filing method for $50 or replacement method (as long as donor solenoid is provided) for $75 plus return shipping. I know the filing method is frowned on here but he has had good luck with it.


He was great to work with. Straight forward with excellent communication and pictures of the work in progress. Let him know you were referred here. With the shipping both was the total for me was $109.

My local camera shop wouldn't even look at it.

03-25-2023, 11:39 AM   #2
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Does Eric Wethington give that livelong warranty which one gets by PC35 Photolab in Yachats, Oregon?

I am asking because we have heard of cases were the filing jobs of PC35 Photolab went wrong.

I know of several cases were the filing job went wrong and thus prefer either etching or better drilling a 1,5mm hole into the plunger and fill it with epoxy.

But this involves more work of course and the use of a precision drilling machine in a really good stand.

The prices are of course very good, but is this a registered business?
PC35 Photolab is and this makes a service more expensive of course, also because warranty has to be given by law.


I am not going into a discussion about filing or not filing, all was said here:
Why you shouldn't file/sand the China solenoid + Avoid Lenovo Solenoids - PentaxForums.com

Is the price for swapping solenoids higher because of the work involved disassembling a donor body?
If so, gaining an extra solenoid would be more than a valuable compensation.

But just swapping solenoids is even less work than filing/sanding/grinding!
Not so if you etche or drill a hole and fill it of course.
03-25-2023, 03:25 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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Hi

I have never heard of PC35 labs in Oregon. Every time I asked the forum if anyone knew someone in the US that would replace the solenoid I got no response. Had I known I would have reached out to them. It is good to know there is another company willing to do this. I live in the SF bay area and There are no digital camera repair shops willing to do this that I am aware of. So I was thrilled when I found Eric who was experienced in fixing our problem.


So Eric seems good, trustworthy and easy to work with but it is not a full time business. He has had luck with filing the solenoid but will also replace them, which is what I had done. Folks on the forum can make up their own mind on which is best for them. As I stated, I am aware that there are issues with filing, and is why I went the replacement route, but others can decide for themselves. As for guaranties, I suggest interested parties reach out to him directly. I never asked.

Finally, his cost seemed reasonable to me as I had him remove it from a donor body. Check with him if you already have the solenoid. I gave him the extra solenoid to reward him for his effort. I am sure he would have returned it if I wanted it. Pay it forward is what I always say.
03-25-2023, 10:32 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by StigVidar Quote
Serial number 618XXXX and repaired once by Pentax and once by me. Pentax filed down the solenoid. I have replaced it with a white one.
You see, even Pentax filed the solenoid and it wouldn't last.
The problem with filing/etching and even drilling a hole into the plunger and filling it with epoxy:
It won't change this very problem linked to "magnetic remanence" and "coercivity"!

This is why even the more advanced methods of modifying the plunger won't last.

There is a balance of how much material you file off so the holding force doesn't get too weak
or filing more off which would counteract with the magnetism but lead to other problems.


Here you can see the work PC35 Photolab does:
Solenoid problem return plus sound - Page 2 - PentaxForums.com

Even with this hefty modification/filing it went wrong again.

One has to study this thread carefully, because other problems later on arrived:
The TO had used butansoldering when unsoldering the modified solenoid by PC35-Lab which of course is a no-go.
All the sudden due to this new problems.
I have tried all sorts of modifications, believe me... and I have the tools to do so.


The main problem arrives if the complex mechanism linked with the solenoid goes out of alignement.
Then one has to disassemble almost the complete camera, about 8 hours including reassembling and adjusting!

I have done it with the K-S2 and the K30 and I don't wish this kind of work on anybody

Nevertheless, $ 50 plus shippingcosts are very cheap and if it lasts for a while, an option!

That I'd prefer the solenoid swap against the Japan solenoid is logical.
Maybe I wouldn't invest this into a K30/50/500 with a very high shuttercount,
but I just purchased a K50 for a friend with low shuttercount and stuck solenoid, it will receive a Japan solenoid
and I am sure it will last for years and years.

Not to forget: With the Japansolenoid those Pentax DSLR's fire that tiny bit faster!


Last edited by photogem; 03-26-2023 at 04:35 AM.
03-26-2023, 09:03 AM   #5
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Thanks Photogem and I think we are in agreement. I wouldn't want to file the solenoid either which is why I did the swap but it is good to know there are options if another solenoid is not easily available. If others find this thread they can investigate based on the info you have given us. I think most on this forum would choose the swap Eric provides both options. I am not endorsing one or the other.

My k-30 did not have a high shutter count and probably fixing it was not cost effective but I hated the idea of tossing it. Next I would love to find a way to fix the stuck shutter in my K-01.
04-12-2023, 04:16 AM   #6
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Does PC35 Camera use the filing method? I'm trying to decide whether to send my K-50 off to them or just sell it for whatever I can get and look for a replacement. I haven't gotten warm fuzzies from reading about repairs using filing.

Harry
04-12-2023, 07:25 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by harryb Quote
Does PC35 Camera use the filing method? I'm trying to decide whether to send my K-50 off to them or just sell it for whatever I can get and look for a replacement. I haven't gotten warm fuzzies from reading about repairs using filing.

Harry
I don't know about PC35 but Eric listed here will do either but you need a replacement. Check in with him. He may have the the one I left him available. And so far the repair is working :-)

04-13-2023, 12:15 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by harryb Quote
Does PC35 Camera use the filing method? I'm trying to decide whether to send my K-50 off to them or just sell it for whatever I can get and look for a replacement. I haven't gotten warm fuzzies from reading about repairs using filing.
They do a very heavy modified filing method.
It has failed but they give a life-long warranty I have heard so it seems not a bad idea if one can't apply DIY
04-13-2023, 12:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by photogem Quote
They do a very heavy modified filing method.
It has failed but they give a life-long warranty I have heard so it seems not a bad idea if one can't apply DIY
I just don't think I could do the DIY. I've watched the video and read what I could, and I think my eyes just aren't good enough to do the close-up work. I'm really torn on what to do - I'm just a casual photographer, but I do enjoy using my camera. I just can't justify spending $500 and up on a new camera any time soon. So right now gambling on the repair seems like my best option.

Harry
04-13-2023, 01:41 PM   #10
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Eric will replace. Just need to get a solenoid Some was selling one on this on this forum recently.
04-13-2023, 06:46 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimmm18 Quote
Eric will replace. Just need to get a solenoid Some was selling one on this on this forum recently.
I think of course if @harryb will get a white DSLR solenoid and then gets it repaired with Eric this is the better/best option.
04-14-2023, 05:08 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by photogem Quote
I think of course if @harryb will get a white DSLR solenoid and then gets it repaired with Eric this is the better/best option.
I've just emailed Mr. Wethington, I'll let you know how it goes. Now to start looking for a white solenoid.

Harry
06-16-2023, 02:22 PM - 1 Like   #13
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I just finished with @harryb camera, and am going thru some QC tests. It took longer than I like (right about 6 weeks) due to work commitments.

Typical turn around time for filing method is 1 week, for solenoid replacement I try to keep it in the 3-4 week time (unless something happens - see a new post by me re:K-S1 repair)

I do this as a hobby, so no this is not an "official business", and I do give 60 days warranty on any repair I have done (either filing or replacement)

In the almost 5 years and 60+ cameras (given both methods) I have had 0 issues (again see a new post Re:K-S1)
09-22-2023, 08:40 AM   #14
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Where can you buy them??
I see some green ones listed on e-bay but they only state
Digital Camera Vulnerable Coil Aperture Magnet Coupler For Pentax Camera K30 K50
are these compatible with the K-70?
09-23-2023, 01:44 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by sheridangis Quote
Where can you buy them??
I see some green ones listed on e-bay but they only state
Digital Camera Vulnerable Coil Aperture Magnet Coupler For Pentax Camera K30 K50
are these compatible with the K-70?
No, they are not compatible:



You need the white Japan DSLR Solenoid.

Or having it filed but 6 weeks warranty isn't enough.
California PC35 Photo Labs does the filing and they give 1 year official warranty but unofficial lifelong!
Very often filed/sanded/etched solenoids fail again, usually after 1 year and longer. But often they also fail earlier.

These days you also find a lot of blue solenoids on ebay.
They have only 15 ohms impedance!


One would have to be very ignorant installing one of those!
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