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09-03-2010, 06:02 AM   #1
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Motor drive A malfunction

I'll keep this short. My motor drive A, which I bought with a SuperA a couple of months ago, have partially stopped working. The shutter buttons on the grip does not work properly, though it sometimes releases the shutter if I shake the camera and grip a bit. The winder motor itself does not work. Sometimes, it sounds like it is straining and the red indicator lights up. Most of the times, however, I can't hear the motor.

I suppose this is a connection problem, but do someone know how I should proceed with this... surgery?

09-04-2010, 07:25 AM   #2
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The drive has probably been sitting unused for years. There can be corrosion in the electrical contacts and dust/dirt in the gears. Good luck taking it apart and please post about your progress with the surgery!
12-10-2010, 04:55 AM   #3
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After a minor cleaning, the drive works again!
I never disassembled it, as the screws simply were too tight, and I was worried about ruining them.

For future reference:
After coming across a note on Photo.net regarding battery connectivity, I checked all contacts. After cleaning with vinegar and scraping dirt away with a screwdriver, it seems dead reliable.
12-10-2010, 12:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by KjetilH Quote
After a minor cleaning, the drive works again!
I never disassembled it, as the screws simply were too tight, and I was worried about ruining them.

For future reference:
After coming across a note on Photo.net regarding battery connectivity, I checked all contacts. After cleaning with vinegar and scraping dirt away with a screwdriver, it seems dead reliable.
Oh, that's great. Everyone remember, battery contacts are *early* in your troubleshooting process.

02-02-2013, 12:37 PM   #5
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I just bought one of these motor drives off the 'Bay, and it arrived with a moderately corroded battery holder. A little baking soda took care of that problem, and I'm now getting 12v out of the battery pack. I've cleaned the two voltage input connections down deep in the body that the battery pack mate to (as well as all other contacts on the unit and the camera itself), but I'm still having similar issues as the OP (occasional shutter button operation, but no film winding). After firing the shutter, the red light on the winder comes on until I manually wind the film, but unlike the OP I'm not hearing any noises whatsoever from the motor. I've tried it on two otherwise perfectly working bodies - a Super Program and a Program Plus.

This unit is in otherwise pristine condition, and I hesitate to pull it apart unless I have no other choice. I just ordered a user manual just in case there are any procedures I'm missing out on. My Nikon FE with MD12 drive for example must be shut off when the drive is attached, otherwise it shuts down the camera, requiring removal of the drive and resetting it by shorting the contacts with a coin.

I'd love to find out that there is a similar magical procedure I could perform on this drive to bring it back to life!
02-02-2013, 12:45 PM   #6
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Hrm, it does sound like the drive is the problem, since it recurs on two bodies, but just for reference, I once encountered a problem on another camera where the plate that held the tripod screw had become backed off such that it actually prevented the winder from seating properly, making intermittent connections at the end where the contacts were. It doesn't seem to be a common problem, but it's easy to check for by just removing the bottom plate and checking the screws that hold the socket plate on are secured.
02-02-2013, 01:26 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Hrm, it does sound like the drive is the problem, since it recurs on two bodies, but just for reference, I once encountered a problem on another camera where the plate that held the tripod screw had become backed off such that it actually prevented the winder from seating properly, making intermittent connections at the end where the contacts were. It doesn't seem to be a common problem, but it's easy to check for by just removing the bottom plate and checking the screws that hold the socket plate on are secured.
Thanks, I'll check that. It does seem to make a pretty tight connection though. It's just so frustrating because this looks absolutely spotless, and the corrosion was minimal. I can't imagine that the corrosion affected the rest of the unit, because they're really two separate components. Makes me wonder if it was put on the shelf because it crapped out. Hope not!
02-04-2013, 10:23 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by vincebodie Quote
Thanks, I'll check that. It does seem to make a pretty tight connection though. It's just so frustrating because this looks absolutely spotless, and the corrosion was minimal. I can't imagine that the corrosion affected the rest of the unit, because they're really two separate components. Makes me wonder if it was put on the shelf because it crapped out. Hope not!
Hrm, starting to wonder if you might not have a case of gummy lubricant in the gearing or electrical motor, could have been caused by heating up of said motor or sitting. I've never had one of those units apart, but that might be the next step. Might want to ask someone who's done it.

02-10-2013, 03:24 PM   #9
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Winder Woes

My winder for my new-to-me MX didn't want to light up the LEDs from the winder release. A little RadioShack contact cleaner on the winder pins and the camera contacts solved the problem BUT despite my efforts to use only a tiny amount on a Q tip it took three days for the winder innards to dry out completely. Everything works perfectly now, but that was a loooong three days! This was despite holding the winder with the pins vertical and pointing down.

The moral of the story is cleaning contacts is a good thing, but squeeze that Qtip out!!!

BTW the "door" to the battery compartment on these winders looks really fragile; it uitlizes a sort of thumb wheel to tighten a screw into the plastic body of the winder. When, not if, but when that screw strips out, has anyone developed a fix, other than duct tape?
02-17-2013, 12:36 PM   #10
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One typical source of those problems (but perhaps not the only one) is, that the MD-A and Winder ME and also the Nikon Winders for the F-series cameras, all have a problem with grounding. If you take scissors, a screwdriver or a nail (anything made of conductive metal) and shorten the contacts across the complete row on top of the winder/motor, they miracously work again properly. I had success with this procedure several times in the long and distant past. May be it cures some problems here as well.

Ben
02-17-2013, 12:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
When, not if, but when that screw strips out, has anyone developed a fix, other than duct tape?
When I started buying all the Pentax stuff ten years ago we could still get replacement battery doors on eBay. I actually stockpiled some and resold them handily (had a OEM replacement shutter release with a remote plug, too).

At that time, anyway, I never read of any other fix than gaffer tape (at least it is black).
02-18-2013, 04:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
When I started buying all the Pentax stuff ten years ago we could still get replacement battery doors on eBay. I actually stockpiled some and resold them handily (had a OEM replacement shutter release with a remote plug, too).

At that time, anyway, I never read of any other fix than gaffer tape (at least it is black).
Gaffer tape always functioned there, in any color.
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