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08-18-2014, 05:18 PM   #1
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K-30: Any idea why an internal motor is whirring constantly at startup?

Hello,

My beloved K-30 is acting up and I am afraid it is shot. At startup, some internal motor is whirring constantly and wont stop. I don't think it is the focus motor since it happens even without any lens on. The back LCD is blank grey so something is wrong with that too. Oddly enough, I am able to take pics and focus with it in spite of the loud whirring. Is it the dust cleaning motor? I can't access the menu to turn off the dust cleaning since the back LCD isn't working.

Are there any basic troubleshooting steps I can try?

About 8 days ago, the camera got splashed at the pool. It started acting up so I left it alone for days letting it dry. It seems all dry now but this issue won't go away.

I am so bummed since I just bought new Pentax lenses to add to my collection! That also means I can't afford to buy a new DSLR!

The camera was purchases last June so it is just outside the warranty. Is the weather seal only valid for a short period? I took it to the pool last year and it did fine.

Thanks for any tips!

08-18-2014, 05:21 PM   #2
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The dust removal is just a brief clunk, so it sounds like something's wrong with the camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by bjelde Quote
Is the weather seal only valid for a short period?
Weather sealing is not the same as waterproofing, nor is water damage covered by the warranty. It sounds like the splash may have damaged the camera's electronics.

Given the current $396 low price of the K-50, it would probably be the most economical for you seek a replacement rather than trying to having it repaired, especially if the LCD is also dead.

Adam
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08-18-2014, 05:31 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjelde Quote
Hello,

My beloved K-30 is acting up and I am afraid it is shot. At startup, some internal motor is whirring constantly and wont stop. I don't think it is the focus motor since it happens even without any lens on. The back LCD is blank grey so something is wrong with that too. Oddly enough, I am able to take pics and focus with it in spite of the loud whirring. Is it the dust cleaning motor? I can't access the menu to turn off the dust cleaning since the back LCD isn't working.

Are there any basic troubleshooting steps I can try?

About 8 days ago, the camera got splashed at the pool. It started acting up so I left it alone for days letting it dry. It seems all dry now but this issue won't go away.

I am so bummed since I just bought new Pentax lenses to add to my collection! That also means I can't afford to buy a new DSLR!

The camera was purchases last June so it is just outside the warranty. Is the weather seal only valid for a short period? I took it to the pool last year and it did fine.

Thanks for any tips!
Several instances of aperture motor failure with the K30 have been reported, but this is probably not your problem. If your K30 died because of that splash at the pool, you should know that the Pentax warranty would not have covered water damage in any case.
08-18-2014, 05:43 PM   #4
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Thank you so much for the quick reply DominicVII and Adam. I do remember the sound of the dust sensor's clunk. If it is not that, then I wonder what other motor could be constantly whirring.

Are there any repair guides that can help me understand what motors are inside and maybe tips on how to troubleshoot by taking it apart? Might as well try that before buying a new one!

08-18-2014, 05:50 PM   #5
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Take the lens off and try to auto focus. If it is the screw drive focus motor turning, you will see the little screw drive tip at about 5 o'clock what you look at the lens mount.

Also try to activate the depth of field preview around the shutter button to see if the aperture arm moves.

Regards

Chris
08-18-2014, 05:51 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by seventhdr Quote
Take the lens off and try to auto focus. If it is the screw drive focus motor turning, you will see the little screw drive tip at about 5 o'clock what you look at the lens mount.

Also try to activate the depth of field preview around the shutter button to see if the aperture arm moves.

Regards

Chris
Chris thanks so much for the specific tips! I will try them right away and report back.
08-18-2014, 05:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjelde Quote
Thank you so much for the quick reply DominicVII and Adam. I do remember the sound of the dust sensor's clunk. If it is not that, then I wonder what other motor could be constantly whirring.

Are there any repair guides that can help me understand what motors are inside and maybe tips on how to troubleshoot by taking it apart? Might as well try that before buying a new one!
Maybe you should try to take few pictures and make some movies without a lens attached to the camera so as to give yourself at least a vague idea of what could be going on inside that machine. Perhaps filming the events inside your camera and posting the video here could prove helpful in terms of determining what the problem might be. If it's corrosion, then there is obviously very little to be done.
08-18-2014, 06:19 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by seventhdr Quote
Take the lens off and try to auto focus. If it is the screw drive focus motor turning, you will see the little screw drive tip at about 5 o'clock what you look at the lens mount.

Also try to activate the depth of field preview around the shutter button to see if the aperture arm moves.

Regards

Chris
The screw drive tip at 5 o'clock is turning and is turning fast! So it is the "screw drive focus motor" that keeps turning? Not sure what that does but I am able to auto focus just like usual even though it keeps whirring.

Does this new revelation suggest any troubleshooting next steps I can try?

Thanks!

---------- Post added 08-18-14 at 06:21 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DominicVII Quote
Maybe you should try to take few pictures and make some movies without a lens attached to the camera so as to give yourself at least a vague idea of what could be going on inside that machine. Perhaps filming the events inside your camera and posting the video here could prove helpful in terms of determining what the problem might be. If it's corrosion, then there is obviously very little to be done.
That is a good idea. I will try to make a video.

Without the lens, there is only one moving part that I can see. It is the focus motor's screw tip. I can't seem to get any other parts to move. I don't know what the aperture arm is but I tried pushing all the buttons! Am sure people might recognize the whirring sound in a video too.

08-18-2014, 07:19 PM   #9
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What happens if you turn off AF?

It might help to dry the camera out further. If you have some dessicant bags (silica gel), put them in a sealable container larger enough hold the camera for a few more days. If you don't have any silica gel uncooked rice will work. You can put the rice in some socks or something and wrap the camera in a pillow case. You may want to leave the SD card door open or something so any moisture can be drawn out.

Unfortunately swimming pool water has plenty of chemicals in it that can leave residue on electrical contacts.
08-18-2014, 09:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
What happens if you turn off AF?

It might help to dry the camera out further. If you have some dessicant bags (silica gel), put them in a sealable container larger enough hold the camera for a few more days. If you don't have any silica gel uncooked rice will work. You can put the rice in some socks or something and wrap the camera in a pillow case. You may want to leave the SD card door open or something so any moisture can be drawn out.

Unfortunately swimming pool water has plenty of chemicals in it that can leave residue on electrical contacts.
Turning off AF doesn't make a difference. The motor keeps running. Didnt realize it could still need to dry after 8 days. Gives me some hope. Thanks!
08-18-2014, 11:52 PM   #11
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If you are able to auto focus that is odd if the the drive is turning continuously.

I suppose it has a clutch that slips when you hit the end of the lens travel as a normal focus to infinity normally does, it can't stall that would burn the motor out?

What happens if you put your finger in the spinning drive ! Does it stop?

If is continuously spinning it should turn the focus to one side of the travel then stick there ; it all sounds very odd.

Last edited by adwb; 08-19-2014 at 12:58 AM.
08-19-2014, 02:20 PM   #12
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Hello, I can't stop the spinning screw of the focus motor! It is sawing through my nails!

Thanks for taking the time to chime in.
08-27-2014, 08:40 PM   #13
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If you declare the camera junk and can take major panels off the camera I know someone who once fixed a laptop that had been rained on by just taking it apart and blasting everything off with electronics cleaner (no battery installed) to wash off the stuff left by the water that was bridging contacts and circuits. Not to say something didn't get fried when it got wet. Also there are a number of parts that wouldn't like electronics cleaner like the sensor for example.

Its odd that just getting splashed created an issue at all, even with a non WR lens usually the water can't get inside far so if you immediately tip the camera nose down and get the lens off you avoid issues (at least to the camera).
This scenario is the sole reason I still have the 18-55WR kit lens btw.

It does make sense that water intrusion from a non WR lens seal would effect the AF since its right up front. The only panel that comes off those things easy is the bottom one, you could pop it off to see if you can see far enough up the front inside to determine anything.
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