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04-27-2011, 07:34 AM   #1
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Disassembling K20D, moisture removal

When I tried to clean my K20D under running water, I apparent got some water inside: When removing the memory card, it had moisture on it, and the camera did not operate properly any more.

I had had it before in a very dusty desert region, which contains quite aggresive (alkaline) "soil", i.e. in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, a dried out salt lake. That's why I wanted to get the sticky dust off. And that needs water, best with some vinegar in it. But I wasn't careful enough - I guess that the hot and dusty environment damaged the seals (I found the seals covered in dust when I opened it). And I'm 2 months out of warranty. Anyway.

At least, I could get the moisture out by removing the bottom plate and then putting the camera for 1/2h into my oven at lowest hot air setting (50 deg. Celsius). Now the camera appears to work fine again.

While I'm at it, I'd also like to get to the prism to clean the dust out there as well.

I've found a 4-page exploded view of the K20D, but that doesn't explain how I get the top plate off. I've removed all screws I could see on inside and outside, and I can lift the top plate's right side up, but the left side won't budge. Similarly, I can lift the back plate's right end but the left end (where the access door to video and power is) doesn't come apart at all. I feels as if that side is glued to the front plate.

Has someone taken the case part and can give me some hints? Would I have to remove the electronics inside first? So far, I've tried to avoid that, hoping the case comes apart and gives me access to the top without having to remove anything involving the sensor and mirror case.

FYI: I've taken apart cameras 35 years ago already, still have a Miranda Sensomat in my basement. I have all the common tools. What I'm missing are glues and other specific parts, so I am only going as far as I can without needing to glue things back together.

04-27-2011, 10:46 PM   #2
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Bummer! That sounds like a lot of work!

Anyway, here are my experiences dismantling my K200d.

The bottom always has to come out first, and then the front, and then the top/back. The reason for this is that the top is hooked underneath the front shell, and that the front shell has a small screw attaching to the bottom of the chassis. So bottom -> front -> top/back. Also, be sure to remove the screws IN the flash area. None of the shell was glued on, at least for the K200d. YMMV.

Also, I was unable to get to the viewfinder assembly. It's hidden under a pile of ribbon cables and screws and whatnot. I doubt you'll be able to get to the prism without taking a whole bunch of stuff out. Although, now that I think of it, you could probably get to the bottom of it by removing the focusing screen.

Anyway, be very very careful. Keep the battery out when doing any disassembly, and have a very very good method for organizing your screws. You should know all this already, but it bears repeating. BE CAREFUL.

Good luck!
04-27-2011, 11:43 PM   #3
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Watch out for the built-in flash or, more importantly, its capacitor. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks so maybe that's why I've zapped myself three times so far. It hurts - and could be dangerous for those with cardiac problems - and the blister takes about a fortnight to heal!
04-28-2011, 10:15 AM   #4
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Hi there,

Perhaps the K10D service manual can help you to get the top off.
Follow this link:

Cheers, Bert

04-28-2011, 10:47 AM   #5
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When I disassemble a camera, I take close-up shot of the of the screw sitting next to the hole it came out of. Then I can put all the screws in a jar together. On reassembly I look at the shot of the location and pick the right screw. I also disassemble/reassemble the camera over a box with sides that will catch any dropped screw. See my album - K200D repair for examples.
04-28-2011, 11:43 PM   #6
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
After you get it fixed, consider that cleaning a camera by pouring water over it is not the most clever thing to do. Next time, try blowing it off with compressed air, followed by wiping with a damp cloth.
I had tried that. That Salt Lake dust is VERY sticky. And, as I said, it only got water in at a point where the seal was already apparently damaged, probably from heat and a layer of dust. I also found that the seal had moved off its position, it was probably not carefully enough assembled. So, it was about to happen anyway. But yet, in general, a damp cloth is enough.
04-28-2011, 11:52 PM   #7
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
Perhaps the K10D service manual can help you to get the top off.
Thanks for the pointer, that helped. There were screws hidden underneath the grip rubber.

About the disassemly process suggestions: I always go the lazy way, by arranging the removed screws on a sheet in the same pattern where they appeared in the device. Only works up to a certain degree, though, and I better not accidentally kick the table to sheet with them on it, or it'll be a mess.

And a box would be smart indeed, but I always manage to find the dropped screws eventually (which happens quite often, of course), and fortunately most of them are responding to a magnet

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