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06-25-2010, 11:23 PM   #1
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Pentax MX Frame Counter Stuck At Beginning

Just won a beat-up MX from eBay with a bunch of other stuff.

Haven't put through a roll yet. I put in a new battery, and everything seems to be functioning at first glance, except for the film frame counter - it's stuck at the beginning. Winding the advance lever seems to actually move the film mechanism, but the counter just moves a little and immediately returns to the starting position. This issue was mentioned by the seller, so I was expecting it.

Is there a quick fix to this issue? I've attached a couple of photos here. There seems to be a protruding metal bit sticking out of the ledge at the place just below the advance lever. I don't know if this is supposed to happen. Any ideas?

In any case, just a couple of more questions re the MX:
- Is it hard to re-seal the camera? The seals are a bit of a mess
- The back skin was removed. Is there a way to "re-skin" the camera?

Thanks in advance

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06-26-2010, 04:23 AM   #2
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If this is anything like the KX and some others, the back has a small prong built into the top, near the film wind lever, and the body has a corresponding hole. The light seal should have a small gap at that point in the groove where the edge of the back goes into. If the back has been bent slightly at some point, the prong may not go all the way into the hole. The purpose of this mechanism is to reset the counter and then keep it counting as long as the back is closed.

The problem I had with the KX was that at some point the prong would disengage and the counter would stop advancing. You might have a similar problem... If not, then I suspect there's some gumming up of the gearing or some other internal fault.
06-26-2010, 05:17 AM   #3
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The defective film counter is a standard problem with the MX. There is an internal spring in the mechanism that breaks frequently.

But just as Nesster wrote, it could simply be a stuck counter reset prong and I would at least give that a try. You are not alone, one of my own MXes also has this problem. The counter broke just a week after I got the body back from Pentax for servicing…

Ben
06-27-2010, 07:53 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
The defective film counter is a standard problem with the MX. There is an internal spring in the mechanism that breaks frequently.
B_E, I have an MX with this problem, and in fact I'm looking at the spring right now. It isn't broken, but is worn and deformed and won't stay in position. Do you know a source for the part, by any chance?

06-27-2010, 12:44 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sluggo Quote
B_E, I have an MX with this problem, and in fact I'm looking at the spring right now. It isn't broken, but is worn and deformed and won't stay in position. Do you know a source for the part, by any chance?
Unfortunately, your best bet is to find a defective MX and scavange that. Pentax has no parts for the MX available anymore – at leats not over here in Europe. May be Eric Henderson can provide a matching spring. But I also think, that you may get somebody to make a matching spring for you. I can imagine that clockmakers, whoi repair big clocks (not small wristwatches) could easily fabricate a working substitute.

Let us know, how you solve that problem!

Ben
07-01-2010, 04:34 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sluggo Quote
B_E, I have an MX with this problem, and in fact I'm looking at the spring right now. It isn't broken, but is worn and deformed and won't stay in position. Do you know a source for the part, by any chance?
give it a try ...

Pentax Camera Repair

i got my spare for my Pentax *ist 35mm from them.

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07-01-2010, 05:59 AM   #7
iht
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Unfortunately it doesn't sound like a DIY'able project for me...oh well...

Thanks for your replies so far.
01-29-2011, 03:22 PM   #8
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I managed to fix two MXs today: I simply made a new spring. It is not difficult and only two coils are needed. More coils make the spring to strong and then the counter does not go back to zero at theopenimg of the back. If someone is interested I can post a link to a page witn the DIY steps.

Ben

PS. I am new to this forum, will introduce myself in the appropriate section.

01-29-2011, 04:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bengi Quote
I managed to fix two MXs today: I simply made a new spring. It is not difficult and only two coils are needed. More coils make the spring to strong and then the counter does not go back to zero at theopenimg of the back. If someone is interested I can post a link to a page witn the DIY steps.

Ben

PS. I am new to this forum, will introduce myself in the appropriate section.
Welcome Ben - by all means, I'd like to see that link.
01-29-2011, 08:10 PM   #10
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I have similar problem with my Yashica FRI. It's a common thing and it comes from the loss of a cracked washer type ring they used. It's almost impossible to fix unless you're willing to pay a lot so what I do is I use a little plastic counter, like the ones they use for inventory or for some sports, and just click that every time I take a pic with the FRI. They're cheap, like $5 or less mostly.
01-30-2011, 02:19 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
I have similar problem with my Yashica FRI. It's a common thing and it comes from the loss of a cracked washer type ring they used. It's almost impossible to fix unless you're willing to pay a lot so what I do is I use a little plastic counter, like the ones they use for inventory or for some sports, and just click that every time I take a pic with the FRI. They're cheap, like $5 or less mostly.
That's what I like about this place - or at least those that use older bits of kit. Most people nowadays would find little niggles like the ones noted above as a reason to stop using something and disposing of it. We seem unable to tolerate anything that doesn't work perfectly (or just unable to find a way of fixing it)

You guys just find a way to work around the problem and keep using a 'broken' camera.

(it also seems that if you do stop using, you keep the broken camera for the spare parts it can generate, or give away so someone else can benefit)
01-30-2011, 06:33 AM   #12
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By the way, this is my solution which I find more elegant than the chinese plastic counter! ;-)

Pentax MX counter stuck
01-30-2011, 08:03 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bengi Quote
By the way, this is my solution which I find more elegant than the chinese plastic counter! ;-)

Pentax MX counter stuck
Thanks for posting that! I have a couple of questions -

1. Where did you get the spring metal - I imagine there are different grades/strengths?

2. In the text where it says "push lever A toward the counter" do you mean the opposite, "pull lever A away from the counter"? I'm guessing the force of the spring is clockwise based on how it hooks to point D. e.g., is this correct...? Or am I seeing it backwards?


Last edited by Sluggo; 01-30-2011 at 08:08 AM.
01-30-2011, 01:13 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sluggo Quote
Thanks for posting that! I have a couple of questions -

1. Where did you get the spring metal - I imagine there are different grades/strengths?

2. In the text where it says "push lever A toward the counter" do you mean the opposite, "pull lever A away from the counter"? I'm guessing the force of the spring is clockwise based on how it hooks to point D. e.g., is this correct...? Or am I seeing it backwards?

1. I made the spring using a Nikon F2 spring... as you can see it is very hand made!

2. correct: the spring pulls the lever away from the counter, but the lever is an "L" shaped one, and the effect is that the part just below number 18 is pushed towards the counter.

aa soon as I get back to the Mac with the web page I make the correction
01-30-2011, 03:46 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bengi Quote
1. I made the spring using a Nikon F2 spring... as you can see it is very hand made!

2. correct: the spring pulls the lever away from the counter, but the lever is an "L" shaped one, and the effect is that the part just below number 18 is pushed towards the counter.
Ok - I understand now. I have a number of junker bodies lying around, and maybe I can find a suitable spring to modify for this MX.
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