12 July 2011

Time for repair continued

I have no idea how I managed to dislodge the entire front of my until then waterproof camera. But I had evidently done it! Which rendered the camera not particularly waterproof anymore, but it miraculously still worked. So I wanted to try to fix it.

I had figured I could make brackets that would snugly fit around the camera, and drill holes in these, for nuts and bolts; the bolt to keep the nut in place, and the nut to fit into the hole of the allen key-headed screws that were supposed to keep the plate in place, but didn’t. That way you could tighten the plates together a bit extra with the bolts, and the brackets would not fall off. It sounds straightforward and promising! But it would still be somewhat of a challenge.

I have the same problem here as I had in Amsterdam: I live in the middle of town, and my neighbours wouldn’t really appreciate my hammering away (I figured I’d make the brackets of brass rod, hammered flat at the ends). But there was a tin smelting weekend coming up; nobody would mind some hammering there! So I brought a gas torch, a hammer, pliers, a pigmy vice, a metal saw, brass rod, my dremel, nuts & bolts, a tiny screwdriver and the hapless camera.

The miniature tool one needs for such an exercise: mini-hex key, screwdriver, drill bit, nut and bolt

I found a corner where I could mount the vice, and I set off hammering the heated brass rods flat and bending them into shape. It felt even more like a miniature echo of the real world; the men had a furnace that could melt inch-sized rocks, while I was heating small bit sof brass in the modest flame of a cute little gas torch... Anyway; it went fairly well! Then I should drill the holes. For that one needs electricity. I looked around. And at my continental plug. And then I stopped looking around. I had forgotten the adapter plug! That meant no holes.

The bolts cut to size

Upon arriving home I could wade through the adapter plugs, so work could recommence. And it wasn’t that easy! The brackets have to fit exactly around the camera plus the nuts. And you have to get them in place without breaking the very thin screws. But in the end I managed to just break few enough to get the job done!

The finished product!

The next step was soaking the whole structure in water and seeing if it still worked. And it did! There was some water in the battery compartment, and I have to work on that, but the interim results are promising! I now have one old battered camera for the real grimy trips, and one pristine shiny one for those that are only wet. And I got to faff with small tools again!

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