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Old Mar 22, 2004, 7:00 PM   #1
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Default 3 Fried Cards?

I've been studying card problems for days here and elsewhere with little success, though I suppose 3 cards could die within a 2 week period. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

hardware
Nikon 990
Dazzle Card reader
12"Powerbook
Lexar 16Mb, 32Mb, 2x96 mb

Flew to Georgia and back 2 weeks ago, 1 of the 96Mb cards acted flakey on the trip in the form of a frozen camera after about 16 shots at fine resolution. LCD said Err in lower right corner as it froze, had to open up battery hatch to restart camera.

Now that the trip and work is done both 96's and the 16 Mb card are dead. The 16 and one 96 give me the error "Card cannot be used" on the 990, and are not recognized on Mac or Pc. The other 96 Mb card appears OK but won't hold the formatting for more than one pic and also crashes camera.

I've ordered a Sandisk 256 Mb card to hold me till I order the Coolpix 8700 but in the meantime I'm curious as to why I lost 3 cards so quickly. The 96's were bought together so if it's an age thing that makes sense but the 16 Mb that came with the camera also dead at the same time.

What likely happened?
1. Coincidence
2. Cameras going bad
3. New 15 minute smart re-chargables are doing bad things to the camera, the cards or both.
4. Airport X-Rays are getting stronger or possibly the wand thingy is to magnetic

The only card that survived the trip went through the wash 2 years ago, go figure.
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Old Mar 22, 2004, 7:05 PM   #2
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I'd rule out coincidence and airport security and look hard at voltage related scenarios.
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Old Mar 22, 2004, 7:37 PM   #3
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I had that feeling, I've run the 32 Mb card through the paces with old batteries, new ones, even the digi-power and can't re-create the scenerio.

I'd like to try testing the camera myself but i've never looked for schematics for anything other than computers and cars. I'm not sure if I'd be able to get any meaninful info with just a voltmeter or an old osciliscope.
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Old Mar 22, 2004, 7:52 PM   #4
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One simple test to try is to re-boot your camera. Take the batteries out and leave them out long enough for the camera to lose track of the date. You will lose any settings you have saved - it should revert to factory settings.

I wouldn't give real high odds of that solving your problem, but worth trying. For sure something to try before pulling your camera apart.
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Old Mar 22, 2004, 8:44 PM   #5
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Have you tried to reformat the cards in a different camera?
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Old Mar 23, 2004, 9:41 AM   #6
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I've left my old Coolpix with my father, I'll try reformatting this weekend on that camera.

I tried to test the cards with the Lexar app for Macs and it said this one card had no bad sectors, I wish another piece of hardware that accepted compact flash just to test. The other 96 and the 16 don't show up at all and can't be tested the same way.

Bill, I left out the batteries overnight and cleared the memory to find the same thing happening this morning, thanks anyway, I'm still trying all of the least invasive things first.

I'm going to test the voltage of the new smart batteries against the older conventional Nimh and the digi-power I've been using. Total voltage shouldn't matter as I'm sure the camera cleans up the power before using it. I'm just curious to see if I've increased the amount of current flowing into the camera at all.
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