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Old Sep 28, 2005, 12:07 PM   #1
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There are 3 of these cameras where I work - it's a great camera! However, one of them no longer recognizes memory cards (nothing wrong w/ the cards - they work in the other cameras). With no card in it says NO CARD PRESENT. When I put a card in I get: THIS CARD CANNOT BE USED. When I go to the set-up menu and scroll down, it skips over Folders and CF Card Format. Very frustrating!

Any thoughts on how to fix this problem would be greatly appreciated...
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Old Sep 28, 2005, 4:07 PM   #2
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Look about two or three threads down in this forum and you'll see this thread about a card problem with the 995:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=21

I'd go through it and see if anything might be helpful (looking for bent pins in CF slot, seeing if you can reset the camera, trying to format the cards using a reader, making sure you've got a good battery and contacts are clean, etc.).



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Old Sep 29, 2005, 10:16 AM   #3
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JimC:

Thanks for the tips. I've tried:

- looking for bent/broken pins (none found)

- resetting camera to factory defaults (no luck)

- several cards that work in other cameras and a card reader (no luck)

- inserting/re-inserting a card multiple times (no luck)

- freshly charged batteries that work in other cameras (no luck)

Am I missing something? AFAIK, the camera's never been dropped. In fact, it's seen only occasional use since I've had it (about 3 1/3 years). Any other ideas??

TIA,

Jim
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Old Sep 29, 2005, 10:44 AM   #4
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Jim:

I had a couple of more thiings to try in the other thread (but, I don't know if they'll help or not). Try reading through it and trying some of the other stuff (making sure to use all dials, switches, and buttons to make sure no oxidation formed under a contact, leaving battery out for more than 24 hours, etc.).

I also gave some theories on what could be wrong (loose connection to CF Compartment pins, etc.).

Nikon will probably charge you close to $200 to fix it (no matter what is wrong) if you send it in for repair. So, if you've got nothing to lose (and you'll have to decide when you're at that point), you may even want to try something riskier that could damage the camera.

For example, if it were mine, I might even be inclined to do some things like letting it get to more extreme temperatures temporarily (leaving it in hot sun for a while, then letting it cool back down to room temperature, etc.), to see if expansion and contraction of components may help a bad connection internally (i.e., tiny ribbon cable somewhere not making a good connection, loose chip in a circuit board, etc.), or even trying to figure out how to take it apart and reseat components and cables (and you may or may not be able to do this without damaging the camera without a better understanding of how it's assembled).

Of course, if you like the camera, Ebay is probably your best friend (buy another one). The last time I looked (a few weeks back), there were about 10 of them for sale at the same time, selling for a bit over $200 on average


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Old Sep 29, 2005, 11:54 AM   #5
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P.S. -- I can remember going through some pretty advanced electronics schools during my younger days (and I'm not that old yet), almost 30 years ago. One schoolwas on a very sophisticated piece of military communications equipment that was pretty advanced for it's time.

When I finally got my first chance of troubleshooting one in the field, I broke out the huge books of schematics, looking a the signals with an Oscilloscope trying to determinethe problem. After trial and error working on it for a long time (with the symptoms changing periodically), a seasoned old Navy Senior Chief asked me if I'd tried reseating all of the circuit boards. I told him no (they didn't teach us that in the class). Sure enough, that fixed it. :-)

I can't tell you the number of times thatelectronics equpmentproblems have turned out to be the same thing (a bad connection somewhere or a bit of oxidation on some contacts), for all sorts of equipment problems. Sure, components do fail from time to time. But, more often than not, it's not really a component failure.

That's one reason I always try to look for the simple explanations first (oxidation under a contact, loose cable connection, etc.)

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Old Sep 29, 2005, 1:24 PM   #6
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Thanks, Jim.

The extreme temperature idea is interesting - I may give that a shot. I also tried lightly tapping the camera on my desk to see if a connection was loose, but no luck.

Is there any way to safely remove oxidation from the contacts? I tried inserting a card several times to see if I might be able to clean the CF pins, but that didn't work. Are there other contacts I should be worried about?

Jim
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Old Sep 29, 2005, 1:33 PM   #7
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JWHyres wrote:
Quote:
Thanks, Jim.

The extreme temperature idea is interesting - I may give that a shot. I also tried lightly tapping the camera on my desk to see if a connection was loose, but no luck.

Is there any way to safely remove oxidation from the contacts? I tried inserting a card several times to see if I might be able to clean the CF pins, but that didn't work. Are there other contacts I should be worried about?

Jim
If inserting and removing the cards doesn't make any difference, then I doubt it's the CompactFlash Card pins (if they look nice and shiney, and the sockets in cards are the same way. You tried multiple cards, too, right?

The battery contacts would be a more likely cause if it's power related. Radio shack sellsa pen style contact cleaner (special cleanerflows to a tip designed for that purpose) that's good for that kind of thing.

But, you have to be careful not to bend the contacts/connectors when applying too much pressure. I wont' tell you to try it... But, I have seen users clean contacts with nothing more than a Qtip and some alcohol (the kind you normally find in home medicine cabinets with a with a high water content is not recommended for this, though)

I personally rub the battery contacts (on the battery) almost everytime I remove a battery from a device for charging, etc. I can't tell you the number of times I've "fixed" my wifes mobile phone that way when it refused to hold a charge for very long, even though the contacts *looked* Ok upon visible examination. :-)

It's more likely a connection inside of the camera (ribbon cable connection to the CF card slots pins, or something along those lines if it's not a component failure (or cracked circuit board, etc.).

You may have a bit of oxidation at a connection (removing and reseating anything that you can do that with is the easiest way to fix that kind of thing, but you may not be able to take it apart without damaging it without proper instructions (which may be very hard to find), and the needed skill.


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Old Sep 29, 2005, 1:51 PM   #8
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I've tried multiple cards and multiple batteries, but it made no difference. I think the battery contacts areOK, since the monitor looks good and the autofocus is working.

So I put the camera on the front seat of my car. It's not real hot in VA today (low 80s), but it should still reach 100 or so in the car. How long should I leave it?

Jim
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Old Sep 29, 2005, 1:57 PM   #9
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Jim:

That's your call, and anytime you leave anything with plastic, electronics, etc. in an environment that's too hot (or too cold)you risk damage. I probably wouldn't let it get *that* hot (200 degrees), and can even crack circuit boards and componentsfrom continued changes in temperature (which could even be your problem). Colder temperaturesis another way (again risking damage or cracked boards/components)

You can also get a condensation problem if you go from temperature extremes too quickly (which can be another cause of oxidation at a connection or contact since it's probably happened over the years you've owned a camera), so you may even want to place some silica in a sealed bag when trying some of this stuff (if you want to risk damage).

Again, *if* I decided that I had nothing to lose (and it's your decision when you get to that point), I would probably risk trying some temperature changes to see if expansion and contraction would help to seat a possible bad connnection.


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Old Sep 29, 2005, 2:02 PM   #10
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Of course, the better way to check for a bad connection is to take apart the camera and reseat any ribbon cables, components, etc. But, you'd need to figure out how to do it and would risk damaging something doing that, too.


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