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Thread: Dead Camera??

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    Ausphotography Veteran rwg717's Avatar
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    Dead Camera??

    I'm interested to hear from Canon users who might have experienced a problem with a Canon 50D which has a battery malfunction. The one in question is probably the last batch before the 60D and it doesn't get much use. A colleague and I were looking at some work she had done with the 50D a couple of months ago and I thought it was odd that the low battery warning was on. Canon batteries are generally pretty good, even if you charge them and don't use the camera for a couple of months, they still have good charge usually.

    I decided to charge the thing and to my total surprise the re-charge only took about 15 minutes (normally 50 to 90 minutes), when I plugged the charged battery back into the camera, absolutely nothing, totally dead

    So I thought that battery might be faulty, charged another one and again 15 minutes showed fully charged, inserted that and same thing, camera shows no response. I figured there might be a dirty contact somewhere, this was the only way I could see past this apparent death. A cleaning cloth inserted down the battery compartment and a rough guess as to where the terminals might be and a good old polish on the battery resolved the problem to my delight but this had me worried for a while

    Keen to get any offering as to why the cleaning cloth trick worked (other than the obvious in that it did work) because I've been using Canon for years and I've never encountered this dirty terminal problem before??
    Richard
    I've been wrong before!! Happy to have constructive criticism though.Gear used Canon 50D, 7D & 5DMkII plus expensive things hanging off their fronts and of course a "nifty fifty".

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Considering two batteries both took 15 mins to charge and usually take longer, have you considered your charger might be the culprit in this loop? Maybe your charger is malfunctioning and not charging the batteries properly, rather than the batter/camera being the issue.
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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Considering two batteries both took 15 mins to charge and usually take longer, have you considered your charger might be the culprit in this loop? Maybe your charger is malfunctioning and not charging the batteries properly, rather than the batter/camera being the issue.
    He did mention cleaning the contacts solved the problem.


    Anyway the cleaning cloth worked as it removes dirt and grime from the contacts? Ok i'm being obvious here. But dirty contacts = harder or impossible for currents to pass though = dead camera. Reason why i keep sandpaper in my wallet (everyone's always surprised to see me pull out a strip). More often than not all you need to do is to lightly clean or sand the contacts from oxidization and it's good to go

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    Drifter, Racer and Picture Taker
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    It was definitely the dirty contacts that caused the problem, and why when you charged the batteries, they only took a few minutes to charge, as they were already almost fully charged.
    Battery contacts get dirty easily, as there is always current going through them, and because of this, the metal contacts can oxidise very quickly, and when you have a film of oxidisation on the metal contacts, current will not flow through them.

    Always a good idea to wipe the contacts each time you change the battery as any moisture or skin acid will only accelerate the chemical process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwg717 View Post
    A cleaning cloth inserted down the battery compartment and a rough guess as to where the terminals might be and a good old polish on the battery resolved the problem to my delight but this had me worried for a while
    Keen to get any offering as to why the cleaning cloth trick worked (other than the obvious in that it did work) because I've been using Canon for years and I've never encountered this dirty terminal problem before??
    Richard
    Moisture on the CAMERA contacts, not dirt.

    Storage of the camera?
    Local climate change?

    WW

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Moisture on the CAMERA contacts, not dirt.

    Storage of the camera?
    Local climate change?

    WW
    MOISTURE? FYI anything other than pure distilled water with 0 impuritities is conducts electricity. Reason why electronics short circuit when they come into contact with water.
    Last edited by KeeFy; 05-10-2011 at 6:07pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennymiata View Post
    It was definitely the dirty contacts that caused the problem, and why when you charged the batteries, they only took a few minutes to charge, as they were already almost fully charged.
    Battery contacts get dirty easily, as there is always current going through them, and because of this, the metal contacts can oxidise very quickly, and when you have a film of oxidisation on the metal contacts, current will not flow through them.

    Always a good idea to wipe the contacts each time you change the battery as any moisture or skin acid will only accelerate the chemical process.
    The easiest way is to use eraser to clean the contacts.

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    NEVER use anything abrasive (like sandpaper) to clean contacts. The contacts on most consumer-grade products are only plated, using an abrasive will soon wear through the plating.
    Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennymiata View Post
    It was definitely the dirty contacts that caused the problem, and why when you charged the batteries, they only took a few minutes to charge, as they were already almost fully charged.
    Battery contacts get dirty easily, as there is always current going through them, and because of this, the metal contacts can oxidise very quickly, and when you have a film of oxidisation on the metal contacts, current will not flow through them.

    Always a good idea to wipe the contacts each time you change the battery as any moisture or skin acid will only accelerate the chemical process.
    Many thanks everyone, your replies confirmed my thoughts and indeed the contacts were dirty and probably not helped by the fact that it was a very wet day the last time the camera was used. Anyway, the above response was the nearest to what I thought and thanks for that.
    Richard

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unistudent1962 View Post
    NEVER use anything abrasive (like sandpaper) to clean contacts. The contacts on most consumer-grade products are only plated, using an abrasive will soon wear through the plating.
    If you use fine git sand paper 800GPI and up it'll be fine for most stuff. Things like Sim cards, battery battery terminals and such are fine. Things like pcb plated contacts and such needs a much higher grit such as lapping paper but abbrasives still can be used.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    MOISTURE?
    Yes: "MOISTURE"
    A most reasonable answer to the question asked:
    "Keen to get any offering as to why the cleaning cloth trick worked (other than the obvious in that it did work) because I've been using Canon for years and I've never encountered this dirty terminal problem before??"



    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    FYI anything other than pure distilled water with impurities is conducts electricity. Reason why electronics short circuit when they come into contact with water.
    FYI: I know that. It is the other things (mentioned "impurities") which are the conductors, to a greater or lesser extent.

    The reason that "MOISTURE" is a viable answer is that many electronics (including Canon Cameras) are sensitive to Voltage: "Conductors" are not necessarily "good conductors".

    The OP might answer the questions about storage and climate changes to conclude for himself if moisture might be playing a part in his question, or not.

    It might not be moisture, but it might be or it might be a combination.

    WW

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    If you use fine git sand paper 800GPI and up it'll be fine for most stuff. Things like Sim cards, battery battery terminals and such are fine. Things like pcb plated contacts and such needs a much higher grit such as lapping paper but abbrasives still can be used.
    Follow the above advice at your own risk.

    The gold/silver/copper plating (depending on the quality of the equipment) is typically microns thicks, ANY grade of sandpaper is abrasive and WILL compromise the plating on the contacts.
    Anyone with knowledge of electronics equipment will tell you NOT to use anything abrasive on electronics contacts.
    The BEST product for cleaning contacts is Vibroplex 405 Contact Cleaner Strip http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/morse/4433.html.
    Other than that, as suggested above, a simple eraser should be more than enough to remove oxidation from contacts without abrading them.

    This advice is based on 20+ years experience building and maintaining telecommunications networks throughout the world (plus common sense).

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I would never use any abrasive to clean battery contacts in anything but a very cheep torch if you need to clean contacts use a dry lint free cloth then polish lightly with a pencil eraser. Sand or emery paper/cloth no matter how fine will remove the thin plating on the contacts allowing them to corrode causing further problems. There is also the problem of fine abrasive powder finding it's way into the camera causing further problems.
    Keith.

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    Again as you said, dependant on the electronics. Copper oxidises easily and thus you NEED to sand it to get a good contact, which in the first place should be soldered to ensure proper connections and is not used a contact type connection. Silver plating for electronic contacts? I'd like some examples please. Silver oxidises much faster than copper and is almost never used for contact point. Gold on the other hand is very common as it does not oxidise. Typically mobile phone Sim cards are gold plated so you can try using a 800 grit or higher sandpaper on your unwanted sim card. Does it rip the plating off? If you use heavy strength and multiple rubs eventually yes. If not it doesn't take much off. Of course there are much easier ways to get around this like using a pencil eraser/rubber to clean the contact, which is my favourite method as it removes all the oils from our fingers and all, but when you don't have a rubber on hand a simple sandpaper will do.

    This is based of 20+ years of playing with electronics and computers as well and one of my degrees in electronics engineering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    Again as you said, dependant on the electronics. Copper oxidises easily and thus you NEED to sand it to get a good contact, which in the first place should be soldered to ensure proper connections and is not used a contact type connection. Silver plating for electronic contacts? I'd like some examples please. Silver oxidises much faster than copper and is almost never used for contact point. Gold on the other hand is very common as it does not oxidise. Typically mobile phone Sim cards are gold plated so you can try using a 800 grit or higher sandpaper on your unwanted sim card. Does it rip the plating off? If you use heavy strength and multiple rubs eventually yes. If not it doesn't take much off. Of course there are much easier ways to get around this like using a pencil eraser/rubber to clean the contact, which is my favourite method as it removes all the oils from our fingers and all, but when you don't have a rubber on hand a simple sandpaper will do.

    This is based of 20+ years of playing with electronics and computers as well and one of my degrees in electronics engineering.
    Silver plating is commonly used on contacts in low voltage switchgear.
    PURE gold does not oxidize at room temperature, the gold plated copper contacts often display the characteristics of oxidization as a result of the underlying copper oxidizing. This is particularly common with the cheaper third party products where the gold plating is typically thinner than on OEM equipment.
    I don't need to try using sandpaper on an unwanted simcard, I know what it will do, it will abrade the gold plating.

    I'm not sure why you would even suggest it, especially when you have said yourself that your "favoutite" method is to use an eraser. The only result of using sandpaper will be to damage the contacts even if, as in your words "it doesn't take much off", especially when there's not much there to begin with.
    I also doubt there there would be many, if any, people out there who have access to the fine grade sandpaper that you are telling them to use who wouldn't have access to a simple pencil eraser.

    Your advice is both ill-advised and damaging.

    I'd also like to see where in the coursework that you did for "one of your degrees in electonics engineering" it recommends using sandpaper to clean contacts.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    settle down: Be careful where you take this exchange, if either of you starts making personal comments about the other, you will be banned

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