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Warning - hold down power button can cause damage

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Offline jules

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Warning - hold down power button can cause damage
« on: 17 / April / 2014, 02:37:26 »
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I was running a trial with D10 camera controlled by CHDK script ultimate intervalometer during the day and shut down each night to extend run time. External timer switch turns power on in the morning and off in the evening. For this to work unattended, the power button on the camera has to be held down by a small bracket. It worked fine in short tests. My longer trial ran okay although power saving was not as good as I'd hoped. I stopped after 14 days to review the results.

At that point I discovered... holding power button down for long duration can cause a bad PROBLEM.

Power button remains stuck down. No improvement several days after bracket was removed.

This means the camera cannot be turned off except by removing power supply or opening battery door. Normal usage will not be possible unless I can unstick the Power button. So far I cannot find a way to do that. Ideas welcome.

Hold-down of power button has been discussed in other forums. I did not see any problems reported. Maybe it's okay on some cameras?

My problem somehow might relate to this specific camera - I don't know. I just want to warn people that hold-down can damage some cameras.

Re: Warning - hold down power button can cause damage
« Reply #1 on: 17 / April / 2014, 05:07:54 »
Thanks for the warning.
I currently have fifteen timelapse rigs in operation, nine have the power button pressed down.

Will know in two or three weeks if any damage caused.

Re: Warning - hold down power button can cause damage
« Reply #2 on: 17 / April / 2014, 08:39:51 »
This means the camera cannot be turned off except by removing power supply or opening battery door. Normal usage will not be possible unless I can unstick the Power button. So far I cannot find a way to do that. Ideas welcome.
While it won't fix the button,  there are a couple of CHDK script options that might help - shut_down() or post_levent_to_ui('PressPowerButton').  You could run a script at startup that watches one of the camera buttons and shuts things down  ( e.g. playback button pressed for more than 2 seconds).

A more permanent hack in the CHDK C code itself might be more satisfactory using the same approach.

Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

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Offline ahull

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Re: Warning - hold down power button can cause damage
« Reply #3 on: 18 / April / 2014, 08:53:02 »
Hmm... sounds like a little too much pressure might have been brought to bear on the button. Any time I have tried this, I have had no problem, but I am fairly cautious about how hard I clamp the thing, typically I will use an elastic band or something fairly flexible.

The switches in these cameras are not the most robust examples on the planet, and in some cases, they consist of nothing more than a small thin metal (or in some cases silicon rubber) disk, which deforms when pressed, and pops back when the pressure is released.

In the cheaper models, these disks are typically attached to a sheet of adhesive tape above the circuit board with the switch contact tracks on them.

In the case of the D10, they are slightly more substantial, but not much.

In other words, they can be a little fragile.

I don't have a D10 to hand, but depending on how adventurous you are feeling, and how easy it is to get in to the camera without damaging anything, (including the waterproof seals in the case of a D10) you may be able to pop the button back up with a small pair of tweezers or something similar, or even replace the button PCB, which will be available on ebay no doubt, but at a price (picture below).



The individual switches are only a few pennies each, but replacing them requires some skill with SMD soldering. Those little boards are very easy to fry if you are a little heavy handed with the heat.

All of the usual warnings about voiding warranty, everything being at your own risk and high voltages on the flash circuitry apply if you do decide to pursue this idea.

If surgery on the poor thing sounds like it is too risky, then I would go with  waterwingz's suggestion, and use a script, and one of the other buttons to switch it off.
« Last Edit: 18 / April / 2014, 09:02:11 by ahull »


Re: Warning - hold down power button can cause damage
« Reply #4 on: 19 / April / 2014, 11:25:00 »
Thanks for the warning!

I'm thinking of doing this to my camera for a 5 month remote construction timelapse. I'm willing to bet it's from the cheap tin-button being "re-formed" into the downward "On" position?

Suppose I now know that I am sacrificing the camera to the power-button gods :)


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Offline ahull

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Re: Warning - hold down power button can cause damage
« Reply #5 on: 19 / April / 2014, 16:56:59 »
Yup, that looks like one of the "cheap tin" buttons on sticky tape.  ::)

I'm not sure if it will be rendered un-clickable by holding it down,I suspect if you can keep the pressure to the bare  minimum necessary to switch on, it may be perfectly OK.

These little buttons have a pretty limited life anyway, typical figures for branded devices are averaging around 10 - 50,000 cycles. I would also suggest, roughly speaking,  the cheaper the switch, the shorted its lifespan. After all, consumer devices only have to last a little longer than the warranty period.

10,000 clicks would let you switch the camera on and off 14 times a day for 2 years, which is probably way beyond average use. Sadly like everybody else these days, even Canon engineers things to a price.

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Offline jules

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Re: Warning - hold down power button can cause damage
« Reply #6 on: 21 / April / 2014, 22:01:08 »
Many thanks for helpful info about repairing my camera. I'm not sure whether I can work up courage enough to... maybe... attempt opening it :'(

It's true that the power button was probably depressed too firmly in my trial. The button does not look as fragile as it actually is. Also, unfortunately, firm pressure was really necessary. Very light pressure had already proved insufficient for reliable startup.

The rounded shape of the D10 makes it particularly difficult to attach an effective bracket for a hold-down screw. Of course the bracket also has to be small and compact, avoid obstructing the lens, the sensors, the door to access SD card, etc. It will need clever design to get"exactly right" pressure on the power button - not too firm, not too light.

Maybe lugging extra batteries is going to be the least troublesome solution in the end!







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Offline jules

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Re: Warning - hold down power button can cause damage
« Reply #7 on: 22 / April / 2014, 05:09:50 »
About scripted power-down in CHDK:
This works but right after script has shut down, I still need to disconnect power supply or open battery door. Otherwise this camera will restart because power button is stuck in the 'on' position.

I'd love to know if I'm missing critical details that could allow script to get around the stuck button problem?




Re: Warning - hold down power button can cause damage
« Reply #8 on: 22 / April / 2014, 07:40:08 »
I'd love to know if I'm missing critical details that could allow script to get around the stuck button problem?
Probably not - see my other post in this split thread :  http://chdk.setepontos.com/index.php?topic=9969.msg112329#msg112329

The only other thing that comes to mind is whether your DC supply can detect a current drop out situation during the software induced power cycle and shut down when that occurs ?  This would obviously take some additional circuitry and be dependent on the current actually briefly dropping lower during the power off/on sequence than it would normally.   Quite a bit of work vs just using an external timer or buying a new (used) camera I'm afraid.
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Re: Warning - hold down power button can cause damage
« Reply #9 on: 22 / April / 2014, 13:21:03 »
About scripted power-down in CHDK:
This works but right after script has shut down, I still need to disconnect power supply or open battery door. Otherwise this camera will restart because power button is stuck in the 'on' position.

I'd love to know if I'm missing critical details that could allow script to get around the stuck button problem?

Interesting! I was just going to play around with this today.

Yesterday I "modified" my camera to have the power button always on, and was hoping to have a clean shutdown like this. I think I'm still OK with having my power button depressed. I'll have a DC timer that turns off power at night and back on in the morning. This way at least when power is restored, the camera turns on. Suppose my only downside is that the lens assembly will be extended overnight while the camera is off.

 

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