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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact Camera replacement.

I've had my little Sony phone for a while now, and it has been superb....

... until the other day when the camera started to play up....


Hmmmm, not ideal.

If you put some pressure on the phone, around where the camera lens is, it would come back to life for a few seconds, sometimes with some bizarre effects...

.. not ideal at all....

I thought I could live without it, but after a week or so, I realised how much I used it for taking quick pictures of wiring etc ... I decided
I'd need to investigate, so I googled disassembly instructions, but couldn't find a video or instructions that had the same layout as my phone.

I removed the back of the phone and quickly diagnosed that the camera module itself was at fault (I was hoping some connector had just come lose, no such luck).

A new camera module was sourced from eBay for a princely some of £13.95 delivered... I ordered a replacement adhesive gasket kit as well (£2.45)




So here's how it's done...

Switch the phone off, and gently heat up the back of the phone with the wife's hairdryer or a heat gun set to low.











Get a sucker and a prying tool and gently remove the back. If it doesn't come away easily, heat it up a bit more. Don't risk bending the metal back....









Right, that's good.














Un-latch the NFC aerial connector at the end shown ....











... and lift it out of the way.














Unscrew the small pozi screws retaining the aerial module .....























... remove it, and place it to one side.













Undo all the screws on the plastic frame .....











... gently work a small insulated tool (this is a ceramic screwdriver) under the flash LED (it's retained with a small blob of adhesive) ...










... and hinge it out of the way.













Carefully prize the plastic frame out. The flash LED should slide through the frame.










Excellent.













Just for piece of mind, disconnect the battery.













Now prize up the camera connector....












... and remove the camera.











Worryingly, the new camera didn't come in ESD safe packaging....












... and was supplied with some sort of rubber gasket, which the original camera didn't have, I just slipped it off...










Some careful bending of the camera's ribbon cable, and it all fits in, and the connector is pushed home.

Now put the phone back together again. When fitting the frame make sure the flash pokes back through, and the NFC connector doesn't get trapped.

Replace the adhesive gasket, and replace the back...


... and go and take some photo's !













Got my thumb in as usual .... ;)



Friday, 19 May 2017

Return of the Arduino Dehumidifier controller.

My very good friend Oto has a problem.

He's moved into a new house.

He's wanted some space for his lathes & mills etc, which this has.

 After a few weeks, his machines are showing signs of going rusty.... Why is this?

 It's humidity.. after installing a dehumidifier, things have improved dramatically, except his electricity bill...

 It's time for a slightly revised version of the first project I did on this website back in May 2014 (where does the time go??!?)

It's got a similar display, except it's in Czech, but it has an adjustable set point for humidity, and a mode switch to set between auto , whereby it switches on 5 degrees C before the dew point, or manual, where it switches on when the desired humidity set point is reached.

The mode switch is S2 on the diagram below, and S3 is a centre-biassed momentary toggle, which is used to alter the set point up or down.

The set point is stored in E2PROM, and is restored in the event of power failure.


The temperature and humidity is read from a DHT22 sensor, and the dew point calculated.

The dehumidifier is switched on with a suitable rated relay, via T1.

Here's the code:








... hope Google's translate has done a reasonable job!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

BSR UA14 "Monarch" Record player repairs and upgrades!!

I had one of these in a record player as a child. It was my father's from when he was young ...

... then my good friend Colin posted one up for sale on facebook.


Nostalgia flooded in and a deal was done....

The one I had as a child was a sort of blue/grey colour...

It's a 4 speed autochanger, made around 1962. At some stage in it's life, the original "flip over" cartidge (to select a stylus suitable for LP (45's and LPs's) and 78) had obviously failed (it was most likely a crystal cartridge), and someone had replaced it with a ceramic cartridge.. all mono of course..

Mechanically it was all complete, and the usual solidified grease problems were very minimal.

Now a ceramic cartridge is a nasty thing. Even the best track heavily, and will chew through records, not good.

Checking the tracking weight with the tracking weight spring on minimum (there's no counterweight here!) gives encouraging results...

(excuse the thumb)








This deck was never designed to track with modern light tracking carts of a few grammes, so a suitable stereo cart would need to be found.... digging around in the box of record player spares turned up a nice Shure SC35C broadcast cartridge, moving magnet, designed to track between 4 and 5g and a nice spherical stylus, so alignment shouldn't be too fussy... perfect... except it has the standard mounting using two holes... the arm on the BSR has one central hole... an adaptor plate would need to be fabricated. Even tracking at 4-5 grammes, the Shure won't damage my precious records because it has a very large diamond.


Thankfully, back in the 60's, the lovely people at BSR had thoughtfully wired the arm for stereo.

Now the cartridge doesn't look central in the arm, does it? I carefully made the adaptor plate, and it's spot on. I checked the alignment to the pivot, and it is spot on!







A quick tweak to the alignment with a "Stupid protractor" and check the weight...

Spot on the optimum weight! It's a pure fluke! One spring hole either way and it's 2g or 6 !!!








Lash the output into an amplifier, out with the K-Tel Rock Classics workshop test record....


Surprise of all surprises, it doesn't sound half bad! .... Then the rest of the afternoon was wasted playing records....




Now I'd better do something with the cardboard box plinth, and make something proper up!