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Sony "turn the power off and on again" issue. Real cause.

 

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Username: Andres_r

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-09
I do have Sony DSC-P73 camera which is now 4 years old. Last week my camera started to show the symptoms of the famous "turn the power off and on again" sony´s problem:
a) the engine that moves the lens can be clearly heard to be working... in the meantime the word Access appears in over a black screen.
b) but the lens don´t move or moves very irregularly not reaching the final correct position.
(a)+(b) implies that the camera shows the famous error msg and of course it is not functional.

Why does it happen?
It has been argued that it was a problem of the gears of the mechanism that moves the lens. It is said that the reason is that sand or dirt can enter the plastic black box with that contains the white gears inside...
So well, I believed it and then I proceeded to solve the problem opening my camera and then opening the black box, moving the gears, etc... Everything inside that box was incorruptible: this box is really well sealed with 2 screws... if sand enters there you would have bigger problems all over the camera, believe me. Because I used my camera for 4 years and I wasn´t specially careful about sand and all that stuff: there was some dirt in other places of the camera but not there... it is just not possible.

I found that the real reason of the failure to move as it should of the lens is also mechanical: it involves the wrong positioning of a black rubber o-ring located between the inner and the outer moving sections of the lens.
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Why the rubber goes away from the correct position can be related to sand and dirt but more probable to the presence of humidity. Once the rubber is misplaced it generates the error because it avoids the smooth movement of the lens.
[With the black box of the gears open I had to do a lot of force to move the lens, of course the small engine cannot manage it ...]

Now why people claims that they have solved the problem in this "geared" way?: because in the process of "hypothetically fixing the gears" they move the lens by hand more easily (once the black box is open) and most of the times the o-ring will go alone to the correct position, in this case they never see it, because the o-ring is inside ..
In my case the o-ring was so badly misplaced that at some point I was able to see it appear at the boundary of the 2 moving pieces...
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I pull it out, I broke it and I extracted one part ... then the camera worked fine for a few minutes...started to fail again (because I had extracted only a portion of the o-ring) and after moving with my hand helping the mechanism many times the other extreme of the rubber appeared...I was able to extract the remaining and now everything works perfectly well....
This explains also why some people have manage to fix the problem (usually they imagine they fixed the positions of the gears) just by helping the mechanism to open and close the lens many many times for a few minutes.... The truth is that at some point the rubber goes to the correct position and the problem is solved.... I think now that this approach may be the best because it works for the real problem.
I hope that this can help the people that all the time is facing this problem... I want to emphasise that it is not necessary to open the camera...IT IS NOT A GEAR problem...
Regarding the future of my 4 year's old camera: I think I will have to be much more careful now with the dirt and humidity since the o-ring is not present any more...Although I am not sure if its actual function was to isolate the lens from the external agents or to avoid vibrations and shocks between the 2 moving pieces.... It is being time to bought a new one, but at least I can do it when I choose to and not forced by the collapse of my current camera.
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