This is an unofficial mini “How-To” guide to repairing the combined switch/pressure plate in your Minox EC. It is not difficult to do, you just need a set of mall jeweller’s screwdrivers and a small soldering iron.
Having said that, I do not, repeat, I do not encourage anyone to open a Minox camera in order to repair or in any way, shape or manner tamper with its innards. This may and shall more than probable render your camera useless, and even a dedicated repair shop will restore it, it would charge an insane amount, so that you’ll be sorry you’ve not sent it to that repair shop straight away.
How do I know it’s broken?
You’ll know it’s broken because the batteries keep going flat. You can test this in two ways before you take the camera apart:
- When you open the camera to put in a film, the pressure plate looks uneven;
- The little red LED in the viewfinder stays on, even when you close the camera;
You can see this by slowly closing the camera – if it is broken, the LED will stay on even when the camera is almost shut, whereas if it’s OK you’ll see the LED turn off.
What do I do to fix it?
You’ll most likely need to order a new part. I got mine from DAG Cameras in 2004, and it cost US$15.00. You can try to glue it, it may work, but I tried twice with mine, and twice it broke. Maybe with the right type of glue you can do it, or by plastic welding it. But for the price, a new one probably works out much cheaper!
How do I fix it?
Take the outer cover off, just as you would to change the film. Remove the batteries.
In the following picture, you can see that the pressure plate is not straight:
There are only two cross-head screws to undo. Undo these carefully, and put in a safe place.
NOTE: You do NOT need to lift this plate up any more than shown in the above picture. If you do, you risk having the detent making a bid for freedom, and it makes it more difficult to put back this rear plate. If you do take it off completely, do it slowly, and slide the plate to the right (as per the photo) to get it past the plastic lug on the end. Keep the detent pin and spring in a safe place.
Gently slide out the pressure plate / switch and note its orientation. Take a photo with a digital camera if necessary to help you get it back on the right way!
Carefully unsolder the two wires, being careful to use the minimum of heat necessary. Now prepare the new switch, and “tin” the two ends (i.e. put a small amount of solder on each end of the switch – this makes it easier to solder the thin wires) and the two wires. Re-attach the wires, and then carefully push the pressure plate back into place.
With the pressure plate in place, gently push down the back cover. It should fit properly without any force, and sort of “pop” into position. Replace the two screws, taking care not to over tighten.
Replace the batteries, and put the cover back on. Test that with the camera open, the red LED comes on in a low light environment. Slowly close the camera, checking that the LED goes off before the camera is fully closed.
Finally, check you have no extra bits left over! Then load a film, and start using your Minox EC.
I hope this has been useful. I am not a professional repair person, but am reasonably competent with a soldering iron. Anyone not too “technically challenged”, who takes their time should be able to complete this repair.