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Camera - Nikon Coolpix L22 - Lens Repair

Project Overview

Fix It Gallery Difficulty Rating: Advanced

Estimated Time: 1 to 4 hours (varies with repair required)

Tools Required
  • Small phillips screwdriver
  • Small slotted screwdriver (opt)
  • Plastic opener tool (or credit card)
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Fine-tipped soldering iron
  • Fine solder
  • Solder wick (or other solder removal tool)
  • 100K resisitor (1 watt)
  • Super-glue (opt)
  • Micro-fiber cleaning cloth

Following is the procedure for repairing various lens problems in the Coolpix L22. Although most of this process (disassembly/reassembly) is common to just about any such problem, the exact steps required once inside the lens assembly will depend on the particular lens problem needing addressed.

This camera had three problems, so that should give a good set of things to look for.

 STATIC SENSITIVE PARTS INSIDE - At various stages during this process, parts of the camera will be exposed that are very sensitive to electrostatic discharge. The circuitry of the camera can be permanently damaged by a static shock so small you can't even feel it. Select a static-free work area and avoid touching any area of the circuit board as much as possible.

1. Using a small screwdriver, remove the seven black screws shown in the following three photos. These seven screws are all identical.

(bottom view)

(side view)

2. To keep these (and all subsequent) screws from becoming mixed (or lost), I like to put them in a small container such as the following

3. Using a plastic screwdriver (or a credit card or any other stiff, thin plastic object), gently pry at various places between the black back shell and the colored front shell.

On the bottom of the camera (near the tripod mounting hole) seems to be the easiest place to start.

Work your way around all sides of the camera until the black back shell comes lose. Put it aside.

4. Gently pry the colored front shell off. Start with the lower ears first (see white arrow below). If needed to remove the shell, pry gently (with plastic tool) at the point marked with the red arrow below. Do this very carefully so you do not damage the switches and small circuit board in that area.

Work your way around all sides of the colored shell, moving just a small amount at a time to avoid putting anything in a bind. When the shell is free, put it aside.

5. Pry gently between the metal frame of the LCD and the metal plate it rests on (at the location shown).

A small amount of pressure should pop the LCD loose so that it can pivot out of the way.

6. Using small pliers, remove the three black foam pieces that are stuck to some of the mounting screws.

7. Remove the four LCD plate mounting screws and set them aside.

8. Now remove the LCD backing plate, being careful not to tangle the yellow flex cable on the right side.

9. Carefully flip LCD back over so it's right-side-up. Now insert a PLASTIC screwdriver (or credit card) in the location shown (between the yellow flex cable and the white plastic locking lever.

10. Pry gently upward against the white lever until it flips up. The yellow flex cable should now pull out (pull to the left, not upward). Place the LCD aside.

11. CAUTION! High Voltage! Very carefully pull back the black tape which covers the high voltage areas of the circuit board. DO NOT TOUCH anything here with your hands or with metal tools!

12. So that you may handle the camera safely, you are going to slowly discharge any voltage that might be stored in the flash capacitor. Take a 100K (1 watt) resistor, bending it into the proper shape so that it can be bridged between the CR+ (red wire) and CB- (blue wire) points (marked with arrows below). Hold it by the body of the resistor with pliers (or wear heavy leather work gloves).

Nothing obvious will happen when you touch the resistor to the specified points. But hold this in place for 20 seconds to guarantee that any dangerous voltage is dissipated to a safe level.

Sharp eyed readers may note that I was using a 10K 1/2 watt resistor in the picture below. While this would have been a safe current, I hadn't calculated the power dissipation. If the capacitor had been fully charged, that resistor would have dissipated 9 watts (and gotten VERY hot, or failed).

13. Remove the screw shown by the arrow in the photo below.

14. Locate the white plastic latch that secures the button flex cable (shown in the circled area in the photo below). To release the latch, gently pry it away from the black plastic connector (sideways, not upward). There are two sides to the latch (one on either side of the flex cable). You need to pry both sides at the same time, or pry small amounts on one side, then the other, and repeat until the latch is at it's fully-open position. It is NOT supposed to come out. You'll feel increased resistance when it's fully open.

Once the latch is open, it will be easy to slide the yellow flex cable out (to the right).

15. Use a soldering iron to disconnect the six wires at the edge of the board (visible in the photo below). These are FB- (blue), FR+ (red), CR+ (red), DB- (pale blue), DR+ (pink), and CB- (blue).

16. Peel back the protective black tape far enough to see where the yellow & black part is soldered to the flash (see arrow in photo below). Click on the picture for a closer look. Remove the solder from this joint (using solder-wick) so that the coil lead slides freely within the forked lug.

17. Pry gently on the two black hooks that hold the corner of the circuit board (just above the arrow in the photo above) and lift the circuit board just slightly to clear the hooks. You won't be able to move the board far until the next step.

18. Unsolder the battery straps from the circuit board at the points marked in the photo below. The one in the corner should not be too difficult to clean with solder-wick and a soldering iron. The other one, however, requires a higher wattage iron because of its connection to a large ground plane that absorbs heat from the iron. If you don't have a hot enough iron to do this, you can pull up on the circuit board while applying heat to the point. If you have performed all of the steps listed above, the board should pivot up once these two battery straps are unsoldered.

19. Using a plastic tool, gently pry upward on the plastic latch for the lens flex cable (white piece in the photo below). With this latch flipped up, the orange flex cable should easily slide out sideways.

Congratulations! You're halfway done with disassembly of the camera.

Click the following link to proceed with part 2:

Nikon Coolpix L22 - Part 2