Question about GE A730 Digital Camera

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Disassembling camera I have a GE A730 camera that was dropped. I think I can fix it If I can disassemble it enough. The problem is I can only get the back cover with the LCD screen off. The main board is loose except for a dozen solder points to the small top board, and a few wires. I really don't want to do any soldering, but I can't see how else to proceed. Anybody know what comes off next and how?

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  • David Allee
    David Allee Sep 02, 2008

    Is this site helpful at all? It keeps insisting I try the "Premium Assistance" plan, but all I see are questions with no solutions or an unhelpful comment as the "solution". Why would I pay for such a bad site? Besides, does the money even go towards paying the experts, or just into the site owner's pocket?

  • David Allee
    David Allee Sep 27, 2008

    Thanks for the response, dlundmark.

    I see. So there is motivation for experts to help. But only to maintain rank when it comes to free users, and to meet the (30 free answers in 30 days) requirement. I guess I thought this site was more like Yahoo Answers.

    As a computer technician, I understand all about FRU's and that there could easily be something broken that would make the problem beyond my abilities to fix without replacement parts.

    To answer your question about what's not working:
    When I push the power button, the camera turns on. It then immediately takes a photo. No controls respond except the power button, but everything else seems to work just fine (LCD screen, lens, etc...).

    My conclusion is that this could easily be explained by the photo button being jammed. Of course that would make it take a photo immediately. Also, I'm fairly certain that the circuitry is only designed to recognize one button press at a time (except the power button.)

    It's frustrating that I can't even get all the case off. At least the screws are easy to keep straight, all I see are 2 types: black ones for inside and silver ones for outside. Nowhere near as complicated as some laptops.

  • David Allee
    David Allee Sep 28, 2008

    Excellent advice about swapping out parts and ebaying for another with a definite different problem, and about cable connections, contamination, etc... But that is not really what I need. I could have told you that. I've ebayed for broken laptops to get a good screen or motherboard and fixed laptops with the parts. Just so you know, I am A+ and Network+ certified and took classes in school for fixing computers and networking.

    Good idea about cutting the wires, but my main problem is where the main board is soldered in several points to a small board on top. I think those are too small for me to resolder if I cut them. Have any ideas for those? I can't get at the top board and it doesn't budge.

    This reminds me of several computer cases that were difficult to figure out how to open. At least with a PC, you can resort to a small amount of violence if necessary and pry or cut the case without damaging the electronics. Actually, it just might be easier to mutilate the casing on this camera then try to resolder the circuit board.

  • Anonymous Nov 07, 2008

    I can't get at the top board and it doesn't budge.



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Hi pantherdave:
The premium Assistance plan will work, if the one you are asking knows the problem.
No, all the money does not just go to just the owners of the site. Each EXPERT or the one who solves the problem will get a portion of the amount.

As to your problem. I do not know that camera specifically, how ever, taking apart the camera may not help you at all , anyway.

The reason is that if any kind of camera, including digital cameras, that the mechanical parts can be damaged beyond repair, and could only be good for parts. First, what is not working?
I have had cameras which I know had been dropped, and they were only good for parts to fix others.
Next, the internal parts of the lens are very sensitive to damage. The parts are very small, and can be damaged or the lens can be thrown off track by impact. When a digital camera has had an impact, then the camera should be tested to see what is working, if anything. If nothing turns on, even though the batteries are in, then it cannot be tested, and is good only for parts.

Many times, I have found that the impact damaged the LCD, and could not be detected easily. Even though I looked at the LCD with the camera on, I did not detect the LCD damage. I only saw it when I examined it very closely. A damaged LCD may cause some cameras to not turn on at all, since it needs the LCD to complete the circuits. Some cameras will turn on even though the LCD is taken out, and may work through the USB connection, or video connector.

One thing to remember with any digital camera or any small instrument such as this is that it is extremely important to remember where each screw came from. If a longer screw is put back in some cameras, it can lead to shorting out a circuit or causing the camera not to turn on at all.
Some system has to be devised to remember where each screw came from and return each screw to it's original position and place.

Posted on Sep 27, 2008

  • Dave Lundmark
    Dave Lundmark Sep 27, 2008

    First, it may be that the button assembly is bad or some problem.
    Next, you may get another camera for parts which has a definite other problem (Ebay as is or parts camera) such as a broken lens assy. That way you know you will have possibly the parts you need to fix this camera, such as the button assy. Many times the button assy. is made into the back cover, not sure if this is true of this particular camera. So, what you may want to do, as suggested is to get another camera and then trade parts until you are able to make the camera work correctly. By doing this fix and try method, I have fixed a few digital cameras.
    Remember this, that all cables do not connect the same way, and you should examine them carefully before pulling or disconnecting them. Some have small clamp assemblies, others simply push in for connection. In either case, you should use magnification to help to see clearly.
    A problem which I have found to be more common than not are loose cable connections. Also look closely at the connections to detect any liquid contamination of any kind. Battery vapor can also do a lot of harm in these compact circuits, and should not be taken lightly. Look for corrosion around and near the battery compartment. If there is any corrosion, be on the outlook for damaged connections and solder joints. These small circuits may at times need to be resoldered due to poor original soldering.
    At this point a good magnifier lens can be of great help.
    Problems like this can be very elusive, in that, it is hard to detect where the problem is. By using elimination, you may find the problem and have a good camera in the end.

    The last option could be to simply sell the camera on a site such as Ebay for parts or as is. Then get another camera.

  • Dave Lundmark
    Dave Lundmark Sep 27, 2008

    As far as un-soldering the wires. Not necessary to do that. What you can do, as I have, is to cut the wires and then repair later with solder and tape, or a small wire connector, or some other means of reconnecting the wires. If you simply strip carefully the wires at the ends and push them together with a very small amount of solder, that should do also, then cover with electrical tape. Make a note of which and were the wires are.

    Anyway, hope this helps, let me know what happens.



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