Buttons going bad on RH Designs Zonemaster II

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Dave Krueger, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    Does anyone have any experience with intermittent buttons on the Zonemaster II? I have one button that clicks, but doesn't actually do anything unless you push on the upper right corner of the button. Obviously, the simplest solution would be to send it back to RH Designs for repair, but it's about 8 months past the warranty expiration and I want to make sure there is nothing I can do to repair it myself. I really don't want to send it back to the UK for repair and be without the meter for weeks if I can avoid it.

    Membrane keyboards are common and there is some info about repairing them on the web, but I'd be interested in hearing of anyone has actually repaired the keypad on the Zonemaster II.
     
  2. JackRosa

    JackRosa Member

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    RH Designs sold to another company. You can look them up on the internet. My experience with them is that they are good guys. If you explain the issue to them they may give you a break on the cost of repairs, even though your unit is out of warranty. If you try to fix it and mess it up, you are in for full price of repair. I suggest you e-mail them and ask them for their suggestions. Also, th fellow who owned RHD is a greta guy and a knowledgeable source. I am sure he would reply to your e-mail. (Internet search will yield his name/contact info)

    Hope this held.
     
  3. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    Thanks for the replies, guys.

    I took it apart and it turns out the buttons consist of discrete switches rather than a membrane keypad. The button in question just had a cold solder joint. After resoldering, it works great. It's actually kind of nice to know I can replace the buttons myself if they ever go bad.
     
  4. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    Good to know. Thanks.
     
  5. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Very good to know, thanks!
     
  6. JackRosa

    JackRosa Member

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    Absolutely . . . this is good to know! Thanks.
     
  7. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    Switches are available from RS (components) I can post the part number if you need. Easy to replace if you had to.
     
  8. JackRosa

    JackRosa Member

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    Part numbers would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  9. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    Thanks for this info!
     
  10. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    The buttons and switches are made by Marquardt in Germany. The relevant part numbers are: Switch: 6425.0101 Keytop: 825.000.031.
    The RS Components part number for the switch is 607-7810 and the keytop (cap) is 607-7826
     
  11. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    Thanks for the info!
     
  12. JackRosa

    JackRosa Member

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    THANKS FOR THE INFO

    THANKS - most useful information.
     
  13. Mark_S

    Mark_S Member

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  14. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    Thank you Shane.
     
  15. JackRosa

    JackRosa Member

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  16. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    Just an update on this. I had more Zonemaster button problems, only this time it wasn't a cold solder joint. One push-button switch (the down arrow) has become very intermittent. When I looked up the switch referenced in the posts above from Mouser, it was not the one used on my RH Designs Zonemaster II, but with a little research and I was able to find a replacement for my switches. It's an ALPS SKHHBWA010. The data sheet (and picture of it) is here:

    http://www.alps.com/prod/info/E/HTML/Tact/SnapIn/SKHH/SKHHBWA010.html

    I have some on order from Mouser (24 cents each). In the mean time I swapped the bad switch with one I don't use very often. The footprint and dimensions of the ALPS switch above match the ones used n the Zonemaster II, but I won't know if the operating force is the same until it actually arrives.
     
  17. rpavich

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    Thanks for this info!
     
  18. AgX

    AgX Member

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    ALPS is a well known manufacturer. And I do not think you used that button a hundredthousand times. So I'm puzzled to learn it failed.
     
  19. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    Well, I don't know that the original button was ALPS. I only know that I was able to find an ALPS button that matched it.
     
  20. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    For anyone interested, I made a blog post of the repair and included some pictures.

    I don't know how many people use the ZoneMaster meter, but I think it, along with the StopClock, are amazing products. As an engineer familiar with the design of user interfaces, these deserve some kind of award. I dread the day that either of them stops working and I have to go back to the way I used to do things.
     
  21. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    Thank you Dave. As a user of the Stop Clock Vario coupled with an Aristo VCL4500 I couldn't agree more. I have spare tubes for the Aristo (thanks to Ken Nadvornick here at APUG) and thanks to you Dave I now know how to repair switches on my Stop Clock if ever that should become necessary. And the comment about ergonomics is so true! Designers of things with buttons could learn so much from products like this. (Hewlett Packard calculators in the old days also come to mind)
     
  22. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    John, I was replacing a button in a ZoneMaster II. I don't know what switches the Stop Clock uses. It's quite a bit different from the ZoneMaster, so I doubt it uses the same switches. Nonetheless, I bet it would be a simple matter to find a source for them on line if they ever go bad.
     
  23. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    oops. I was under a vague impression that your device was one of the family of RH Designs devices with similar cases and layout (Analyser Pro etc). I didn't actually know what the ZoneMaster II looked like. Now I see it's rather different. Anyway, it's all knowledge that could be useful, especially here at the End of the Earth where repairs can be even more problematic.
     
  24. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    sorry to hear about your problem. mine still works like it did on day1
     
  25. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    It was a simple fix and I'm not exactly complaining. The ZoneMaster and StopClock are possibly the best darkroom investments I've ever made.