How to: missing LCD segments repair on Ricoh GR1

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by TimmyMac, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. TimmyMac

    TimmyMac Subscriber

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    I recently bought one of these cameras on eBay and sure enough, it had the dreaded LCD problem. Only a few of the LCD segments worked on the top panel, and worse, the shutter speeds in the viewfinder were dead too. I looked the problem up and apparently it is a common problem for segmented LCD panels on watches, calculators, etc.

    LCD panels are connected to the main circuit boards in these devices with a plastic ribbon cable which has conductive rubber strips embedded in it. The ribbon cable is glued down to the circuit board using a special film which is conductive through its thickness but not conductive in the other directions. Unfortunately this stuff tends to degrade over time which gives the classic GR1 problem.

    However, if you're handy you can remove this film and either tape the cable in place and install something to push it down onto the circuit board contacts, or you can buy new adhesive film (3M Anisotropic Conductive Film 9703, available on eBay for repairing iPods and such) and replace it. I'll briefly explain below.

    First you need access to the ribbon cable. Remove the rubber grip wrapped on the front and right side of the camera, which is just stuck down with a glue of sorts. This gives you access to two screws which hold the top cover on. Remove these. Also remove the viewfinder/power switch bezel, held on with one screw which is easily visible. Finally, there is one hidden screw which is inside the film compartment at the extreme left of the camera, beside the takeup spool. Once you remove this, you can take the top cover off. There is nothing you need to worry about here except you can easily lose the rubber part of the rewind button at the top left corner of the camera.

    Once you have the top off, the rest is relatively easy. Take off the black plastic holder for the LCD. The hard circuit board on the left side which has the button contacts for the exposure compensation, timer, and mode buttons needs to come off; it's held down by a single screw. Now you can move the LCD out of the way, and bend out of the way (gently!) the flexible circuit board which obstructs the LCD ribbon attachment. Using a warm soldering iron or similar, you can warm up the attachment and gently remove it from the circuit board underneath. There are a series of gold pins which the ribbon is stuck to - you can clean these with acetone after removing the ribbon, and you can get the adhesive off the ribbon with acetone as well. Be VERY GENTLE removing the adhesive as the rubber conductive strips are also somewhat sensitive to acetone and will dissolve if you're not careful.

    Once that's done, tape the edges of the ribbon cable in place so the contacts line up again. I used some thin foam tape to ensure constant downwards pressure to make sure the pins made contact. If you bought the 3M adhesive, cut a little strip and you'll need to heat it to around 100C while holding the ribbon in place to get it to set. This is a more reliable way of getting the contact to stay permanently - mine is missing 1.5 segments after I did the mod.

    Reassemble and you're good to go!

    Sorry for the lack of pics - I don't own a digital camera :smile:
     
  2. gtoffoli

    gtoffoli Member

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    thank's very much

    Giuseppe
     
  3. mihalich

    mihalich Member

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    Thank you for the information it really helped to solve the LCD problem.
    I solved it using just some pressure to ribbon cable connection points.

    I made all the main photos to help other guys how to open the camera.
    Just one notice - Dont lose the small rubber dome button which is responsible for Rewind.

    Pictures:
    2013-03-05 00.08.22.jpg
    2013-03-05 00.08.43.jpg
    2013-03-05 00.08.58.jpg
    2013-03-05 00.10.22.jpg
    2013-03-05 00.10.36.jpg
    2013-03-05 00.12.36.jpg
    2013-03-05 00.18.47.jpg
     
  4. degaud

    degaud Member

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    ...i have some problems to identify which is the ribbon to replace...i'm in front of the disassembled camera: i look under the LCD and..? the ribbon is the black one under the LCD ? please, help...
     

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  5. TimmyMac

    TimmyMac Subscriber

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    It's the ribbon front and centre in your first photo. You need to follow it underneath the flexi-PCB which is visible in your second photo immediately under the LCD. The LCD ribbon goes under that and then attaches to the rigid PCB below. It's really tricky to get it off - you have to bend the flexi-PCB out of the way GENTLY.

    Glad I could help a few people - my GR1's shutter bit the dust the other day so mine is properly dead now - unless someone knows how to fix it!!!
     
  6. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    Let me guess, it started clicking like a machine gun and didn't close?

    I would love to get mine fixed as well. I have all but given up on mine even though it was a fantastic camera when it worked. It seems they just all die.
     
  7. degaud

    degaud Member

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    ok... is this the impossible zone...? :tongue:
     

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  8. wykim88

    wykim88 Member

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    THANK YOU
    I have a GR1 and have the same problem.
    I'll attempt to open it up and repair it with your instructions.
    I'll post pics later.
     
  9. dczypher

    dczypher Member

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    big thanks to this thread.. will try to fix my GR1 someday.. i need to get some encouragement to repair it (or wreck it with my heavy hands :D )
     
  10. Fragomeni

    Fragomeni Subscriber

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    Wondering if anyone else who's done this can provide some more supplemental information and pictures. As good as the original description of the process is, pictures go a very long way in describing something like this.

    In the case of my Gr1v, the top lcd is fine but its the framelines and information in the viewfinder that is missing. I've taken the camera apart per the instructions and while I'm still not entirely sure how to get to the conductive tape area being described, I'm able to wiggle and apply pressure to the part of the ribbon that seems to control whats in the viewfinder and some of the symbols inside light up (flickering) when I do this. I've been able to bring back the primary frameline but I've been unable to bring back the rest. I'm hoping that someone can provide clear photographs of how to complete the process. Any help would be appreciated.

    Edit/Update: I started applying head via a blow dryer and applying pressure and pulling on the ribbon (completely guessing where) and then when I noticed the main frameline had returned I reassembled the camera. All of the information is now visible in the viewfinder except the camera still doesn't seem to light of the shutter speeds. The symbols for focus distances, main framelines as well as both sets of close up framelines now appear. The P for program also appears and 500 and 30 will flash when out of exposure range. I wish the camera would tell me what shutter speed is being used but in the end I'm happy to have about 90% led functionality back which is way better than what I started with. Hopefully it maintains this for a while.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2014
  11. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I once repaired the connectivity of a printed-foil leader to a LCD display (of a telephone) by locally applied heat by means of regulated fine tip solder iron. I started a thread on it too.
    But meanwhile the same connection got loose again.

    The proper repair would be to take off such leader complety and clean both surfaces. Then a special conductive tape must be attached to one of the the two surfaces and both brought together again. The tape is made by 3M in different types and sold in small strips on the net for cellphone repairs. There is a hint at these at some other thread on Apug.
     
  12. keyman

    keyman Member

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    Ok… need a little help!

    Photo on 17-04-14 at 10.27 AM copy.jpg

    I've got my camera taken apart, ready to repair, I have the 3m tape…. I am just not 100% sure which ribbon it is to undo and repair?

    is it white ribbon to black connector directly above tinted RF window or white ribbon above viewfinder window??

    I am hoping its the one i am pointing to in the pic

    please help!

    thanks!
    Kian
     
  13. Fragomeni

    Fragomeni Subscriber

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    Hi Kian,

    I cant really see what you're pointing to in the picture but I'm also not entirely sure where the loss on conductivity is occurring. When I did this I just kind of guessed. Unfortunately my repair didn't last long and I've once again lost all of the information in the viewfinder. I have tried replacing the tape yet but I think I'll try that next (if I can find the tape). Also, I've read of similar repairs to other devices being done using regular aluminum tape which is conductive. Aluminum tape can be acquired at almost any hardware store so much easier to come by. I may just give that a try to see if it works.
     
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  15. Miguel_Porto

    Miguel_Porto Member

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    Hi does anyone here made it to completely fix the LCD screen? Does anyone have more pictures of how to get it done, of course the pics we have here are really nice, but more detailed would have helped a lot... Thank you.
     
  16. ulrikplate

    ulrikplate Member

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    Warning:

    What ever you do, first take out the batteries and leave the camera for a a day or two to fully decharge the flash capacitator (I don't know exactly how much time it takes tbh). I zapped myself badly (twice) and it was no kind of fun I can tell you! Still a little shaken actually :sad:

    Mine also suffers from the clicking non functioning shutter syndrome as well, which looks most like aperture blades being stuck at f22.

    Thought I'd just made a bargain, buying one for $70 locally. Once I got home I noticed the LCD issue and after ten minutes the shutter died too. It hadn't been used for about 8 years which to me sounds like oxidized contacts or simply stuck aperture blades. Would be awesome if somebody with more technical sense than me made a proper tutorial to save all of these lovely malfuntioning Ricoh cameras.
     
  17. ulrikplate

    ulrikplate Member

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    Update, not sure waiting will discharge the capacitator, but a (rubber gripped!) screwdriver at the connections gives an almighty crack and a few smaller ones. After this I reckon it is safe to touch. Probably not the kosher way to do it, but with a dead GR1S, two major electric shocks under my belt I wasn't going to play it nice. There are tutorials on how to make a discharger if you search on google.

    I didn't get it working but I did learn some more about the 'ticking' lens being stuck at f22. If I manually forced the lens into the body so that it looked like it does when being turned off I could unjam the shutter temporarily. Once in this position it would give some weird rattling sounds if firing the shutter, even firing the flash if in flash mode (lens covers still closed). Turning the camera off and on and the aperture will have opened up again looking normal. First shutter release after this and the shutter will close down to around f8 and stop down to f22 if firing once more, being back to stuck position. However if opened the lens covers in the forcibly closed position the aperture would act normal when firing the shutter. I ran through the apertures and they all seemed to act normal with shutter speeds changing accordingly.

    So the shutter works normally when retracted all the way into the body which suggests that it is not the lens that is faulty nor the aperture blades being stuck due to old lubricants, but rather that it is an electrical problem most likely due to either a problem with the lens ribbon cable or perhaps a problem with the circuits under the LCD. I tried fiddling with the lens ribbon cable accessible from film chamber but it didn't change a thing. I made a video which I will put on youtube when I got time.

    I really want to win over this camera now!!
     
  18. chnops

    chnops Member

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    I have almost completely disassembled the GR-1/s series cameras in order to try to revive them from the dead. It total, they exhibited all the classic symptoms of GR-1/s failure including LCD segment disappearance, partial viewfinder failure, partial viewfinder separation, focus error, and finally shutter failure. If they didn't help create such wonderful images, I wouldn't be so bothered by it, but alas, I have been through three of these cameras, all which met the same fate. I will post photos of the disassembly in the next two weeks, and they will be available for parts if anyone is interested.
     
  19. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    I have been following this thread since I have issues with my GR1. Since it popped up again today, I looked at my GR1 which has been sitting on my desk for many months. I had the LCD problem, then the shutter crapped out on me a few years ago. Today I looked through it and it is obvious that the viewfinder is separating! Jeesh. It is too bad that such a fantastic lens was attached to such a crap camera! To think these things were super expensive back in the day but couldn't last as long as a crappy Olympus...
     
  20. besseddrest

    besseddrest Member

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    I'm attaching some photos to hopefully gain some clarity for the above tasks. I've added some labels to make sense of things:

    • White Border: The full 'ribbon cable'
    • A: The 'left' side of the ribbon cable, when the camera is pointing at you
    • B: The 'right side of the ribbon cable, camera pointing at you
    The way I understand TimmyMac's instructions is:

    • beneath side A is where the conductive rubber strips are
    • side A should be warmed and detached from the circuit board underneath
    • beneath side A you should clean the area and use the 3M adhesive to re-attach the ribbon cable to the circuit board
    • side B should NOT be removed
    TimmyMac, is this correct? I've never fiddled with electronics so I need more of a visual guide.

    One note, it seems that side A has some thin layer of tape of some sort on top, almost like a scotch tape on the edge of the circuit board. Not sure if this detail is important.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     

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  21. TimmyMac

    TimmyMac Subscriber

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    It's been a while since I did this repair and my GR1 has since gotten the clicky-shutter problem which also seems to be pretty common - so I haven't used or seen it in a while. From what I remember, the scotch tape is to be removed as it prevents you from getting at the ribbon cable attachment spots. Spot A is the attachment for the main ribbon cable, which branches to the main LCD and also to the viewfinder LCD. Spot B is the attachment for the viewfinder LCD.

    *disclaimer: this is from memory of a repair done a long time ago!
     
  22. bence8810

    bence8810 Subscriber

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    Hello there,

    I have a GR1S with an LCD that partially works - still kind of useable and the Viewfinder is fully functional.
    I do have the 3M tape - just ordered it.

    Do you think I should attempt to fix it or just leave it as it is before I do more harm than good?

    Also - all the posts above with different pictures etc are a bit confusing. Does anyone know where the ribbon is that we need to detach and reattach with the 3M tape?

    TimmyMac's original post was very clear albeit the lack of images.
    Then when all the images started appearing - I kind of got lost.

    Thanks,
    Ben
     
  23. bence8810

    bence8810 Subscriber

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    Hello,

    Bumping this thread to see if anyone has successfully managed to fix the LCD on the Ricoh GR1(s/v) series?

    I have the camera and the tape and the tools and I'd be happy taking some pictures along the way too to post back here.

    Thanks,
    Ben
     
  24. besseddrest

    besseddrest Member

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    Sorry for the delayed response...

    Sorry for the late reply as I check this thread pretty infrequently. I chose not to move forward with the repair since I am not handy with a soldering iron. I do believe that there is an instagram user who can do the repairs but I can't remember the username; you could probably find the user with some good hashtag searches. I have since purchased another used GR1V that is not as broken as the one I've shown photos of. Good luck.
     
  25. bence8810

    bence8810 Subscriber

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    Hello,

    Thanks for getting back to me. When you say - not as broken - that implies that it is sort of broken but usable? If so it's perhaps like mine. I have a loud motor when advancing but I checked and it is the default sound / state. It will get even louder and clicking when it's ready to retire so I guess I am ok there. The LCD in the viewfinder is almost perfect - it's a bit dim and the center focusing aid isn't showing unless I look at some very dark (or bright) solid background. The top LCD is missing half of the first number in the counter. Everything else works so I am also sort of hesitant in opening it up.

    If there were clear instructions I'd attempt though!
    I'll check in Instagram - what a weird place to advertise repair at...
    Ben
     
  26. OndrejP_SK

    OndrejP_SK Member

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    Hello friends,

    I have recently fixed a GR1 with missing LCD segments for a friend, and also made a guide for others with similar problem.
    The guide is here at ifixit.com

    I would recommend this only to experienced camera repairman to attempt this. It is one of the most difficult repairs I have ever done.