Fixing Nikon Coolscan 9000

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by radfordneal, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. My Coolscan 9000 scanner has developed a problem, in which the film holder often doesn't move correctly. Sometimes it won't go all the way in. Sometimes it seems to move slightly wrong, giving unaligned frames. At the moment, it won't move out, so the film holder is stuck inside. It sometimes make horrible sounds. When mostly, but not quite, working, it makes a slightly odd sound (only odd given that I know what sound it normally makes), though maybe that's unrelated.
    The intermittent nature of the problem makes me hope that it's just some mechanical switch for sensing the film holder position that has gotten stuck. Or maybe there's some gunk in some gears. Or maybe some debris is blocking an optical sensor. So I hope I can fix it myself. (Not that there is any other option, as far as I know.)
    Looking at the bottom, it seems there are some scews whose removal would release the outer covering, allowing it to be slid back, uncovering all but the front side of the scanner. Has anyone tried this? Does anyone know of any tricks needed? Does anyone know whether doing this gives access to anything interesting, and if not what would?
    Thanks. I'll report back on what I find...
  2. I had a problem with a holder not moving properly through the scanner. Sometimes it went okay. Sometimes only part of the way. Sometimes it would not move at all.<br>I did take the cover off and had a look at the bits accesible then. The cause of the problem turned out to be a simple screw (i can't remember exactly which one. It was many, many years ago. But obviously it was one fixing a part that can catch the holder) that was a bit loose. Though not immediately obvious where the fault was (it only took part of a turn to fix the thing again, so not that visible), checking all the (few) bits that could interfere with the holder moving through smoothly it did not take more than a few minutes to find where the holder snagged and why. A quick fix too.<br>It would perhaps be too optimistic to hope that the problem with your scanner is equally easy to find and fix, but maybe have a look anyway?
  3. Thanks for sharing your experience. I've now fixed mine. Not a loose screw, though.
    I first removed ten screws on the bottom and eight on the back, after which the housing easily slid off. I could then see lots of interesting mechanisms. I manually rotated the stepping motor by gripping a bit of black plastic in order to see more. (What you can see without this depends on where it was when you shut down the machine.)
    I didn't see anything loose, however. (There were several screws that I can imagine could get loose, though.)
    Looking for what might cause the film holder to stall, I did see what looked like they could be sensors on the left side of the machine (when facing its front). These consist of three pairs of knobs, though which a ridge on the left side of the film holder passes. (You can see this ridge on all the film holders, on the left side as you insert the film holder, with the right side instead having places for the gears that move it to grip.) I speculate that these are either optical sensors, or perhaps sensors that look at the change in capacitance when the plastic ridge is betwen the two knobs. I cleaned them all (especially between the two knobs) with a Q-tip cotton swab.
    The scanner now works fine. Presumably there was dust or some such on these sensors that caused them to think the film holder was positioned someplace it wasn't, with the bad results I observed.
    For future reference, I note that one should actually be able to reach in and clean between these knobs by just opening the front door where the film holder is inserted (they're on the left), without having to take the scanner apart. You would need something longer than a Q-tip, however.

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