Leicaflex SL battery chamber repair

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by stuart_pratt, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. Disaster! The little tab contact in the bottom of the battery chamber in my SL has broken off. Looks like there is some corrosion. I’m going to have to go in to effect a repair of some sort. Anyone have any advice ( other than don’t do it) for getting into the base of the camera? On the face of it, it looks straightforward with two recessed screws, but I thought I’d ask the question before diving in just in case there is some tiny spring or cog that pings out when you remove the base?
    THanks
     
  2. We’re you able to resolve this? I just acquired an SL this morning with the same issue.
     
  3. Hi
    Yes I did, but it was a bit more involved than I first thought. You have to remove the base of the camera, which was a real problem for me as the catch within the tripod Mount had seized. I had to cut round it and remove it that way, buy a junker camera and rob the battery chamber from that, unsolder the old one and put the new one in. It’s all now good, and we’ll worth it, but it was a bit hairy at the time. You need a square drive tool to undo the catch that sits within the tripod socket. I used a square drive screwdriver bit, which fit perfectly. I’ll measure it later and send you the size and a photo. When you get inside, it’s a simple job to remove the battery chamber. If you are handy, you might well be able to fashion a new tab, rather than get a whole new battery chamber. I have some photos of inside somewhere, I’ll look them out. Do you know if the meter actually works?
     
  4. The tripod socket catch is a square drive socket situated at the bottom of the tripod socket. You might be able to see it , just, with a torch. It has a 'left handed thread', that is, you need to turn it clockwise to undo it (I just checked this, and it's definitely correct). There is a picture below of the tool I used, it's a square-drive decking screw bit- you should be able to get one in a decent tool shop, or in desperation, they come free in larger packs of decking screws with the correct drive socket - across the flats at the tip on mine is 3.3mm. You'll need to undo the two tiny screws in cups either end of the bottom plate too. This should get you inside. There is a picture below of what it looks like once you have the battery chamber out, and the body-side of the tripod socket catch removed (you shouldn't need to do that, hopefully, your catch will be easy to undo). Removing the battery chamber itself was, from memory, straightforward by removing two or three small slot head screws. Sorry no picture of it with the battery chamber in. Then it's just a case of unsoldering and then re-soldering the four wires (the two orange ones, the red and blue one), replacing the battery chamber, and soldering them back (in the correct places - take a photo of what you have before, and label the orange wires so you know which is which). I also taped the wires to the camera body before unsoldering them so they didn't disappear into the camera body never to be seen again. The wires will be brittle and fragile after all these years, so don't play with them any more than you have to or the joint may fail at the other, non-battery end. In respect of the bottom orange wire, the non-battery joint is within the camera body somewhere, so if that comes off you've had it! . The wires are TINY, so if you have no experience in soldering, get someone who has to do this for you.
    The SL is supposed to use a 1.35v mercury cell which are no longer available. There is an awful lot on-line about what to do about this problem, which is common to many cameras of this age; maybe use a 1.4v hearing aid cell, or a modern 1.5v cell and ignore the variation in metering, use a voltage converter or make one yourself. I was lucky, my camera meters perfectly with a 1.5v cell, so must have been converted at some point, or has lost/gained sensitivity just to the correct amount to be correct now!

    There is a wiring diagram here SR44 voltage regulator PX625 mercury battery replacement (v2.0) of how to make a voltage converter if you are so inclined and have the skills.

    Best of luck and let us know how you get on
    SFP_6986.JPG SFP_4616 resized.jpg
     
  5. If you're in the UK, I can send you the tool I have
     
    luis triguez and NHSN like this.
  6. Actually there were other pictures of the battery chamber in

    IMG_20200606_152347910_HDR.jpg

    IMG_20200606_152407431_HDR.jpg

    IMG_20200606_154600132_HDR.jpg
     
    luis triguez and NHSN like this.

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