Olympus XA self-timer problem

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by va3uxb, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. I just aquired an Olympus XA with a mode problem - it is 'stuck' in self-timer mode. I knew it had this problem when I bought it; I was hoping that the problem was simply a stuck / broken switch. Now that I have my hands on it though, I have determined that the problem is deeper...
    I've removed the bottom panel and verified that the switch contacts are working properly. I've also checked with a multimeter and verified that there are no shorts on the switch contacts.
    My tinkering skills are better-suited to electronics so I'm afraid (actually fairly certain) that if I try stripping this camera down till I can access it's electronic brains, there's no chance I'll get it back together in working order.
    Apart from the 12-second self-timer delay everything else seems to work correctly. The aperture works, the shutter speeds are sane, and the lens is clean and clear.
    Has anyone experienced this sort of failure? Any ideas on easy ways to fix it? I got the camera on the cheap (due to this problem) so I'm not going to invest a lot of $ to fix it. At worst, I'm prepared to chalk it up to a learning experience & start looking for one that is in full working order.
    Any tips or suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks & cheers!
  2. My understanding is that means that the core integrated circuit in the camera is fried. Buy another XA, sadly.
  3. Thanks for the quick replies!
    I've been using the repair manual to verify the S3 switch wiring. I tried following the disassembly guide and got as far as removing the front cover... I was hoping that I'd be able to see the circuit board from there but no such luck.
    Ah well. It was inexpensive and there are other XAs out there...
    Thanks again!
  4. Circuit is bad. It is mounted on the back of the shutter plate. Complete disassembly is needed to see / replace it. John
  5. I had an XA when it was new back in 1979 but I sold it in 84. In recent year I had to buy 4 of them to get a good one
    but still the meter indication is wrong but exposure is ok. The other one is fine exposure wise but the rangefinder is faded and very difficult to see. 2 of them work ok but the meter indication no long work at all.
  6. Using alkaline (A76, LR44) or lithium double cell (CR1/3N) in the XA can cause meter needle errors (auto exposure should be okay). For the record, silver oxide are the only correct XA batteries (357, 303, MS76, KS76, G-13, SR-44W, S76). John
  7. I've had an XA2 and an XA3 fail with the same problem. I was told by my repair guru that it's the chip, and not an economical fix.
  8. It sounds like this is a common failure-mode for the XA series... I've been googling more and come across more reports of cameras failing this way.
    For what it's worth, the idea I had for remedying the problem was to change the self-timer delay -- that is, if the camera was irrevocably stuck in self-timer mode, then change the delay from 12 seconds to something much smaller, like fractions of a second.
    The repair manual lead me to suspect the timing is achieved by an RC delay of R105 and C107. (The manual mentions a faulty C107 as a cause for the self-timer to stop working). By replacing C107 with a capacitor of a much smaller value -- by a factor of 100 or 1000 -- that would hopefully reduce the timer delay accordingly.
    The circuit board is buried too deep for me to reach, so I can't put my idea into practice.
    Thanks again for all the tips & info!
  9. I don't know whether it's significant, but both times this happened with me I was shooting in very cold weather.
  10. hi John Hermanson!
    The camera has 1 single 3V lithium battery and I have replaced it with 2 MS-76 batteries but the meter indication is still exactly the same. Looking at the schematic diagram I can't see why it would make a different.

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