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Need Help Repairing an Intra-oral camera

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xcell

New Member
I have 4 of these which all decided to die in the last month.

1 is completely dead
1 glitches -- the image get reversed on the screen and I cannot change it with settings on the computer
1 has a dead pixel
1 has a scratch on the lens

I called the manufacturer and they said the model is discontinued so they don't repair them any more, so I was thinking at least I could open the completely dead one and use the lens on that for the one that works but the lens is scratched.

Any ideas on how to open it up? First time taking things apart so just want to know of any hints.

I enclosed pictures of the camera from different angles.
 

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JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
On the basis that these are intended to be used in various peoples mouths, I guess that they are intended to be sterilised after use.

With that in mind I suspect that they are completely sealed, probably by plastic welding.
If that is the case, there is probably no way to open the case in a non-destructive manner which will allow them to be re-assembled.

JimB
 

xcell

New Member
They are placed in disposable plastic sleeves for sterilization purposes...

I was able to crack one open...

But inside is even worse -- I thought maybe I could just take things apart and use working parts from one and mix and match.

This one the power is completely broken, so something is wrong with the board -- so I want to un-solder it and switch it with a board that works but camera is scratched.

Any advice on the type of soldering gun I need, etc...
 

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cowboybob

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Welcome to ETO, excell!

Somewhat hesitant to jump into this one, but...
... This one the power is completely broken, so something is wrong with the board ...
Need a bit more info. What about the power is "completely broken"? What led you to that conclusion? Some more, enlarged and finely focused pics of the "broken" area would be helpful

Best I can tell, the unit has a USB port, apparently providing power from, and channeling digital video to some manner of power and display device.. But your pics are way too general to be able to see anything specific. Nothing looks particularly "broken".
... Any advice on the type of soldering gun I need, etc...
The two boards appear to have multiple SMDs (Surface Mount Devices) that are very difficult to remove (and then replace), even for an experienced PCB repair tech. What is your experience level with electronic component soldering?
 

xcell

New Member
No experience at all...just wanted to fiddle because I have no choice --- the company who manufactures these cameras no longer services them.

Any idea of a 3rd party that could do what I need?

When I mean completely broken -- I plug the usb cable in and there is no power to the camera. Something must have shorted. I want to remove the board that is attached to the camera (red/black wires 3) and then replace it with a board (from another camera) that I know works. I'll try to get closer shots...
 

cowboybob

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
... When I mean completely broken -- I plug the usb cable in and there is no power to the camera. ...
From your description, it could be the USB cable itself. Can it be replaced (connectors at both ends, not just one end)?
 

xcell

New Member
I used the cable on another camera and it works, so not the cable --- maybe the usb connector in the camera?
 

jpanhalt

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Hi xcell,
You commented about getting someone to attempt repair. Assuming that of the 4 that you have, you want two to work, have you considered simply switching the working electronics and camera/lens. This picture:
upload_2017-8-5_10-19-23.png
Suggests to me that such swaps may be more practical than trying to repair the microscopic electronics. In other words, take the optical section from a dead unit and transplant into the unit that has a dead pixel, etc. If you knew how to solder tiny stuff, that does not look impossible. I think board repair (i.e., getting all four working) would be virtually impossible without specialized equipment and an inordinate amount of time.

In terms of the cost of repair, I suspect a competent person might expect at least $50/hr as a hobbyist to do the swapping. But, I would not be surprised if the cost is $80 to $100 per hour. I am not an engineer nor do I have experience in commercial repairs, but as a rule of thumb for non-hobbyists doing contract work, charges should be about twice what you would expect for salary. At least it was that way in my business.

Finally, I checked Schick/Sirona Dental and at least software support is available for the Schick USB model (current model is the USB4). Maybe there are non-Sirona entities that can attempt the repair.

John
 
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