Recently we discovered that pocket cameras are durable, but not indestructible. Somehow the screen on ours became garbled and looked like someone had taken a metal comb to the screen. I assumed that it was cracked and ordered a new LCD off Ebay for a steal at $17. Replacing the screen took about twenty minutes, and you'll need a fine screwdriver and cleaning cloth in case you smudge the new screen.
-> Though I replaced only the LCD, I would suggest buying a screen+backlight assembly instead. Used ones were only $30 on Ebay.
One thing I try to do when fixing complicated items is to record each step, which makes it much easier to get it back together correctly. In the end, everything went better than expected, and hopefully this Instructable will help others trying to fix their cameras. I disassembled the camera a second time to do this Instructable, so I'm confident others can do this without much issue.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Housing Disassembly
To start, move the video/camera/auto switch to the bottom position so that you can easily get it together at the end.
There are three sets of screws to remove the casing. As I learned the hard way, the two long screws on the bottom are not the same, but coarse threaded. Make sure to keep the sets separate.
Once you've removed them all, the case clamshell's apart. To release the clips on the sides, I used a keychain club membership card to pry up the silver shell on the side and topbacking. Once the backing is off, the front is easily removed.
Step 2: Screen Removal and Disassembly
At this point I discovered the cause of our problem.. It appears that a sugary beverage of some kind leaked in my wife's purse and had wicked into the end of the camera where the screen was.
After the case is off, removal of the screen assembly is fairly simple. There are two brackets that hold things rigid that simply pivot out to the side. The screen assembly is held by one screw at the top right and it then pivots down.
Note: Again, I would strongly suggest replacing the entire screen assembly instead of just buying a replacement LCD.
I unfortunately don't have a picture of when I removed the backlight from the screen. To do this, there is a metal frame that clips around the LCD panel. This is held on by tabs on the top, bottom, and sides. To remove, I used an X-Acto blade to release the top and right side clips, and removed it. After the frame is off, the LCD can be removed.
Step 3: Disconnecting the Ribbon Wire
The LCD and backlight ribbon wires attach to the front of the camera. To remove the LCD, the black bar holding it down flips up and the cable can be pulled to the side. The backlight cable is simple to remove and the new one reinserted.
To reattach, repeat in reverse. The LCD cable was difficult to re-insert. Once it is back in place, flip the black bar down.
Step 4: LCD Reassembly
The cables should lay smooth and wrap around the bottom of the camera. The LCD screen/backlight assembly has a catch on the bottom left and is held in place by the black screw in the top right corner. Now is a good time to put the battery back in and make sure things still work.
Once secure, replace the two L-brackets. These have tabs that fit into sockets to the side of the screen.
Step 5: Case Reassembly
Reattach the front cover, then make sure the LCD is clean of lint/fingerprints. I didn't know what cleaners might ruin any coatings on it so I just used bottled water and a microfiber cloth.
Start putting the back on, but be careful about the ribbon cables on the bottom. It helps to flip out the A/V OUT DIGITAL cover on the top right.
The side with the wrist strap has two metal tabs that go between the gray plastic for the strap mount and the outer case. I closed the cover from the left side then the right.
**IMPORTANT** - Make sure the video/camera/auto switch on the case is at the lowest position before reclosing the back.
Once it's closed, make sure that the switch still works.
The screws for the right side are the longest of the set, and have the finer pitch. The long/coarse ones go in the bottom and short ones are used for the left side of the screen.
Step 6: Finis!
Hopefully you just saved yourselves a couple hundred dollars.