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Old March 4th, 2008, 01:20 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1,158
Fixing your Broken Handle DIY

In 20 YEARS I've never dropped a camera,now I've done it twice in a year :( :( both times with a HD100

a week ago I put the HD100 into the tripod plate and damn if it didn't grab on only one side. It clicked into place, but was only holding on one side. Now its not like I haven't worked with V mount plates before, I've been using them since they came out. Well the one time I don't jiggle the handle to be sure, I grab the tripod to move it a couple of feet and off the tripod the camera pops. onto the concrete floor it went :( I figured out how bad can it be....

lens is still on
VF is still on
LCD is still there and on
so it the battery

pick the camera up, looks Ok. I look at the LCD, picture is still there. its still powered up !

On closer examination, the handle has cracked on the front of the body where it usually breaks. Now I could of sent the camera off to JVC, spent $ for the handle, the labor, the shipping, but I figured I could fix because I just didn't have the cash right now for it.

here is a link to some pics of my DIY repair which I think will outlast another replacement handle because it adds a re-enforcement to the stress area between the handle and its base.

BTW if you don't have the machine skills, repair experience, please go send you camera to JVC ....

the basic repair consisted of

1. I glued the casting back together again using an industrial grade ACC ( aka Krazy Glue ) adhesive. The crack didn't totally go all the way across. I applied the activator and glue, and 2 minutes later the crack was solid again. I would not consider this fixed except for a quick emergency. However, it was good enough to let me go on to the next step by having the peices back together again in the right alignment.

2. I made an aluminum bridge piece. I machined it from a peice of .25 " thick aluminum. 20mmX 50mm in size. accounting for the curve was a bit more challenging. I was sloppy with this and use a dremel with a carbide bit to rough it out figuring the epoxy would take up the difference.

3. I removed the paint from the area where the brace plate was to go. trying to glue to the paint isn't a good thing, the bare metal is good for expoxy. in doing so I completely encased the camera in a plastic bag. I taped the area to have the paint removed, then taped the plastic bag to that. I used a steel wire brush in a dremel tool to remove the paint in a few minutes. this sort of operation puts super fine dust everywhere and getting that dust into the camera could of been far worse causing serious problems particularly with the tape transport, hence my precautions of sealing the camera.

4. I epoxied the the brace peice to the handle, and let it set up overnight with clamping. I chose a slow dry epoxy with a high PSI / sq inch for max bonding strength.

that was it. I plan to add some additional material to the inside of the handle as well. thankfully the front of the handle doesn't have any ribbon cable in it so its simple to fix. don't try this unless you know what you are doing... worked for me, I'll check back in a few months and see how well it works. I think I've now got a handle thats stronger then the factory part I hope.
Steve Oakley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 4th, 2008, 01:32 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Palo Alto, California
Posts: 520
Necessity is the mother of invention. Good work Steve. I threw my backpack on the other day and walked away, like I always do - only this time I heard a thud after walking a few steps. No don't worry, I zip the pack closed every single time I open it. This was aliens. No doubt about it.

I hate that handle. Without even dropping it it's loose.

Good going on the slow dry epoxy. That stuff's like a battery. Long slow charges are the best..
Eric Gulbransen is offline   Reply

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