Hmmm... I'll tell you the basics that I know, but some of this is a "voyage
of discovery" that you'll have to figure out yourself.
Of course the first thing to do is a "mindset check". When you're taking something
apart you stand a chance of destroying it. If you can't handle that outcome then
run away now. Of course this can be a dynamic decision which can be continually
re-evaluated as you carefully disconnect or brutally pry the pieces of the subject
I would guess that taking one of these camcorders apart is slightly safer than
dissecting the still cameras. That's because the camcorder doesn't have a flash
and the associated flash capacitor (which can shock). Still, be careful
and generally try not to touch anything metal that you don't have to.
My innate curiosity has led me to disassemble stuff ever since I was a kid, so I
have tons of practice - and a bit of practice putting stuff back together. But, off
the top of my head, here are a few guidelines:
- Establish a work area. For me this means room to spread out the parts, good
light, something to protect the furniture I'm using as a work area. If it looks
like I'll be messing with small parts I try to figure out somewhere that those
things can be placed so they don't wander away - trying to find a small spring
in shag carpet sucks...
- Try to think about how it was put together - that had to happen somehow. Sometimes
that gives me a clue about how to take it apart.
- Don't touch anything unless you have to. Capacitors can shock - learn what they look
like and avoid them unless they are discharged first. Integrated circuit chips can
be fryed by static electricity - discharge yourself first by touching a ground source
if you *have* to touch the circuitry. The rest of it just looks nicer if you don't
leave big fingerprints. Corrollary: Don't eat while you disassemble...
- Go slow and careful. Pry gently before prying hard. Pry before pulling.
Small hammer before sledge hammer.
- As you remove bits, arrange them in some order that you'll remember so that
can put them back on in that order. Sometimes it doesn't matter - sometimes it
does. If you can't remember, write stuff down. (or take pictures!)
- Photograph stuff on a light-colored solid background so that it's easy to see.
The Wolf/Ritz camera was held together by three screws on the back under the stickers.
After considering it a bit I decided that the nicest approach would be to use an
Exacto knife to cut away the sticker above each screw.
For now my initial approach would be to take it apart, take pictures of everything
and to write up what each of the integrated circuit chips appears to be. If the
IC identification numbers aren't clearly visible in photographs then write them down
The next step would be to look up the component circuits on the 'net and see if the
manufacturers provide any technical data. If they've used publicly available and
publicly documented components then we'll know more about it from the start. If not,
then careful software hacking over the USB port (which I don't really know much about)
may be the only option.
- sailpix _/)