If you drop a V3 and it stops working, it might be an easy fix

After successfully activating it, I was positioning a brand new V3 about 6’ up, magnetized to some metal, when it slipped off and hit the concrete ground.

It would not turn on or work at all (no LED light or anything, holding the setup button did nothing at all, etc), and sometimes I even heard a sort of rattle when I shook it, so I thought I broke something.

Rather than throw it away, I figured it couldn’t hurt to open it up and see if there was something I could easily fix.

When I opened it up, this is what I saw:

Well, that made it a no-brainer on what was likely wrong…the fall had obviously knocked loose that power plug. So, obviously, if I plugged it back in, it should work again.
So I did just that. I connected the power plug:


Note that there wasn’t a ton of extra cord length to work with. In fact, it was actually twisted several times pretty tight, so it was originally much shorter and more tense than you see in these pictures, these pictures show it already untwisted so that I had slightly more length to work with (after fixing the camera the first time and verifying it fixed the issue, I disconnected it again to document and take pictures to show everyone what I saw and how I fixed it).

After connecting the power cord, I pushed the casing back on to cover the electronics:

Then I put the screws back in, and replaced the little rubber screw covers:

Then pushed the white cover back on it.

In that picture, it is slightly sticking out so people can see how to take it off.

You can use a razor blade to pry things out, I personally used this:


[A metal spudger], but I would probably recommend a hard plastic one or a hard plastic guitar pick instead if you have one to help prevent scratching. I saw others used a razor blade, and I started with that, but it seemed to cause more damage easily, so I switched to the spudger.

Thankfully I didn’t just throw away the camera after dropping it and thinking it was just broken, when the fall had actually just knocked loose the very tightly wound power cable.

So, if anyone’s camera suddenly stops working entirely (no status light or anything), Consider opening it up by following those pictures in reverse (you just have to squeeze a tool in between the little cracks to pull on the little white cover and the black part after unscrewing it to get them to pop out), and checking that the tightly wound power plug didn’t just spring unplugged. It might just be a relatively simple fix.

(To clarify, I didn’t contact support about a warranty for this brand new device specifically because I knew the problem was caused by a drop that was 100% my fault and nothing to do with some kind of malfunction during normal use [like warranties are intended for], and for me personally, it was an integrity situation that I personally would not have felt good about pursuing in this particular case).

I post the above just in case someone else ever has a V3 that stops responding 100%, because it could just be that the tight-pulling power cable jostled loose like it did with mine, and it’s not too hard to fix.

There are further explanations and suggestions in the following posts. In short, try to keep the double-sided tape all together when prying off the square little front white cover by pulling it off slowing and pushing the stretching tape up against the cover as you go all the way around pulling it off slowly. Also be careful not to accidentally cut up the little red gasket that basically makes the device waterproof (IP65). Don’t worry about it too much though…even if you mess those up, it’s not a huge deal, it’s just preferable to be kind of careful so that it’s good as new.

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good to know,
you can just pry it to open it or there is screws on the holes around the lens.
interesting that the camera is black and they put it in white box lol.
Thanks

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Yeah, just pry off the white cover, pop out the white screw covers, unscrew the 3 screws (small phillips head), then pry out the main black piece. It wasn’t too bad.

I do wish they made a black version, or even a basically solid white version would be better. When they do a little black on white it stands out like a screaming advertisement drawing all the attention and looking a little tacky IMO. I would prefer they all blend in instead. I’ve seen some people make or spray on some interesting black covers for it that look pretty nice though.

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Good post, thanks.
A dab of hot glue on that connector will prevent the problem. I suppose not dropping the camera would also prevent it. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thanks for that info and photos, @carverofchoice. I’ve been wanting to take one apart but haven’t had one I wanted to risk, (yet)
That will be great info when the time comes. Nice work!

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Thanks @carverofchoice. Sorry your v3 ended up being the guinea pig, but I’m sure many will benefit from your technical investigation sooner or later. :+1:

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Yeah, I am just SOOO glad that it was such a simple issue (plug it back in). It could’ve been so much worse.

I guess I should’ve taken a few more good pictures from other angles and sides of all the pieces so that we all had a good view of everything. Maybe I’ll do that later, now that I know how to easily do it and have a cam that I already experimented with and am not afraid to open and close (other than the time it takes to do it). If anyone really needs or wants to see something specific, I can get around to doing it again with some good high quality shots of specific parts.

One word of advice I would give if anyone does this, is that first white strip (last in the line of pictures) that you pull off, it does have double-sided tape all the way around it, so the big trick to keep that on there is, after pull up the first little bit of that white strip, and you see the clear double-sided tape start to stretch, stick whatever tool you are using to pull the white cover off, UNDER the clear tape, and push the tape up onto that cover all the way around it as you lift it up. That’s what I did, then it stayed on there perfectly intact. I heard that others have had problems keeping that tape whole and undamaged, but when I stuck my metal tool under it and kept the tape pressed to the white cover, it stayed on there perfectly whole and didn’t need to be replaced at all when I reattached everything. It’s not a big deal if it does come off, but you might as well try to keep it together and fully intact, right? I only now realized I should’ve taken a picture of the backside of that part, or what it looks like as you pry it open, so this would make more sense. It’s pretty obvious while you’re doing it though, and nothing to really fear screwing up. If I open it again I’ll add a picture of that in here.

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Nice post(s). I think that’s called a spudger. I’ve got to get one.

The fact that the power connector is modular and the rest of the camera guts are self-contained is going to lead to some very interesting hacks before long.

Battery pack re-pack?

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Another informative and helpful post @carverofchoice :+1:. Good to know that if dropped, to check if the power plug disconnected (well, assuming the camera didn’t shatter from the fall).

Recently I had to replace my worn-out pry-tools due to age and over-use prying apart laptop cases to get to internal parts. Below is the kit that I purchased and it has worked well so far for the past 7-months.

Keep in mind that I use the tools included for; laptops, phones, tablets, etc and it works well for those devices, it’s not intended for heavy-duty applications.

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Guitar picks work well too. Although the very thin ones aren’t rigid.
I have 12 guitars in the house so have a lot of picks. :grin:

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That’s certainly a creative choice for a pry-tool @angus.black and good use of items readily available (especially with only 12-guitars in the house - one for every month) :guitar:

That’s funny, I was looking at the link @ThreeTen posted with a bunch of other Spudgers, then looked at similar kits to find one that also had some long tiny Phillips head screwdrivers included, and a bunch of them had little guitar pick looking things included with the kit. For example:

image

So guitar picks really are a thing lots of people find helpful for electronic repairs! Makes sense, the metal spudgers more easily scratch things up (I started using a razor blade before switching to the spudger, but one of them did scratch up a piece of my V3 a little), so using a harder guitar pick or “Triangular plate” as they call it, is probably way better for something like this to ensure it doesn’t get scratched. A good plastic Spudger should work just as well too. I’ll have to keep that in mind for future use.

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Great to see! This is the first lookin inside since the FCC filing, which did not show the screw holes really. Nice to know it can be taken apart a little more easy than we had thought. How was the gluing for water proofing? Did you try to redo any of that? Wonder if heat would help make the faceplate come off easier.
Think most of us were just too timid to take one apart early since we all waited so long to get them.

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Yeah, I wouldn’t have taken mine apart either if I’d had another viable option (even an ethical warranty exchange option…I personally didn’t think it would’ve been right for me to ask for that though being as it was extraordinary damage caused outside of normal intended functioning). I was very pleased that it was so easy and a simple fix too.

I did not see any kind of glue or any other similar material used to waterproof it. I believe it is solely waterproofed by a little rubber gasket, the red strip, so be careful not to cut or damage it while opening it up.

Since it only uses a gasket and not more solid weatherproofing, I believe this is why it is only rated at IP65:

So, not fully waterproof. It wasn’t tested or certified to withstand powerful water jets, or long term immersion, or deep immersion. It is only certified to be fine with regular storms or rain, not hurricane rain (strong jets) or deep/long term immersion under water constantly or anything like that necessarily. I think we can see that is because they mostly just used a gasket, rather than a full seal like you are suggesting. The gasket is tight and good enough for outdoor use. Just be sure not to cut it up while removing the camera and you should be fine.

On the other hand, if you wanted to, you could add your own extra sealing materials around everything and probably make it withstand more than just IP65…

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Very cool post. Thanks. Stored away for future experimenting.

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I will use this insight to custom paint my camera :sunglasses:

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In other words, don’t mount the V3 Cam on the outside of our vehicle to capture what it’s like inside a touch-less car wash :blue_car:.

Hmmm… then, I thought I could use the WCO instead… unfortunately that’s rated IP65 as well (drat - foiled again).

You’re spoiling our fun @carverofchoice, but saving our cameras from a watery grave RIP - TY.

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Yes! This is a brilliant use for it!

I’ve seen videos of people spray painting and dipping the camera while trying to cover (protect) the lens.

Now all you have to do is take the cover off, then make the cover all black (or whatever you plan to do with it) without risking the lens, then snap it all back together. Easy and safe and a clean cover with no residual on the lens section.

Thanks for the idea. I am very tempted to do this myself now to make the covers all black!

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Don’t ever give up on your dreams…

You just need to be more creative… You know, something like mount the camera inside a small fish bowl on the outside of the car… Or put some protective sealant all around the camera, or at least in the few spots most likely to be the weak spots (cover the SD card slot flap and power cable [wrap and tape plastic around it?], around all the cracks, etc).

Someone will come up with something. If the dream is big enough, the facts don’t count!

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You’re forgetting, it’s not even that complicated. For a $25 gamble it’s very likely it will successfully record the whole trip. Once.

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