Minox TLX shutter " sticky " problem

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From philippe petitgas

My Tlx shutter remain, when on A, position " Stick " when not used for few days...and of course the picture comes up overexposed.Recently it remained totally " stuck " few times even if the rewind mechanism did work,and in this particular case i got 4 negatives totally unexposed . Can you help ??? Philippe Petitgas

-- petitgas philippe (petitgas@hkstar.com), March 05, 2000


First of all, check your battery ! Using the green LED to check. Often the problem is a weak battery.

Did you use a PROPER battery ? ie, four silver oxide 386 button cells in a special adatper or a 5.6 v PX27 battery. If you use other kind of battery , for example if you try to jamm two CR 1/3N lithium cells into TLX, than it is at your own risk.

Try with a new PX27, if problem still there, then you camera need to visit MINOX or DAG office.

It is a good idea to bring at least two Minoxs on a trip. I usually bring three 35mm cameras, and two 8x11 on a trip, with spare batteries

-- martin tai (cg081@torfree.net), March 05, 2000.

If you did a lot of museam interior shooting with TLX without flash ( flash light is often forbidden in museam ), the the camera shutter was operating at long exposure mode, which may put a lot of stress on the electromanget of the camera.

I ran into similar problem while shooting in Athens with my Minox C inside the Archeology Museum-- the shutter of C suddenly stuck at A position by fortunately the manual mode still works, although at only one speed, something like 1/200 sec. And I was able to take many picture at Greece.

Minox TLX, like C, uses a electromagnet to control the timing of shutter opening, the longer the shutter remains open, the longer the current flows. An eight sec exposure imposes a load of equivalent to 800 pictures taken at 1/100. The magnet solenoid is wound with very fine gauage wire, frequent long exposure might overload the shutter, I suspect. Once the solenoid is overloaded the wiring might first get blisters, and thus weakens, and the shutter refuses to operate. Soon after I returned home, the solenoid was toasted.

I sent C to Minox distributor in Toronto to repair; and they replaced the solenoid.

I suspect you encountered similar situation.

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), March 07, 2000.

Philippe, I just read your problem with "sticky" TLX shutter. You are not alone. You have a defective camera. Hope your warranty is still valid. My BRAND NEW TLX is back at Minox right now under warranty, and the kicker is that this is the SECOND brand new LX I have had the problem with. Leica is now saying they may just send me a whole new replacement camera instead of waiting for it to go back to Germany and be repaired. The problem appears to affect 1995 to 1998 build date LX/TLX's, and is not the same problem that Martin referenced on his older C, nor is it wear, or a dead battery, in fact, just the opposite. This is a manufacturing defect. Problem is a bad solenoid or circuit board that causes the first curtain release pin to fail to withdraw and release the shutter blade ONLY when the camera has sat for a while. It was a devil to detect and diagnose. The cause seems to be TOO GOOD a battery coupled to a defective circuit board/regulator/solenoid that cannot handle the correct voltage the camera is designed for. My tests showed that if an old half-dead mercury PX-27 was used, no problems at all. If a fresh set of 4 386's in the 8x11 battery pack was used, severe problems. A fresher mercury Px-27 was half-way between, causing fewer hangups. If left a few days, more clicks needed to free it up, if left longer, even more clicks of shutter needed to get it working. If you hold the battery check for a while, it may make it work sooner. My theory is that this takes the "peak" off the charge that a battery builds up when it sits a while. Usage, in form of click the shutter or lighting the LED takes the voltage edge off the battery and it then starts working okay. I believe a fresh battery causes too much "boost" to the solenoid, or else the regulator board is not able to give solenoid the right charge. This overboost causes the solenoid pin to jam up instead of withdrawing. The problem is bad circuit board and/or solenoid in the camera, and is not mechanical, so don't go crazy changing shutter blades. The problem is a bad run of electronic parts that got into the production line and is affecting, apparently, at least three, and I supect a lot more cameras than Minox is willing to admit to. BTW, the first LX I had the problem with was a $3,000+ LX Gold I camera that had to go back to Germany, where the techician who built it did the repairs, because Minox USA was a)too afraid to touch it, and b)didn't have gold parts to replace if they should cause a scratch on it somewhere. It came back after six months of anxiety and heartburn. Works great now. I have 6 older LX's and a new CLX that will use any approved battery setup that fits fresh, old or whatever, and do so without a hiccup, so the problem seems to be bad parts in 1995 to around 1998 LX/TLX production runs. Don Thayer Jr. of Minox USA personally handled my LX Gold I and he confirmed that it is bad electronic parts when I brought it in to show him.

-- Michael J. Vorrasi (MVorr99@aol.com), June 02, 2000.

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