Advertisements

Sony HDR-AS30V: AKA-SF1 Skeleton Frame Latch Repair

My Sony HDR-AS30V is an action camera, but requires an external case / frame to mount it on anything. Here’s the camera inside its AKA-SF1 Skeleton Frame atop my helmet:

Sony HDR-AS30V camera on bike helmet - inverted

Sony HDR-AS30V camera on bike helmet – inverted

Four 1 mm tall ramps on the inside of the black base (the part just above the yellow sled) snap into 2.6 mm square sockets in the skeleton frame surrounding the camera. For an unknown reason(s) that surely involves applying forces I don’t remember, an opposing pair of those ramps broke off, leaving the other pair to loosely hold one end of the camera in place.

In this picture, the left ramps (one visible) are missing, leaving a square-ish gray scar that’s nearly indistinguishable from the reflection on the intact ramp on the right:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - broken latch ramps

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – broken latch ramps

Surprisingly, the round head of a brass 0-80 machine screw fits neatly inside the square socket on the frame; they’re a bit more than 1 mm deep. The approach ramps visible below the sockets guide the latches on the base:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - frame sockets

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – frame sockets

So I figured I could just shave off the remaining two latch ramps, drill four holes at the proper spots, and replace the plastic ramps with metal screws.

I clamped the skeleton frame to the Sherline’s tooling plate, aligned it parallel to the X axis, put the laser spot dead center in the square socket, then snapped the base onto the frame. The laser spot shows where the drill will hit:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - laser hole alignment

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – laser hole alignment

A carbide drill did the honors:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - 0-80 hole drilling

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – 0-80 hole drilling

That’s a #55 = 0.0520 hole for 50% thread, rather than the proper 3/64 = 0.0469 hole for 75% thread, because that’s the closest short carbide drill I had; an ordinary steel twist drill, even in the screw-machine length I use on the Sherline, would probably scamper away. The hole isn’t quite on the sloped bottom edge of the base, but it’s pretty close.

The first hole didn’t emerge quite in the center of its ramp scar:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - hole position - interior

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – hole position – interior

Which made sense after I thought about it: the ramp tapers to nothing in the direction of the offset, so the hole actually was in the middle of the matching socket.

Threading the holes required nothing more than finger-spinning an 0-80 tap:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - tapping 0-80

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – tapping 0-80

The feeble thread engagement didn’t matter, because those mysterious tabs-with-slots (possibly for tie-down strings?) just above the holes were a perfect fit for 0-80 brass nuts:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - reassembled

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – reassembled

The screw heads extend into the sockets, hold the frame solidly in the base, and make it impossible to pull out. Although the frame still slides / snaps into the base, that seems like it will wear out the sockets in fairly short order, so I’ll unlatch the frame (with the yellow slide latch on top), open it up, ease it into position, and then latch it in place. That was the only way to remove it from the original latches, so it’s not a big deal.

I should add a drop of epoxy to each of those nuts and perhaps fill the screw slots with epoxy to keep them from abrading the plastic inside the sockets. Maybe a dab of epoxy on the heads, followed by latching the frame in place, would form four square pegs to exactly fill the sockets.

This was a straightforward repair that should not have been necessary…

Advertisements

, ,

  1. #1 by Joel Davidson on 2015-08-13 - 09:13

    It seems to me that is stuff was designed to last rather than be manufactured as cheaply as possible, then we’d never have to make these sorts of repairs. Of course, then we’d all be bored and you’d need to find other stuff to write about here.

    • #2 by Ed on 2015-08-14 - 07:42

      Occasionally we wonder how much we’d be spending were it not for my obsessive (and reasonably successful) repair jones. I’ve fixed nearly everything around here at least once, even sealed units with “no user serviceable parts inside”… should we just throw things out and (re)buy new, every time something breaks?

      Bah!

      • #3 by Ken Davidson on 2015-08-17 - 09:41

        We often wonder the same thing, but as it relates to car repairs. My service log for the ’04 PT Cruiser is a wonder to behold, but it’s paid off and runs reasonably well, so I’ll keep patching it back together. If only I had the machine tools and surplus stockpile of your basement…

        • #4 by Ed on 2015-08-17 - 13:09

          it’s paid off and runs reasonably well

          As long as it’s dependable, keep using it! When you can’t trust it, move on…

          Reports indicate the Sienna now spends its weekdays huddled in the parking lot’s minivan ghetto, away from the cluster of BMWs up front & center by the lab building. Obviously, we ain’t treating her right, but she can wedge all her worldly possessions into the thing and drive away when the co-op job ends, which must count for something.

  1. Sony HDR-AS30V Tripod Mount | The Smell of Molten Projects in the Morning
  2. Sony and Wasabi NP-BX1 Li-Ion Battery Life | The Smell of Molten Projects in the Morning