The GetDPI Photography Forum

Great to see you here. Join our insightful photographic forum today and start tapping into a huge wealth of photographic knowledge. Completing our simple registration process will allow you to gain access to exclusive content, add your own topics and posts, share your work and connect with other members through your own private inbox! And don’t forget to say hi!

Aptus Internal battery

tmh

New member
Hi there,

I haven't been using my Leaf Aptus for about 11 months whilst I've been moving houses and countries. Upon unboxing it all and putting it together last night it seems a a few of my batteries are dead - they show full charge in camera but cut out after 30 seconds' use.

However more worryingly, it seems my internal battery is dead. The date and time is reverting to 1st Jan 1981 upon each restart of the Back. It was left without a (main) battery connected - I don't know if the internal one charges or feeds off the main battery at all? I set the date and time and it remembers it whilst on, but any power off and restart cycle of the back and it reverts back to 1981 again. Any images have a date of 1st Jan 1970 on the image info but a date of 1998 in the list-view in-back. 1970, 1981, 1998 - Weird!

I started to notice a few settings were not being recorded a couple of years ago in my post here:

http://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-format-systems-digital-backs/35694-aptus-back-loses-settings.html#post400425

... perhaps this was the first warning sign. The Back is dated 2008 so 4-6 years sounds about right for one of those little button-cell batteries that normally do internal clocks in laptops etc, so I'm self-diagnosing that my internal battery is dead.

The official line from MamiyaLeaf was to get it to the dealer for service. With respect, I doubt very much my local dealer will be opening it up at all and will say it has to go off to the factory. From what I can see by searching through others' experiences, this is likely to be a $800-1500 round trip, which isn't an option considering the low value of my back - an Aptus 54s.

So - has anyone changed the internal battery in an Aptus before or seen it whilst opening it up for any other reasons? I have all the screwdrivers - just no clean room!

Thanks and happy new year


TMH
 
I wished someone would at least give some hints how to open an Aptus back correctly.

Until then I would try to reanimate the internal battery by constantly leaving a charged battery on your back for a long time.

To avoid problems like this, I always keep a charged battery on my Aptus 75 and my Hasselblad H3D39. If I do not use them in the meantime I swap the battery every one or two month for a fully charged one.

Best,

Bernd
 

tmh

New member
With a battery connected for a couple of weeks and a trip looming I still have no date and time, so I opened up the Aptus myself. I’ll be upgrading my back later this year and have plans to get this Aptus converted to IR and use as a second back – so convinced myself that if it went awry all would not be lost.

It goes without saying that this was just my experience that I am sharing for the information of my fellow Leaf users and those interested. These are by no means official repair or service instructions – you open your own units at your risk and I recommend you use your dealer wherever possible - I don't recommend you go out and do this to your IQ260!

Accessing the internal battery was no more complex than working inside a laptop or phone. The sensitive parts of the sensor are all in a sealed section right at the back of the unit – I didn't need to open this up so there were going to be no issues with sensor alignment or extra dust. Kudos to Leaf for that clever design.

First step was to remove the 6 torx screws on the back plate (not pictured). This actually was (for me) the most delicate part as you’re working with a sharp screwdriver in very close proximity to the sensor glass. I did this on the dining room table on a bright day so I could see what I was doing, and I thought an anti-static wrist strap was a good idea. You’ll need other socket tools and tweezers or thin spreading tools to assist in removing the nuts and connectors and separating the boards.

Once loose, you can gently separate the sealed sensor unit from the rest of the casing, giving yourself enough room to disconnect the 2 connectors, I assume one being for power (1) (red/black/yellow) and one for data (2). This is delicate and has to be eased out of the connector – similar to old IDE cables on computer hard discs.

Apologies for the rubbish photos - this is not a professional teardown!



Then we can see into the Aptus and work out the next steps. The unit is arranged in several layers of boards; the battery was a few layers-in so there was further dismantling needed.
The first layer has the connections for the sealed sensor unit (1) and (2), plus other connections for power and the PC sync ports (3), (4), (5).



After disconnecting all the wires and removing the 3 nuts from this board we can gently prise it off and reveal the next layer. No wires to disconnect here, just prise it gently from the connector which links to the layer beneath:



This layer has a small plastic wedge (6) which provides support at this corner / edge of the board and protects the layer underneath. The wedge is not attached so it does come loose, ensure you retain for reassembly later! With the nuts removed, prising this 2nd layer out of board is a little trickier than the first layer, as it’s a little deeper in the casing.

With the 2nd layer out we can finally see the internal battery (7) sitting on the 3rd layer in the casing.




As you can see, unfortunately the orientation of the battery means you have to remove this 3rd layer to be able to remove and replace the battery. This is where things get tricky as you’re working deep inside the casing now, with very little room for manoeuvre. After removing all 3 nuts (N) you have to lift straight up – there is very little room left or right for wiggling the board out – and too much movement side to side may damage the connections between the boards. I used… (don’t laugh) the tent peg puller tool on my swiss army knife to get down deep enough to grasp underneath the board and lift straight up gently.

With the board out all that’s needed is a $5 CR1220 lithium battery replacement. Quick photo of the 4th layer in the casing which would appear to be the FW800 board. No need to fiddle with anything else but a good opportunity to clean any dust from the fan blades before reassembly.



Re-assembly is reverse of dis-assembly, ensuring a solid firm press on each board to ensure seating correctly on the connectors, and tightening up the nuts and screws.




After putting it all back together I turned it on, set the time and then turned it off and back on again – bingo – the time is now stored. Same with the battery removed. I do not know if the lithium battery gets charged with a main battery attached. I left my back in storage for several months with no battery attached, so perhaps this explained the drain and failure of the internal battery.

Several test shots and all alignment, focus, and exposure is as per normal. Will leave a battery connected to the unit at all times now…!

Hope this proved useful,

Thanks

TMH
 

GrahamWelland

Subscriber & Workshop Member
I'll live with my dying battery ....

Btw, what happened to Mark? His leica disassembles were legendary if scary.
 

steve_cor

Member
Thanks to TMH for these steps on how to open an Aptus back correctly.

On my Leaf Aptus II-7, the internal date and time battery is dead too.

Not sure if constantly leaving a charged battery on the back would keep the internal clock battery alive or not. I think I'll try it.

For the first step of removing the 6 screws on the back plate, my are not torx.

I used this 5/64 hex tool:




--Steve.
 

steve_cor

Member
I found the tool needed to remove the 3 nuts was a 4mm socket. However, on the part where you’re working deep inside the casing, with very little room to maneuver, I found the 4mm socket (on the left in this picture) was too wide for the space available. You would be better off with a 4mm deep socket because the tip extends more. A slender 4mm socket driver like the one on the right in this picture would be best, if you have one. But this socket driver tool that I have isn't metric, and was a bit too small to fit over the nut.






--Steve.
 

archivue

New member
5/64 hex for outside (2mm doesn't work !)
+
4 mm socket for inside
mine was a SAM Outillage 291T-4
+
Duracell Battery 1220

total amount around 15 euros including shipping !

it takes around 15min !!!


i'v heard that Leaf and Phase charge around 1500/2000 euros and the unit needs to be send to Danemark or Israël... for a month...

What a...


Anyway, my leaf works fine now, and i'm really happy... thank you so much for having post it !
 

Frederic

Member
My Aptus II battery is dead and the fan is becoming increasingly noisy, time for some surgery I guess !
I have to find out the fan references before I take the plunge (anyone ?), then will report back.
 
So I want to change the battery of my Aptus 75 V-mount, too.

But I found only 4 Hex-screws instead of the 6 torx screws (see photo).

That means different mounts of the Aptus use a different number of differently located screws?

Anybody here who has experience?

Thanks, guys,

Bernd

 

steve_cor

Member
Bernd,
I don't have experience with different backs, but whether there are 4 screws or 6, the concept of opening the housing is the same. Keeping the parts organized and having correct tools is the important thing.

You can release any static in your body by touching the screw in the center of the faceplate of an electrical outlet. It should be grounded. But the air is not dry today anyway.

I think you should do this. When the date and time are wrong, the pictures show up in the wrong order. Causes too much trouble.


--Steve.
 
Thank you, Steve!

I just want wo avoid having a focus misalignment afterwards. That´s why I´m asking.

Doug, please read post #8. Never say never.

Bernd
 
For opening my Aptus 75 V-mount 3/32 Hex would fit:






But after opening the back



I found out it is internally different from the one shown by TMH



I wasn´t even able to unplug the first plug:



Ever seen this kind of plug? How do I disconnect it? Seems to sit very tight. I don´t want to ruin the board on the first attempt.

Thanks guys, hope to hear from someone,

Bernd
 
OK, got it. When I lifted the two plugs more from the side towards the cable, from the part covered with heat shrink tube, they jumped off easily.

I´m nowhere near 15 minutes, instead I spent hours today, trying to find information on the plugs via google and trying to unfasten the other connectors, but finally with success.

The only thing helpful in the internet was a large photo on flickr from member "krOnkO": "Inside of Leaf Aptus" (don´t know how to link to that, so please use google) showing a completely disassembled back, where the components looked a bit more like mine.

I will continue tomorrow and post some more photos.

Best,

Bernd
 
In the meantime I finished the battery change successfully.

I just took some pictures of details where my V-mount Aptus 75 differs from TMHs back.

Here is the upper board which connects to the sensor:



And the sensor unit with the different cables:



Two closer views of the plugs which caused me trouble a few days ago (pulling a bit more firmly helped):





The other main difference was, that the flat ribbon cable from the sensor had not plug at the end:





Instead it was mounted in a special connector on the board. I had to move sidewards two very small locking levers, in order to take out the cable:



Thats all. I hope this helps some else.

Bernd

P.S.: Another interesting thread is about replacing the screen of a Leaf Aptus ("smashed screen on my LEAF 65" by Andrey Zhukov). Unfortunately the description is not as detailed as I would need it to enable me to do it. It sent Andrey a pm, but he would not respond, unfortunately. I´d be very interested on information how to open a back from the display side.
 

GrahamWelland

Subscriber & Workshop Member
I just did my Aptus 65 - looks the same as the 75 except all my boards were green.

The iFixit tool kit has everything you need with the exception of the 5/64 hex key. I found it easier to remove board #3 after I removed the heat sync on the opposite side to the fan. Please don't use a tent peg puller (from the OP) - plastic circuit board and connector lifters make easy work of this.

I was actually surprised to see how little dust was on my fan.

Nice knowing that the sensor assembly is sealed and the back essentially disconnects from it. I would never have contemplated doing this procedure otherwise.
 
Last edited:

bensonga

Active member
I want to give special thanks to Graham for replacing the internal battery on the Aptus II 5 I recently bought from him, before he shipped it to me. After reading though the posts on this thread, I know I would not have had the confidence to attempt it myself.

Gary
 
Top