Dr. Scott M. Baker

Polaroid 312 LED Camera Light – Teardown and Repair

by admin on Nov.30, 2015, under Electronics Projects

My camera light has been having issues almost since I bought it, so I tore it apart:

Here’s a picture of the light, it’s made by Polaroid. I bought it at Amazon.

Polaroid 312 LED Camera Light

Unfortunately, I didn’t take many still shots while I was disassembling it (see the youtube video at the top for the teardown video). The only still I took was this one:

Polaroid 312 LED Camera Light, disassembled

The problem I was experiencing was that the light would occasionally turn off on it’s own, and I’d have to turn it back on. The problem turned out to be a poor solder joing on the crystal next to the microcontroller. The solder had balled up on the crystal’s lead, rather than adhering to the PCB pad. As such, I think as the light heated up, thermal expansion would cause the lead to lose contact with the pad, and glitch the microcontroller. Shutting the light off and turning it back on would ‘reboot’ the microcontroller.

Also interesting in this teardown is that they appeared to use masking tape (yes, like from Home Depot’s paint department) as a shield between the PCB and the LED array. Stuck to this masking tape was  what appeared to be a cut off piece of through-hole resistor lead — it’s a wonder it didn’t short something out.


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