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Taking care of a Ricoh GR3

written by owen, published 2023-Oct-13, comment

After 40 thousand pictures and dropping the camera 4 times I am surprised the camera still works. It is a solid device. I even slipped and fell into a river which caused it to be submerged for approximately 2-3 seconds. I immediately took the batteries out and wrapped it in tissue paper - after a few days it was kicking again.

Accidents aside here are a few things I do to protect my camera;

  • Buy the stick on UV glass to help reduce the chance of dust getting into the front.
  • When not in use I keep the camera in a Polariod glasses case - its lightweight and just the right size but any case will do.
  • If the camera is inside my jeans pocket it in a glasses bag with a draw string. I have 2 of these that I wash and reuse every couple weeks to reduce dust build up.
  • I did try the JJC metal lens cap but it added a little extra bulk to the camera making it hard to fit in my pocket. A dust bag made of silk does a much better job while keeping the camera compact.
  • Every few weeks or after a long day of shooting I use a air blower, small brush and an alchol wipes to remove extra dust and hand grease from the camera. Be careful not to let too much liquid get into the body and the plastic parts.
  • I never use the usbc port because opening and closing that little flap is bound to get destroyed at some point. So I charge my battery in an external charger brick.

Thats pretty much it. Its a good camera. If at some point it breaks I would definately buy another or maybe go for the X.

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Microwave ME21F707MJT ghost touch issues - FIXED

written by owen, published 2023-Feb-26, comment

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It started happening about a year into the 4 years of owning the microwave.  Mostly at night you would hear the beep of a number being activated.  This would happen at nights most once or twice a week.  Over time it progressed to the 3 touches, which could usually be ignored until it started activating the LED light, then the vent fan and finally it started to start the microwave itself which was a clear sign that it could not longer be ignored.

First thing I tried was searching online which led to several dead ends.  I Went to the local shop that I bought it from and they said that 4 years is a good run for a microwave and quickly suggested I buy a new one.  I was willing to replace the door but had no luck finding them online.  Its kind of a curse or a blessing that the touch sensitive pad is in the door.

Next step is dismantling the door itself.  If I disconnected the door cable the ghost touches would stop indicating that the problem is definitely in the door.  It seems that even the motherboard itself is inside the door.  Dismantling the door is a test of patience itself - I suggest you search for a youtube video.  The first time I took the door off I removed and reconnected the ribbon cables.  Some people online say that this is a quick fix because sometimes the cables become twisted or disconnected slightly.  After that I reassembled the door and waited patiently.  After about an hour the random ghost touches returned with a vengeance.

At this point we started unplugging the microwave and plugging it in only when we needed to use it.  But this was a temporary fix as the microwave started to cancel itself while food was being heated, lol.  There is an option to turn off the beeps but that bearly when you never know when the microwave is going to activate something that makes a sound like the fan or the light.  So with all my options exhausted I had to go back into the door.

The solution that worked for me

So I waited until I had a day entirely to myself - empty house.  I took the door off the microwave, carefully rested the parts and the screws in the couch.  The pan for this trip is to clean the circuit board with a can of circuit board cleaner.  Since I did not have that particular cleaner on hand I used regular rubbing alcohol.  When you dismantle the door carefully unclip and remove the ribbon cable from the main circuit board.  I placed some alcohol in a small cup then I applied it to the circuit board with a soft makeup brush.  The main purpose of the alcohol is that it evaporates quickly and the soft brush is to gently apply the alcohol without damaging the board.  I cleaned the whole board, back and front, both ribbon cable tips and then I let everything air dry.
After it dried I brushed it with alcohol again, all the leads, circuits then let it dry again.  I clean the brush after every wipe to ensure that any residue/dust gets removed instead of slushed around.  After all that I reassembled everything and the ghost beeps stopped.  The touch pad has also become more responsive since the clean up.  No more missed touches.  So far its been 3 weeks.  Problem solved.

Additional thoughts

I think that over time dust and static might have built up on the circuit board.  These electronics must be suffering from heat death or something.  Since the fix I have been unplugging the microwave at night since there is no real reason to leave it plugged in when not in use.  There is easy access to the power plug for all the users so this is not much of an inconvenience.  I hope to eke out another 2 years out of the microwave because otherwise its a perfectly good device.
I hope this helps someone out there save some money and not contribute to the world's waste.

Update Nov2023

Roughly 8 months later the dreaded ghost beep has returned even with the routine unplugging of the microwave when not in used. I promptly removed the door again and redid the procedure. We will see how long it lasts this time. Note that the plastic grill (the first thing you unscrew) at the top of the microwave is very brittle so you want to be careful with that - mine is already broken in 2 places.

Update Jan2024

Spontaneous after a quick cleaning of the front with windex all the buttons except 2 have stopped working. I am not sure if its the windex that cause the this new issues since the entire interface is just glass but I am forced to divide into the door again because the touchpad is now entirely unusable.

Update Feb2024 1

So cleaning the motherboard with alcohol and reseating the ribbon strip works to restore the functionality but I have no clue why it happens so I unplug the microwave after every use. Might need to invest in a switch.

Update Feb2024 2

Microwave went dead again almost a week after the previous cleaning. I figure that its time to buy a new one but I was not ready to give up as yet. I figured that there is something that I am missing. So I got up early in the morning after the wife left for work and started a process of taking off the door, cleaning one part then reattaching the door in order to test what started working. I took the door off ten times. lol. Only a patient man rides a donkey. Anyway on the 5th attempt I noticed that I was losing function in some buttons and by the 9th I only had 2 buttons left. Cleaning the board the connectors and ribbon cable did nothing. Until I took a look at the ribbon cable for the 2 sides of the panel.

It appears that the ribbon cable is decaying at the contact point where it clips down onto the motherboard. If you look care fully you should see a discontinuty need the edge of the cable where the clip presses the connectors. So what did I do? I cut off 4 mm off the edge of the ribbon cable. This allowed it to sit deeper into the socket. I cut the same amount off each side because both sides of my microwave were equally dead. It would seem at cleaning with alcohol really did not do anything but really all you need to do is reposition the ribbon cable. First step reposition, then clean and in the worst case cut it VERY CAREFULLY with a sharp, small scissors. Make sure the cut is perfect straight or you will have alignment problem.

I am typing this right after doing the procedure and everything seems to be working fine again - instantly apart from 2 unimportant buttons. Will report back if it fails again but I think this will be good for another 6 years. At while point I possible have space for one more 4mm cut. Peace and love.

Side note: replacing the ribbon cable seems impossible as it goes into the door that is sealed is someway (probably glue). so do not mess up the CUT!

Update March2024

So its still going strong. I put some painter's tape over the connectors on the underside of the motherboard. I feel that moister is getting onto the exposed connectors. If you notice on the motherboard there are areas which have this protective wax over certain parts. It seems that whoever was incharge of painting this on missed some parts. I have no access to this wax thing so painter's tape is my best bet. we will see how long this lasts.


New Camera Ricoh GR III + quick review

written by owen, published 2023-Feb-12, comment

*I should have published this revew from Sept2020 but better late than never?  

After roughly 6 months of online searching I settled on the Ricoh GR III a fixed 28mm point and shoot camera.  Of course no piece of equipment is perfect there is a high chance of dust getting into the lens, the battery life is poor, overheats on hot days and it will probably die if I drop it.  But guess what?  No one lives forever.

So far I am loving the speed of the camera and the extra resolution.  24 mp is double that of the previous camera.  Plus the quality of the APSC sensor means that I miss fewer shots.  Over the pass weeks of having the camera I already filled my SD card because I am shooting in RAW+JPEG which is a new problem I discovered with the new camera; the image files are HUGE.  The raw file is 30+ mb and the jpeg is 10mb (6000x4000px).

All these issues together I had to invest in a few accessories to go along with the new camera;

  • 32 gig HS-1 SD Card
  • JJC metal lens cap - to reduce the dust
  • 2 Wasabi Batteries and charger - I like external wall chargers, the ricoh only comes with a usbc cable charger to charge the camera while its plugged into a socket - I am not about that risky life.
  • JJC thumb grip - makes a world of difference - buy it right away.
  • JJC stick on UV filter - more dust protection,
  • JJC LCD screen protector - scratch prove the touchscreen

Everything was bought on Amazon and should be easy to find by searching.  Add a comment below if you need specific answers.  That is a long list, lol but the only accessory you really need to buy right away is the thumb grip and the wasabi batteries.  The ricoh comes with 2 gigs of built in storage so you can live without an SD card for a little bit.

I mentioned the dust concerns so some accessories I bought after using the camera for a couple weeks;

  • JJC Cleaning kit - I wanted the rubber dust blower because they say you should not use your mouth to blow dust off the lens.
  • UNI SD card reader with usbc+full usb. - for reading the above card because I wanted something that could both connect to a phone as well as computer.
  • JJC Auto lens cap - bought the to test it out

The ricoh has wifi which is useful for transferring images to a phone but I am old school so I take the SD card out of the camera which is why I bought the card reader.

Other reviewers suggested I get a Fujifilm X100V but that camera is practically twice the price of the Ricoh GR3 and it is NOT COMPACT.  Shipping and Import Fees to Jamaica would have literally killed my budget.  Plus it's the size of a brick.

The ricoh gr3 is a unique camera; no zoom, no flash and no view finder.  Having no zoom is something I am getting accustomed to and the 28mm focal length is weird and wide.  The camera is certainly not for everyone but personally a hip shooter like myself is having a blast.  I can now enjoy advanced features like spray and pray, exposure bracketing, high contrast black and white, chimping, double exposure photography, in camera raw editing, cropping, resizing just to name a few of the things I could not do on my previous Canon powershot.  I dont even need a computer.

The downsides of the camera include; it will get hot if you spend a long time in raw development or you have it on for long periods on a hot day.  These are things I have grown accustomed to.  I usually take a couple shots at a time and then turn the camera off.  Most times I am shooting with the LCD off.  Because of the dust issue I keep it in a bag whenever I get home.  Or with a lens cap on if I have it in my pocket.  Worrying about dust is constant because I live in a dry dusty climate.


Overall I like the camera and have been using it for 2 years so far exclusively.  I have taken 33,000 pictures with it since I bought it, which is a record in my book.  

Reference Links

Ricoh GR for Travel Photography Review: Around the World in 80 Photos

Street Photography with a Compact Camera (feat. the Ricoh GR II)


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Bought a mini Vice Grip

written by owen, published 2022-Nov-11, comment

I have seen vice grips everywhere throughout my life but I never needed one until a recent bathroom roller fix that I had to do. I always thought there were just complicated pliers. But low and behold these things are magic. After a quick tutorial from Sulph this became and essential part of my tool kit for getting those pia stuck bolts.

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