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M6TTL intermittent meter problem


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Over the last several months the meter on my TTL has on 2-3 occasions stopped functioning. What happens is that the diods either don't light up at all or only light up briefly and work for a shot and then stop working.

 

When this happened the first time I thought it might be due to empty battery (I use a DL1/3N) because the meter would work a while if it hadn't been used for a few minutes. But substituting for my spare battery didn't make a difference.

 

After these occasions, for spells of several rolls, the meter has worked perfectly.

 

Today it happened again. I verified in a shop that the recently-bought brand new 1/3N hadn't drained - it was still at 3V. Again the meter behaves as above.

 

I suspect the meter must have a glitch of some sort and suspect I will have to send it to Wetzlar. However, before doing so (and since I am currently on vacation) I thought I'd ask here if anyone has experienced the same and knows of a simple fix.

 

Many TIA for any insights and help

Philip

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philipus,

 

It may be an outside chance, but one thing to check is whether the two round contacts (I believe Leica use them for circuit diagnosis) at the bottom of the M6TTL battery chamber have become loose and are making intermittent contact with the bottom of the battery.

 

This would interfere with the proper working of the LEDs.

 

I have always placed a piece of polythene cut to go underneath the battery terminal to act as an insulator, so that there is no chance of the two contacts making contact with the battery.

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In the M6 there is a wire connected to the shutter release. This wire can start causing problems when becoming 'brittle' over time. It could cause the metering problem you are describing.

Will van Maanen once showed and explained that to me. Since Will is located 10 minutes from your home town, I would try him first before sending your camera to Wetzlar.

Good luck, Maarten

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fwiw, Don (DAG) told me that meter failures are uncommon with the M6/M6TTL. It's not often that he needs to replace the complete circuit board. Even replacing the board isn't that expensive, he said they were around $80 USD. Apparently what's more common is a cold solder joint somewhere. That's an easy fix from any well trained Leica tech (it happened to me and Don fixed it quickly.)

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Thank you very much for your help. I appreciate it a lot.

 

An update - the last few days I have shot 3 rolls and the meter has turned on and metered seemingly normally and accurately.

 

But a new thing has happened...all three LEDs now "pulsate" when active, as in the light's intensity fluctuates. The frequency is perhaps 2-3 times per second. The light doesn't go out entirely, but only decreases in intensity.

 

On the TTL the right LED will blink when battery power is insufficient for accurate metering but each LED pulsates now.

 

Also, as you known, the LEDs shut off after a few seconds after the meter has been used. What happens now is that if I have just used the meter and then want to use it directly again the LEDs don't turn on immediately, which they used to do. Now I have to wait a few seconds before the LEDs come on (and begin to pulsate). Occasionally, when the meter hasn't been used for a while, the LEDs won't pulsate immediately but will only begin doing so after a few seconds.

 

I don't recall that this pulsating happened in the past when the meter didn't work as intended.

 

Here's a link to a very brief video of the phenomenon.

 

Philip

 

Resistance build-up on the contacts springs to mind. Have you tried cleaning them?

 

Thank you David. The contacts in the battery chamber are bright and clean.

 

philipus,

 

It may be an outside chance, but one thing to check is whether the two round contacts (I believe Leica use them for circuit diagnosis) at the bottom of the M6TTL battery chamber have become loose and are making intermittent contact with the bottom of the battery.

 

This would interfere with the proper working of the LEDs.

 

I have always placed a piece of polythene cut to go underneath the battery terminal to act as an insulator, so that there is no chance of the two contacts making contact with the battery.

 

That is a good suggestion Brian, thank you. And I always wondered what those two contacts do. They are not loose, however. Also it seems to me there is sufficient tension in the battery terminal to prevent the battery from touching them. I also tried slowly unscrewing the battery while the meter was on to see if the pulsating stopped but it didn't.

 

After traveling to Solms maybe it wants to see Wetzlar.

 

As would I

I'm still kicking myself for missing the grand opening since Wetzlar is so close to where I live.

 

In the M6 there is a wire connected to the shutter release. This wire can start causing problems when becoming 'brittle' over time. It could cause the metering problem you are describing.

Will van Maanen once showed and explained that to me. Since Will is located 10 minutes from your home town, I would try him first before sending your camera to Wetzlar.

Good luck, Maarten

 

Thank you Maarten, that is something that may have to be checked. I should consider van Maanen before sending off to Leica.

 

fwiw, Don (DAG) told me that meter failures are uncommon with the M6/M6TTL. It's not often that he needs to replace the complete circuit board. Even replacing the board isn't that expensive, he said they were around $80 USD. Apparently what's more common is a cold solder joint somewhere. That's an easy fix from any well trained Leica tech (it happened to me and Don fixed it quickly.)

 

Very interesting information, thank you. That makes me feel a bit better if I have to ship it off for surgery.

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Just another update. A few days ago the meter shut off and would not turn on so I tried new batteries. The meter then worked - and has worked for a few days - so I conclude that there is a battery drain in the meter circuits somewhere. I now put the camera to Off after use to ensure there's no further drain. When back from holiday I'll send it in for service.

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