Having problems with your Nikon Coolpix 3100 Digital Camera ?

Cover latch for battery door broken on my Coolpix 3100

Answers :

This is a really common problem affecting this camera and the near identical Coolpix 2100 (and a few others).

If\015\012I'm correct, then the door latch has nothing to lock into on the camera\015\012body because the corresponding catch has broken off. Depending on how\015\012the break has occurred the body either has one or two small plastic\015\012pegs just where you'd expect the battery cover to latch onto or even no\015\012pegs and just barely visible evidence of where the catch used to be.\015\012The two pegs (or the site where they were) used to form a small soccer\015\012goal shape. The top of the goal (crossbar) broke away and sometimes\015\012takes away one\015\012or both goalposts with it. I've successfully repaired six of these now\015\012for various family members and friends.

Both\015\012are an easy fix, and if you live in Europe and pay postage I'll do it\015\012for free (I'm in London). if you live further afield, my offer still\015\012holds good, but the postage may cost more than the camera is worth.

To\015\012do it yourself you'll need patience, a sharp craft knife/scalpel, a\015\012jewellers file, a miniature pair of long-nosed pliers with a wire\015\012cutter, thirty minute epoxy resin and a standard small paperclip.\015\012Regarding the jewellers file: this needs to be a flat profile and about\015\0125mm wide (not critical) and about 1mm thick, i.e. about the same\015\012thickness as the paperclip wire, and must have cutting teeth on the\015\012thin edges as well: this is vital.

First,\015\012straighten the paperclip. It needs to be as straight as you can get it\015\012as it make the rest of ther repair easier. This will form the new\015\012battery catch, so you need to use the pliers to shape it. The new\015\012"goalposts" will have deep roots held by the epoxy redin, so start\015\012bending at the centre of the wire. You need to end up with a cross bar\015\012which is the same width as the original plastic one, which has sharp\015\012right angle bends down to each goalpost which will be longer than\015\012needed at first. The long nose pliers taper so you can grip the wire in\015\012the pliers at just the point where bending the goalposts down will\015\012result in a goal of exactly the right width. It is easy, but takes a\015\012few goes to get exactly right and you may need a few paperclips until\015\012it's perfect. Precision is vital to a good repair which looks original.

Next,\015\012you need to use the file and the craft knife. If the goalposts remain,\015\012then use the knife to cut them off flush to the surrounding edge. Using\015\012either the knife or the file, cut out two slots where the goalposts\015\012were so that they're as precise a fit as possible for the paperclip\015\012wire. If you look into the battery chamber there will be a few plastic\015\012strenghthening webs, so use both tools to cut these to allow the two\015\012goalposts to sit well down into the battery chamber. Go slowly and\015\012carefully as the more accurate you are, the better the job.

Next,\015\012test fit the new catch into the slots you have just cut. It needs to be\015\012a perfect fit and needs to lay comfortably and flat into the slots. You\015\012should be able to slide the goalposts right down until the crossbar\015\012almost touches the edge of the battery chamber. The crossbar needs to\015\012be parallel to the edge of the battery chamber. At this stage you may\015\012find that you have to modify the wire a bit or even discard it and\015\012start again.

Now mix up the epoxy resin, and using a suitable\015\012tool put plenty of it down into the battery chamber between the\015\012strengthening webs which you've just cut, basically fill the areas\015\012bounded by the remaining webs, and go much lighter with the glue as you\015\012get near the edge of the chamber where the battery door will close. You\015\012don't want to get glue right up to the edge. Be careful not to make a\015\012mess and don't get the glue everywhere.

Coat the goalposts\015\012with the glue up to within about 5mm of the crossbar and lay the wire\015\012into the slots, using your tools to push the roots of the goalposts\015\012well into their slots. This is where all the careful cutting and wire\015\012bending will show

Once complete, you should find that the new\015\012catch (goal) you have just made will slide comfortably down into the\015\012slots you've just made. At first, set the height of the crossbar by eye\015\012so that the underside is about 1mm above the edge of the battery\015\012chamber and wipe off even the tiniest traces of stray glue which get\015\012onto the exposed parts of the catch or onto the edge of the battery\015\012chamber. Test fit the door latch into the catch: the mixed glue is\015\012quite thick even before it sets and should just hold the wire\015\012sufficiently for you to determine if the latch fits it correctly. The\015\012thirty minute setting time will give you time to make fine adjustments\015\012to the exact catch position. When you're happy, leave the camera with\015\012the battery door open somewhere for about 24 hours to enable the glue\015\012to fully cure. Although you've used thirty minute setting epoxy, it's\015\012still a bit flexible and nowhere near fully cured at this stage.

Afterwards,\015\012the battery door latch should engage into the catch as if it had been\015\012made that way by the factory. Now try it with the batteries fitted. It\015\012should be perfect, but if not there's usually enough give in the wire\015\012for final tiny tweaks to the fit.

I hope this has helped you,\015\012just sorry that I've never taken any pictures of the process. Your\015\012camera is basic but is still beautifully easy to use and even the 2.1MP\015\012version produces stunningly good photos, so this repair is worth doing.

Please return the favour by rating my answer.
I fixed the problem by using a removable tripod mount to hold cover closed
Repair Help & Product Troubleshooting for Nikon Coolpix 3100 Digital Camera

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