Minolta XM Motor XK Motor Repair and 3D printed battery clips

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Hi, now we have 3D "printers" I am having an evaluation done to re-generate the catches for XM XK X-1 MOTOR battery packs in a more flexible material a unique use of this star trek technology for a decades old problem.  


For some time now I have been hooked on these classic Minolta Camera's.
There are lots of sites on the internet that give you consumer information, great pictures and information, like the excellent Rokkor files and Anthony has been instrumental in inspiring many to consider this often overlooked classic camera range. Instructions on a whole variety of Minolta and many other cameras can be found on Orphan Cameras or butkus, in internet search engines. In all cases I would urge you to contribute if you found them helpful. I have no affiliation or connection except gratitude for the information and help I have found there.

The XM as it is known in UK and most of Europe is also known XK in USA and X-1 in the far East. Each I believe have a Motor version, the motor is integral definitely not removable. I've certainly stripped down both XM and XK Motor versions but never seen an X-1 Motor.

These cameras have interchangeable finders, use the old manual focus style MD or earlier lenses and are a joy to use but...... Beware, if there is no, or a dead battery, or you have an automatic finder turned off and "forget" to have your finders on the "sensor plate" on the front of the camera, they WILL lock up.
The mirror will not return and the film will not wind on. Fairly instant solutions are available to what may then appear to be a defective camera. Check if it has good batteries - there is a battery test switch - you may then simply need to rotate the battery compartment to open and then back to closed, you should hear a definite "click" as you rotate back to closed. If not then all is not yet lost, if you remove the battery holder completely, you will see with good light or a torch a small protruding lever, inside the battery compartment near the letter C for "close". Using a small hard wood [lollypop stick] or other small prodder that will not scratch anything if you slip, press that lever towards the C, again you should hear a definite "click".
Putting fresh batteries in and any of the above should free up the lever to wind fire and wind on.
You may also want to try raising and lowering the mirror lock up by pressing [so it pops out] the small button near the rewind lever, turn so the red dots line up and it raises the mirror, press back and it should return. This Mirror lock up is vital with a few very wide angle older lenses and handy in you are using long exposure with cable release or self timer and want to minimise shake caused by the mirror movement.
Never try and force anything on any camera and do not try and move the long exposure small silver lever that is near the rewind lever back to "B" UNLESS you have set the speed dial to B.

If the problem is more serious and the above do not resolve, then it means taking off the baseplate and using small blunt prodders to manually move the various catches to get things back into sequence, I will at some stage add photos of the various levers and catches that are detailed in the excellent engineers repair guides.
I got mine at a discount from craigcamera as I badgered him to put them on DVD and avoid the huge shipping costs of the paper manuals. I have both the XM X-1 XK camera DVD and the AE plus all other prism manuals.

I have disassembled almost all Minolta cameras over the last few years and I simply keep taking digital photos of each stage as I undo things, using those as a guide to replacing parts, the manuals help as they describe if an item is left or right hand threaded ! Be warned if you strip the threads there is no way some items can be disassembled, or at least disassembled in a state that allows them to be replaced.

The archive of stripped down cameras I have photographed and the specialised tools I have either bought, made or adapted, are quite basic, but do the job. Only the electronics defeat me... but surprisingly I have only had one or two that refused to work after a good cleaning, occasional lubricating and "exercise".

Yup... you heard correct, once you get one of these to fire at all... chances are you can "exercise" through all the shutter speeds to loosen up the workings. If stubborn keep releasing the "jams" as described above and try and operate with a working lens. All this assumes there is no damage to the shutter curtains and that you have cleared out any debris from deteriating light seals. BEFORE you do this I remove the finder and use low tack masking tape to cover the finder oblong hole, after removing the focus screen. I also cover the shutter curtain using masking tape put a small piece the size of the shutter curtain taped sticky to sticky first, this ensures no glue gets on the shutter curtain. You will have to do this if you intend to use the camera and replace the seals, this is a messy but easy process, again internet searches will reveal sources of new seal material and help guides. I now ignore most of this and use a blunt metal scraper to "get under" the self adhesives strips of seals. They often strip away in the top shiny layer and foam, but leave the bottom self adhesive strip, it can be quite tough to get under this but if you do... then you can carefully peel a whole seal, completely clean in seconds, much better than solvents and gungy wet methods. I replace the seals with hand cut ones and use no adhesive, if you cut slightly larger than the thickness of the right material you simply "stretch" the seal as you hold an end in place in the groove and let is return to shape inside the groove. Easier than self adhesive and you gently close the back to press them into place, the interference fit keeps them there. The ones on the back of the door I do use self adhesive backed thin foam as there is no groove to hold the seal in place, but I remove in the same way, a blunt scraper. Do not forget the small seal between the finder and body and if you are brave or have "scrapper" to practice on the buffer seal around the mirror return box. This is the hardest of all the seal replacements and in my opinion is only necessary if the seal is so "sticky" that it contaminates or causes the mirror to stick. On the subject of "exercising" the camera if it jams on the slower speeds and does not free up then you get some exercise as well as you need to "jerk" the camera downwards as you fire on say 1/25oth. or 1/125th. etc.... believe you done a few times this can "jar" the mechanisms back into life.

At some stage I may add some photos and I continually get requests about the Motor versions, while I have photos of this stripped down this is both a more complex procedure and usually more risky as they are expensive to buy even as spares or repair, I think they are best left to the few serious USA mainly professional repairers.

For those who want to see the photos of the cameras and finders as they are dissassembled,or search Minolta XM Motor or Minolta Finder or minolta4me-kevin

Good luck in your searches and remember my advise;
How to make a small fortune on e-bay... start with a large one ;-)

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