Ricoh GR III scroll wheel fix

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ricohgriiiwheelfix New Member • Posts: 2
Ricoh GR III scroll wheel fix
5

Short version: don't do this, it will ruin your camera, but working a couple drops of alcohol into the wheel completely fixed it for me.

Long version:
Like others, my GR III scroll wheel started skipping and working poorly after a few months. In other words, if I was trying to go to the "next" image, it would jump 4 to 5 images ahead. In manual mode, I would sometimes get stuck at +5.0 because trying to go "down" meant it jumping "up" several steps. Yes, I eventually figured out that the more I used the wheel, the less it happened, but it was really disappointing when a week of inactivity meant I had to run the wheel around and around before using my supposedly "high quality" camera. I was out of warranty and getting desperate for a fix, especially after one day I was literally unable to take a shot in manual mode because of the wheel. I completely missed a great photo with my expensive point and shoot when anything with working manual controls would have sufficed. Even if I was in warranty, I was traveling and could not have considered losing the camera for the long process of a warranty repair.

Goes without saying that my method that follows is just what worked for me, it could have all been chance, and maybe my camera stops working tomorrow. However, I did this about 2 months ago and really wanted to let the dust settle before I even thought about suggesting it to others. The scroll wheel problem has not returned, and even if it does, I will repeat this exact method, because it has brought me back to the joy of when I first got the camera. Please don't bother crying to me if this destroys your $900 camera.

First step, obviously remove battery and SD card, and push a few buttons and wait a few minutes in a vain attempt to discharge any capacitors. I used the isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol that I already had on hand, I think it was 70%, and soaked the tip of a paper towel in it, because I did not have an eye dropper with me. With the camera flat, lens down, I squeezed the tip of the paper towel to let about 3 drops of alcohol fall into the crack between the scroll wheel and the case (around the outside of the wheel), and another 2 drops on the inner part of the scroll wheel (near ISO, WB, etc), to make its way into those cracks, giving it a couple seconds to flow through. Then I wildly scrolled the wheel in both directions, a few seconds this way, a few seconds that way, for maybe 30 seconds. I repeated this process one more time. 10 drops total might not sound like a lot, but the camera felt wet enough by the end of this that I was worried I had made a mistake. Then I let the camera dry for several hours in the a hot car to ensure it was dry before using it that evening. Honestly, I regret the hot car part, I should have had more patience and dried it at room temp for 72 hours or something, but as I said, I was desperate.

After a short prayer and reinsertion of the battery and memory card, the scroll wheel was working perfectly. I mean, perfectly, as new. It has been as I said almost two months and it is yet to skip at all. This confirms the theory of dirty contacts, and yes, now this dirt has been flushed into a different part of the camera, but oh well, manual mode is usable again. No discoloration of the case, buttons, or lettering from the isopropyl alcohol. Any or all of this could be luck, and I am only providing detail like the number of drops because it worked in my specific case, not because something like 10 drops is a magic number.

Ricoh GR III
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