Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to change the focusing screen on a Sony alpha 700 (a700)

I had to change the focusing screen of a Sony alpha 700 because it got damaged when trying to clean it. I did not find any video or info on how to do it on line, so I thought I could do a video and instructions of how to do it in case somebody needs to change it as well. 

Here is the video of how I've done it...

Step by step.
I forgot to put some gloves on, but I do suggest doing so, to minimize the risk of damaging the focusing screen. 

Step 1.  Place the camera on an angle with the viewfinder facing down.( this is important as you don't want other parts of the viewfinder coming out when removing the focusing screen.

Step 2. With a small screw driver, apply light pressure on the focusing screen metal housing.

Step 3. With tweezers,  get the old focusing screen out. You may need to tilt the camera a bit to get it out of its place. Be careful not to take any thing else out of there, and try not to get the metal housing out of place, it will be a bit more difficult to place the focusing screen if the metal housing comes all the way out.

Step 4. Pick up the new focusing screen with the tweezers, grab it from the small bit that comes out, not touching anything else with your fingers or the tweezers.  Pay attention to the two dots on the screen, they face the internal bit of the viewfinder.

Step 5. Holding the housing with one finger, place the focusing screen in position.

Step 6. With the screw driver, press the metal housing in, paying good attention not to touch the focusing screen. Once in place it will make a click. In the picture you can see how it looks once its in place.

You're done! The same process can be done for cleaning the dust in the focusing screen, using an air blower to get the dust off, never touching the focusing screen with anything, not even a soft cloth.

Enjoy a clean free of marks new focusing screen. Comment if you want me to let you know where to get the new focusing screen.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Taking the plug and play apart

Hi there! I did not have any video of how to take apart the plug and play, so I took apart another one that I had hanging around so you can see how it's done.


As you can see in the video, there are a few screws that are hidden by the sticky artwork. Try to find the position of the screws with your finger, or simply remove the whole sticker. 

When you separate the top from the bottom of the plug and play, pay good care not to break any cable.

This is the second plug and play that I have taken apart, and like in the first one, there is no way I could get the joystick ball out, they glue them very well apparently and I did not want to damage it.

The main thing here is to be able to screw the joystick to the panel from the 4 holding holes that it has.The rest could be placed wherever is easier, but remember that you'll have to change the batteries from time to time when positioning the battery holder.

I replaced the fire button for a real size arcade button. If you prefer you could change the joystick as well, just mark the cables before de soldering them so you know where they go.

On the next post I will cover the LCD dismantling and fitting.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Making the mini arcade cabinet

Hi there! so you have all the bit and bobs for this project? Excellent! :) .Soon you'll be playing with your mini arcade. In this post we will concentrate on making the cabinet. As I wanted to be able to print myself the side artwork, I drew the side of the arcade on an A4 piece of paper making sure every thing would fit inside a cabinet of that size.

You can download a Doc file or an image with the drawing of the design:

Click to see it bigger

Once you have the size you like, cut it out with scissors, and use it  to mark on the MDF.

Cut the two sides of the mini arcade.
The paper cut in this picture is not as round as the one you can download. That is because I did  the drawing above
using the final product, as I could not find the original drawing.

Cut the rest of the MDF according to the size of your screen. (The external size of the screen), That is really what will determinate how wide the mini arcade will be. Mine is 16cm (+ mdf sides)

If you are using the same LCD screen that I used (psone 5"), here are the rest of the measurements:
  • Top1 = 6.5cm X 16cm
  • Top2 = 1.2cm x 16cm
  • Control panel = 9cm x 16cm
  • Front panel = 2cm x 16cm
  • Bottom panel = 17cm x 16cm
  • Back panel = 23.5cm x 16cm
  • Screen holder = 4cm x 16cm 

Once you have all the MDF cut, the next step is very simple. Just start nailing the MDF, leaving for now the bottom and back panel. I didn't use any glue, but it would not be a bad idea to use glue or some sort of silicone to give some strength.

In the next post I will show you the plug and play bit.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mini Arcade Intro and materials

After posting a slideshow of my mini arcade machine, many of you asked me how I made it. Here start the long awaited instructions ; I hope you enjoy it.

 First of all, lets have a look at the mini arcade. Here is the video many of you watched on youtube.

Here is the list of materials and tools that I've used for this project.


- 12mm MDF
- PSone 5" LCD (you could use any LCD with AV capability or even a portable DVD player that will not read discs any more)
- Plug and play ( Namco is the one I've used)
- Plexiglass. (I used some from a big picture frame)
- Printable sticker paper.
- Screws
- Black permanent pen
- Magnetic catch


- Jigsaw
- Nail gun ( you could use a simple hammer and nails if you don't have one)
- Sandpaper
- Work knife ( or something to cut the plexiglass)
- Scissors