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The Sony Handycam FDR-AX33 is a palm sized camcorder that combines 4K video with video stabilization. It was released in March 2015, and was the first camcorder to introduce the new Balanced Optical SteadyShot (BOSS).

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Error code E:61:11 Autofocus not working, manual focus not possible

I've had ths problem before, and it turned out to be the flex connector that goes into the floating gimbal wheere the lens is housed. I also had another problem where the camera completely died because that same flex connector snapped or was cut through by the sharp edge of the chassis, where the connector goes into the floating lens assembly.

But after fixing that issue, I now get one of two errors:

Either c:32:60 or E:61:11. The lens assembly has power again, but everything is out of focus. I can still zoom in and out, and the image is in focus at 2 points within the zoom range, but it makes no adjustments. Switching to manual focus also doesn't work. The little symbol just rapidly switches from 1 meter to infinity as I try to adjust. On autofocus, the same happens - a rapid switching between the flower and mountain symbols that represent the same.

Also: When I turn the camera on, there are clicking sounds, and it takes longer to switch on. I think the autofocus either came out of calibration somehow, or one of the connectors that takes visual data to wherever the focusing is calculated, isn't connected.

I've tried a factory reset, turning the camera off and on again in various orientations, etc.

I don't think it's a physical problem like a slipping gear or anything, because the last repairs didn't require messing with anything like that. The motors for the zoom and focus, are attached to the floating lens assembly, and I never needed to disassemble that.

Any ideas? I'm going to disassemble it again anyways to checK all the flex connectors are inserted properly...and because the mic flex connector split during the last reassembly.

Update (05/25/23)

Right, I got the old connector off And got the pads re-tinned. And %#*@, do I need better flux! So much black slag was floating up out of nowhere, I can barely see what I'm doing. There are two pads That developed a bridge I absolutely can't get rid of, but looking at the board, it looks like it doesn't matter if they're shorted, since they seem to be connected anyways.

So now it's a matter of putting the new connector on. I'm not even going to try heating the board from beneath. I really don't trust this chinese solder paste

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@xgabrielx let's start off by looking at teh error codes.

error code

C:32:60

Symptom:

  • Difficult to adjust focus

* (Cannot initialize focus)

Correction

  • Turn power off and turn power on again. When this error is not cleared, the focus control signal for the lens block may be faulty.
  • Check whether this error is due to the lens or the board.
  • Replace the faulty lens or board.

error code

E:61:11

Symptom:

  • Focus or zoom fault

Correction:

  • Check both C: 32: 60 and E: 61: 10 of the self-diagnosis code.

Now here is

E:61:10

Symptom:

  • Zoom operations fault
  • (Cannot initialize zoom lens)

Correction:

  • Turn power off and turn power on again. When this error is not cleared, operate the zoom lever and check following items.
  • When zooming is performed, the zoom control signal for the lens block may be faulty.
  • When zooming is not performed, the zoom motor drive circuit may be faulty.
  • Check whether this error is due to the lens or the board.
  • Replace the faulty lens or board.

If you have tried a different lens already and same error, then I would look at the lens block assembly. Use this manual Sony FDR AX33 to work on that.

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I have that repair manual :D I even printed an extra copy to tape the screws to. I recognise the description of the error codes from it. The zoom works fine, so what I'm thinking is that it's this focus control signal. I just don't know where that processing occurs. I assume it's outside of the lens assembly and so would maybe use some of the conductors on the flex connector I replaced. I guess it's possible it's not inserted properly. I definitely suspect one of the flex connectors

par

@xgabrielx have you checked the ribbon cables for any tears and the connectors for any corrosion? If not it has to be the board with the flex connector on it. Checked the schematics for that to narrow it down?

par

They looked fine when I replaced the main cable to the lens assembly. IIRC, there are only 2 cables connecting to it. The one I replaced, and one to the motor on the side of it, which I assume is for the zoom. I haven't taken it apart yet, but I suspect one of them may not be inserted properly. The focus was working fine before. Then I started getting some weird behaviour and finally, the camera died completely. When I opened it, the flex connector to the lens assembly had snapped entirely. Considering the lens unit is able to move around, the edge of the chassis it's in, where the cable enters, is razor sharp and very rough. It just cut through the cable over time. I guess i'll just check every connector and give the ends a wipe with rubbing alcohol and make sure they're inserted properly. I don't see why it would be a problem with the actual board, unless the original fault caused it due to a short. Guess I'll just have to take it apart again and have a look around

par

Not yet. I haven't taken it apart yet. I need to print another copy of the manual, to tape the screws to. They're labelled and there are supposed to be only 3 kinds, but there are quite a few odd ones, so I don't quite trust the diagrams. I want to make sure I put them all back in the right place, in case I have to send it to get repaired. Some of those places get nervous if they think it's been opened before

par

@oldturkey03 I'm hoping it's not the board. I can't find a replacement. Mine is the AXP33 that has the projector. It LOOKS like the same board. I can find a board for the AX33, and it seems like the same board, just missing the HDMI in port for the projector. It even has the pads in place for the sockets to be added, so I guess it's the same board off the same assembly line, to cut costs. It may be more of a gamble than I'm willing to take, given the cost of the board. Still...the repair shop quoted me almost $400 just to replace the CMOS connector, which I already replaced for next to nothing. That's getting close to the point where it's cheaper just to buy another used camera on EBAY.

I'm not sure why the manual insists on the problem being either the lens or the board, when they're connected to each other by a thin ribbon cable that's clearly prone to breaking. Mine was broken!

I'll know more tomorrow when I take it apart and check and reseat the cables

par

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Gabriel Chastain sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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