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Argus 3 Teardown and Repair

Taking apart

In the series of images below the chassis will be removed from the camera case, allowing access to parts for repair or modification.

16 screws to remove the handles. It is not necessary to remove the 6 rear screen screws, or the 3 pairs holding the handle together.

The alternative sidestrap fitting has an additional 4 large screws.
Front panel also removed, but this is only needed to access the BNC connector
14 screws arrowed in red to split the case.
The 6 screws arrowed green only remove the rear bezel and free the window. Good for cleaning but not disassembly.
When opened the camera chassis remains screwed into the front case.
The only connection to the rear is the 15 way lead to the LCD & buttons, shown with the green arrows.
The gasket should also remain in the case front.

To free the chassis remove the 6 fixings indicated by the purple arrows.
The type of fixing here varied over time from rubber studs, solid studs, screws with spacers and finally spacers pressed onto the chassis.

The coin cell is for the clock IC, so a camera that has lost its' time (reset to 1 Jan 2000) or that will not store pictures can be repaired with a new battery. Given most cameras were built around 2005, the coin cells will now (2021) be getting near end of life.
The camera can be run in this state, connect to the battery PCB clips as shown.
Turn on by briefly shorting the left two pins (15 and 14) on the 15 way connector as shown, this is where the red ON button is connected.
The chassis can be stood up, but be careful not to short out components on the case.
To disconnect the chassis, disconnect the 16 way ribbon and also the 6 way power connector indicated by the purple arrows.
The removed chassis, indicating again the 15 way rear connector for buttons / video out and the 6 way power connector.
The full pinouts are given below.
The basic BST core video, without colour or graphics, is present on the side connector as shown. This is discussed further on the next page
The case front, this example having both spot temperature and the US video transmitter options fitted.


6 Way power connection. Connector Type: Harwin M20 0.1"
Pin Function  
White 1 Unswitched power in +ve from base pin
View from rear (wiring end or onto the PCB)

Red 2 Battery +ve - to on/off switching
Black 3 0V / case / ground
Yellow 4 Charger +ve from base pin
Purple 5 Battery Thermistor
Blue 6 Battery 3rd pin - for AA pack detection

15 Way LCD and buttons connection, Type Molex 53261-15xx 'Picoblade 1.25mm'
Pin Function
1 Video Out. Note - Must see a 75 ohm termination to be active
2 Video Gnd
3 10V (Power for LCD)
4 0V
5 0V
6 0V
7 LCD Contrast (Digital pot on LCD 5V)
8 LCD Brightness (Digital pot on LCD 5V)
9 LCD Colour (Digital pot on LCD 5V)
10 LCD 5V (output for digital pots)
11 LCD 0V
12 Left (image) button
13 Right (zoom) Button
14 Centre (power) button. Short to 0V to turn camera on or off
15 0V

Battery Contacts

The battery spring contacts can break, with one it is usually possible to use the camera but with the battery only one way round. Beyond this the battery is usually unstable and so fails to make contact or will be missing a power contact in either orientation.
Fire-TICS can supply spare battery contacts, or can exchange/repair the battery PCB. This is easier and cheaper than shipping the whole camera as long as the user is happy to do some soldering.
PCB removal

Undo 4 self tapping screws shown, and then fold up
PCB wiring

Remove wiring to free PCB, or desolder and replace the snapped contacts.
Spare Contacts Fire-TICS have spare battery contacts available (GBP1 plus GBP1 overall shipping), or can exchange/repair the battery PCB.

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Fire-TICs Argus3 Camera Repair1 page 8 January 2021  All tradename © respective owners