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G600 Microscope dead keys / sporadic inputs

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Rooster Cogburn:
I have this dirt cheap G600 microscope:

I think they're pretty awesome. Image quality is just fine, you can reverse the stand and have the microscope 'overhang' in the other direction, and if I put it on the little monitor stand my scope stands on it's in a perfect position. I think it's very usable for SMD soldering or reading of small component labels, checking for solder bridges or other defects. Input lag is acceptable and you can put a cheap UV filter over the opening so you have a piece of glass & metal at the bottom, no risk of heat / flux fumes breaking it.

I originally bought one for ~25EUR shipped. After a year or so of perfect operation the buttons below the screen started randomly triggering. Really annoying when the zoom level changes or the menu pops up while you're soldering something. I could never figure out what the issue was. There was no visible damage to anything, I reset it with the little pinhole button, removed the battery, let it sit for a day, made sure the flex cables etc. were all in a good spot. When I look inside the microscope it seems like the mechanism that adjusts focus (big knob) might brush against the flex cable connecting the buttons to the main board. Hard to tell. No idea.

I simply bought a replacement, just buying the main unit was even cheaper. This one looked slightly different (bigger 'Microscope' font) and somewhat different picture/colors. After a year or so this one also just started to have sporadic ghost inputs on the buttons out of nowhere. Then a minute later the keyboard completely died. For some reason the power button still works fine, even though it's on the same input board connected through the same flex cable. I'm actually mostly fine with this, I don't need to use the menus or the record function or anything, I just want the thing to display an image. I reseated the flex cable connecting the input and main board, no change. Power button works, nothing else.

Anybody else has one of these and experienced this issue? Any idea how to fix it? I'd be perfectly happy with this thing if it kept working :)

Also, giant warning inside:


I have its big brother, the G1200. When I press and hold a button, it won't register another button press until I release the first one. Basically, all it takes is one of the buttons failing in closed position and the rest won't work (power button still works, though). I guess they used the cheapest microswitches they could find for the G600.
Pretty sure those buttons go straight to the main IC with nothing in between, so if they work fine, somehow the main IC input pins got zapped.

Rooster Cogburn:
So maybe that huge warning label has some merit :-)

I guess I should've done my homework and checked if the buttons are actually working. Mechanically they feel fine, though.

It's interesting that one of them failed with sporadic inputs while the other one had sporadic inputs for like 10s and then the entire control panel went dead. I didn't check, but I assume the power button is connected differently then.

These tactile switches fail a lot that way.
Not a direct short, but can develop resistance (few Kohms) between their contacts when open.
As the pullups are usually weaker, (ex. 100K), they'll pull down the signal.
Get some new switches and replace them, don't bother checking which ones are bad, sometimes they fail intermittently.

Rooster Cogburn:
I had no idea, interesting. I bought one of those 20 types of surface mount switches sets from AliExpress a while ago, I might even have something matching around.

Why do you suspect the pullups are so weak? Wouldn't you normally use something like 5-10K?


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