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Panasonic LX5 Thumbwheel fix

by zxzyyz / April 10, 2013 9:39 AM PDT

I've seen where a number of you have had the same problem I did, and I'd like to share a potential fix that costs about $10. My thumbwheel had become very erratic, either not changing the settings at all or not in the correct linear fashion. I saw where most people had chalked it up to dirt or dust getting into the mechanism. I figured I didn't have much to lose, so I decided to try a spray contact cleaner. I bought a can of Radio Shack "Control/Contact Cleaner and Lubricant" for about $10. It said it was for "electro-mechanical devices- especially drum-type TV tuners". That sounded pretty good to me, so I masked off the thumbwheel slot with masking tape and paper towels (so as to not get the spray anywhere but in the slot). I sprayed the cleaner into the slot from about a foot away so I wouldn't overload the slot, and then worked the thumbwheel around in both directions for a while until the cleaner had time to evaporate. So far (a few days later at this point), it works like new! Much better than the $150 or so that Panasonic wants to fix it. Obviously, try this at your own risk- I have no idea how long this fix will last, or if it will eventually cause other problems. But so far I'm really happy- I was thinking that my year-old camera was quickly on its way to the garbage can. I hope that someone else can benefit from this... let me know if you try it and if it works for you...

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