Chris's camera pages

Kodak Signet 35 frame-counter repair

So, the frame counter on your Signet 35 doesn't work?

It might be a simple job to fix this problem.

If you roll the sprocket wheel with your thumb right towards the film advance end of the camera the frame counter should count downwards towards number one, but your one doesn't? Most likely someone has had the top cover off at some stage to clean the viewfinder or adjust the rangefinder, and they just put the top cover back on and tightened all the screws.

OK, let's open it up. Start by unscrewing the large screw in the centre of the film advance knob. You should hold the knob to stop it turning while you do this.

Do the same with the rewind knob screw.

Lift off the knobs and any washers, and remove the single screw at each end of the top plate. In this case the screws are phillips head, but some cameras, probably the earlier ones, will have slotted screws instead.

Lift off the top cover to expose the magic parts.

If a big coil spring pops out, it was fitted over the shaft at the film advance end.

The u-shaped spring fits on the rewind shaft. It is placed so that the closed end is retained by the screw that holds the top cover in place.

Here is the culprit in detail. That hook is supposed to couple with the toothed wheel on the underside of the frame counter dial, but it doesn't just automatically fall into place when you put the top cover on unfortunately. The hook just gets pushed down out of correct position instead, and so fails to connect.

Take a short piece of fishing line, or similar thread, and loop over the hook.

Holding the hook back with that line, lower the top cover into place, sliding the line out at the last moment.

With the top cover held firmly down, roll the sprocket wheel as before and the frame counter should now work.

If all good, while holding the top cover down firmly, replace the screws.

Replace the washers and the knobs.

Don't mix up the two knobs, it'll confuse people.

Replace the screws holding the knob and tighten, remembering to hold the knobs to stop them turning while you do this.

Did they do this in the factory when the made the cameras? probably not. See that prety red Kodak badge? This is glued in later. If the badge was not there, you could poke something through the exposed hole to hold that hook back while you fitted the top cover.

Anyway, all done, time for a well-earned beer.

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