My trusty RS80N3 remote has been through the war, and it finally showed signs of imminent death (a remote allows you to release the shutter via a switch instead of mashing your camera with your finger). Symptoms: push button - no shutter release, push button harder - no shutter release, slam remote against tripod 3 times - shutter releases. This begins to look rather awkward when you are in the field, slamming your remote before you take a picture (a strange ritual at best). B&H showed $49.95 for this remarkable, high tech piece of electronic wizardry. Why was it so expensive? One way to find out, tear it apart.
Easier said than done. On the back are two tiny Phillips screws. I mean these are so tiny you need a magnifying glass to see that they are Phillips. Of course I tried to losen them with tool that was one size too large. You get that sinking feeling when the tool begins to turn a little too easily...nice, a stripped head. Two weeks later Dorian found a nice miniature screwdriver set at the "Shack" for 8 bucks and I gave it a go again. This time it took a small pair of vice grips around the screwdriver to finally break these bad boys free. And voila, it was opened.
I fully expected to find a few integrated circuits and a fancy reed switch inside. But to my surprise, three wires and three pieces of metal, with the button forcing contact between the metal pieces. Wow, Canon manages to turn $3 worth of materials into a $49 accessory. So what could be the problem with my intermittent firing? The solder joints looked good, must be the wire where it enters the case. On more than one occasion I managed to catch my falling camera with the remote. Or I've grabbed my camera body in haste only to find it tethered to the remote stuck deep in the camera bag. Ouch. I managed to reproduce the behavior by bending the wire, so I decided to amputate a section of the cable that could be bad...snip. I cut the cable about 2 inches from the plastic case.
The grommet that holds the cable where it enters the plastic case is rather tenacious. Takes a good yanking with the vice grips. After that is free you have to reattach it to the cable. I ended up using a bit of soap and water to slide it on, with some vice grips pulling it through. Then you need to get out your soldering iron to remove the old wire and attach the new one. Three connections, that's it. Takes about an hour. Now I am back in business, although my remote is about 6 inches shorter. I figure I have enough cable to do this at least 4 more times!