VCL Orbiter gold. DIY repair.

The VCL orbiter gold PTZ cameras can be seen across all areas of the UK. One of the most popular dome cameras of their time they sold thousands of units. Now however they are no longer manufactured and maintaining them has become difficult , if not impossible. There are some fixes however that can be made by the end user and this may solve or prolong the life of your dome camera. Below we list the most common faults and how to fix them without the need to call out an engineer.

1) Camera out of focus: this is caused by the lens motor sticking. You can rectify this by powering down the camera. Go to the power supply probably situated at the bottom of the pole or in the building just behind the dome. There will be a fused spur powering this, remove the fuse, leave for a minute or two then power up again. This will enable the camera to restart and should cause the camera to refocus. This fix is never permanent but you should get a good two weeks out of it before having to repeat the power up/down process. The Sony camera blocks are no longer made so a permanent fix will need a new dome inner.

2) Camera picture flicking and losing tour.: this will be caused by the slip rings, these slip rings allow the dome to spin but still provide power to the camera and motors. The solution is quite simple, you need to reprogram the tour so that it does not pass over the worn area of the slip ring. This is done by moving the offending preset to a new position. Sometimes a marginal change will allow the dome to carry on working for many further months. Once however the slip ring is so worn this process fails to work a new inner will be required.

3)  No camera picture at all: two things to check here. Do you have power at the dome? You need to check mains is present at the fused spur and if it is check the fuse in the PSU. Often moisture inside the VCL dome housing can blow the fuse .You may be advised to see how the water has ingressed into the housing to prevent a repeat, sometimes you will find it has been hit or damaged or the acrylic has not been replaced properly at some point. The second reason could again be the slip rings, if there is no picture you will need to remove the fuse in the spur adjacent to the PSU and initiate a re boot. This should restore the image .Then you need to find the weak spot in the slip ring and carry out the process outlined in point 2 to avoid this worn part of the slip ring, you may get a few more months out of your VCL dome camera.

4) Intermittent control over the dome camera:This is the camera losing its connection with the Maxcom gold matrix. This could be a poor connection on the back of the  Maxcom matrix or a damaged cable. Remake the connections or rejoin the cable. This if it is the case then you will be provided with a permanent fix.

5)  Picture is white: The auto iris lens has been put onto manual and opened fully letting too much light into the lens. Adjust the lens manually with auto focus button on the control and the picture will return . Lock the keypad so the buttons cannot be accidentally touched again.

6)  Picture is Black: Same as above but the iris has been closed right down letting no light into the camera.

Of course there are many other faults that can manefest themselves and we are happy to advise if you wish to contact us. There are also ways of replacing the inner for a fraction of the cost of a new external dome camera. So always investigate this option before spending thousands on a new system, including having to replace the  keyboard controls and the Honeywell  Maxcom gold matrix.

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