Nikon1 Series Mode Dial Fix Dissected (firmware hack?)

zeedarklingzeedarkling Posts: 3Member
edited March 2014 in Nikon 1
Hello everyone,

I recently had a query that came about from a faulty Mode-Dial... You know that 360 Circular 4-mode dial that is put to 1/4 of its' potential as a functioning switch???

Yeah that one.

Well my query was... considering the camera would flick out of modes and stop filming on me. Even with a touch to the F-Function or up-down-toggle/zoom buttons above it.

Why? Well I had a bump and mine was apparently broken.

I went in search of a firmware hack, to virtually (actually virtually) disable the mode dial all together. And at the same time reassign the F-Function button to changing modes (I then thought about wow an ISO quick menu would be nice!) Or lock it into filming mode.

But after looking at the Nikon1.bin firmware in HEX editor, my brain exploded and I died.

Luckily I reincarnated to reconsider the Hardware option again. Because I am a full manual photographer/videographer... the Nikon1 J1s I use are useless, if they won't stay in filming or manual-photo mode, or if I cannot access these modes.

I need to trust my gear, so instead I pulled it apart:


As you might be able to tell from my annotated images, some interesting points.

1. obviously how this switch works. As it re-circuits completely. This makes sense with all of the menu systems changing with the mode dial over-ride system.

2. that smart photo selector is the default mode.

3. that there is an obvious hardwire option to simply link the outer mode selector contact plates, directly to the inner plate, then engaging this mode permanently, or semi-permanently if you figure out a way.

Hope this helps you to understand why the thing is so finicky and why they cannot make a firmware lock-to-mode easily. Although you'd think they could make it change modes only once you STOP FILMING. As a failsafe. But I guess with it re-circuited, this makes sense too.

~ Sammy
Post edited by zeedarkling on


  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    It's a lot easier to buy a V2 and the problem is solved
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • zeedarklingzeedarkling Posts: 3Member
    edited March 2014
    *squints at you* .. thanks.. for ... the information?

    ahah, but srsly look at what trouble I went to and you won't even tell me WHY the problem is solved. (by the V2)

    *face palm* also if money is a means for solving a problem for you, congratulations.
    Post edited by zeedarkling on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited March 2014
    Seems like with what you know now, you could replace the switch entirely, or bypass and hard-wire to video only mode. Thanks for the pics!
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • zeedarklingzeedarkling Posts: 3Member
    yeah I just taped a bit of spring-steel pulled from an old phone battery contact, over the joint.
    it is currently semi-perm in filming mode -- didn't solder it or anything... encase
    I find I do want photo mode and then come by some parts in future.

    this is my backup J1 for filming so, unlikely.

    interesting that the White J1 overheats because of the gloss plastic not shedding heat,
    where as my Black non-gloss J1 never has shut down with a temp warning.

    anyway, hope this helps people understand why the mode dial is so finicky,
    it is just a could tiny pieces on a contact place, triggering the mode change...
    the dial contact piece isn't even help on with anything but the screw into the plastic
    mode dial itself, which presses it against the inside of the contact plates.
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    On The V2, Nikon solved many of the problems of the V1 in this instance they moved the dial.
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
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