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Old Saturday 19th September 2009, 04:40   #1
pshute
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"Dandelion" chip for E-520

I bought a chip to glue to my M42 adapter. It seems to work, but I haven't fully tested it yet. Here are some questions and thoughts about it:

I was informed that a Dandelion chip was the best to get. Is that an actual brand, or is it a generic term? I gave up trying to find someone who appeared to be selling the real thing, too many web sites in Russian, too many requests for money by methods I'm not game to use.

I ended up getting one from eBay seller Big_IS because I found some postings referring to this supplier's chips as Dandelions. The ads don't call them that, and the seller responded to none of my requests for confirmation. The chip arrived, it works, and the manual they emailed says "Dandelion" on the front.

The instructions explain how to program the aperture and focal length reporting, but not back/front focus adjustment or lens description. I found references to other chips that can set those last two things. I emailed the seller, but, again, no response. They were quick with the delivery, and with the manual in response to an email, so they do read their messages, and must be simply ignoring these requests. They won't be getting a good rating from me if they don't respond soon.

Does anyone know if I should be able to program focus adjustment and lens description? I don't know if I'll need the former, but it would be nice to have the latter, so I can see "Asanuma lens" in the Exif information.

I'm slightly concerned that the contacts aren't gold plated. I'll just have to see how that goes.

Gluing your own chip on isn't a simple process. I measured the location as accurately as possible, then glued it with two part epoxy (Araldite) in just a couple of spots so I could try it out before putting heaps of glue on. The contacts have a slightly different spacing to the pins, which makes the placement accuracy more important than it should be.

Such a thin circuit board, and it has to hold onto the inner surface of the adapter against the pressure of the pins without bending or breaking off. The large amount of glue I put on the back of it seems to form a nice solid brace though, and it feels solid enough. The first test with just a little glue pushed the chip about a mm below the rim of the adapter. I left it there to reduce the pin pressure a little.

I saw an ad for a chip on a thicker board, supplied with a jig to hold it in position for glueing, and a little brace to glue under it to support it. Sounds like a good idea, but I could see no mention of Dandelion on the ad, and found no recommendations for that supplier.

One thought about the glue. Thick globs of glue like this should probably take a few days to fully cure. I'm concerned that fumes might still be coming out of it, so after a quick test I removed the adapter from the camera again. I don't know if it's possible for the fumes to coat or damge the mirror or sensor, but I'm not risking it.

I'd also advise anyone gluing one on to use something like a toothpick to apply the glue. Avoid just lifting the toothpick up out of the glue, because it will draw thin threads of glue with it, and they'll end up on the contacts or in the adapter threads. Carefully twist it to wind the threads up till they break off before lifting it away.

It took mea while to work out how to hold it in place while I glued it. I wanted to lay the circuit board down flat so I could place the adapter in the right position beside/over it, but the chip itself would be on the underside, making it stick up at an angle. I ended up placing hanging over the edge of a piece of wood, and putting a metal washer on the other end to stop it tipping off. In hindsight I should have drilled a hole in the wood for the chip, so it could lie flat away from the edge. I'm sure all this will make no sense to anyone.

The ad mentioned that it's "the latest version", but didn't say what version that is. There are no markings on it, so I guess I'll never know. I wonder why they don't bother marking them.

Anyway, it works. I managed to follow the programming instructions, with some help from various forums where others had worked out what the poor English really means. I was very relieved to finally see the right aperture and focal length reported. I gave it a quick test, and yes, the focus confirmation light came on around about where I thought the focus was correct by eye. I'll have to take some shots of a tape measure or something to check just how accurate it is.
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Old Tuesday 22nd September 2009, 17:25   #2
Mad_Sunday
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The Dandelion is the Russian original Olympus 4/3rds chip which has had a few variants. You and I seem to have the same Chinese copy of it. I believe the later Russian made ones have extended functions.

The "instructions" that came with mine are also a very poor translation into English

I don't now use any of the chips functions and I prefer to focus manually, as I no longer trust the focus confirmation 100%. Also there is often a delay while the chip tries to decide that the focus is OK before releasing the shutter and I miss the shot.

Pete
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Old Tuesday 22nd September 2009, 21:01   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad_Sunday View Post
I don't now use any of the chips functions and I prefer to focus manually, as I no longer trust the focus confirmation 100%. Also there is often a delay while the chip tries to decide that the focus is OK before releasing the shutter and I miss the shot.
I've been setting the camera to MF, and just watching for the dot to appear, which lets me release the shutter whenever I want. I tried it in AF mode, and it automatically released the shutter as I passed the AF point, and got it hopelessly wrong. I will try and work out if I can calculate and enter a correction for this, but I'm thinking that I'll just do it by eye from now on. I got the camera and chip around the same time, and after a few days' practice I'm getting the focus ok.

Still, it would be nice to be able to use the chip to confirm focusing in certain situations, maybe birds in flight.

I'm also half thinking of complaining to eBay about this seller. They haven't done the wrong thing in their ads - they haven't mentioned Dandelion - but their manual has Dandelion on the front, so there are people mentioning them as a seller of Dandelions in forums. Is it a Dandelion or not? If not, the manual is a fake. If so then the ad is incorrect in saying the chip is "the latest version".
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Old Wednesday 23rd September 2009, 07:27   #4
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Now I'm finding that the chip occasionally resets the focal length to about 65000mm. And Big_IS have emailed me a link to a manual for the Canon version of the chip. Oh, well, at least they're replying now.
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Old Saturday 10th October 2009, 22:45   #5
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I complained again, and they referred me to their web forum, presumably so they could handle the query there. It appears to be all Canon related, but I joined it anyway. Two weeks later my user account still hasn't been approved.

I've now left negative feedback for them, which I think is justified, it's the first time I've ever done that. Let's see what happens now.

It's only $20, but I've interested to see what they can do for me, in case others are considering buying their chips.
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Old Sunday 11th October 2009, 11:46   #6
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Are you absolutely certain that the term "Dandelion" is a brand name, or is it just a generic term for this type of chip? If it is just a generic term (which I think it may be), then it seems to me you have no reason to complain about them or leave negative feedback.

From what I've read, they all have a delay in responding to focus changes, and are really no substitute for a real auto-focus lens. This is especially true with telephoto lenses, where focus is problematic even with AF lenses.
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Old Sunday 11th October 2009, 13:31   #7
pshute
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[quote=RAH;1612368]Are you absolutely certain that the term "Dandelion" is a brand name, or is it just a generic term for this type of chip? If it is just a generic term (which I think it may be), then it seems to me you have no reason to complain about them or leave negative feedback.QUOTE]
Their only mention of Dandelion is on the manual, supplied after sale. Maybe that's a ripoff of someone else's, but I can't argue it fooled me into a sale.

My grounds for complaint are that after setting the focal length on the chip, sometimes it resets it to some huge number. I.e. it becomes unusable. I asked them about it, and they just sent me a link to their web forum, which only contains Canon postings. I registered as a user, and after two weeks they never approved it. I emailed about it, got no response.

The chip is faulty, they refused to discuss it. Hence the negative feedback.
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Old Sunday 11th October 2009, 14:46   #8
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I understand now. I agree, they were not at all helpful with your complaint and should get negative feedback about that, for sure. :)
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Old Wednesday 14th October 2009, 13:34   #9
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They responded fairly quickly after I left negative feedback, and arrange repayment in return for revising the feedback, which I did.

Their problem, I think, is that they are doing too much business and can't handle the volume of messages, compounded by the fact that English isn't their first language.

So now to try to buy a genuine one.
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