Theta S won't turn on

Suddenly my Theta S won’t turn on (out of warranty). Yes it has the latest firmware, which was installed about a week ago. The symptoms don’t seem to match the other topics that are similar. Here are the symptoms:

  1. It seems to be charging from the USB cable and a wall plug and from the PC. (red light is on steady).
  2. It can connect and turn on when connected to the PC via USB cable.
  3. It can power up with the power supply connected via USB cable and mobile app shows battery charging symbol.
  4. Unplugging the power turns it off.
  5. Try to turn it back on with no power cable: It turns on momentarily (blue lights come on), then power light changes to red and flashes one time (no beeps) and it turns off.
  6. When charging, it never seems to be complete (red light remains on steady), even overnight.
  7. Sometimes(?) it will turn on without the power supply connected, but the power light blinks blue. The app says the battery is low. If this happens and I plug it in to power, it turns off.

This behavior started just after the firmware update, so I’m wondering if that may have introduced a new bug. Is there any way to revert to a prior firmware version?

Is there anything else that can be done to restore operation?


In conclusion, there was some hardware or firmware failure of my Theta-S. I went ahead and opened it up and replaced the battery, but nothing changed. I am greatly disappointed with such a failure. I can understand the battery eventually failing, but not the hardware. Not sure I’ll be looking for another Ricoh to replace it.

Hi VideoVeteran and all.
I’ve your same issue with my Theta S.
I’ve changed battery too, with my Olympus Li-92B, but nothing, it runs only if connected with a charger, not via pc-usb.
Any suggests from other Theta S users?!

does it work when you plug a USB cable into the THETA S and power it from an external portable battery? Did you try a different USB cable to charge the battery?

So sorry this happened. I was never able to get mine to work, even after replacing the battery. I fear there was a hardware failure in the powersupply/charging circuits. I wish you the best of luck. I ended up buying a replacement.

If the camera is completely dead try the following in this order:

  1. replace USB cable (use the original cable if you have it. use mobile phone USB cables)
  2. try different USB ports on different computers or different wall charges
  3. replace battery (may break camera further. need to take apart camera)

At this stage, the camera is headed for recycle as a throwaway. So, you may want to try the following before the camera to electronics recycling service:

  • reflow solder on power circuit (using a heat gun may completely destroy circuit board)
  • rewire power delivery (at this point, you may have to use camera for parts only)


Thanks David. I also replaced the battery and I think it is due to a shorted power circuit. I will continue with the tests. Thank you!

Hi Graig,thanks for your suggests!
I tried to make these attempts:
I made these attempts:

  1. Tried several USB cables;
  2. Purchased the PowerPow to check the battery charging;
  3. Used CDI 3293040 Reactivating Spray for Contacts;
  4. With Theta completely disassembled, the PowerPow connected to the network (not to the PC because it gave a load value of 0.05 mA and therefore did not charge) gave me a load value of about 0.17 mA with 5.17 V: if I turn on the Theta (bright red led) the loading value increased to 0.26 mA, you can activate the wifi and connect with the Theta app of the smartphone. After many hours the battery reached 1350mA but kept charging ‘endlessly’, I stopped at 1,500mA.
  5. With the tester the battery is charged (3.6-3.7 V);
  6. Trying to switch on by unplugging the USB cable, the red LED flashes and then everything goes off;
  7. Trying to switch on with the USB cable connected, the Theta works correctly;
  8. Testing with a PowerBank (Ravower RP-WD003 Output DC 5V / 1A) the Theta turns on normally and you can activate the wifi).
  9. Disconnecting the USB cable, everything turns off.
    Now, I think I have a hardware problem as say David in his note.
    Where is the circuit zone where maybe we have that issue?

Unfortunately, I don’t have experience with this. You can try to look at the information from this guy

His posts have the most information on the power circuit.

As your lens assembly is intact, have you considered looking for a used THETA S with broken lenses and then replacing the lens assembly in the THETA S units? You may be able to find one for free or really cheap.

Alternately, you could velcro a battery to your tripod or selfie stick and use the THETA S only with the USB cable attached.

If it works with a USB power source, someone working on a robotics drone project might want to buy it from you as the robotics projects don’t need the battery.