Thanks for the posts all
Yeah I do smoke in my room but I do have a hefty air cleaner/hepa filter, and that does help the smoke issue. The Panasonic does indeed make a clunking/chugging vibration accompanied by the errnnt errnnt sounds, and the chugging is rather intense when I took the cover off (let alone when I took the drive off and held it by it`s sides).
The price of buying a new drive for it doesn`t seem practical at all for a brand new whole unit costs less than that. From what I remember from looking at the drive itself, it didn`t seem too user friendly as to taking it apart. I don`t remember seeing a bunch of small phillips head screws, I could be wrong. I`ll take it apart and see if I feel like getting into it. I will if it seems like something I can do. Does the flat ribbon wire with many multi connectors just pry off the PC board easily? I actually tried unplugging it but it didn`t come off easily. The other two wire plug has an actual connector that looks like it does come apart more easily. I`d hate to break the damn thing trying to get the drive clear of the unit! lol
I used to clean all my cassette decks (pinch roller,capstan,heads) easy enough as well as minor repairs like a drive band coming off or breaking, and I`m pretty good with a soldering gun, heh. I`m fairily hands on in other words. I`ll try cleaning what looks like needs cleaning but the sounds/chugging it`s putting out is terrible. Sounds like the mechanism is trying to turn and there`s a stick in it`s spokes- in other words.
Also with the extremely high cost of a new drive for the Panasonic, how could the "flat rate repair" of $130 cover that? That is, if that`s the problem. If a new drive is needed, no cleaning this or that as to a quick/easy maintenance fix.
Now the Sony RDR-GX7 DVD-R had no problems for around 3-4 years recording with those DVD-R`s that one can easily buy at Walgreens or wherever (the one`s that say 1-16X 4.7G). Got to the point where even discs recorded and finalized on that unit, it couldn`t read and displayed errors. And even brand new clean discs it said the dreaded "dirty disc" errors. How frustrating was that?! The drive finally died I think as it wouldn`t even eject the disc and it`s still stuck in the unit! I was mad cause of how much the unit cost me and that it was indeed a very high quality player and recorder (I loved the classy screen fades it did too).
Indeed maybe I have a big clunky heavy paper weight on my hands now. Maybe I should just rip into it breaking apart the drive just to get my disc out (seems such a waste though!). I would think that if I buy another cheaper Sony that does work properly it should be able to finalize all my unfinalized discs that I made on the GX7. And I have a bunch, so people don`t be lazy. Finalize when you`ve filled up the disc! Don`t be like me and have 200 unfinalized discs. Which makes me wonder; How many recorded discs or what is a general lifespan for DVD recorders? From my experiences, not more than 300, and they go poof. May as well buy el cheapos if that`s the case.
I do know that any unfinalized Sony made discs can`t read in the Panasonic, so I kinda have to buy another Sony (or another that uses the same encoding method or what not). ...yeah it`s frustrating, companies can`t agree on a standard format. These recorders and their drives don`t even have a good shelf life as to operation and longevity. I`ve got a 20 year old Onkyo Integra tape deck that still works, and a Pioneer turntable, and Onkyo Integra amp and pre amp, and ...
You get my drift! Newer technology may have it`s "pro`s", merits and convenience and all, but it comes at a price of reliability me thinks (con`s).