EH55 DVD drive failure, no error indicated - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 38 Old 02-27-2009, 01:43 AM
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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).
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post #32 of 38 Old 02-27-2009, 01:45 AM
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I`ll check out the links you`ve provided as to tearing the Panasonic apart and cleaning. I hope it works but I`m not banking on it.
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post #33 of 38 Old 02-27-2009, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesman View Post

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.

Earlier posts in this thread answer most of your questions or provide links to other posts that answer your questions.

Be sure to disconnect the AC cord well before opening a Panasonic's case. Do not touch internal components unless you have gronded yourself to the case. Avoid unnecessary touching of internal components.

Panasonic DVD Drives have four small phillips screws securing the lid. There is no reason to remove the DVD Drive from the machine or disturb the ribbon cables when opening the DVD Drive for lens and rubber hub cleaning. With DVD Drive "clunking" or "chugging" noises your lens is dirty or has failed. Gently clean the lens. Also clean the rubber hub atop the spindle. You must position the roller/slider at the rear of the disc tray to the far left before securing the DVD Drive lid. Earlier posts in this thread provide links to more details and photos. I regularly clean the lens and rubber hubs on my Panasonics at eight to ten month intervals, more often with heavy use.

I strongly discourage removal of ribbon cables from the connectors due to the possibility of damage to ribbon cable contact strips. Ribbon cables with plastic tabs near the plastic connectors may be removed from the plastic connectors. The plastic tabs are gripped with the ribbon cable facilitating removal and insertion of the ribbon cable into the plastic connector. It seems to me that you were describing an effort to remove the ribbon cable connectors from the circuit board, a serious problem if you damaged a connector's soldered contacts!

If the lens cleaning does not correct the "clunking" or "chugging" then you most likely need a laser assembly replacement. Panasonic does not approve of laser assembly replacement in the field even though laser assemblies may be found in the secondary market (in Scotland).

For 2005, 2007 and 2008 models with failed laser assemblies Panasonic replaces the DVD Drive. For 2006 models Panasonic replaces the DVD Drive and the specially configured Digital PCB as a "module." All these parts are very expensive if purchased from Panasonic Service and Technology Company in Kent Washington (the source of parts found on the Panasonic website).

Earlier posts provide more information about the $130 flat-rate repair that includes parts, labor and return shipping through the corporate Panasonic Digital Service Center in Elk Grove Village Illinois. The Panasonic experts at Elk Grove Village quickly and efficiently return a Panasonic to new or better than new functional condition.

It is your decision as to how cost effective it is to use the $130 flat-rate repair or purchase another machine.

As to longevity, six of my 2005 and 2006 model year Panasonics have accumulated between 3,000 and 4,300 recording hours per machine. The 2005 model that now has more than 4,300 recording hours had a laser assembly failure after eleven months of very heavy use. Panasonic replaced that DVD Drive under warranty. All six of my "highest mileage" Panasonics were fully functional at last use before they were set aside for standby service. Between my sixteen functional Panasonics of the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 model years and my Philips 3575 and Magnavox 2080 and 2160 HDD/DVD recorders I have recorded perhaps 4,800 DVDs since September 2005. My DVD index currently has 22,229 titles.

I write from experience. Do not shut DVD recorders up inside cabinets, do not smoke in the same room with DVD recorders and do not handle discs through the center hole.

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

--Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1917)
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post #34 of 38 Old 03-11-2009, 06:32 PM
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I will try cleaning the drive (the lens, and spindle/hub thing) with cassette head cleaning fluid, and I guess one can leave the drive in to do that (cool).
And I do think the $130 flat repair rate is the cheapest fix if all else fails. It sure beats paying $250 or so for a new one. I would imagine that the drive is the most mechanical of any aspect to the operation of these recorders and is the main thing that ever goes out on these, other than maybe caps or a power supply. But usually it takes years and years for those to go bad or past their expiration date- so to speak, heh. My recorder may need a heart transplant, lol.

You`re right, I tried to unplug the multi pin strip plug off the PC board. Didn`t pull off easily so I didn`t force it much. I thought it would come off similarly to DIMM memory for a computer. Good to know I don`t have to risk breaking anything to get the cover off the drive.

I also have a Harmon Kardon CDR 30, a dual well CD recorder/burner. A relatively high quality unit (paid around $550 after tax for it, $600 list). I`ve had it for several years now (5+?) but I swear the use on it is very minimal, like 30 hours total use. And that`s maybe, so having it start malfunctioning is depressing. I may have copied 15-25 discs and played a few just for listening (I have another CD player for the bulk of that). The last time I used it it worked perfectly and sounds great, but it is having problems now (out of nowhere) with disc tracking as the sound breaks up with pauses/glitzes.

With me smoking in my room I do notice that if I clean any of my stereo/video gear front panels once a year or so (with paper towels and Windex), that the paper towels are light brown from the cigarette smoke. Worse/dark brown if I clean say the exterior of my Sony TV, which I rarely clean of course. Maybe the smoke also gets inside the units and dirties/gums up the drives and/or the lenses and thus the reason why a seldom used unit is malfunctioning?

I`m going to try cleaning the lens and spindle/hub ...anything in there that looks like it could benefit from some cleaning and see if that helps! I hope it`s that easy, like cleaning and demagnetizing my cassette decks when I used to use them. I wish I had an air vac system to suck up and out of the house, the smoke. The beefy air filter helps I`m sure, but it`s not the same as an air vac sytem. Some may say just don`t smoke in the house but it`s easier said than done for a smoker (I`m not in a public building!).
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post #35 of 38 Old 03-12-2009, 01:15 PM
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Yes tape head cleaner should work fine for the spindle, it shouldn't leave any residue. AFA smoking, I'm sure it doesn't help matters but no one in my household smokes and it seems I need to clean the spindle about yearly. Dust gets everywhere no matter how much someone cleans things.
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post #36 of 38 Old 02-02-2013, 12:21 PM
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Mickint, you have a PM
Phil
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post #37 of 38 Old 02-02-2013, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipkoepke View Post

Mickint, you have a PM
Phil

His correct name is mickinct (for Mike in Connecticut).

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

--Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1917)
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post #38 of 38 Old 02-02-2013, 05:47 PM
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Apologies.
Sincerely,
Phil
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