U61 error when OFF?!?!? - AVS Forum
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Maybe the Panasonic experts here have experienced this one and can explain it to me. Last couple of days my EZ37 has been occasionally going into "self test" mode awhile after the machine has been turned OFF and occasionally displays "U61" on the front panel display for a split second before it comes back on after it's "reset". Had the unit for close to a year and it's never pulled this kind of nonsense until I purchase a new LCD TV and stated using the component jacks on the EZ37 (and the associated "widescreen" mode in the menu). I have my satellite receiver plugged into the EZ37's input jacks (SVHS and audio) and have noticed that the gremlins seem to turn up when the satellite receiver is either turned off for awhile or drops into it's "standby" mode. Makes me wonder if the DVD recorder is somehow getting confused by the loss of the satellite signal and is somehow trying to fix itself where there really isn't a problem to begin with. The error has never shown up during the day when I'm actually watching TV...only when it's not used.

I went back to using the Panasonic's SVHS outputs (and back to "standard" mode in the menu) to see if the problem still comes back.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by catnap1972 View Post

Maybe the Panasonic experts here have experienced this one and can explain it to me. Last couple of days my EZ37 has been occasionally going into "self test" mode awhile after the machine has been turned OFF and occasionally displays "U61" on the front panel display for a split second before it comes back on after it's "reset". Had the unit for close to a year and it's never pulled this kind of nonsense until I purchase a new LCD TV and stated using the component jacks on the EZ37 (and the associated "widescreen" mode in the menu). I have my satellite receiver plugged into the EZ37's input jacks (SVHS and audio) and have noticed that the gremlins seem to turn up when the satellite receiver is either turned off for awhile or drops into it's "standby" mode. Makes me wonder if the DVD recorder is somehow getting confused by the loss of the satellite signal and is somehow trying to fix itself where there really isn't a problem to begin with. The error has never shown up during the day when I'm actually watching TV...only when it's not used.

I went back to using the Panasonic's SVHS outputs (and back to "standard" mode in the menu) to see if the problem still comes back.

With U61 and U88 errors a Panasonic may have a number of performance issues that may arise due to unrelated conditions prompting the error message(s).

The U61 error indicates that the laser is unable to determine that a disc is not present in the disc tray. The cause may be a dirty lens, a failing or failed laser assembly, a ribbon cable contact problem, a problem with the DVD Drive's onboard controller (2005 and olders models and 2007 and newer models) or a problem with the Digital PCB. The same problem(s) may produce the U88 error when a disc is present in the disc tray. These errors are not uncommon. Earlier today this error and related matters were addressed in this post:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post16718508

As in that post remedial measures begin with cleaning the DVD Drive lens and rubber hub atop the spindle. See this post for more advice and photos:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post14479898

Per today's earlier post the quality of blank media being used is an important consideration for best performance.

Note that S-Video is not the same as "SVHS."

"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."

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Old 06-26-2009, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
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With U61 and U88 errors a Panasonic may have a number of performance issues that may arise due to unrelated conditions prompting the error message(s).

The U61 error indicates that the laser is unable to determine that a disc is not present in the disc tray. The cause may be a dirty lens, a failing or failed laser assembly, a ribbon cable contact problem, a problem with the DVD Drive's onboard controller (2005 and olders models and 2007 and newer models) or a problem with the Digital PCB.

Does seem odd that the machine will wake itself up from "sleep" (standby) to see if there's a disc in the drive (and complain if it's either not seeing it or doesn't know how to find it), yet it won't complain during the day when it's on with no disc in it.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:37 AM
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Yes it seems odd to me also. That sounds like therer are two ways the machine detects disks in the drive. It could be that it sees the disk physically, but cannot determine the type, so it complains about a disk present of unknown or unsupported format. Either way, it's odd.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately it appears that mine is now on life support as problems are worsening:

1) Quick Start no longer works unless the machine has been used recently (last few hours)...otherwise it takes close to 30 seconds to get to a functioning state (the setting is "on" in the options)

2) Last night I left a DVD-RAM in the machine (and turned it off) in hopes of doing some testing this morning. I wake up at about 4:30am to find the machine "frozen solid" (unresponsive) at a 2:08am state. Nothing works on it so I pull the plug for about 30 seconds and plug it back in. I manage to get it operational enough such that I could eject the disc but now I've been in a "self test" loop for the past 20 minutes (4 times already).

Sounds like a good thing I bought the extended warranty for it (good through August), but I just hope Squaretrade doesn't balk it at for whatever reason.
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, looks like no soup for me...apparently the item needs to be completely dead for Squaretrade to cover it (in a claim) and not just screwed up. So now I've got a $99 paperweight.
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:50 AM
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There are ways to make it completely dead. That's easy It's useless to you as is, so what do you have to lose? ...apparently the item needs to be completely dead for Squaretrade to cover it. What a stupid policy!

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by catnap1972 View Post

Well, looks like no soup for me...apparently the item needs to be completely dead for Squaretrade to cover it (in a claim) and not just screwed up. So now I've got a $99 paperweight.

Gentle cleaning of the DVD Drive lens and rubber hub is routine maintenance, see the link in my earlier post. Follow the instructions and heed the cautions. Without cleaning, your EZ37 may defy satisfactory evaluation.

Use a new or "cleaned" DVD-RAM disc. Better yet, use a DVD-R of the best quality (Taiyo Yuden) or even one of fair quality, Sony, Maxell or Verbatim. With Panasonics avoid "+" disc formats. Avoid inferior brands, especially Memorex.

After cleaning the lens and rubber hub review your EZ37 model's performance. Report your findings.

I have two ES series Panasonic combo recorders (a 2005 DMR-ES30V and a 2006 DMR-ES35V) that had Square Trade Two-Year Extended Service Contracts. With routine maintenance these machines have given outstanding service, both having accumulated more than 3,000 recording hours per machine. Neither machine needed the now-expired Square Trade Service Contracts.

"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."

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Old 07-01-2009, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Being that I have nothing to lose, I'll open it up when I have some free time and have a look around. Worst case scenario, I can always Fleabay it as a parts/as-is item and get some money back.
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:58 PM
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Being that I have nothing to lose, I'll open it up when I have some free time and have a look around. Worst case scenario, I can always Fleabay it as a parts/as-is item and get some money back.

With a DMR-EZ37 the entire cleaning procedure, from removing the first case screw to replacing the last case screw, takes less than fifteen minutes.

Since I've done the DVD Drive lens and rubber hub cleaning so often (I own sixteen functional Panasonics) the whole procedure takes me about seven minutes for 2006 and newer models.

Since I'm a cave-man I may say "it's so easy even a cave-man can do it."

"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."

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Old 07-01-2009, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I performed the magic surgery...we'll see if it solves anything. Didn't see anything particularly strange in the power supply section (nothing blown or leaking) but there was a lot of dust in there that I got rid of.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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This part I cannot understand and I'm not even sure if anyone else can explain it. I have a Panasonic DVD-RAM disc inside the unit right now for testing purposes along with my satellite receiver attached to the S-video/RCA audio input on the back. The operation of the DVD recorder (specifically the power function) seems to be contingent on the mode the satellite receiver is in.

Assuming we start from a normal operation mode where both the DVD recorder and satellite receiver are "on" (with a normal TV picture)...

a) If I power off the satellite receiver FIRST, then power off the DVD recorder, it takes upwards of 5-10 seconds to change from "IN1" to the standby clock (nothing between--talk about rude)

b) If I leave the satellite receiver on, but power off the DVD recorder, it'll change from "IN1" to the "000000" display, then says "BYE", and changes to the standby clock.

Now, with everything off,

* If I try to power on the DVD recorder with the satellite receiver "off", it'll take a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time to acknowledge the power button press, and may end up in a long "READ" mode of the disc.

* On the other hand, if I turn the satellite receiver on (from off) FIRST, then power on the DVD recorder, it'll power right up, little or no wait.

I've tried these multiple times and came up with the same results, so it seems for whatever reason, the operation of the DVD recorder is contingent on what's being fed in through those jacks in the back. Is there some kind of auto-sensing designed into the software that's gone haywire or was it actually designed this way?
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:45 PM
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This part I cannot understand and I'm not even sure if anyone else can explain it . . .

Is there some kind of auto-sensing designed into the software that's gone haywire or was it actually designed this way?

I own five EZ series Panasonics, four of them from the 2007 model year as is your EZ37. I don't use DVD-RAM discs, nor do I have satellite service. I haven't encountered the situations you describe in this post. But I, and many others, have encountered so many of the bugs and built-in EZ series design flaws that such anomalies as you've just described come as no surprise.

"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."

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Old 07-01-2009, 07:55 PM
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I have an EZ17 & use the "IN1" input once in a while & never noticed any difference in turn on time whether using that input vs the tuner. There is always something connected to the "IN1" whether I select that input or not. The Instant On feature is disabled so it always takes a while to Read a disc, but it always acknowledges the power button press right away. And I almost always use Panasonic DVD-RAM discs.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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That's why I said it was something I didn't think anyone could explain. I even looked through the manual to see if there was any possible explanation (even a vague one, at that) but, nothing. Makes no sense why it would care what (if anything) were coming in through the video inputs.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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And the madness continues...

Satellite signal is lost due to a rainstorm, so my EZ37 is now PO'ed! Stuck in a "self test" loop unless I either disconnect the video input or (I'd assume) the rain stops and the satellite signal comes back. And lookie--"U61" on the display. Unit was fine all day until the rain started then it went to pot.

Rain stops...satellite signal comes back...unit is now back to "normal". (bangs head against desk) I dunno......
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:19 PM
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And the madness continues...

Satellite signal is lost due to a rainstorm, so my EZ37 is now PO'ed! Stuck in a "self test" loop unless I either disconnect the video input or (I'd assume) the rain stops and the satellite signal comes back. And lookie--"U61" on the display. Unit was fine all day until the rain started then it went to pot.

Rain stops...satellite signal comes back...unit is now back to "normal". (bangs head against desk) I dunno......

When you mention that your EZ37 was "fine all day" does that mean that it functioned normally for DVD read, write and finalizing operations?

Does the DVD Drive "spin up" or remain silent?

If the DVD Drive "spins up" does it repeatedly make "clunking," "chugging" or "errrrp" noises?

"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."

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Old 07-03-2009, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
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When you mention that your EZ37 was "fine all day" does that mean that it functioned normally for DVD read, write and finalizing operations?

Does the DVD Drive "spin up" or remain silent?

If the DVD Drive "spins up" does it repeatedly make "clunking," "chugging" or "errrrp" noises?

All I really did the day was leave it on all day as a pass through for my satellite receiver. I did play around with that test DVD-RAM disc earlier in the day (record for a few minutes, erase some stuff, etc.). No funny operation while I was doing that (no funny-abnormal noises, no error messages, etc.)

Some additional weirdness, I hooked up a set-top converter box last night in place of the satellite receiver just as an experiment....no problems then. Tried leaving that (the converter box) in standby (off) and AC unplugged for a few minutes each to see if it would trip up the EZ37....nothing. No "self test" messages, and it would turn off and on normally. I reconnect the satellite receiver back in. Making sure to start with the EZ37 "off" and the satellite receiver in "standby" mode (as close to off as is designed), I push the front panel power button on the EZ37...nothing. Sit and wait, and wait, and wait. After about 30 seconds, it comes to life, goes through it's motions, displays "IN1", then "READ" (note...there's NO disc in the DVD tray). Stays that way for a few minutes, then back to the "self test" message again (UGH). Note that if I had turned the satellite receiver on first (such that there was a "live" picture and not just it's screen saver), the EZ37 would've come right to life, and gone to "IN1" (and stayed there) within a few seconds...I made sure to check that way as well. For whatever reason that confounds my logic, the EZ37 does not like either the satellite receiver's screen saver, or the message you get when the satellite signal is lost, it has no problem with a live picture. Never had this issue up until a week or so ago (EZ37 didn't care what was sent to it) so I don't know what might be going on here. Doesn't seem to be the cables as I tried several different S-video cables with the same result, and even alternated tests with S-video and standard RCA (video), and even alternated between the EZ37's back and front inputs...same result (fine with a live picture, PO'ed with the screen saver or signal lost screen).
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I'd taken the unit out of service due to it's idiosyncracies but decided I wanted to try it again having installed a new satellite receiver (just on the off chance something from the old one was causing havoc with the EZ37).

Now when I plug the unit in, it goes through it's normal diagnostic routine (000000) for a couple of minutes, then "F60" turns up on the unit's display. Stays there for about a minute, goes through another diagnostic, then decides to work after that second test.

This thing is obviously screwed up, but I have to somehow convince Squaretrade of that.
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catnap1972 View Post

I'd taken the unit out of service due to it's idiosyncracies but decided I wanted to try it again having installed a new satellite receiver (just on the off chance something from the old one was causing havoc with the EZ37).

Now when I plug the unit in, it goes through it's normal diagnostic routine (000000) for a couple of minutes, then "F60" turns up on the unit's display. Stays there for about a minute, goes through another diagnostic, then decides to work after that second test.

This thing is obviously screwed up, but I have to somehow convince Squaretrade of that.

To one of your earlier posts I responded,

"With U61 and U88 errors a Panasonic may have a number of performance issues that may arise due to unrelated conditions prompting the error message(s).

The U61 error indicates that the laser is unable to determine that a disc is not present in the disc tray. The cause may be a dirty lens, a failing or failed laser assembly, a ribbon cable contact problem, a problem with the DVD Drive's onboard controller (2005 and older models and 2007 and newer models) or a problem with the Digital PCB. The same problem(s) may produce the U88 error when a disc is present in the disc tray. These errors are not uncommon."

Now that you've reported the F60 error, described in the Service Manual as "DVD module has not been started" with a "Defect of Digital P.C.B." your DMR-EZ37V may soon experience the U99 error. The U99 error is a "Hang-Up" that is "Displayed when communication error has occurred between Main microprocessor and Timer microprocessor."

Writing as one with experience servicing, repairing and rebuilding my own Panasonics it is my opinion that your DMR-EZ37V has serious problems best addressed by a technician experienced in repairing/rebuilding Panasonics. The technician must have ready access to a variety of appropriate Panasonic diagnostic tools and parts, including but not limited to replacement DVD (RAM) Drives, laser assemblies, on-board controller circuit boards, Digital PCBs, ribbon cables, main or supporting circuit boards and/or various other parts and components. If that level of service/repair is not available product replacement is indicated.

"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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