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Panasonic DMR E85H dead...now what?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My Panasonic DMR E85H is dead. Will not turn on.

Is there an easy fix?

Do I really need a DVD recorder with HD? I am only interested in copying programs from my DirecTv Receiver/recorder, model R15-100. I am an educator and allowed to copy some programs to show in class on a limited basis withoug violating copyright law.

Is it possible to just run a cable from my DTV recorder to my computer and record to a DVD disc. Or to my computer HD and then to a DVD disc. None of my computers have RCA jacks input. The DTV recorder has a USB port in front and one in back but I don't know what they do. I don't mind getting a new DVD player if I can record from the DirecTv recorder to a DVD some other way.

Thanks in advance.

Mirkee
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirkolop View Post

My Panasonic DMR E85H is dead. Will not turn on.

Is there an easy fix?

Mirkee

There have been many reports of problematic DMR-E85H models where the fault is with one or two power supply capacitors. There is disassembly required to verify this problem as the power supply in this model is found under the hard drive platform. The first photo shows a bad capacitor in a DMR-E85H model. A replacement capacitor is usually priced in the $3 range. The larger expense is labor to pull the old capacitor and solder in a new capacitor.

The below linked thread has some helpful E85H photos, including those from one owner that replaced the capacitors with the wrong type. Notice also that that owner did not disconnect the connective bridges between the printed circuit boards, just folded the circuit board back--NOT GOOD. It's easy to disconnect these connective bridges by grasping at both ends of the top section and lifting up, see the second and third photos.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1055111
LL
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LL
post #3 of 21
One of the Magnavoxes(with a hdd) listed in the top sticky thread would also work for you if you don't feel comfortable with a soldering iron.
While in your case you could get by with a non hdd unit, most of the ~$100 units are cheaply made and would probably cause you more headaches than good. If you're trying to save money you may be able to get a refurbished Magnavox 2160a or 513(~$150) both of which is worlds better than a $99 cheapo.
If you have unfinalized DVDs that you have to contend with, you'd have to get another Panasonic, in which case I'd probably suggest the EA-18 or EZ-28 both of which are ~$200 and not the value of the Maggies.
post #4 of 21
While this is a cheap repair if you happen to have the skills to do it yourself, a service shop would likely charge $100 or more since its what they call a "board level repair" (they have to do some actual work, as opposed to just snapping in a replacement module).

I'd agree with jjeff in his recommendation of the Magnavox as replacement recorder: its a modern, reliable, affordable, simplified version of the E85H concept. At the moment Wal*Mart's website still shows the recently discontinued MDR513 model for only $199, a very good deal for a brand new machine backed by Wal*Marts return/refund policy. I've seen refurbished 513s on Amazon via reputable dealers for about $160, but thats catch as catch can: its easier to just buy a new one direct from Wal*Mart. Note there are many Panasonic fanatics who would dearly like to buy your dead E85H and tinker with it: you should definitely list it on eBay because you'll get at least $50 for it, possibly more, which can help pay for the Magnavox.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the suggestions and input. It's amazing how much one can learn on this forum in just a few days.

Thank you CitiBear for the suggestion about just selling the unit on ebay. I will do so in a few days, unless I can find someone locally that wants it for the $50. I have only recorded about 20 DVD's on it and have never used the hard drive. Cosmetically it is in very good shape due to light use. I do almost all my movie viewing on BR now. I am a school teacher and it has proven to be invaluable in recording about 20 PBS shows on DVD and then showing them to my students. I'll list it in Orange County Craigslist first and then ebay.

I will probably buy one of the many Toshibas that I see on the inernet for around $70 and forego the hard drive. I guess I can always copy to DVD and then edit on my computer. Am I right in thinking that I can copy to DVD from my DirecTv DVr, using a DVD recorder, and then edit on my PC and copy the edited version to a new DVD, again using my PC? I hope so. Chances are that I will leave the copies unedited, but I live in North Orange County, CA, birthplace of Richard Nixon, and folks here are very uptight. So I have to delete any scenes with people drinking. I teach Spanish and it's hard to show anything about Spain without scenes of people sucking wine. I usually just put my hand over the lens when those scenes come up.

Thanks again.

Mirkee
post #6 of 21
Yes ... I do it all the time ... I used the Panasonic EH50 with 100GB hard drive. I record first to the HD and edit out all the commercials and then burn to a DVD. But the EH50 that I have on my shelf is buried under two other units and was getting picky with blank DVD-Rs I used. I read an article and found out the rubber spindle ... that holds the DVD disk in place can get dirty and when cleaned properly will allow a DVD Recorder to be like new ... more or less.

I tried this on a Panasonic E85H ... I got it on Ebay and the seller said it played Commercial store bought DVD Movies but would not recognize a blank DVD ... so I cleaned the rubber spindle with alcohol and Q-Tips and it now recognizes Blank DVDs ... again.

Well ... my EH50 ... also had a problem with ejecting a disk ... push the button and nothing happened ... sounds were heard but ... the tray didn't come out. Sometimes it would though and sometimes after pushing the button enuff times it would pop out and jump back in really quick.

Well ... after cleaning the spindle ... I put it back together and put it back on the shelf. Now the tray ... has really gotten picky ... wont come out at all anymore.

I can get this problem fixed ... a few months ago ... I saw on Ebay a guy offers services for repairing this problem. Or I could ... I believe ... take another EH50 that I have ... that has bad video coming out ... and just swap the DVD drive unit ... I do believe that is possible.

But for your question ... yes ... just send the ... S-VHS and the audio outputs to your DVD Recorder and record your show. If you use a Panasonic ... you can record to a DVD-RAM disk and make sure your PC has a DVD Reader or Burner that can read DVD-RAM disks ... I know a Panasonic unit can ... and Pioneer DVD Burners can.

And then use your favorite programs to edit out the commercials ... Tmpenc has several to choose from.

You can also use DVD-RW disks too ... I have not seen a DVD Burner that can't read DVD-RW disks and plenty of programs to process a movie recorded on a DVD Disk.

You can also go to >> www.videohelp.com and ask them about how to convert and edit out the commercials on a DVD disk. Since you are the one who originally made it ... it wont be encrypted and you wont need a program like AnyDVD to process it.

At ... www.videohelp.com ... I go by ... lacywest
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I know the repair is probably pretty easy, but I am just not that good with a soldering iron. Although I did build a Scott LR88 receiver kit when I was in high school. I friend and I built receivers together from kits. He did a Heathkit AR15. His received all the praise, but mine had a better FM tuner. I'm just not that handy with a soldering iron anymore, plus I don't have that much free time. I'll sell the Panasonic and buy something else. I'll report back here about my new purchase.

Thanks for the heads-up about the other two sites.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach10 View Post

Yes ... I do it all the time ... I used the Panasonic EH50 with 100GB hard drive. I record first to the HD and edit out all the commercials and then burn to a DVD. But the EH50 that I have on my shelf is buried under two other units and was getting picky with blank DVD-Rs I used. I read an article and found out the rubber spindle ... that holds the DVD disk in place can get dirty and when cleaned properly will allow a DVD Recorder to be like new ... more or less.

I tried this on a Panasonic E85H ... I got it on Ebay and the seller said it played Commercial store bought DVD Movies but would not recognize a blank DVD ... so I cleaned the rubber spindle with alcohol and Q-Tips and it now recognizes Blank DVDs ... again.

Well ... my EH50 ... also had a problem with ejecting a disk ... push the button and nothing happened ... sounds were heard but ... the tray didn't come out. Sometimes it would though and sometimes after pushing the button enuff times it would pop out and jump back in really quick.

Well ... after cleaning the spindle ... I put it back together and put it back on the shelf. Now the tray ... has really gotten picky ... wont come out at all anymore.

I can get this problem fixed ... a few months ago ... I saw on Ebay a guy offers services for repairing this problem. Or I could ... I believe ... take another EH50 that I have ... that has bad video coming out ... and just swap the DVD drive unit ... I do believe that is possible.

But for your question ... yes ... just send the ... S-VHS and the audio outputs to your DVD Recorder and record your show. If you use a Panasonic ... you can record to a DVD-RAM disk and make sure your PC has a DVD Reader or Burner that can read DVD-RAM disks ... I know a Panasonic unit can ... and Pioneer DVD Burners can.

And then use your favorite programs to edit out the commercials ... Tmpenc has several to choose from.

You can also use DVD-RW disks too ... I have not seen a DVD Burner that can't read DVD-RW disks and plenty of programs to process a movie recorded on a DVD Disk.

You can also go to >> www.videohelp.com and ask them about how to convert and edit out the commercials on a DVD disk. Since you are the one who originally made it ... it wont be encrypted and you wont need a program like AnyDVD to process it.

At ... www.videohelp.com ... I go by ... lacywest
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach10 View Post

Now the tray ... has really gotten picky ... wont come out at all anymore.

It's possible a rubber idler or pulley has lost it's grip which could cause the tray not to eject. I've not had this problem myself but it would happen occasionally with VCRs(tape would be difficult to eject) and it almost always ended up being old rubber.
You can swap a DVD drive from another E85H(or same model year Panasonic w/hdd) but not other years or HDD less machines.
post #9 of 21
Hi, I have a DMR E85H with Please Wait problem. After replacing a few of the clearly blown capacitors I actually had all of the capacitors on the Power supply replaced. Still have Please Wait. Took out DVD unit and capacitors on main board all appear to be ok. There is a coin type battery there. Any thoughts on what I can do to get the unit back up? Thanks for any help.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Sugarman View Post

Hi, I have a DMR E85H with Please Wait problem. After replacing a few of the clearly blown capacitors I actually had all of the capacitors on the Power supply replaced. Still have Please Wait. Took out DVD unit and capacitors on main board all appear to be ok. There is a coin type battery there. Any thoughts on what I can do to get the unit back up? Thanks for any help.

That message can also indicate a failed HDD. Replacing it would be your next option. You can use a larger disk than 120GB but it will only format the drive to 120GB. I don't recommend using a smaller drive.
post #11 of 21
Since puttng a smaller drive in won't work, I agree, don't use a smaller drive. (Just try to FIND a smaller drive these days!) I agree, if the capacitors don't fix the problem, it's probably the HDD. If the DVD drive is making a series of noises, then it is the problem, but you didn't say it was, so I would suspect the HDD.
post #12 of 21
I was in the same boat last year with my EH85. It used to be stuck at an ancient image of TVGOS, replaced busted capacitors and ended up with never ending 'please wait'.

Sent it to Panasonic for standard repair, it was NOT the hard drive, they replaced the power supply I think. So if you value the unit, send it in for flat price repair, I think is a great deal if still available.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by vmalhotra View Post

So if you value the unit, send it in for flat price repair, I think is a great deal if still available.

Unfortunately the flat rate repair option is no longer good through Panasonic
You could send AVS member mikinct a PM to see if it's something he would want to tackle, he's been known to do Panasonic repairs for a reasonable fee.
post #14 of 21
if I have the power cord unplugged, and then plug it back in and turn on I get the Please wait message on the player for afew secs, from there it loads to the HDD drive or DVD drive fine.

is that normal ?
post #15 of 21
^ Yes.
post #16 of 21
Hi !

I have a Panasonic DMR-E85H. I replaced some capacitors (like may peoples)on the PSU board twice in some years. The first time, it solved my problem. Now after changed capacitors, I tried to do a format of the HDD that work a bit and the Unit reset.
Actually I'm in the loop...I turn on the unit and I have "Unformat" on the display I start the format and after approx 2minutes I have the "bye" and "Please wait" on the display and error message on the tv screen press enter. If I do it I have the "Please wait" and I return to the format screen where the only option is to answer Yes to the format and I start again this loop...
Is it a HDD problem ? Can I just replaced the HDD without do anything else ? Is there a special procedure to do ? If someone have and Idea ???
Thank's
post #17 of 21
Witht he E85, just changing the hard drive should work if that's the issue. If it is more complicated, you might send a PM to mickinct and let him help diagnose the problem. He should be able to help you.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

Witht he E85, just changing the hard drive should work if that's the issue. If it is more complicated, you might send a PM to mickinct and let him help diagnose the problem. He should be able to help you.

Just so you guys know, I just sent my e85h, 2004 model off to a company in TX for the flat rate repair. Got their name from Pannie. Flat is now $170.00 Cherrio
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by seaogre View Post

Just so you guys know, I just sent my e85h, 2004 model off to a company in TX for the flat rate repair. Got their name from Pannie. Flat is now $170.00 Cherrio

Can you please post the name, address and phone number of the company you sent your machine to for a flat-rate repair? For a long time Panasonic had a GREAT service center for these things, then it disappeared. If they have resurrected it, I want to know.

In *MY* experience, mickinct is superior to Panasonic, certainly Panasonic lately.
post #20 of 21
I also have an E85H that displays the Please Wait continually and will not power on. It's actually been like that for years, but since it was already out of warranty, I let it slide. Many posts indicate replacing capacitors will fix this problem, but I'm not comfortable doing this myself and I seem to recall that before it crapped out, it was blinking HD full or something to that effect even though it seemed like I had many hours left. So, I don't think my problem would be fixed with just the capacitors. Meanwhile, I have a bunch of unfinalized DVDs of my son that I would like to finalize somehow. Has anyone had any luck using ISOBuster or Nero to retrieve data from a DVD created with a Panasonic E85H? I use a Mac if that makes any difference. Someone even suggested I might be able to retrieve data from the hard drive. Is that possible?

Thank you for any suggestions.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgeewhiz View Post

I also have an E85H that displays the Please Wait continually and will not power on. It's actually been like that for years, but since it was already out of warranty, I let it slide. Many posts indicate replacing capacitors will fix this problem, but I'm not comfortable doing this myself and I seem to recall that before it crapped out, it was blinking HD full or something to that effect even though it seemed like I had many hours left. So, I don't think my problem would be fixed with just the capacitors. Meanwhile, I have a bunch of unfinalized DVDs of my son that I would like to finalize somehow. Has anyone had any luck using ISOBuster or Nero to retrieve data from a DVD created with a Panasonic E85H? I use a Mac if that makes any difference. Someone even suggested I might be able to retrieve data from the hard drive. Is that possible?

Thank you for any suggestions.

Unfinalized Panasonic recorded DVDs may be finalized on most other Panasonic DVD Recorders.

For Panasonic repair information send a private message to mickinct (Mike in Connecticut).

Here is the most recent thread where this advice is found:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1433947/panasonic-dvd-recorders-cost-of-repairing/0_60
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