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Panasonic DMR-EH50 does not respond to remote (no, it's not the remote code)

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Panasonic DMR-EH50, bought in fall 2005. Worked fine until about 6 months ago when I noticed one day it would not respond to remote control at all. I checked to make sure the remote codes were OK, the remote is fine as I can control the TV.

I was able to play content using the buttons on the main unit. I tried a lot of things and at one point I made the mistake to reset the main unit (I think I pressed Power and STOP for 5 seconds). Anyway, after I reset the unit, the unit comes back on and goes to the SETUP SCREEN! It tells me to press ENTER to continue. The unit will not respond to remote at all. There is no "ENTER" button on the main unit. I tried everything, another reset, CH UP and CH DOWN (I believe this restores the factory settings), nothing.

So now when unit powers up, it does a "HELLO" then a "SELF CHECK" and goes to Ch1 and SETUP SCREEN.

I opened the unit, found a Lithium 2450 battery, was 2.95V, replaced that with a fresh cell (3.25V). I saw people complaining about 2 bad capacitors on the power supply board. I check mine, they are fine. The hard Drive gets enough juice. It's like the IR sensor is bad or something.

Any idea on what else to troubleshoot next? I have time and patience to fool around with it, I am not willing to spend $130 to send it to that company in IL to get it fixed, but would be nice to use it to record some SD content.

Thanks folks
post #2 of 23
You'll need a remote control to try and access the setup menu. First, go to Walmart and look for a Harmony Logitech 300i Universal remote.
http://www.logitech.com/en-au/remote...s/devices/6670
It comes with a usb cable allowing you to connect it to the pc and download the proper codes for specific units. Costs about $20. Any recent Panasonic remote should work this older model, so the downloaded codes should allow you to operate the eh50. As the recorder goes to the Setup menu and Ch 1, this isn't a case of blown caps. Just the remote getting old and now non functional.
If the Harmony works, but you still need a Panny remote in case not all functions can be operated, go to ebay and search for a compatible, used Panasonic remote. There are always plenty up for sale, so it shouldn't be a problem finding one. Again, the newer, black Panny remotes should work all functions on the eh50, so you might want to try one-the design and layout may please you more that the 50's silver remote.
post #3 of 23
Actually the harmony 200 from radio shack is $20. It will work fine. The 300 is usually $40. The RCA RCRP05B from bestbuy, walgreens or sears for $15 will work just as well for absolutely every function using THESE codes.

Even though you said you checked the code, it still sounds to me like that's the problem. I don't think you need a new remote. Are you absolutely certain both the recorder and remote are set to use code 1? If you're not sure, change the remote to code 2 and 3 and see if you get a response. If the remote doesn't match, the recorder should show the message "SET 1", or 2 or 3.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Actually the harmony 200 from radio shack is $20. It will work fine. The 300 is usually $40. The RCA RCRP05B from bestbuy, walgreens or sears for $15 will work just as well for absolutely every function using THESE codes.

Even though you said you checked the code, it still sounds to me like that's the problem. I don't think you need a new remote. Are you absolutely certain both the recorder and remote are set to use code 1? If you're not sure, change the remote to code 2 and 3 and see if you get a response. If the remote doesn't match, the recorder should show the message "SET 1", or 2 or 3.

Hi guys, yes, I am sure it's not the remote. I have several other Panasonic remotes (BluRay, another DVD player) and each time I used one of those remotes, I saw a "REMOTE CODE 2" on the display. Now nothing. The unit does not respond to ANY Panasonic remote, not even showing me the code is wrong.

So I am not 100%, but 200% sure something is wrong with the main unit.

Any ideas how to continue?

Thanks
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi, any other things I can try? I tested the remote on a BluRay player and the remote is fine.

Thanks
post #6 of 23
Sounds like you've covered all the bases other than a bad IR sensor. Note the IR sensor on the EH-50 is behind the clear power button, it's not blocked for some reason? That might explain things.
You could send a PM to AVS member MICKINCT (who repairs Panasonic DVDRs) and see if he knows or would be willing to take a look at your DVDR.
Edit: The IR sensor is actually behind the white REC button on the EH-50, the ES-30v has the IR sensor behind the power button, my mistake.
post #7 of 23
I'm not familiar with the Panasonic remotes & HD-DVD recorders, but my Pioneer recorders have a feature that lets you set them and their remotes to "Unit 1", "Unit 2", or "Unit 3". This lets you have multiple recorders in the same room and still be able to control them using discrete remotes.

On the Pioneers, you set the recorder itself by going through the menus, and you set the remote by holding down one of the control buttons and pressing "1", "2" or "3" for a few seconds.

I'm wondering if your machine has a similar feature and the original problem was simply that the remote and the machine ended up with different "unit" numbers somehow? You might check your instruction manual to see if it has that feature and, if so, how to change the code on the remote.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Sounds like you've covered all the bases other than a bad IR sensor. Note the IR sensor on the EH-50 is behind the clear power button, it's not blocked for some reason? That might explain things.
You could send a PM to AVS member MICKINCT (who repairs Panasonic DVDRs) and see if he knows or would be willing to take a look at your DVDR.

Thanks for your suggestion. Have a nice weekend!
post #9 of 23
To enlarge upon Sean's remarks, yes, the Panasonic recorders have an option to set the remote code, up to 3 options. I know, you've checked this out, but a repeat would be simple. With the machine off, use the remote to issue a command, such as Open Tray. If you get a quick "Chk Remote 3" or "Set 1" or some such in the recorder display, you know the machine is set to 3, or to 1, whatever. The machine tells you what it is set to. You'll have to set your remote to that code in order to get access to the Setup menu to change the code in the machine, if you want to change it.

Just reviewed the posts, sounds like this was covered in post 4. Frustrating puzzler!
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
thanks again, but no, the remote code was the first thing I tried when problem happened about 6 months ago, then I didn't have time to work on it but now I opened it up, I replaced the battery, I tried remote codes, the nit simply ignores ANY remote, no matter if the unit is ON or OFF. I tried different panasonic remotes from other players, this unit does not respond. I tried this remote on other players, it works fine. I changed the codes anyway and tried all 3. No go.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by space-time View Post

Hi guys, yes, I am sure it's not the remote. I have several other Panasonic remotes (BluRay, another DVD player) and each time I used one of those remotes, I saw a "REMOTE CODE 2" on the display. Now nothing. The unit does not respond to ANY Panasonic remote, not even showing me the code is wrong.

So I am not 100%, but 200% sure something is wrong with the main unit.

Any ideas how to continue?

Thanks

Just a thought, what about the battery under the hard drive bracket?
LL
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

Just a thought, what about the battery under the hard drive bracket?

I already tried a new battery.

"I opened the unit, found a Lithium 2450 battery, was 2.95V, replaced that with a fresh cell (3.25V). I saw people complaining about 2 bad capacitors on the power supply board. I check mine, they are fine. The hard Drive gets enough juice. It's like the IR sensor is bad or something."
post #13 of 23
I too have a DMR-EH50 purchased 6 yrs ago and started having the same remote issue as describe in this thread. I am able to view recorded videos on the HD cannot control the unit with the remote. The remote is able to turn on my TV so I don't think is the remote either. I do not think it is the battery either as the unit power was unplugged for over 2 weeks and still kept correct time - something must be keeping the time going. Thanks in advance.
post #14 of 23
The IR sensor on the EH-50 is located behind the milky translucent REC button, have you tried holding the remote IR transmitter directly on the REC button? You might want to take the recorder apart look around the REC button to see if something doesn't look right.
post #15 of 23
I did put the remote a few inches from the unit still no response - no code or anything. I even point directly at the REC button. I know remote is working as it can control my TV and I see light when pressed and viewed with a digital camera. To my recollection, remote was working last July but have not used the unit much since then. DVD player and HDD work but have to play via front panel. I opened the unit and did not see any leaking caps nor anything unusual near the REC button. Does the IR sensor fail often? Can it be replaced?
post #16 of 23
I agree with your assessment that the fault is NOT the remote and sure sounds like the IR sensor in the unit. I have never had this problem nor is it very common from people who regularly post on AVS, although the OP of this thread had the same problem so it sounds like it does happen.
I'd think something like a IR sensor would be relatively cheap and not too hard to replace but it's not something I've done. You might want to send a PM(private message) to AVS member MICKINCT who does Panasonic repair, that or try and research where to purchase a replacement IR sensor. If your at all handy with a soldering iron it probably wouldn't be that hard to replace.
post #17 of 23
In this photo of one of my DMR-EH50 models the IR sensor is seen at the lower right:
LL
post #18 of 23
Thanks for the suggestion. I will try to replace the IR sensor once I am able to locate the part. I found several sources online but all seem to be out of stock. It is one of the first time I ever heard of IR sensor failing but then the unit was never that sensitive in receiving the commands from remote. out of the box. It could be it was semi-defective in the beginning. It is worth a try; nothing to lose as it is now just a clk. I will post once I have some results.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by avs-2012 View Post

Thanks for the suggestion. I will try to replace the IR sensor once I am able to locate the part. I found several sources online but all seem to be out of stock. It is one of the first time I ever heard of IR sensor failing but then the unit was never that sensitive in receiving the commands from remote. out of the box. It could be it was semi-defective in the beginning. It is worth a try; nothing to lose as it is now just a clk. I will post once I have some results.



The Panasonic National Parts Center in Kent Washington lists this DMR-EH50 part:

B3RAD0000092 SENSOR $5.61

This may or may not be the part you need. For more information call the National Parts Center at 800-833-9626.
post #20 of 23
Thanks. I was able to find the service manual for the EH-50 and the parts list indicated the same part no. I will call the National Parts Center.
post #21 of 23
My DMR-EH50 is working! It took a month till end of Feb for the part to arrive as it was back order. Then it took me another month before I got time to work on it. It has been years since I desolder/solder a device on a PCB board so my workmanship was very amateurish. However, I plug in the unit after I put in the IR sensor and saw the remote chk 1 when I pressed a button on the remote. A reprogram of the remote and I was able to using my DMR-EH50. A big thank-you to DigaDo and JJeff for your help in diagnosing my problem. The first thing I am going to do is record all the videos I want to save from the HDD then I wont lose those video in the future.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by avs-2012 View Post

My DMR-EH50 is working! It took a month till end of Feb for the part to arrive as it was back order. Then it took me another month before I got time to work on it. It has been years since I desolder/solder a device on a PCB board so my workmanship was very amateurish. However, I plug in the unit after I put in the IR sensor and saw the remote chk 1 when I pressed a button on the remote. A reprogram of the remote and I was able to using my DMR-EH50. A big thank-you to DigaDo and JJeff for your help in diagnosing my problem. The first thing I am going to do is record all the videos I want to save from the HDD then I wont lose those video in the future.

Wow, thanks a lot. I am so glad I check this old thread. I still have mine waiting for repair, I will order the IR sensor and try it. Thanks
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

The Panasonic National Parts Center in Kent Washington lists this DMR-EH50 part:

B3RAD0000092 SENSOR $5.61

This may or may not be the part you need. For more information call the National Parts Center at 800-833-9626.


Quote:
Originally Posted by avs-2012 View Post

My DMR-EH50 is working! It took a month till end of Feb for the part to arrive as it was back order. Then it took me another month before I got time to work on it. It has been years since I desolder/solder a device on a PCB board so my workmanship was very amateurish. However, I plug in the unit after I put in the IR sensor and saw the remote chk 1 when I pressed a button on the remote. A reprogram of the remote and I was able to using my DMR-EH50. A big thank-you to DigaDo and JJeff for your help in diagnosing my problem. The first thing I am going to do is record all the videos I want to save from the HDD then I wont lose those video in the future.

Another success here!

I started the thread a few months ago. I came back about a month ago and saw that avs-2012 was able to fix his unit, and DigaDo was nice enough to provide the part number. I tried to call The Panasonic National Parts Center at 800-833-9626 but I could not reach them in the weekend and I ended up ordering the parts from searspartsdirect.com for about $5 + $7 s&h. Who would have guessed that Sears sold this kind of parts?

Anyway, before I ordered I took the unit to work and plugged in an oscilloscope and saw that the IR sensor did not output any signal at all. It had ground, +5V, and the pin in the middle, output, was 5V. I went ahead and ordered the part, came in, soldered (BTW, first time I deal with lead free solder, what a pain, you need a HOT iron), and after soldering in the new sensor, the device works again like new!

Now the irony: Comcast discontinued analog serive at my location a few weeks ago, now I need to fool around with their Cable box to see how I can get the Panny to control that thing. I think it has an IR blaster somewhere, I need to find it. What a pain. At least I can transfer to DVD some shows I had recorded before.

Thanks all for your input in this thread. Thanks DigaDo and avs-2012 for your work.

I never saw an IR sensor fail before, and now we had two such cases. Hopefully other people out there with same problem will see this thread and order the IR sensor from Panasonic or from Sears and fix their units.
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