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Problems with Panasonic ES20.... U99 error, now it won't finalize....

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I bought this unit at an estate sale about a month ago(Have gotten two Pannys like this in the past few months) Glad to get this one, but apparently, missed out on about 8 units that sold before this one(the last one at the sale) The reason it might have still been unsold was the U99 error that showed up when you plugged it in. Couldn't get the unit to open the tray. Unplugged, re-plugged, nothing. read in tiny print on my phone on this and another forum that U99 wasn't a major error, to press and hold the power button for 10 + seconds and unplug, and plug in again(I think) anyway, after I was about to give up, viola, the tray opened, it accepted a blank disc, so figured it was worth the $12.50 they were asking!
Had the same issue at home, plugged in , U99, but got it to work. Recorded like a champ. Finalized with no issues. Over the last month, probably recorded 25+ movies. Only issue I had was if there was a power outtage then the U99 message showed up.
Last week, the U99 message started to pop up more and more. Unplug, and it would go away. Then, it would show up even while unit was on. Then last night, I had a hell of a time getting the unit to take the disc. Just would say reading. Finally got it to record. Then, every time I tried to finalize the disc, it would say the usual will finalize in 15 minutes(usually done in 4) and then I got a screen (the screen showing all the shows you have on a disc, before finalizing starts) and nothing happened. And the machine was frozen. Had to unplug. Tried 2-3 more times, froze up every time. Had a tough time getting the disc out. Finally popped it out put in my other Panny (ES46V) and no issue finalizing the disc, looked great.
Trying to turn the unit on today, it gets stuck on Hello, and freezes up again. Have to unplug. No other error codes....so any thoughts, suggestions?
Thanks!
post #2 of 12
The most common problem with Panasonic DVD Drives is a dirty rubber hub atop the spindle (turntable). This post describes and illustrates the routine procedures for servicing the DVD Drive:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1055071/panasonic-2006-and-newer-dvd-drive-hub-spindle-cleaning-and-reassembly-complications/0_60#post_14479898
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ok, I thought there were one too many problems to be that alone, but since I don't have any of the more dreaded error messages, I'll give it a shot!
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
well, finally got around to opening the unit up and cleaning it. It is very easy to open up. Wish the top came off my JVC recorder's burners like that!
As you can see, even though I tried the saliva trick a couple of times, a fair bit of dirt was on the spindle. (first 2 pics are the before pics) so, carefully cleaned the lens as well with a cotton swab. Put the lid back on, and plugged it in. Still same issue. Bunch of 0's (6 then the go away left to right, then come back again) then the u99. can't get the drawer to open. Thought I had looked around pretty thoroughly, didn't see any bulging capacitors. Then I see that tall black one. Wait, what's up with it? Not bulging, but surely that white stuff isn't normal, is it? That's not excessive glue or something, is it?????

b520a5272755861.jpg 8fe7b7272755870.jpg 0c6374272755875.jpg ea1cbe272755899.jpg
post #5 of 12
The white stuff is probably just sloppy application at the factory of a "mounting paste" used to insulate and stabilize some larger caps. It is common to see in many types of electronics product, but it usually looks neater than this. If it was leaked electrolyte you would see a swelling or bursting or split on the cap, apparently not the case here.

The mfr date on the motherboard is 10 NOV 2005, which is long in the tooth for a DVD recorder. Many from this era have croaked already: while Panasonics are known for durability beyond all other recorders, 8 years old is really pushing it. The members here who still have perfectly-functioning 2005-era recorders have typically owned them since new and learned all the maintenance tricks (like DigaDo). Recorders bought second hand cannot be expected to work as well, if at all: you have no idea of their usage history or if they sat too long in storage (no use can be as bad as heavy use).

You may be able to salvage this ES20, but chances are if the hub cleaning did not work and the caps seem OK there's little else you can do without testing gear and a service manual. It could be as simple as needing some new caps, or as impossible as needing a new IC chip or burner circuit. The ES20 is a very common model, it might be simpler (and cheaper) to just look for another one that works.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by berigan View Post

...  Then I see that tall black one. Wait, what's up with it? Not bulging, but surely that white stuff isn't normal, is it? That's not excessive glue or something, is it?????

ea1cbe272755899.jpg

The stuff at the bottom of that capacitor *could* be leaking electrolyte... it looks much too sloppy for a factory glue.

 

According to this article (and others), capacitor electrolyte can leak from a seal at the bottom. Although the linked article says their leaked electrolyte was "brown," it just might be electrolyte anyway since, as the article states, certain people obtained and copied the formula for the electrolyte and made a mistake in formulation, one cause of the many caps that blow their tops or leak from their bottom seals.

 

Since the ripped-off and wrongly copied (or just-don't-care) electrolyte formula could be "anything" that works for awhile, I imagine the color could be purple!

 

I have to assume that, if it IS electrolyte, that's not a good thing being smeared over the circuit traces!?

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo View Post

The stuff at the bottom of that capacitor *could* be leaking electrolyte... it looks much too sloppy for a factory glue.

The clue that it's probably a sloppy factory mounting issue is the hair-thin strand of the stuff extending from the glob on the circuit board, up the side of the cap, ending in a loop on top of the cap. It is likely drip residue from the nozzle of the "caulking gun," I have seen this over and over again in electronics of all vintages. There are multiple topics about this deceptive-looking capacitor mounting goo in AV repair sites: some say its thermal protection, some say it damps mechanical vibration in larger caps. This mounting gunk comes in several colors including scary-looking brown and rust: really stupid on the part of mfrs. But then they never expected DIY scavengers of old gear to look inside the cabinet.

Regarding the infamous counterfeit Chinese capacitor plague of ten years ago, I would tend to agree that issue could apply to this unit even if the goo in the photo is not leaked electrolyte. Those counterfeit capacitors were not entirely depleted from mfr supply chains until well after 2006, and quite a few popular Panasonic DVD recorders were infested with them. They often fail in less obvious ways than leakage: they don't maintain their specs or short out with no external indication. The cure is to recap most or all of the circuit boards: perhaps practical on very desirable DVD/HDD or DVD/VHS/HDD models of Panasonic, but not really practical or logical on an old generic DVD-only model like the ES20 (unless of course one has plenty of time on their hands and the experience+tools necessary for a deep recap job). The previous ES10 and ES15 have a unique video correction circuit that makes them valuable to this day as pass-thru devices for digitizing old VHS tapes: those models would be worth the trouble of repairing. The plain-jane, nondescript ES20 has no such particular redeeming feature to make it worth the effort.
Edited by CitiBear - 9/5/13 at 3:40pm
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
well shoot....thanks anyway...weird I didn't get one of those dreaded codes, isn't it?
Can't in good conscience give this away, is there anything that might make sense to salvage? Burner?
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by berigan View Post

well shoot....thanks anyway...weird I didn't get one of those dreaded codes, isn't it?
Can't in good conscience give this away, is there anything that might make sense to salvage? Burner?

Since a DMR-ES20 doesn't occupy much space just put it away somewhere. That way you'll always have a good parts source for other Panasonic DVD Recorders.

The DVD Drive itself is compatible with other Panasonic 2005 model year non-hard drive DVD Recorders.
Edited by DigaDo - 9/5/13 at 3:18pm
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

The DVD Drive itself is compatible with other Panasonic 2005 model year non-hard drive DVD Recorders.
I'm not positive but I wonder if the ES-20 may only be compatible with the ES-40v? The other 2 '05 non HDD models, the ES-10 and ES-30v weren't of the LSI design.....I could be wrong and maybe the drives were the same, I don't have the ES-40v and only briefly had a ES-20 before I returned it because I didn't care for it's operation.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

The DVD Drive itself is compatible with other Panasonic 2005 model year non-hard drive DVD Recorders.
I'm not positive but I wonder if the ES-20 may only be compatible with the ES-40v? The other 2 '05 non HDD models, the ES-10 and ES-30v weren't of the LSI design.....I could be wrong and maybe the drives were the same, I don't have the ES-40v and only briefly had a ES-20 before I returned it because I didn't care for it's operation.

Panasonic's non-hard drive 2005 model year recorders use the VXY1867 DVD Drive. Panasonic's hard drive 2005 model year recorders use the VXY1872 DVD Drive.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1082922/swapping-panasonic-dvd-drives-compatibility-considerations/0_60#post_15031629

The November 2008 photos in the linked post show the VXY1867 DVD Drive in a DMR-ES30 and the August 2010 photo shows the VXY1872 DVD Drive in a DMR-EH50.
Edited by DigaDo - 9/11/13 at 4:52pm
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

Panasonic's non-hard drive 2005 model year recorders use the VXY1867 DVD Drive. Panasonic's hard drive 2005 model year recorders use the VXY1872 DVD Drive.

According to this eBay seller, the VXY1867 and VXY1872 are interchangeable.
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AVS › AVS Forum › Video Components › DVD Recorders (Standard Def) › Problems with Panasonic ES20.... U99 error, now it won't finalize....