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PV-HD1000 records but won't play D-VHS  

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
One of my Panasonic PV-HD1000s no longer plays back D-VHS recordings. When a known-good tape is played back on it through a TU-DST50, only black is displayed. The "D-VHS" indicator on the front panel of the VCR lights up when the tape is playing, and all the usual VCR control indications ("Stop", "Playing", "No Cassette", etc.) are correctly displayed in the video output from the DST50--except that "D-VHS 1-1" is never displayed, nor is the recorded program.

However, it seems to be able to record from the STB without any problem. A tape recorded on it can be played back on another VCR/STB combo, but it can't play its own tapes (or any others).

I've localized the problem to this VCR: it won't play back tapes through any STB, and the STB it's usually connected to works fine with another VCR. I've tried multiple FireWire cables; they all work in other combinations but not when connecting this VCR to any STB.

I replaced the head cylinder a couple of months ago and the unit has been behaving very well since then (better than any of my others), but just to be sure I opened up the unit and made sure the head cylinder was securely seated and tightened. It made no difference.

Although it's not clearly visible, I suspect that the FireWire connection has become damaged in some way that permits recording but not playback. Is that plausible? I try to be obsessively careful when inserting and removing those FireWire cables, but the connectors seem so fragile nevertheless.

I don't feel comfortable tackling a repair like this myself (unlike the very simple head-replacement job that was described so handily for us by Roger), so it's off to Panasonic with it (for a couple of months, based on prior experience) unless anyone can suggest something else that might be worth trying.

I'm so sick of these things. There's always something broken or misbehaving in at least one of my units. It sucks a lot of the joy out of owning them.
post #2 of 13
I have 2 HD1000s and one of them only records, I have always thought it must be bad heads. Is it possible that you stuck an old or dirty tape in that might have clogged up your new heads? I have run an Allsop wet/dry cleaning tape on my machines and that has helped. If you're real ambitious, you can pop the lid and clean the heads the right way, with head cleaning pads or a chamois and 99% alcohol.

One bad tape could put the Kaibash on those new heads.
post #3 of 13
It sounds like the firewire connection. Mine was doing the exact same thing until I finally got it to work by gently disconnecting/reconnecting several times at the vcr. Safe to say I wont be disconnecting that wire any more. It took around 10 minutes of cursing and whinning for it to finally work! It's inevitable that I too will need a repair soon.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by J_Nemeth
Is it possible that you stuck an old or dirty tape in that might have clogged up your new heads?
I think it's unlikely; I only ever use new tape stock (mostly Fuji S-VHS, sometimes Maxell and JVC D-VHS).

The problem appeared abruptly yesterday, right after a plug/unplug session in which I was trying to test something (carefully) with the Uma (modified Unity Motion). This makes me even more suspicious of the FireWire connection.

As I said, I can't see any obvious damage in the connector socket, but I imagine there could still be damage without it being visible.

My choice may be between deciding that this is going to be a record-only deck, or doing without it for a couple of months or longer while Panasonic services it. I'll probably opt to get it repaired while that service is still available.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally posted by rrg
The problem appeared abruptly yesterday, right after a plug/unplug session in which I was trying to test something...
The process might have "upset" the digital board. I'm sure you've tried this already, but I'll mention it anyway. Unplug the power cord to the HD1000 for a couple of minutes. That will allow the board to reset.

If that doesn't help then the next suspect would be the connector. Somewhere on the forum I posted a photo of a damaged iLink socket on a recorder. The failures in these things are really hard to see without a good illuminated magnifying glass.

Replacing the connector on the HD1000 is fairly easy. I've done a few of mine, and I'll post some info if you need it.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by gridleak
Unplug the power cord to the HD1000 for a couple of minutes. That will allow the board to reset.
In the course of reseating the head cylinder I had the unit unplugged for long enough that I had to reprogram the date and time, so I presume that would have been long enough to reset the board. Problem persists, unfortunately.

Quote:
The failures in these things are really hard to see without a good illuminated magnifying glass.
I'm doing this with the naked eye in an inconvenient space, so it's certainly possible I'm just not seeing it.

Quote:
Replacing the connector on the HD1000 is fairly easy. I've done a few of mine, and I'll post some info if you need it.
That would be greatly appreciated (by me and by many others on the Forum, I'm sure). Thanks. Your many practical and helpful posts on the maintenance of this hardware have already saved me time, money, and grief.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
By the way, can you (or anyone else here) recommend a particular make or vendor of 4-pin FireWire cables for use with this equipment? Shorter lengths (3 feet or so) in particular. I just want something that both fits snugly and doesn't readily damage the connectors--though perhaps those traits are mutually exclusive.

I know Pete Putman suggested a place (Bi-Tronics) but he was talking about longer cables (10 feet). From their Web site it didn't appear that they had anything as short as 3 feet.
post #8 of 13
I'll post some iLink repair info in the next day or two. I've got one more machine that needs it, so I'll snap a few photos.

These connectors are truly horrible. I can't imagine them surviving more than a few hundred insertions. The "pins" are tiny wires facing forward, so inserting the connectors together is sort of like trying to drag a Christmas tree the wrong way through a doorway. The pins stick to each other and collapse instead of sliding past each as they should.

If you find a damaged connector on your recorder, then some where in your collection of cables there's a damaged plug. When a connector fails it's almost guaranteed to have failed the mating plug. That can lead to a succession of failures if that plug is used with other machines. If you do a lot of plug swapping then an illuminated magnifying glass is an essential part of your "Panny Combo Tool Kit", and should be hanging next to the recorder like tongs and brush hanging on a barbecue.:)

I avoid the need to disturb the iLink connection at the recorder and STB by using a hub and 3 foot 4 to 6 pin cables. Any required connection changes can be done with the much more rugged 6 pin connectors.

A contact lubricant might keep these things from failing. There used to be one called "Tweak" that came in a small bottle with a brush. We used to use it on all the connections in a hi-end audio system to clean up the sound.
post #9 of 13
Roger, where do you get your 4 to 6 pin cables?

dave
post #10 of 13
Computer stores like Comp USA carry them. Belkin is one brand.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
I just noticed something else about the misbehaving VCR. I had said that the D-VHS light was illuminated on the front panel, but what actually happens is that during tape playback the D-VHS light, the L/R audio indicator, the HiFi audio indicator, and the tape speed indicator are all flashing very rapidly.

I think I've seen something similar before when trying to play back a tape that had initially been recorded on an analog S-VHS VCR and then recorded over with a D-VHS recording. The VCR seemed to get confused by the initial control track and failed to recognize the tape as a D-VHS recording unless you fast-forwarded past the beginning.

I'm not sure if this is relevant but it seems consistent with the hypothesis that the FireWire connector is damaged.
post #12 of 13
Those connectors are indeed very fragile, and the Panasonic-supplied Firewire cables are very loose and unreliable. That's why I went with the Bi-tronics cables - they don't slide, or slip out.

I broke the finger contacts on my TU-DST51 within a week after I picked it up. I am positive the finger contact that broke was already bent, but there was no way to prove that. So, it went back to Nashville (now closed down) service center and was fixed.

A source and price for the chassis-mount Firewire sockets would be appreciated. I have done assembly and repair of SMT-level electronics, so swapping out a connector is no big deal.

You can see the fingers with a standard magnifier and a flashlight.

Pete Putman

PS - I'm happy with the Bi-Tronics cables - they sit very snug in place and I have a much more reliable connection, even if I am fooling around behind the deck and accidentally wiggle the cable.
post #13 of 13
Go to http://www.pasc.panasonic.com/epartr/ and do a search for pv-hd1000. The connector (jack) is part number VJJ0568. They're 7.65 each, which is considerably more than the price at Fry's or Marvac's etc., but these fit perfectly into the circuit board while others don't.

I'll attack this tonight and put up a thread tomorrow.
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