Pan. DMR-E85H Issues - SOLVED! - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 21 Old 03-02-2018, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Pan. DMR-E85H Issues - SOLVED!

My E85H has been used daily for about the past 5yrs after picking it up in a garage sale. However a day or two after SuperBowl 2018, it wouldn't power up. Display was dead. I opened the lid and found several bulged AEC's. Having dealt with this issue before on other equipment, I figured re-capping the PS board was a good place to start. Ordered new Panasonic electrolytic caps from Mouser (FM series), then installed them. Upon power up, the unit was still dead.

Discovered IC1150, the main SMPS IC (MR1251) was suspect so I replaced it with one from a working Pan DMR-ES15 I also have but rarely use. The E85H now powers up, the HDD spins and PLEASE WAIT appears on the display. I left it for about 30min figuring it was checking the HDD. No change so I pulled the plug.

Further testing revealed the D3.3V supply buss is sitting at 1Vdc at the connector between the PS & main pcb.The service manual indicates it should be at about 5V in STOP mode. I checked the rail cap C1540 (25V47) and R1515 (270) for shorts. Both OK in ckt. I also chk'd D1400 and C1406 and they appear OK.

So I snipped jumper K1407 in half to isolate IC1400 (the 3.3V dc dc cnvrtr) from it's downstream circuitry. Wasn't sure if the 3.3V IC was bad or some digital IC on the main PCB. With the PS board fired up, IC1400 was only putting out a weak 1.5Vdc. So it would appear that IC1400 is at fault.

Evidently not many use these Pan. DVD recorders anymore. Mine's seen daily use with frequent HDD recording. I recently went through and edited out many commercials on several recordings to free up space.

Anyone reading this have any of these old players around no longer in use?


Also, does something need to be RESET after working on these machines?

Last edited by MediaDriver; 04-18-2018 at 01:05 PM.
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post #2 of 21 Old 03-26-2018, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Update: Secondary problem now appears to be IC1400, a Shindengen MD5001T DC-DC converter. This IC generates the D3.3V power buss which runs to many of the digital IC's. I've ordered a replacement and await its arrival.

I wanted to verify there were no shorts downstream on this voltage line before installing a new IC. Fortunately, a current draw test didn't reveal anything pointing to that.

So far, I've replaced all electrolytic caps on the PS board with Panasonic low-ESR switching caps, replaced IC1150 a MR1251 that failed and checked all other components on the PSB. To turn on the PS when removed from the chassis, it's necessary to apply +5V to P1102 P10 "DR P ON" and P18 "POWER ON". I used a bench supply and a 3k3R. Reason is the front panel power switch isn't connected to the PSB, but to IC7501 which is the TIMER IC. It then supplys voltage to both P10 & 18 which enable the various step-down voltage converters on the PSB, providing power to the DVD, HHD and the rest of the circuitry.

Another note regarding this unit. Part of the PS is on 24/7 even when turned OFF. Over time and age, this causes stress on C1260, 1261 and C1262 which filter the 6.5V line, and on C1270 1271, and 1272, which filters the 14V line. On the HOT side, C1150 also failed. Though Panasonic produces an excellent line of electrolytic capacitors suitable for switching power supply duty, they didn't use them in their own product! Odd that. Thus the numerous posts in years past about these machines failing to power up at all, displaying PLEASE WAIT for hours upon hours and the Ux errors. Most unfortunate.

Another issue I've discovered is dimming flourescent displays over time. This is mostly due to another bad electrolytic capacitor in the display driver ckt. I have a DMR-ES15 DVD recorder with this issue and will be fixing it now that I know the solution.

Last edited by MediaDriver; 03-28-2018 at 12:42 AM.
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post #3 of 21 Old 03-26-2018, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaDriver View Post
....
Another issue I've discovered is dimming flourescent displays over time. This is mostly due to another bad electrolytic capacitor in the display driver ckt. I have a DMR-ES15 DVD recorder with this issue and will be fixing it now that I know the solution.
I've not had the dimming problem with my '06 Panasonics like the ES-15 but rather the '05 line, like ES-30v and EH-50 as well as ES-10. I've been told the issue with the '05's issue is caused by air getting in the vacuum tube that encases the display, could this be another different issue than the '06 models?
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post #4 of 21 Old 03-26-2018, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Air? Really? Haven't heard of that one. You can also crack a solder joint when handling a board, especially if you force it during removal/installation.

Given the issues I've had with the E85H given it's mid-00 born date, hasn't been near as reliable as my 36" JVC CRT TV and JVC built-like-a-tank VCR. The former is roughly 28yrs old now and the later, 33yrs old. Still has a bright Flour. display and plays tapes fine. It predates auto-tracking!
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post #5 of 21 Old 03-27-2018, 01:15 AM
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Thanks for the front row seat MediaDriver!

I Loved the details.

I'm not in your class.. and it sounds like you have no issues sourcing parts.

But there are "parts kits" for the E85H - "Please Wait Problem" for about twenty dollars on eBay .. search for "Panasonic DMR-E85H Repair Kit"

It might be whatever is in those kits could act like a trail of bread crumbs you could follow to get ideas where problem spots are.. at least potential ones (if any) you haven't already found.

Please continue with your repair descriptions if you find any more details.. I have an EH55, EH75 and E75V but keep them unplugged and offline when not in active use.

The details may help me repair them if I need to one day. Though I hope Mck hangs around for a very long time.. he would be my number one go to guy first considering my skill level.
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post #6 of 21 Old 03-28-2018, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
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JW84: You are indeed wise to leave them unplugged when they see little use, given the explanation above. I now do the same after extensive repair of a HK Citation 7 pre-amp for the same reason. The HK-7 'soft power' button leaves the entire PS enabled and it runs very, very hot especially with the line voltage here of 123Vac. During the Summer, line voltage can reach 125-127Vac. This just causes additional thermal stress on the linear supply, burns in the PCB and fried parts. Though used on a daily basis, I've reduced its line V to a more reasonable 115Vac, added a small fan to blow on the transformer & main heatsink and turn it OFF when not in use with a physical power switch.
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post #7 of 21 Old 03-28-2018, 06:09 AM
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MediaDriver I think your doing all the right things with regards to voltage and cooling.

I've often thought those old laptop ( lap coolers ) inverted upside down and placed on top of these metal cases would be helpful too.. especially for Panasonic models that happen to have vents on top. I can't see them being as effective however underneath the case.. like under a latop as they were intended to be used.

If there is one thing I know for sure.. its that fast moving parts degrade over time.. and fans do give out.. even server class case fans.

With the Panasonics in particular however.. the fans produce (negative) pressure and exhaust hot air by pulling cooler air through the case.. sucking in any air born dust and dirt particles... and the DVD slot is an open invitation to scoop that all up.

I don't think its practical to block air flow with a hepa filter.. or stuff something like cotton in all the loose corners and such of the case.. but its does make me think an "enclosed" tv stand or display case.. with some type of air filtration and cooling arrangement would be useful.. PC Computer cases now often come with replaceable and washable filters for the same reasons... no more dust bunnies.

Cheap enclosed tv stands and cases are hard to find.

I've been looking at the billy bookcase line with glass doors from Ikea.. many fake wood finishes, glass doors and comes in various heights and modular widths. Modifying one to include an air filtration system / cooling ? system and voltage regulators on the bottom shelf is a constant thought project.. until something better comes along.

AC Infinity makes aftermarket "air plate" kits for smart enclosure blowers.

I use USB powered AC Infinity fans to cool a Mac mini, and an HD Home Run network tuner.. whose teenie tiny internal fans were forever failing. The rubber footed self enclosed AC fan easily rests on top and beside those and augments their thermal cooling very nicely. (lots) quieter too... did I say I was mod averse and an ultra low budget guy?

On the subject of "clean" power.. I'm vaguely aware there are about (five) Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) design types.. but only the most expensive total "regenerative" design makes real sense.

Its one hundered percent battery powered and recharges and discharges the batteries endlessly.. great for safe clean power.. and much easier to apply voltage regulation that actually works consistently, terrible for battery life.. unfortunately.. super expensive.. almost makes me want to buy a big oridinary UPS and manually charge it up, then run a "VHS to HDD" capture session while constantly and only using battery power until it runs down.. then charging it back up for the next "session".. another thought experiment.. there aren't a lot of shared thoughts on safe clean power regulation.

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post #8 of 21 Old 04-02-2018, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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UPDATE:

Replacement MD5001T IC finally arrived today. Soldered it in, then tested supply out-of-chassis. The new regulator has solved the problem! There is now V on the D3.3V rail. I reassembled it then applied power. It took a few minutes to run through its internal checks while displaying "PLEASE WAIT" and running the rolling scroll bars below. Then it exited and displayed the normal screen. I noticed the cabinet fan was now running as well. Very pleased to have it back on-line.

Unfortunately this wasn't a simple 're-cap' fix. I wish it were. I had to replace both IC1150 (MR1251) and IC1400 (MD5001T) to get her working again. Fortunately new parts were still available. Very odd that IC1400 failed yet no caps feeding it nor downstream were bulged. The output cap on the D1.8V rail failed. Two out of three failed in the SW5.8V rail. On the HOT side, the 35V56uf cap failed along with the switcher IC. Looking forward to having use of the -85 again. All new low ESR, switcher grade AEC's in the PSB should result in several more years of use. I may plug it into a buck supply I use with a much older component.
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post #9 of 21 Old 04-03-2018, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, I'm not able to locate any of my recorded media on the HDD! A bit of reading mentioned others had this issue as well after repairs. It appears the TOC for the HDD are stored in RAM, rather than on the disk, and when left unpowered long enough, the memory is erased. Very odd for Panasonic to do it this way. No doubt all of the recordings are still there. There is nothing 'critical' there. I would have liked to have transferred them off however.

In the service menu, I ran a HDD read test. It took nearly 4hrs (!), but returned HD OK.

The DVD section plays disks I made. Haven't checked 'burning' yet. While apart, I cleaned the lens, removed dust/dirt, greased the slide rails and cleaned the disk clamp. It was quite dirty.

I'll be going through the service menu items, recording them in my repair log.
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post #10 of 21 Old 04-03-2018, 04:43 PM
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Well if your up for an adventure!

This guy figured out the Panasonic stores its video files in DVD-RAM disc format (ironic that.. why not reuse the format they invented?) and extracted VOB files from his..

Recovery of a Panasonic DVR Recorder Harddisk

Recovery tools for MEIHDFS-V2.0 for Panasonic DVR-Recorders

I gather like you said.. the Title Contents are stored in NVRAM on the motherboard.. which tends to get wiped.. I think he implied the results just have to be played to identify them and manually retagged by the end user.

.. to be more "clear"

The Panasonic does not have a re-Catalog or re-Indexing "feature" that I know of.. sure would be great though if it would scan a hard disk and create entries with anonymous Thumbnails to help with recovery after maintenance.

Rather I believe he removed his hard drive, hooked it up and copied the VOB files off to a normal PC and played them there.. not something you'd want to do on a regular basis without a "wireless" atapi bridge inserted into the Panasonic to skip the removal and recabling to copy the files direct to a PC... not impossible either.. very possible.. but that's another story.



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post #11 of 21 Old 04-03-2018, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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My previous post needs editing as I forgot to try again to see if verifying the HDD might (possibly) restore the TOC located in memory and populate the HDD 'navigator' once again with thumbnails and my recorded media. I thought it too good to be true actually and a definite long-shot.

However, IT WORKED!

All of my recordings are now available just like they were before breakdown. Odd Panasonic doesn't mention this in the service manual! I'm pleased and shocked at the same time! This time, a long shot paid off.
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post #12 of 21 Old 06-30-2018, 12:54 PM
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MediaDriver:


Thanks for posting your experiences with the failed ICs, and for finding that verifying the HDD will re-create a wiped TOC. I'll know what to check should mine die. Still in use with just standard cleaning/lubrication and power cap replacement. I just hope the ICs are still available in the future should mine fail. Maybe I should buy them now in anticipation.
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post #13 of 21 Old 07-01-2018, 02:15 AM
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Wow,

I had a 85 a long time ago. Had bulging caps and replaced a couple of them. An electrical engineer suggested I up the value some. He was under the impression that commercial devices underrate caps as part of planned obsolescence. I replaced them. That worked for while, then other problems popped up a couple of months later. I took it apart again, didn't see any bulging caps anywhere. I tossed it in the can and bought one of Wallymart's Magnavox recorders. I still have another panny recorder w/o hard drive.

I don't know why I keep any of them anymore. It's been a couple of years since I've recorded anything. I've taken the magnavox out of the rack in the living room and put it in the bedroom. I figured I might occasionally record an old movie off of Turner Classic Movies, but haven't yet. I have a library of about 700 movies I recorded off of HBO, Cinemax, Star, TCM, etc. back when I did a lot of that. I don't have those stations anymore, just TCM.

The last thing I recorded was to transfer from a VCR a tape that had transfers of our family's 8mm home movies. A tape of about 2 hours worth. It was fun watching that.

Is there any market for VCRs, and old DVD recorders? Although the maggie is like new, I've used it little. Right now that bunch of players/recorders is sitting in the garage.

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post #14 of 21 Old 07-01-2018, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PghCoyote View Post
MediaDriver:Thanks for posting your experiences with the failed ICs, and for finding that verifying the HDD will re-create a wiped TOC. I'll know what to check should mine die. Still in use with just standard cleaning/lubrication and power cap replacement. I just hope the ICs are still available in the future should mine fail. Maybe I should buy them now in anticipation.
Glad you found it usefull. Unfortunately in my case a simple cap replacement didn't bring it back to life. Bad luck.

Very odd ( and clumsy) that the factory firmware was incapable of reading its own formatted disk and locating the TOC (table of contents). No doubt many thought they were screwed (including a couple of repair outfits), losing all of their HDD information. Nor did Panasonic even mention recovery was possible in their service manual.

Shame on them.....

I was indeed VERY LUCKY to find parts in the USA. Locating them was the hard part.

When not being used on a regular basis, it's best to pull the plug completely de-powering it.

PS: ATTN to any Moderator: Please update my post on the forum to SOLVED. Might help others. Thanks.
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post #15 of 21 Old 07-01-2018, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, I had a 85 a long time ago. Had bulging caps and replaced a couple of them. An electrical engineer suggested I up the value some. He was under the impression that commercial devices underrate caps as part of planned obsolescence. I replaced them. That worked for while, then other problems popped up a couple of months later. I took it apart again, didn't see any bulging caps anywhere. I tossed it in the can.
I discovered the PS to be very, very finicky. Correct voltages MUST appear by a certain amount of time otherwise the Timer IC shuts everything down. This makes troubleshooting a RPITA. The Timer IC controls the PS...not the other way around.

It's the same with 'modern' TVs, making them difficult to fix as well. Certain V by a certain T. I recently tried to fix a Samsung UNJ6000 40" LCD w/LED backlight. There was a defect in one or more LEDs causing them to draw excessive current (partial short). The PS kept raising the Voltage in an attempt to maintain the loop current where it should be. It raised it all the way to about 240Vdc, which was far too high for the LED backlight strips which began arcing mid-strip! The strip was burning and the whole set was now a fire hazard. What a stupid design.

I finally fixed the backlight and restored it to proper functioning. Then discovered another fault whereby the damn set wouldn't even 'boot'. No schematic available nor service manual. Damn thing isn't meant to be repaired. It's junk. It only lasted 2 years!

My main TV is a 1990 JVC 36" CRT. True blacks, no motion artifacts, I maintain it myself, keep it clean. Not complaining at all now that I've dug into what's currently being sold to consumers.
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post #16 of 21 Old 09-24-2018, 01:31 PM
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I discovered the PS to be very, very finicky. Correct voltages MUST appear by a certain amount of time otherwise the Timer IC shuts everything down. This makes troubleshooting a RPITA. The Timer IC controls the PS...not the other way around.

It's the same with 'modern' TVs, making them difficult to fix as well. Certain V by a certain T. I recently tried to fix a Samsung UNJ6000 40" LCD w/LED backlight. There was a defect in one or more LEDs causing them to draw excessive current (partial short). The PS kept raising the Voltage in an attempt to maintain the loop current where it should be. It raised it all the way to about 240Vdc, which was far too high for the LED backlight strips which began arcing mid-strip! The strip was burning and the whole set was now a fire hazard. What a stupid design.

I finally fixed the backlight and restored it to proper functioning. Then discovered another fault whereby the damn set wouldn't even 'boot'. No schematic available nor service manual. Damn thing isn't meant to be repaired. It's junk. It only lasted 2 years!

My main TV is a 1990 JVC 36" CRT. True blacks, no motion artifacts, I maintain it myself, keep it clean. Not complaining at all now that I've dug into what's currently being sold to consumers.
Seems that your competence in repair is far better than mine ever was, so you may not wish to pursue this avenue but I've had my 85H repaired several years back by mickinct with very good success -- haven't seen him post in this forum for awhile (but then I haven't either), so he might have completely retired by now, but I'll vouch for the quality of his knowledge about that and other Panny models as well as his reasonable service cost and quick turnaround time.
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post #17 of 21 Old 09-24-2018, 02:38 PM
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I'm still at it............
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post #18 of 21 Old 09-24-2018, 02:40 PM
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I'm still at it............
Good to know!
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post #19 of 21 Old 11-10-2018, 05:51 PM
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Great to know that renowned mickinct is still at it! I've a feeling I will need your services eventually when a repair gets beyond my ability. Off-topic, I wonder how the availability of the laser assemblies is these days.



Just an update...wouldn't you know it, a few weeks ago my power went out for longer than my UPS could handle (8 hours). Upon restoration of power, my E85H was dead, no display. Wouldn't you know it, it was the power supply IC1150 (MR1251). Apparently this is the next in line that is most likely to fail after the capacitors in the power board. A quick purchase from eBay and I was back in business. I also replaced a newly bulging capacitor in the display section (C7555).


This also gave me a chance to play around with transferring my HDD contents to PC. That was another adventure which I should put in the proper thread.



Thanks again, MediaDriver, for your helpful posts. Funny that my SMPS IC happened to die a few months later!
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post #20 of 21 Old 02-19-2020, 02:26 PM
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I'm still at it............
Greetings,
My Panasonic DMR-EH50 was a trustworthy unit for many years, as the primary interface to access cable input, schedule channels, recordings, etc. I also used it to archive miscellaneous VHS recordings, mostly odd scraps of programs and tapes given to me documenting family occasions, etc. I had no more than a couple dozen movies recorded from online broadcast, and those never were an issue, regarding licensing copyright warnings, as the commercial tapes gave.
Having advanced to a real HDTV, I upgraded cable service and found the cablebox DVR acceptable for interim storage, far superior in quality (actual HD), and only occasionally did I have some odd bit I wanted to actually archive; I could transfer stuff to the EH50, albeit reduced resolution, but that was generally fine for my purpose.
Only in the past year when I began a last culling of ancient VHS, etc, did I discover some issues. I first blamed the lousy, aging tapes, and many have deteriorated, but I then noticed even the input signal from my cablebox gave a very bad image when transferred to the EH50, very noisy and with horizontal lines scratching across.
I began to troubleshoot, and have found several interesting aspects:
First, if I use the same cables and connect direct from the cable box or VHS (only standard RCA red, white, yellow option) to any appropriate TV input, the image is as good as expected, with no noise or grain. The video output from the DVR is close, but has a bit of video noise and horizontal grain that component, composite, nor S-video cables of various quality levels cannot entirely remedy.
Also, the older recordings on the HDD play much cleaner, and can be transferred to DVD media with no issues and which play just as clean, particularly when viewed on the computer.
My conclusion is that the EH50 inputs are the culprit. Simple cleaning of contacts, swapping cables, all have no effect, and the cheapest RCA cables direct to the TV yield far cleaner picture than anything passing through the EH50.
As the rest of the machine's features seem unaffected, including editing, compiling, dubbing, and recording to DVDs, I'm wondering about the internals, the caps, power supply, etc. as causes of the input degradation, but my electronics IQ ends with which end of a soldering iron to grasp, and how to turn off and unplug devices. I don't have much committed to the unit, and may just transfer all to DVDs and be done, rather than invest $$$. Thoughts?
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post #21 of 21 Old 02-19-2020, 03:05 PM
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I have at least 2, maybe 3 EH-50s with the same as I call it, noisy line inputs. As you said, everything else works and even recording from the built-in tuner is OK but as nothing uses the analog tuner nowadays, it does me no good
I'll be interested to see what MickinCT says, I believe I've asked him about this problem in the past and he said he could fix it. This problem only seems to affect the '05 model Panasonics and actually I've only noticed it on my EH-50s, not my many ES-30V's of the same year. It also doesn't seem to affect the EH-55's of '06, those seem to fail with laser failure
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