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Discussion Starter #1
I am the original owner of three 2008 vintage DMR-EZ485s. I bought them, within months of their manufacture, to time-shift programming then provided via Comcast's analog service. I used DVD-RAM media almost exclusively and without incident.

When Comcast dropped their analog cable service in 2012 I subscribed to AT&T's IPTV (U-verse) which, but for an occasional VHS or DVD rental, pretty much idled my Panasonic VCR/DVRs.

A few weeks ago -- in response to AT&T's apparently annual 6% price increase -- I 'cut the cord', returned to over-the-air broadcast TV, and rekindled my relationship with my DMR-EZ485s.

For seven years, the only time I ever saw a 'NO REAd' display was on the very few occasions when I rented a DVD from Redbox. On each such occasion the problem was remedied by removing the donut-shaped bar code label that Redbox affixes to the center of their discs.

A few days ago I saw 'NO REAd' under different circumstances. It appeared upon reloading a DVD-RAM into the machine that had recorded it. Happening upon this site, I followed instructions for cleaning the unit's hub and lens but without any change in symptom. I tried blank DVD-RAMs. I tried DVD-RAMs recorded in my other two machines. The afflicted unit refused to recognize any of them.

Were this the end of the story I'd not have posted for it would be substantively identical to numerous others I've read here. But it's not the end; and the twist is this: the unit which will not now recognize DVD-RAM will still play commercial DVDs and will still record and play DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW.

Does this make any sense to anybody?
 

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I am the original owner of three 2008 vintage DMR-EZ485s. I bought them, within months of their manufacture, to time-shift programming then provided via Comcast's analog service. I used DVD-RAM media almost exclusively and without incident.

When Comcast dropped their analog cable service in 2012 I subscribed to AT&T's IPTV (U-verse) which, but for an occasional VHS or DVD rental, pretty much idled my Panasonic VCR/DVRs.

A few weeks ago -- in response to AT&T's apparently annual 6% price increase -- I 'cut the cord', returned to over-the-air broadcast TV, and rekindled my relationship with my DMR-EZ485s.

For seven years, the only time I ever saw a 'NO REAd' display was on the very few occasions when I rented a DVD from Redbox. On each such occasion the problem was remedied by removing the donut-shaped bar code label that Redbox affixes to the center of their discs.

A few days ago I saw 'NO REAd' under different circumstances. It appeared upon reloading a DVD-RAM into the machine that had recorded it. Happening upon this site, I followed instructions for cleaning the unit's hub and lens but without any change in symptom. I tried blank DVD-RAMs. I tried DVD-RAMs recorded in my other two machines. The afflicted unit refused to recognize any of them.

Were this the end of the story I'd not have posted for it would be substantively identical to numerous others I've read here. But it's not the end; and the twist is this: the unit which will not now recognize DVD-RAM will still play commercial DVDs and will still record and play DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW.

Does this make any sense to anybody?
PM sent to member.....
 

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... the unit which will not now recognize DVD-RAM will still play commercial DVDs and will still record and play DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW. ...
Since that original post, I note that ...

1) I can add CD to the list of media recognizable by the unit which will no longer recognize DVD-RAM.

2) With the exception of DVD-RAM, it doesn't take more than about ten seconds for a DMR-EZ485 to recognize and report (via the on-screen status display) the type of media inserted; regardless of whether that media is blank or previously-recorded. The unit which currently fails to read or write to DVD-RAM seems, however, never to even recognize that the offending media is, in fact, DVD-RAM.

3) The DMR-EZ485 uses the same laser (662nm) for all DVDs and a second laser (780nm) for all CDs. I know there are other things which distinguish DVD-RAM from other DVD media but it does, I think, render failure to read only DVD-RAM all the more baffling.

4) There is a difference in thickness represented in the optical media I presently have at hand. Using a dial caliper to measure (in sixty-fourths of an inch) the thickness of stacks-of-five I find:

CD = 15
DVD+R = 16
DVD+RW = 16
DVD-R = 17
DVD-RW = 17
DVD-RAM = 18

Interesting; though I don't know what to make of it.

Reflecting on my previously reported experiences, both with Redbox's hub labels (top-surface relevant) and my recent hub cleaning (bottom-surface relevant), I'm inclined to wonder about the free-wheeling piece at the top of the drive which opposes the driven hub.

Sliding my finger, radially, across the top surface of the various media I have handy discloses a marked upward step associated with the transition outward from the transparent (hub) region to the opaque region. Attempting to neutralize any impact of such step I used some carefully cut gummed labels to beef up the hub region of a DVD-RAM but the disc remains 'NO REAd".

Anybody?
 

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Interesting thing about the thickness of the media, I'd think for Panasonic the thicker the better as it may be held between the rubber spindle and top better. I've speculated thickness may be why some brands of media seem to slip and grind while others load without incident but I've never had anything accurate enough to test my theory. It's also possible some media is slipperier in the spindle area than others but by feeling with my finger they all seem similar, except for Ty(JVC) media which is noticeably stickier, I've never had slipping problems with Ty media.
Do you know if your RAM discs are good? could you verify them in a PC that can read RAM discs? Most PCs I've found support RAM but I suppose not all. Also if you had a new RAM disc it would be interesting to see how it reacts, if the new one fails it has to be drive related and probably something to do with the laser, do RAM discs take more laser power to burn? although that wouldn't explain why you can't even read your RAM discs.....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
... I'd think for Panasonic the thicker the better ... Do you know if your RAM discs are good? could you verify them in a PC that can read RAM discs? ... Also if you had a new RAM disc it would be interesting to see how it reacts ... something to do with the laser, do RAM discs take more laser power to burn? although that wouldn't explain why you can't even read your RAM discs.....
Thanks, jjeff, for your comments.

Intuitively I, too, would think thicker media ought perform better than thinner media but then there's my history of 'NO REAd' problems with Redbox hub labels on commercial (DVD-Video) discs. The cross-sectional geometry of the free-wheeling hub could be relevant but I don't know what that part looks like. And -- not previously mentioned -- I don't hear any of the grinding and/or bumping noises about which other contributors have posted in this context.

In my last post I wrote about trying to mitigate the DVD-RAM surface discontinuity by beefing up the transparent (hub) area with gummed labels. I think I'll revisit that issue by trying to sand-down the opaque region just outside the hub.

Right after buying the first of the three identical machines that I acquired in quick succession, I bought twenty DVD-RAMs (two each Panasonic p/n LM-AF120LU10 10-packs). I allocated one to each VCR/DVR and used them, without incident, for seven years. All three can be read by two of my units but none of the three can be read by the problematic unit. Before starting this thread I brought a fourth, previously unused, DVD-RAM into the mix. Like the well-used discs, two of my units can read it while the problematic unit can not.

As to another of your other questions; yes, my PCs are able to read the DVD-RAMS. In fact -- also not previously mention -- at one point I used a PC to format (UDF) the most recent DVD-RAM to be brought into service but performance in my VCR/DVRs was unchanged.

You may be right about the laser; though maybe not so much about "power to burn" as, perhaps, about power to discern. My understanding is that the distinction between light-absorbing 'pits' and light-reflecting 'lands' is more subtle with a DVD-RAM than with the other DVD technologies.
 

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Thanks, jjeff, for your comments.

Intuitively I, too, would think thicker media ought perform better than thinner media but then there's my history of 'NO REAd' problems with Redbox hub labels on commercial (DVD-Video) discs. The cross-sectional geometry of the free-wheeling hub could be relevant but I don't know what that part looks like. And -- not previously mentioned -- I don't hear any of the grinding and/or bumping noises about which other contributors have posted in this context.

In my last post I wrote about trying to mitigate the DVD-RAM surface discontinuity by beefing up the transparent (hub) area with gummed labels. I think I'll revisit that issue by trying to sand-down the opaque region just outside the hub.

Right after buying the first of the three identical machines that I acquired in quick succession, I bought twenty DVD-RAMs (two each Panasonic p/n LM-AF120LU10 10-packs). I allocated one to each VCR/DVR and used them, without incident, for seven years. All three can be read by two of my units but none of the three can be read by the problematic unit. Before starting this thread I brought a fourth, previously unused, DVD-RAM into the mix. Like the well-used discs, two of my units can read it while the problematic unit can not.

As to another of your other questions; yes, my PCs are able to read the DVD-RAMS. In fact -- also not previously mention -- at one point I used a PC to format (UDF) the most recent DVD-RAM to be brought into service but performance in my VCR/DVRs was unchanged.

You may be right about the laser; though maybe not so much about "power to burn" as, perhaps, about power to discern. My understanding is that the distinction between light-absorbing 'pits' and light-reflecting 'lands' is more subtle with a DVD-RAM than with the other DVD technologies.
Hi member, you might try to gentlly wash the disc with mild soap, and a paper towel to dry, then try to format the disc again in your other machines that see it,then try it in your subject machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
HI you can send it to to me if you want for repair??
I do appreciate that -- and I'm not necessarily against the idea -- but are you implying that the symtoms shared here give you some sense of what's gone wrong with my machine that a cleaning won't resolve?
 

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I do appreciate that -- and I'm not necessarily against the idea -- but are you implying that the symtoms shared here give you some sense of what's gone wrong with my machine that a cleaning won't resolve?
Yes I repaired one of churchguys" eh55 machines that did see ram discs and after repair all is well.
 

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A $30 iView would be cheaper than a repair and give you recordings in full HD. Plus you wouldn't have to juggle flaky RAM discs anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A $30 iView would be cheaper than a repair and give you recordings in full HD. Plus you wouldn't have to juggle flaky RAM discs anymore.
In fact, I do have the virtually identical Mediasonic HW-150PVR HomeWorX but have never even opened its box. If it incorporated or accomodated an internal hard drive I might be inclined to try it out but the fact that my problematic DMR-EZ485 still works with DVD-RW and DVD+RW media leaves it my preferred option at present. Still; to restore my ability to freely move media between my three Panasonic VCR/DVRs I'm either going to have to get the thing fixed or stop using DVD-RAM altogether. This raises an aside (probably discussed in another thread here): ought one (DVD-RW or DVD+RW) be prefered over the other in this application?
 

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In fact, I do have the virtually identical Mediasonic HW-150PVR HomeWorX but have never even opened its box. If it incorporated or accomodated an internal hard drive I might be inclined to try it out but the fact that my problematic DMR-EZ485 still works with DVD-RW and DVD+RW media leaves it my preferred option at present. Still; to restore my ability to freely move media between my three Panasonic VCR/DVRs I'm either going to have to get the thing fixed or stop using DVD-RAM altogether. This raises an aside (probably discussed in another thread here): ought one (DVD-RW or DVD+RW) be prefered over the other in this application?
We software people call that "sneaker-net". All my recordings (a few thousand) are in HD on a server now and are accessible from anywhere inside or outside my home on any TV, computer, tablet, phone, Roku, you name it. I only burn discs as needed, but that's very rare. I could never go back to SD or optical discs and VCR style timers at this point. I've been spoiled by my 6 tuner system with full guide, automatic commercial removal, cover art, meta data and all of that.
 
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