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I am starting this thread for the exchange of technical service information on the Panasonic DMR-EZ47*** VCR/ DVD recorder/ ATSC tuner combo units.


It's a chance for us service techs to compare notes and 'war stories' on fixing these machines, what we found, how we fixed it, and where we got the components from, if we did a 'chip level' repair. This thread is intended for the experienced service techs, so rookies should just watch and listen.
 

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HI etink, are you aware that the laser pick-up may be used in the eh55 eh75, and others in the same year of manufacture???
 

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For starters, I purchased a DMR-EZ475V unit as-is on eBay, but didn't pay much for it.


When powered up, none of the front buttons seemed to work, and zeros scroll from left to right on the front display.


When I opened it up, I discovered it still had a VHS tape stuck in the VCR, which after awhile would try to eject, but then abort and reload again. The head drum did not rotate at all during the process. Manually the head turns freely, and the tape is not tightly wrapped around it.


The fan in the back of the unit wasn't running either, and would not run unless I removed power, unplugged connector P6003 between the power supply board and the system board, and reconnected main power. Then it would run. I suspect that IC2501, a Rohm BD6904FP, which runs the VCR motors, and fed from P6003, might be bad, loading down the motor power supply.


Another thing that bothers me, on the power supply board, below the DVD drive, there is a TO-220 device marked '3011ZFE', which has over 14v on the input and 12v on the output. I cannot find a datasheet for the 'ZFE, but did for the Sanken Allegro SI-3011ZF, which is only supposed to put out up to 5v from a maximum input of 10v. Unless the 'ZFE is a special enhanced 12v version. If anyone knows for sure, please post a reply. This IC is putting the 12v out to the DVD drive.
 

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I am not a tech, just an end-user of Panasonic DVD recorders and combo recorders. Currently I own sixteen functional Panasonics from the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 model years. Six of my most heavily used 2005 and 2006 models average more than 3,000 recording hours per machine in my service. My first 2005 model now has more than 4,300 recording hours in my service. I have four DMR-EZ17 models (currently in daily service but as secondary units due to the many bugs and design flaws common among 2007 models) and one DMR-EZ28. I also own a Philips 3575.


I often remind folks that good environment is important. Avoid shutting up a Panasonic inside a cabinet. Maintain good ventilation. Avoid dusty surroundings and do not smoke in the same room with the machine. Do not handle discs with a finger through the center hole.


Oily residue and dust finds its way to the DVD drive's rubber hub/spindle area causing recording/finalizing errors/failures. Regular cleaning of the hub/spindle should prolong the life of Panasonic DVD drives. I have previously posted disassembly/reassembly advice and a link to the hub/spindle cleaning procedure itself. Many others report very good results cleaning the hub/spindle (as long as they correctly position the DVD drive tray roller/slider to the left before reassembly).


In 2007 I began to service/repair my own Panasonics once the original factory warranties had expired. With my very heavy Panasonic utilization I settled upon the 2006 models (currently five DMR-ES35V and three DMR-ES15 models) as the main workhorses. I purchased two additional DMR-ES35V models for parts. Two of the four original DMR-ES15 models had been purchased used with bad DVD drives. Two good DVD drives from the parts ES35 models were swapped into these ES15 machines. One of these four ES15 models has recently been set aside as a parts machine. That machines's good DVD drive now resides in another ES15 that had just experienced a failed DVD drive. It's a simple procedure to swap DVD drives between Panasonics of the same model year. I have also swapped other parts, circuit boards, mini-switches, chassis motherboards; replaced power supply capacitors; serviced/adjusted VHS mechanisms and various other assemblies. I have also posted information/advice concerning these procedures in this Forum.


I have these questions/observations:


1-With 2006 models Panasonic cautions "Pairing of RAM (DVD) Drive and Digital P.C.B as 'RAM/Digital P.C.B. Module' have to be replaced together. If the pairing is changed, RAM Drive unit has to be ‘re-aligned.’ Because the alignment data for RAM Drive Unit is stored in Digital P.C.B.” I have swapped several DVD drives between different 2006 models with no “re-alignment.” I haven’t observed any adverse operational characteristics with subsequent heavy daily use. It's not quite clear what's entailed in realignment. Service Manual references to this are less than clear and some technical material is well beyond my comprehension.


2-As mentioned above I swapped in a known-good Digital P.C.B. part VEP79132 from a DMR-ES15 in place of a problematic Digital P.C.B., also part VEP79132, into one of the parts DMR-ES35V machines (without a "re-alignment"). These machines are from the 2006 model year. This has given better results, clearing the ES35’s U88 and U61 errors and the ES35 display is no longer pink with top to bottom stripes, but there were no channels found with a automatic channel scan (set for antenna) and the composite Line Input 1 connection to a Zenith DTT900 converter box does not provide a picture through the ES35’s “common” composite outputs. Unfortunately that ES35 parts machine also has a “no read” DVD drive with “clunking” when attempting to read a disc (whether a disc is present or not). Once the “no read” is reported the clunking stops. The clunking seems to indicate that the laser assembly is running up and down the rods in a vain attempt to read data. It appears that the Digital P.C.B. in this ES35 also requires replacement.


3-Having mentioned problematic DVD drives that may not be helped out with hub/spindle cleaning, might you discuss rebuilding such drives when no known-good drives are available for direct swapping? (I currently have three “bad” 2006 drives on hand. I would hope to rebuild one or more of these as backups, if possible.)


As an end-user placing heavy demands on some of my Panasonics, I will be pleased to have whatever advice may be provided by those with technical experience.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickinct /forum/post/14700341


HI etink, are you aware that the laser pick-up may be used in the eh55 eh75, and others in the same year of manufacture???

My only Panasonic optical drive service experience is cleaning the lens, hub/spindle and related parts or swapping out drives as a unit. I haven't yet swapped out any suspect laser assemblies as I'm not sure of the disassembly procedure.


Yesterday I found and downloaded the DMR-ES35VP/PC (Canadian English) Service Manual in PDF format. In that manual I found mention of another Panasonic manual devoted to servicing (and rebuilding?) optical drives. I have not yet searched for that manual.


Several posters have mentioned that after the laser fails the drive logic circuit continues to cause the failed laser to search a disc for data. I would think that this search is probably one cause of the "clunking" as the laser assembly runs up and down the rails in a vain attempt to find data.


Might there also be optical drive mechanical parts that become problematic? Perhaps a critical concern might be to keep the right amount of the right type of lubricant on the laser assembly rails. On my most recently serviced DVD drive--one that has seen little use--there was much more grease on the left rail than I've observed on heavily used machines and the right rail had very little grease. What is the specification for this grease? Is this a commonly found formulation? And how much or little is the right amount to apply to the rails?
 

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DVD TRAY, MANUAL RELEASE


Do Panasonics have a manual release for the DVD tray? Yes they do. The first three photos show the DVD drive and the underside of a DMR-ES15, a 2006 model DVD recorder. This 2006 model DVD drive should be typical of DVD drives found in other models/years. DVD drive mechanisms in 2007 and 2008 models are internally similar to 2006 drives.


Manual release of the disc tray is described below. Be sure to read the cautions following that information if you expect to remove the DVD drive lid or further disassemble the DVD drive.


Some Panasonic models have a slot in the bottom of the case, see the first photo. Use a small flat-bladed screwdriver to slide the unlocking mechanism. The tray will be unlocked and slide out about 3/8 inch. Then open the front panel DVD door and carefully guide the tray outward with a hooked wire or tool. 2008 models have been observed to have tamper-indicating tape over the slot on the underside of the case.


On models that have no slot on the case bottom it will be necessary to remove the Panasonic case top cover. At the right side of the drive will be a small opening, see the second photo. Use a small flat-bladed screwdriver to release the unlocking mechanism. The tray will be unlocked enough to manually extend the tray with a small screwdriver.


The third photo shows the unlocking mechanism (the white part) viewed from the bottom of the DVD drive.


There are certain cautions when the manual disc tray release is utilized in relation to opening of the DVD drive lid or disassembly of the drive for other reasons such as replacing the laser assembly. In those instances it is possible to damage the release mechanism bumper, or as Panasonic calls it the "Stopper."


Panasonic gives dire warnings in two awkwardly worded translations found on page 11 of the 2007 DMR-EZ17 Service Manual:


"1-If you push strong and move the Slide Cam to counter direction of the arrow, the Stopper will be bended and Slide Cam won't stop at Stopper and will reach position for taking out Traverse Base. And Traverse Base might fall down later." I would translate this advice something like "1-Do not use force to move the tray release mechanism beyond the locked position bumper as the bumper may be damaged allowing the laser assembly mounting panel to become dislodged."


"2-Moreover, the slide cam will be on irregular position against condition of the shipment if the tray is pushed by the hand after manual tray ejection is done, the hold of traverse base becomes imperfect, and the danger of fall of traverse base increases. Absolutely, complete close of tray by electicity after manual tray ejection was done." I would translate this advice something like "2-After manually opening the disc tray there may follow some misalignment of the disc tray mechanism when the disc tray is closed by hand. To correct the disc tray alignment to prevent dislodging the laser assembly mounting panel reconnect the power cord and press the disc tray open/close button."


A complicating factor arises here since a Panasonic should not be powered on when the DVD drive lid is open, primarily due to safety and health considerations related to the laser. Operating the disc tray without the lid secured and the roller/slider correctly aligned with the guide rail on the underside of the drive lid makes for additional alignment and functionality problems. For those reasons I manually closed the extended disc tray of the first DVD drive I disassembled to swap out a laser assembly with its mounting panel as a unit. I found some difficulty reassembling and realigning the disc tray mechanism and the laser assembly mounting panel that subsequently did "fall down" right into my lap! I was able to resolve these difficulties and realign the parts after comparing that drive with another assembled DVD drive and consulting the illustration found in the fourth attached image. It is important to correctly position the low center post at the front edge of the laser assembly mounting panel to the lowest guide channel on the disc tray release machanism as depicted in the illustration. (Notice that the 2007 DMR-EZ17 Service Manual photos show a 2006 model DVD drive.)



 

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The first two photos show a very dirty hub/spindle on a DMR-EZ17, a January 2007 example with a low serial number in the AA series. These photos show a typical interior view of 2006 and newer Panasonic DVD drives.


Notice the dust and debris, including fibers, lodged on the rubber hub. Use Isopropyl Alcohol 91% on the cotton swabs. Cleaning this drive took two cotton swabs just for the hub itself. The third photo shows the cleaned hub but notice that the photo was taken before all the dust was removed from the disc tray.


Advice for the hub/spindle cleaning procedure is found here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post14479898


The fourth photo shows the power supply section of the DMR-ES17 main board with the tuner also in view.



 

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Panasonics that need hub/spindle cleaning may exhibit occasional or frequent "no read" situations and write and finalize problems as well as grinding or scrubbing noises.


Panasonics that always exhibit "no read" or "no disc" as well as loud "clunking" noises probably have a dirty or failed laser. Cleaning the lens may or may not correct the problem. The clunking noises come from the laser assembly running up and down the rods hitting the stops in a vain attempt to read data from a disc that is or isn't present.


If the hub/spindle/lens cleaning procedure does not correct the problem the DVD drive may need to be replaced as a unit with a known good DVD drive of the same model.


An alternative is to replace the laser assembly with a known good laser assembly of the same type. This requires removal of the DVD drive from the machine. Then the disc tray is released by sliding the white mechanism on the bottom of the DVD drive. In the second photo a pencil points to the white slider that releases the disc tray. This allows the disc tray to be removed to give full access to the laser assembly. Then the release mechanism may be positioned to allow the laser assembly to be removed and replaced. There are a several alignment considerations or complications that may occur with this procedure.


The DVD drive shown in the first two photos is from the 2006 model year. The first photo shows the internal parts with the disc tray removed. The second photo shows the ribbon cable arrangement on the underside of the DVD drive. The brown ribbon cable is connected to to the laser assembly motor. The wide ribbon cable is connected to the lens sub-assembly. The next ribbon cable is connected to the hub/spindle sub-assembly. The ribbon cable at the front is connected to the on-drive circuit board connected to the disc tray sub-assembly. These four ribbon cables connect to the machine's "Digital PCB."


The 2007 DVD drive seen in the third photo has a single ribbon cable to the on-drive circuit board that has the separate ribbon cable connections to the DVD drive sub-assemblies. There is a one wide ribbon cable from the on-drive circuit board to the machine's "Digital PCB." In the 2007 (and newer) DVD drives there is a wire-type power connector at the side of the drive case.


A 2006 model laser assembly may not interchange with that of older or newer DVD drives. Since I have not yet swapped a laser assembly perhaps another poster may provide more information.


 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo /forum/post/14846353


Panasonics that need hub/spindle cleaning may exhibit occasional or frequent "no read" situations and write and finalize problems as well as grinding or scrubbing noises.


Panasonics that always exhibit "no read" or "no disc" as well as loud "clunking" noises probably have a dirty or failed laser. Cleaning the lens may or may not correct the problem. The clunking noises come from the laser assembly running up and down the rods hitting the stops in a vain attempt to read data from a disc that is or isn't present.


If the hub/spindle/lens cleaning procedure does not correct the problem the DVD drive may need to be replaced as a unit with a known good DVD drive of the same model.


An alternative is to replace the laser assembly with a known good laser assembly of the same type. This requires removal of the DVD drive from the machine. Then the disc tray is released by sliding the white mechanism on the bottom of the DVD drive. In the second photo a pencil points to the white slider that releases the disc tray. This allows the disc tray to be removed to give full access to the laser assembly. Then the release mechanism may be positioned to allow the laser assembly to be removed and replaced. There are a several alignment considerations or complications that may occur with this procedure.

Mickinct provided a number of tips and directed me to an online seller in Scotland where there is this text relevant to my last sentence quoted above:


"If you have DVD recorder with a defective laser then you can check if this part is suitable by checking the underside of the laser and looking for the number 3331A on the label as shown in the photograph. There are other lasers which look the same but have different part numbers on the label. Please check carefully . . .


Failure of this laser is now quite common. It commonly causes failure to read discs either intermitently or permanently. If you can hear the sled moving rapidly with little action of the spin motor during the read cycle then the laser is probably defective.


Fitting of this laser is only to be completed by those competent in the repair of electronic equipment. It is necessary to remove the complete RAM drive unit by removing the flexible strip connector from the digital board and the power connector. Unscrew the complete RAM drive unit and remove the top cover. Turn the white gear at the front of the loader to release the tray and pull the tray out. Remove the flexible strip from the laser and remove the right side running bar for the laser, there will be either metal clips or a screw holding it down and then remove the old laser. Refit the new laser and reconnect the flexible strip. It is very important to be careful with the flexible strip connectors as they are easily broken. If you break any of them you will need a new RAM drive or digital board."


I have examined the underside of the laser assembly found in the 2006 drive shown in photos attached to my earlier post. That drive has the 3331A laser assembly described by the Scottish seller.


Here are top and bottom photos of that 3331A laser assembly:

 

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I sent diga the info on the laser pick-ups that I found on e-bay and I was able to replace the pick-ups in my several es and ez recorders that had bad lasers, I was able to use ez series in the 2006 series recorders. For the recorders that the tray will not open, the small circuit board on the dvd drive has to be replaced, this in on the ez series only. good luck........
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickinct /forum/post/14873143


I was able to replace the pick-ups in my several es and ez recorders that had bad lasers, I was able to use ez series in the 2006 series recorders. For the recorders that the tray will not open, the small circuit board on the dvd drive has to be replaced, this in on the ez series only. good luck........

The circuit board you mention (see first photo) incorporates the EZ series DVD drive control logic. There is a single ribbon cable to the EZ series "Digital PCB."


The 2006 ES series DVD drive control logic is found on the "Digital PCB" (see second photo) the terminus of the DVD drive ribbon cables.

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo /forum/post/14709306

DVD TRAY, MANUAL RELEASE


Do Panasonics have a manual release for the DVD tray? Yes they do . . .


There are certain cautions when the manual disc tray release is utilized in relation to opening of the DVD drive lid or disassembly of the drive for other reasons . . . In those instances it is possible to damage the release mechanism bumper, or as Panasonic calls it the "Stopper."


Panasonic gives dire warnings in two awkwardly worded translations found on page 11 of the 2007 DMR-EZ17 Service Manual:


"1-If you push strong and move the Slide Cam to counter direction of the arrow, the Stopper will be bended and Slide Cam won't stop at Stopper and will reach position for taking out Traverse Base. And Traverse Base might fall down later." I would translate this advice something like "1-Do not use force to move the tray release mechanism beyond the locked position bumper as the bumper may be damaged allowing the laser assembly mounting panel to become dislodged."


"2-Moreover, the slide cam will be on irregular position against condition of the shipment if the tray is pushed by the hand after manual tray ejection is done, the hold of traverse base becomes imperfect, and the danger of fall of traverse base increases. Absolutely, complete close of tray by electicity after manual tray ejection was done." I would translate this advice something like "2-After manually opening the disc tray there may follow some misalignment of the disc tray mechanism when the disc tray is closed by hand. To correct the disc tray alignment to prevent dislodging the laser assembly mounting panel reconnect the power cord and press the disc tray open/close button."


A complicating factor arises here since a Panasonic should not be powered on when the DVD drive lid is open, primarily due to safety and health considerations related to the laser. Operating the disc tray without the lid secured and the roller/slider correctly aligned with the guide rail on the underside of the drive lid makes for additional alignment and functionality problems. For those reasons I manually closed the extended disc tray of the first DVD drive I disassembled to swap out a laser assembly with its mounting panel as a unit. I found some difficulty reassembling and realigning the disc tray mechanism and the laser assembly mounting panel that subsequently did "fall down" right into my lap! I was able to resolve these difficulties and realign the parts after comparing that drive with another assembled DVD drive and consulting the illustration found in the fourth attached image. It is important to correctly position the low center post at the front edge of the laser assembly mounting panel to the lowest guide channel on the disc tray release machanism as depicted in the illustration. (Notice that the 2007 DMR-EZ17 Service Manual photos show a 2006 model DVD drive.)

The reinstallation and realignment procedure for a dislodged disc tray is described, with photos, in this post:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post15745506


As to the realignment of the slide cam with the lens assembly mounting panel (as described in the quote from an earlier post) as originally illustrated in the first attached image, this is better observed in the second attached image where the lens assembly mounting panel's leading edge post is seen correctly positioned in the slide cam guide channel.

 

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Today, in order to respond to a question in another forum, I had occasion to take photos demonstrating the manual disc tray release procedure with a DMR-EZ17 model without opening the case.


Here is that response and today's photos:


The problem is most likely with the DVD itself.


There is a disc tray release slot on the bottom of the case under the DVD Drive. Disconnect the machine from the AC power before attempting to manually release the disc tray. Use a small flat-bladed screw driver to slide the manual disc tray release from right to left as seen in the first photo. Open the disc tray front panel door and use a hooked tool, such as the large paper clip seen in the second photo, to extend the disc tray and remove the disc. Slide the disc tray back into the locked position before reconnecting the AC power.

 

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Just an FYI. My player crapped out and I sent it in for service. It was a year and a half old. I bought it on Amazon with my Visa. Visa doubles the warranty so they paid the $130. 00 repair cost. Machine works fine now.
 

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So on New Years Eve my DMR-EX95V combi started to throw out "Cannot Read Disc Messages" & started to make sounds like the laser was trying to read but getting stuck. I decided to whip the casing off & clean the lens. Wish I'd read this forum first. If I had, I certainly wouldn't have open the tray with the cover removed - or spent till 4 in the morning trying to get the tray to work properly. I found your thread last night & it took me about 30 minutes to sort it out - brilliant.

Unfortunately, it still refuses to read the discs. I've cleaned the hub & spindle & there was a load of crap stuck to it, but it still sounds like the laser is trying to read the disc but failing. It makes exactly the same sound whether there's a disc in the tray or not.

Any ideas?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by katsd /forum/post/17836695


So on New Years Eve my DMR-EX95V combi started to throw out "Cannot Read Disc Messages" & started to make sounds like the laser was trying to read but getting stuck. I decided to whip the casing off & clean the lens. Wish I'd read this forum first. If I had, I certainly wouldn't have open the tray with the cover removed - or spent till 4 in the morning trying to get the tray to work properly. I found your thread last night & it took me about 30 minutes to sort it out - brilliant.

Unfortunately, it still refuses to read the discs. I've cleaned the hub & spindle & there was a load of crap stuck to it, but it still sounds like the laser is trying to read the disc but failing. It makes exactly the same sound whether there's a disc in the tray or not.

Any ideas?

If the DVD Drive is making "clunking" "chugging" or "errrp" noises the laser assembly has probably failed. Contact the Panasonic Service Centre serving your area.
 

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Thanks for getting back to me so quick.

Working on the basis I was going nowhere with it, I lifted the casing & powered it up to see what was happening.

On turning it on and after "HELLO" the laser carrier comes to the center of the drive and bumps against the stops several times, at this point the spindle motor gives a brief half turn. Then the process repeats for a second time and the spindle motor gives a brief spin, 3 - 4 times but does not come up to speed. I can see the red light on the laser flicking. (I've lifted this from a posting on another forum - only as describes exactly what is happening on mine) I've just found the You-Tube clip - that's exactly what's happening in mine.

When I try a disc in (with the casing back together) it makes exactly the same sound.

From the postings I've found so far, the DVD unit, if available, will be expensive & could be dodgy to fit. However, to replace this unit now would be the thick end of £400. What annoys me is that I'd had two of the non-combi units, which had both failed from new within six months. I decided to upgrade to this & did'nt take out the extended warrenty - duh!

At least the tray works now - thanks for that - I'd spent hours the night before trying to sort it - certainly should have paid attention to the bit about reading postings rather than experimenting.
 

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HI all the links for pictures on this page seems to be dead could you reupload them pls or fix this problem please . i dont want to open my dvt without seeing picture on what i have to do thx a lot
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalmeq /forum/post/17974007


HI all the links for pictures on this page seems to be dead could you reupload them pls or fix this problem please . i dont want to open my dvt without seeing picture on what i have to do thx a lot

Attached photos in my posts reside on this Forum in the jpg format. I've sampled several of those resident photos. All open and display satisfactorily.


Perhaps your inability to view the photos is related to your status as a new poster or some setting in your computer.


The lens and hub/spindle cleaning posts you PM'd me about begin here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post14479898


When searching the Forum be sure to set the search/display criteria back more than thirty days. That setting is found toward the foot of the Table of Contents page in each sub-forum.
 
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