View Full Version : Camera died after firmware upgrade
March 2nd, 2008, 04:58 AM
I have an GY HD111E, purchased in Jan 07. I upgraded my firmware, exactly according to the instructions, using the link at
The upgrade completed succesfully, and I shut the camera down. This morning, I went to start up to do a test shoot, and the camera is completely dead. No life at all, either on battery or on mains.
This is a big crisis. Obviously. Especially since I live a very long way from the nearest JVC agent.
Anyone got any thoughts?
March 2nd, 2008, 06:05 AM
After I completed the upgrade, as instructed, I switched the camera off, then on again, and rechecked the firmware version number. The camera now told me I had the latest version of the firmware installed. I then powered the camera down. Right up to that point everything had gone according to instructions.
I can see that if I had (a) installed the wrong firmware (b) not followed instructions (no tape in machine, no firewire connected, tape door closed, power off in mid- upgrade, etc etc) there would be a reason for a problem - and I've seen the thread where others have had problems when these issues have been present.
But the upgrade went perfectly, and the camera told me, after the upgrade, that it now had the latest version of the firmware.
How can it have died AFTER all these stages had been completed? What can have happened after powering it down again, if it had powered UP to check the new firmware was installed?
I really hope I haven;t bricked this camera. I've had a good year with it, and would like to keep using it. But if this has killed the camera, there is NO WAY I will buy another one.
Waiting, on tenterhooks, for expert thoughts....
March 2nd, 2008, 08:57 AM
Perhaps it is something unrelated and coincidental.
What type of power supply are you running? People using the Anton Bauer have had issues with the connection between adapter and contacts (and use AC power this way too). Supplying directly through the OEM power supply would circumvent that issue. There are some other threads on cameras that do not power up at all. I'd look through these for possible hints.
There is an internal fuse which is not meant to be user replaceable, but could be approached with care, or by someone reasonably experienced in electronic work. Given your location, it would make more sense than sending the camera in. There is some information on accessing that here on the forum.
These things can happen to ANY pro camera, so don't get your bias rise up against the camera (keep your approach pro too!). I assume your model is a "blank", (not E or X) model - perhaps if you recall the installed firmware version that could be some extra info to plug in to the info database here.
If you have circumvented the standard battery contact points for power, I realize it will be hard to isolate the problem much further in this state.
Keep us posted.
March 2nd, 2008, 09:28 AM
Thanks for the calming words. It's a little difficult to stay calm at this end of the line, but you're right, of course.
My camera is a [blank] model. Serial number 141G0748. I downloaded the appropriate firmware for this model, and as noted above, after completing the upgrade powered down, then powered back up, went into the advanced menu, and confirmed that the software was now the current version.
On power: I use Swit batteries, which I have used since I bought the camera, with good results. I have tried three different fully charged batteries, to no effect. I have also tried the OE power adaptor (which I was running when I performed the upgrade.) No joy.
The firmware versions BEFORE upgrade were:
sys cpu C1660 V0101
cam cpu C1661 V0102
VTR C1677 V0100
ENC L1187 V0109
FPGA4 C1597 V0109
According to the "read me" file in the upgrade package (V1.05) the versions should have upgraded to:
This sounds right, but I can't confirm that without being able to power the machine up again. The part number for the program is PLSC1683-V1-05.
I will try to find the fuse you mention (I have seen reference to it while trawling the discussion boards in the past). I suppose I find it improbably coincidental that the camera should have died immediately after the upgrade. But I also can't quite understand why the camera should have powered up, shown me that the software had upgraded appropriately, then decided not to fire up again thereafter.
The camera was NOT left on mains charge after the upgrade: so that removes the option of a power spike.
I suppose I could remove the Hawkswood mount for the Swits, and try the camera on the OE JVC battery that I have never used. I'll get that on charge now and see if it makes any difference...
I already feel calmer to know that I have expert opinion on the case. So thanks for that. I have a doc shoot in the Sahara coming up in a week; so if I can't get the camera working again by mid week at least I have time to look into renting an alternative.
Best wishes, and thanks for your support.
March 2nd, 2008, 09:43 AM
Without wanting to sound the slightest bit bitchy, I may be a "New Boot" on this forum, but I have owned and run Pro and Semi-Pro and Pro-Sumer cameras for close to two decades - from the old Sony V5000, through VX1000, a 300AP, a 400AP, the Sony 100 "Plastic Beta," DXC-D 30 with both the Beta and DV backs, and a PD150. I've never had one simply refuse to fire up on me.
That said, I've never had a resource like DVInfo to call on before either. So it's swings and roundabouts...
March 2nd, 2008, 01:57 PM
OK, I've been through the forum, trawled the resource, and it looks like there is no user serviceable fuse or circuit breaker in the HD110/111. There is a fuse in the IDX mount, and the Anton system. I don't have either of those. And my problem is that I have no power from either battery or AC.
Perhaps I'm missing something. Any advice would be most welcome.
March 2nd, 2008, 11:14 PM
Wow....someone from JVC please throw Robert some kind of "lifeline" thing to try here considering the geographically difficult pinch he's in.......
March 3rd, 2008, 02:38 AM
Well, I charged up my original JVC batteries overnight, removed the Hawkswoods V lock mount, and tried powering up with the OEM batteries.
Nada. Nothing. Still dead.
I have lined up a Sony Z1 as a rental camera for the Niger shoot next weekend. I'd much rather take my JVC, but needs must.
Craig Yanagi from JVC Professional in the US is on the case. Thanks Craig.
I'm kind of hoping that when the world gets back to work on Monday morning I might get some more advice. Maybe even a fix.
Is there any way of downloading the ORIGINAL firmware and trying to reload that?
March 3rd, 2008, 03:05 AM
A alternative to DVRack is Scopebox.
March 3rd, 2008, 03:09 AM
sorry, Liam - is this comment meant to be on this thread?
March 3rd, 2008, 09:37 AM
I've had a lot of help from JVC and their agents today - Mike Turner, Senior Manager at Engineering Services in the UK sent me some files to try to reboot the camera, Kevin Eaton at ProActive in Hemel Hempsted, where I originally bought the camera, has steered me to various people who might help, and Viwe Gantsho, Broadcast Engineer at Inala Broadcast, the JVC Pro agent in South Africa, has been extremely helpful. If any of you see this, thanks a lot guys!
Unfortunately though, the camera is still dead. I dismantled the body under Viwe's remote guidance, and checked the fuse, which is fine. No probs there. And she still won't light up.
So it looks like I'm in for a mighty repair bill - six weeks after the warranty expired, natch.
It's a gloomy evening at the Adams household, I can tell you.
If anyone has any other thoughts, please share them with me.
March 3rd, 2008, 10:24 AM
<edit> Had this sitting open on my system for awhile before posting - it's written before seeing the post immediately above!
Robert - I thought I recalled a post from someone who did an emergency field repair for a power problem- but I've also tried to search the forums without luck. It would of course have it's own risks involved anyway, and only a chance of solving the problem.
I'm glad that you've established contact with Craig Yanagi, and I hope an expeditious solution is found. There isn't a resettable circuit breaker on these cameras (my JVC GY-DV500 did have one, and I had to reset it once...). But although I can't find the specific reference, I do believe that there is an internal fuse protecting the circuitry. The pro battery adapters have separate, accessible, easily replaceable fuses which would protect from some power issues, this but doesn't seem related to your situation.
It could be a bios chip, or power board problem too - which would mean part replacement. I did find several posts of users reporting replaced parts after a similar problem.
Despite your posting the additional firmware info, I haven't really been able to provide much additional help for you. I'm sure it's very frustrating.
I apologize if I slurred you somewhat in my first post talking about a pro approach... I've just seen people on the list let their emotions run away from them after having problems. Sometimes electronics just malfunction, and despite other reports of this problem occurring, I doubt that overall reliability is different than other brands or similar models. I've had 2 Sony prosumer camcorders need expensive repairs post warranty( a V5000 and a VX-1000 like yours!), and a Sony pro field monitor that has an internal problem more expensive to fix than it is worth sitting next to me....
3 ProHD JVC's I work with regularly have been completely reliable (so far -knock wood!).
March 3rd, 2008, 12:08 PM
Hey, Sean - sorry to be snappy back there. It's a bit frustrating to be out here on the edge of the world with no apparent means of support...
And anyway, you remind me that my VX1000 had to go back to Sony at least twice with a fault in the back-focus lock... so nothing's perfect.
I'll keep posting on this - though not at the rate of nine posts a day! - and let the community know how it plays out. I guess there'll be a useful lesson for someone out of it at the end.
And all the best to you, and thanks for your support.
March 4th, 2008, 01:16 AM
This gets odder.
This morning I put the camera back together, lens on, v/f on, etc, ready to start looking into getting it to JVC in UK or SA.
I put a charged battery in, and flicked the power switch. Still nothing.
Just because, I plugged the mains charger into the wall, and switched on - and lo and behold, the camera came to life. Amazed, I tried with the battery again - because it's no use to me if I can't run on battery power. Nothing still. Back on mains, and she lights up. I unplug, power down, power back up - all good. Seems to have reverted to factory settings, but that's OK and easy to fix.
So then I try my Swit/Hawkswood combo, but that doesn't work either. Back onto mains power, and up she comes.
Next test is to see if she stays alive, or if this is a wierd - and temporary - abberation. So I'm sitting here with the camera up and live, watching and wondering what to do next.
I press the menu button to reset some of my preferences, and suddenly the menu info disappears from the screen, leaving only the safe area indicator for a 16:9 frame. Then that goes, too. Then the screen goes blank - and the audio lights start flashing in the same kind of random patterns I saw when I conducted the firmware upgrade on Saturday.
The lights have now flashed through the whole sequence - 5 or 6 minutes, I suppose, and the camera is now sitting on my bench, plugged into the mains, with the audio lights flashing a steady on - off - on - off, simultaneously, on a two second interval. Which, as far as I understand the manual, means that the firmware upgrade has safely completed. But damn, now I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!!
Should I power down, as one is meant to at the end of the firmware upgrade sequence? Obviously I can't leave it like this forever, but I would really really appreciate some expert advice before I do anything.
My main concern is that there may be some critical information about the failure in the past couple of days that can be gleaned now, from looking at menu settings. I don't want to power down and find she won't light up again, and so lose the opportunity to find out what is going on.
And at the end of the day, if she won't work on battery power, she's still going to need checking by someone competent before she's any use to me. But it's nice to have some life back.
March 4th, 2008, 07:30 AM
Hi Robert - I got your email, and I'll copy this reply there too.
This sounds like the end symptom I'd read about here:
I've also heard of blinking lights and cut-outs like you describe before. I don't expect there is anything user serviceable - but some people have described getting a relatively minor part replaced. irregular power supply could cause some strange symptoms without "burning out" main circuitry.
I expect you were hoping that it was just running through the firmware routine again. I suppose you could try the software utilities you were sent to ensure that they take. I've had to repeat firmware procedures with other electronics in the past...
You have reached a much more innards knowledgeable group, that will be your best resource to make decisions. I'm pretty sure you'll want to still get the camera to someone for confidence in the future - even if it does come back to life.
Keep us posted! It is very useful to have this database of experiences to refer to. If you do find a trend in problems that points to a defective part, there is cause to ask to have it repaired out of warranty on a recall basis.
It can be hard to make the right contacts, but JVC pro is very reasonable and responsive with company support.
March 4th, 2008, 08:29 AM
Three days of concentration, good advice, and positive thinking - and my camera is running again.
The problem? Not the firmware. Not the fuse. Not the power supply board. A tiny (2mm diameter) piece of yellow plastic from the end of the AC adaptor cable.
It was Viwe Gantsho at Inala Broadcast, the JVC Pro support agency in Johannesburg, who thought of this. Which is just as well, 'cos I'd never have got there on my own.
The socket for the AC adaptor cable has four terminals, two for AC, two for battery. In the middle of the socket is a plastic spring loaded slide that closes the contact for the battery circuit if you plug the AC cable in. After the machine fired up on mains this morning I called Viwe, and he immediately suggested I look at the socket - and sure enough, the yellow plastic isolating ring was missing from the end of the AC cable, and was buried deep in the socket.
It's a big job to remove it. Both sides of the camera off, the battery holder removed, the PS board removed before you can get to the AC board on the RH side. Then you have to de-solder two cables (red and black) on the Terminal board, feed a bundle of cables out through a holding slot in the side. This allows you to remove the AJK board.
The next stage is to de-solder the AC socket from the AJK board, after removing four screws, two internal, and two external by the AC socket. My Serb mate Zoran Kiza who runs a little electronics shop in Harare helped out with this bit, since he's got fine-tip soldering irons and a decent magnifier. You need both of them.
Once the AC socket is removed, you can turn the centre pin through 90 degrees and remove it, and with a judicious application of fiddle can then remove the piece of plastic which is holding the battery circuit contacts apart.
Then all you have to do is put the whole damn thing back together again, making sure that all cables are not trapped when you reassemble the body.
Fire up her, and she's all lights and magic. Halleluljah!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have never used the AC supply before. I can only imagine that the plastic part of the AC jack has become brittle over a year of storage, and snapped off the first time it was used.
In the spirit of the Oscar season, I'd like to thank everyone who has helped with this problem - Sean Adair, here on this board, Kevin Eaton at ProActive in the UK, Mike Turner at JVC in the UK, Craig Yanagi for getting me noticed, and most of all Viwe Gantsho at Inala Broadcast in Johannesburg, who has spent the best part of half a day talking me through the possible options and the route to the solution over the phone for nothing more than a promise of a beer or three when I next go through Egoli.
And my goodness, what a fantastic resource this board is - there's no way I could have got there on my own, and although I can't find reference to anyone else having this particular problem here a series of searches on DVinfo meant I was able to discount a number of other possible causes for this problem.
If anyone wants to run any questions by me on this, please just drop me a line here, and I'll do what I can to help.
Otherwise, it's Over and out. Case closed.
March 4th, 2008, 08:45 AM
Wow Robert, great story (especially since it has a happy ending!) and glad you are up and running again.
I hope that somehow, someone at JVC service gets ahold of this information as it is one of those obscure, but obviously plausible causes of camera malfunction.
I can only imagine the feeling of elation that ran through your body when the camera came to life.
Best of luck,
March 4th, 2008, 09:05 AM
I'm still buzzing! and now I have to start prepping for the shoot in Niger - but it's great to know I'll be using my own camera.
I've emailed Craig Yanagi in the US, and Mike Turner, who heads up engineering services at JVC Pro in the UK, and apologised for slandering their firmware, but gently suggested they might have a look at the quality control on the offending bit of plastic.
So yes, JVC should know about the problem now.
March 4th, 2008, 02:07 PM
Wow, this is great! Thanks so much for posting all this, I was lurking and hoping you could get the issue resolved. Really appreciate you taking the time to document your problem and ultimate solution!
March 4th, 2008, 05:05 PM
Robert - Great news! There are some other posts I found of other people having problems with the switch "sticking" to AC adapter input only. I wonder if these were also related to that ring coming off as well? It sounds as if
Definitely something for people with the 100 series to keep in mind. A/B users usually use the mount on the battery terminals, and of course, 200 series cameras are graced with a real 4-pin xlr.
Robert - thanks for the detailed report on how it was done. Only a few brave souls would go through this type of procedure, but knowledge is a wonderful thing.
February 21st, 2009, 08:48 AM
Fantastic INFART story with nice surpirce end!!!
One questio...to every body...
where is the DOWNLOAD of the last (or old) FIRMWARE for the JVC HD 111 ?????
jvc had delete the page !!! and now have only the FW for the 110 model!!
WHY?!? the 111 is more expansive for the 110...end we have any support ?????
jvc like really lose every custom client...
February 22nd, 2009, 12:41 PM
when you repowered the camera did you remove the SD card with the firmware update on it ? sounds like you left the card in, the camera saw it, and ran the update again.
if you have power on the external DC power connector but not the battery adapter -
the battery adapter is bad ( check for internal fuse )
or its not making contact with the mount
or there is a loose / bad cable or board with the rear power mount.
the fact the camera came back to life after being taken apart / put back together indicates a loose connection problem as the most likely cause, followed by a bad power supply board with an intermittent problem ( cracked board / solder joint / connector problem ).
if you can power up the camera, heating or cooling the PS board may cause it to fail, in which case you at least know what to replace.
maybe JVC can send you a power supply board for swap out, and its related cables.
down the list, maybe you have a bad EEPROM. the factory settings reloaded and the camera booted up, but after update couldn't because its eeprom was bad. letting it sit let the power drain out, reseting something, and the camera came back to life.
I also think there is a small internal battery to keep the clock / TC generator alive, maybe thats bad.