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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.

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Old September 10th, 2008, 12:21 AM   #16
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Hi David

Yes, the start of the zoom-out was smooth on my machine too, and occasionally advantageous. But very inconvenient when your subject is wildlife that doesn't usually hang around until the zoom decides to work again. One of the last things I used the camera for was a parade in which children were carrying giant models of butterflies. The whole thing was shot in wide-angle because the zoom didn't give me any choice.
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Old January 21st, 2009, 10:53 PM   #17
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Recent Zoom Repair Bad Experience

Zoom died on one of my GL2s. I sent the GL2 to an authorized repairman after calling him and explaining I needed it back in three weeks on "X" date for a TV taping. I did print out this thread to help the guy figure things out. Over two weeks later and the repairman hadn't called and camera isn't back to me yet. I called and the repairman tells me he didn't even know it arrived 16 days earlier. But looking around he found it. He calls me back a day later (he must have heard me swearing before the phone made it to the hook) to tell me the zoom was dirty and he fixed it by cleaning it. $26 to ship it to him overnight, $99 to the repairman to clean the zoom, $20 to have it shipped back.

Two weeks later and my zoom is back to having a mind of its own.

Aarg with crappy authorized camera repairmen.

I'll send it to Canon next time.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 05:19 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Michelle Genrich View Post
I'll send it to Canon next time.
Don't. Order the parts, and do it yourself, it's fairly easy. If you're not the handy type person, take the cam and the parts to a LOCAL electronics service place and ask for their best handy-man (or ask your friends for a referral).

It's an hour or so of work, lots of technicians would be glad to pocket $100 and everyone will be happy.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #19
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GL2 zoom died

Follow-up to my last post:

I am now on my THIRD zoom control. The first one had a microscopic crack in the flex circuit. The replacement eventually failed. Just recently I ordered two more just to have stock on hand and did another replacement.

So far, my list of chronic GL2 problems are failing zoom controls and the cassette deck problem.


Originally Posted by James Holtzman View Post
What I discovered when my rocker zoom failed, I had no zoom control at all, the cam would stay at wide angle. What I found, one end of the potentiometer in the zoom rocker had opened. It was the equivelent of holding the rocker down in the wide angle position, it overroad the LINC and the zoom control on the handle. Once I went inside the camera and unplugged the flex connector, the camera was ok. I made a temp repair of the broken flex circuit to prove that the defective assembly was the cause of the problem, I then ordered a new rocker assembly. You will find several posts on this forum where others have replaced the rocker. The price from Canon was under $14 if I recall.

Hope this helps - Jim
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Old October 10th, 2009, 05:34 AM   #20
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How do you find out the local "parts" phone number?

Thanks to Lynn for the great explanation and photos (I think you missed mentioning a couple more screws that need to come out before the whole side will come off, but it becomes quite obvious as you go along) - I'm a tinkerer, but I wouldn't have dared disassemble my camera that far without the reassurance that I could do it without hurting the head alignment or some other thing that I can't fix without special tools or instruments. Also, thanks to Jim Holtzman for this comment: "Once I went inside the camera and unplugged the flex connector, the camera was ok." That was a nice tip - it's good to know for sure what part is broken before trying to get a new one; plus, it enables me to use my camera in the meantime with either the top buttons or my Varizoom in the LANC port, neither of which was possible while the rocker was connected.

In my case, my zoom lasted longer than most of yours - my camera is almost seven years old! But the failure was not at all intermittent - five minutes before the beginning of a wedding (Murphy's law), it suddenly quit all at once and forever. At first it decided to slowly zoom *IN*, something none of you mentioned. After I turned it off and banged on it in various ways, hoping to have some effect, it decided to zoom slowly OUT, the symptom reported by the rest of you. I quickly swapped it with my second camera that was to be unmanned, and used the Canon unmanned in wide mode for the wedding. But then when I moved it to the reception, every time I would cycle power, it would start out zooming out, but about 1-2 minutes later (while I wasn't watching it, of course) it would change its mind and zoom in, eventually staring at a small part of the back wall or someone's head until I would check it again, cycle power, see it go wide, put it in place again, and go back to manning my other camera, after which it would soon zoom in again. It was nuts! One time I got lucky, as someone said, that the very slow zoom was pleasing in appearance, but...

Now I need to figure out how to get the part in Japan. In this culture, only experts are entrusted with fixing things - DIY is almost unheard of. So there is no "parts" phone number on the Canon website, and searching on the part number produced no websites in Japan, even third party ones or other forum discussions like this one. For the U.S., Lynn provided the phone number, but in other countries, how did you find out who to contact to order the part? Or Lynn, how did you find out the number for the U.S.? I'll try calling the support department on Monday, but I'm almost sure they'll tell me that I can't repair my own camera but have to send it in.

Oh, and BTW, I too have what I assume is the same "cassette deck problem" that Jim mentioned - it sometimes orders me to eject the tape for no reason. I also get glitches in the data that look like the typical result of dirty heads, even right after Canon has replaced the head assembly (so I know it's clean, or at least should be). I have had three repairs trying to fix that, and one of those repairs was supposed to have fixed the Eject Tape problem, but both problems stay with me. However, I have used and abused this beloved camera for seven years, and until I found this post, I was concerned that I would have to give it up. Now I hope to get a couple more years out of it until the world of HD matures more (I'm not yet happy with what I see available in that regard, so I'm patient to wait and do more SD for a while). Thanks again!
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Old October 10th, 2009, 08:15 AM   #21
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I found the phone number on another thread on this site. I'm not sure where to look otherwise.

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Old October 23rd, 2009, 01:28 AM   #22
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Not responding to new rocker

I managed to get the part here in Japan - it cost 2100 yen (about US$23) and I picked it up at the Canon service center in my city. The cable is green instead of blue, but otherwise it looks the same.

And while I was replacing the part, I kept track of what screws I missed the first time, for the benefit of those who will read this thread later. One was mentioned in Lynn's text but just didn't have a handy red arrow, and the other is not mentioned at all. The attached file is a screenshot from Lynn's instructions with yellow circles around the two screws, in case anyone can't figure out why the side of their camera won't come off. I still say kudos to Lynn for excellent instructions!

Okay, now for my real question. I replaced the rocker, neatly sliding the connector into its socket and taping the cable down so that it doesn't get snagged, and put it all back together. But it acts like the rocker is still not connected - I can use the zoom buttons on the handle, but the new rocker doesn't do anything. Has anyone had this experience? Is the connector sensitive to just the right orientation in the socket, stubborn to get all the way in, or something? It seemed pretty simple to slide it in there with needle-nose pliers, but... Before I assume my new part is bad, I want to find out if I just missed something.
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GL2 zoom died-additional_screws.jpg  
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 06:33 AM   #23
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Oops! My problem same as Matt Sawyers

Update: At first it seemed that the top buttons worked and the camera did not have a mind of its own, but later it was definitely back to its old tricks, starting out zoomed out and then a couple minutes later slowly zooming in on its own. I remembered that one person had to replace a second part, so I re-read the thread to refresh my memory. It was Matt Sawyers (see his posts on page 1 of the thread) - he discovered that another ribbon cable was bad in that same area, so he replaced an additional assembly that had more of the ribbons. I took mine apart again and peered closely at the assembly he is talking about - there is a small ribbon cable that takes a lot of abuse when the tape door opens and closes (interestingly, the ribbon of the zoom rocker doesn't move at all, so I'm not sure why that's the part that fails most often). The attached file shows the ribbon when the door is closed (left) and when it is open (right). At first it was unclear whether the connectors inside it were broken or not, but soon after those photos were taken, with only very gentle handling on my part just to look more closely at it, it came apart completely in that crease spot. So I apparently bought and replaced the wrong part in my case (I'll never know if the rocker had problems also or not, as I had to sign a waiver of warranty when I bought the part). Matt, if you are still monitoring this thread, can you tell me whether the part you got (DG1-4455-010, you said) is the circuit boards and ribbons (and you screw them onto to the metal door hinge contraption) or if it's the whole contraption?
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Old October 24th, 2009, 05:52 AM   #24
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Assuming the original construction was OK, ribbon cable often fail due to flexing (especially at tight bends) and stress at the connector.

On the other hand, switches may fail at the contacts, typically through wear, but some may fail through accumulation of foreign materials that prevent reliable contact.
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Old November 7th, 2009, 12:08 AM   #25
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Orange circuit board - best glue?

I ordered the part Matt also got, and it's just the orange circuit board with various buttons and several ribbon connectors extending out from it. See the attached photo of the new part in front of the original assembly - attaching it to the metal will be a delicate operation. Another person, whose forum account hasn't been activated yet so he wrote to me directly, has the same problem as Matt and me, so it's contagious! ;-) Seriously, though, I'm not surprised, as the orange ribbon that folds over every time the tape door is opened seems much more likely to break than the rocker.

So my next question (Matt, are you listening?) is what kind of glue would be best to use to attach it to the metal? It has slightly thicker plastic pads on the back to keep certain sections flat, and there are five tiny screws that assist in holding them, but those flat sections are also very obviously glued down. Any suggestions? Matt, how did you glue it to the metal? Or other people, how did you glue the blue/green rocker ribbon - it is also glued, so all of you would have the same issue. (I tried using Scotch tape on my rocker ribbon, but that isn't working very well.)
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GL2 zoom died-dg1-4455-010.jpg  
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Old November 8th, 2009, 09:33 AM   #26
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Never mind about the glue... but no response!

First I'll ask my newest question, and then tell you the followup on my previous post.

I put it all back together again with the new circuit board, but it would appear that nothing controlled by that circuit board works (or the switches aren't lined up or something). If I move the power switch to camera mode, nothing happens, as if the Standby/Lock switch was in Lock position. In playback mode, it turns on, but switching between tape and card does nothing (continues to expect me to put in a tape). It also doesn't detect opening of the tape compartment door. All of these controls are on that circuit board. Did anyone else have this problem? Yes, I connected the long ribbon cable between the side section and the rest of the camera, in case you were about to ask that. Tomorrow I'll try taking it back apart and inspecting it, but meanwhile, if there are any words of wisdom out there, I'm all ears. I thought I was pretty careful to get everything right, and I did a pretty good visual inspection of the metal contraption and its relationship to the buttons/switches, so I don't expect to find anything new tomorrow, so I thought I'd get the question out there (since most of you are in completely different timezones).

Okay, now for followup about adhesives and such, mostly for the benefit of the "next guy"...

Dummy! I should have tried taking the old circuit board off first, before assuming the need for some type of glue. Once I took the screws out of the old one, I discovered that the plastic plates were not glued at all. There is one spot on the critical ribbon cable where it should be affixed with an adhesive, but I discovered that the new part came with double-sided tape already on it. It would appear that the old one had come apart in that spot, which might have contributed to the ribbon breaking. Also, I discovered that the ribbon to the rocker also came with double-sided tape - I had been so oblivious that I used Scotch tape on it without even noticing what was on the back!

The screws holding the circuit board in place had a type of glue on the ends to keep the screws from shaking out - four of the screws had one type (blue) which was fairly soft, but the fifth screw had a red type that was unbelievably strong - it required many applications of "Oops" alternated with trying to unscrew it without stripping the head, but I finally got it all the way out. Once I replaced the circuit board, I used clear fingernail polish (which I have used for years as a substitute for Loctite) on the screw ends and let it air out for several hours before putting the assembly in the camera, in case there were fumes or something that would settle on delicate parts like the tape head.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 08:12 PM   #27
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Need my eyes checked...

When I got the camera back open this morning, I knew that the first thing I should check is the connection between the circuit board and the rest of the camera (because all right side controls were non-functioning). Yup - that was it. The way the new one is colored, the front and back sides of the connector look much more similar than on the old one (on the old one the back side was black, but on the new one it was a subtle silvery orange, which looks a lot like the front unless you put on your strongest reading glasses). After turning the connector around, everything appears to work, including zoom. :-)
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Old May 21st, 2012, 09:02 AM   #28
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Re: Oops! My problem same as Matt Sawyers

Originally Posted by Karen Ellrick View Post
Matt, if you are still monitoring this thread, can you tell me whether the part you got (DG1-4455-010, you said) is the circuit boards and ribbons (and you screw them onto to the metal door hinge contraption) or if it's the whole contraption?
D'oh, nope haven't really been monitoring the thread, but I think I will now. Otherwise you can e-mail me if necessary - matt (at) <my user name here> (dot) com

The part I got (DG1-4455-010) is the circuit boards and ribbon cable only (no rocker switch) Yep, it screws right into the assembly, no need to glue down. There is a sticky underside at one of the ends that plugs into a receiving connector to keep it from falling out.
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