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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old December 3rd, 2002, 04:21 PM   #1
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Repairing or not repairing, need help

Hello,

I was very happy with my XL1 filming volcanoes since 1998, but the last eruption of Mt Etna (with a lot of very fine ashes) was fatal for my camera.

Apparently Canon (Switzerland) needs to change the recorder unit DY1-8030-000000 (DMC) for about 930.- US$. It's far from the price of camera new body Xl1s (PAL) but it's for me a big amount. I fear that other part can break, loosing my investment. I would like to know what to do and if anybody has already change the recorder unit, any feedback will be appreciate. I need to take a decision quickly because at the beginning of the next year I going to see another volcanoes with a lava lake ( hopefully without ashes…).

Thank in advance for any comments.

Pierre
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Old December 3rd, 2002, 04:39 PM   #2
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Pierre,
Well, at least the camera died in battle! Nobody can really tell you what you should do. If it were me and I could swing a new XL1s I'd take that route. It sounds like your XL1 became clogged-up with fine ash and, from a practical perspective, unlike a simple mechanical failure it will be hard for Canon to rid the camera of all of that gunk even if they replace the recorder and transport subsystem. Intuition (but not knowledge) tells me that some other problem relating to the ash will eventually pop-up in the future.
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Old December 4th, 2002, 06:59 AM   #3
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Pierre,

Are you near the Canon Service Centre? If so go talk to them and ask to see what they do to replace the DMC.

The DMC holds the Loading Motor, Mode Switch, Video Head, Drum Mortor, & Capstan Motor.

To remove the DMC Canon must take the camera apart. The must clean the camera before the put it back together.

Because the DMC is the primary mechanical area of the camera, that is where you will have the most problems during the life time of the camera.

Considering what I have looked at in the Canon Service Manual, I would have the camera repaired and cleaned.

What sits on the back of the DMC is the "main PCB". Canon should inspect this real close when they do the repair.

Something else that you might consider is the warranty after the repair. How long?
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Old December 4th, 2002, 09:03 AM   #4
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Not being a volcanologist, is there anything corrosive about volcanic ash? The main PCB would be susceptible to corrosion. Damage from the corrosion would show up over time and not be readily apparent upon initial inspection.

Jeff
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Old December 4th, 2002, 09:47 AM   #5
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Well!

Ya gotta good point about corrosion.

http://www.google.com/search?as_q=co...h=&safe=images

The URL above has some pretty good info. Though it would take some time for the ash to begin its corrosive cycle and for the corrosion to cause enough damage to effect the circuits. The abrasive properties of ash is another negative consideration.

I believe that I shall withdraw my initial suggestion in part.

Typically when a PCB is subjected to dirt or oils it is washed in a bath of warm distilled water with about 2% alcohol and dried with a hair blower.

I would probably be temped to replace the XL-1 with another XL-1 body if I couldn't get up the money for the XL-1S body.

Sometimes there are some good deals on the XL-1 at ebay.com.

Bob
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Old December 4th, 2002, 04:29 PM   #6
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Hello,
Thank all for the answers, very appreciated.

In particular the technical point of view about what is the DMC. Bob thanks . Corrosion can be a problem but I have the feeling in my case it's more "mechanical" (abrasion etc), with the loading of the tape blocked.

The warranty offered is about six monthes.

Can you explain me what is the PBC unit? I will try to call the Canon service.

Pierre

[This forum is great, thank also the organizer (Chris and others)].
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Old December 5th, 2002, 02:43 PM   #7
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Pierre,

The Main PCB is a Printed Circuit Board that fits to the back of the chassis that the DMC is attached to.

The DMC is the box that is just behind where you insert the tape into the tape carrier. Behind the DMC is the Recorder Holder which the DMC is attached to by screws. The Main PCB is attached to the Recorder Holder with screws.

The Main PCB is very interesting. It is actually 6 layers of circuits. This board controls and assists other boards in the camera.

Just about every "mechanical" function connects to a sub PCB which connects to the Main PCB.

The connector CN2001 links the Main PCB to the DMC Unit with about 6 more connectors.

The Main PCB is the most complex circuit board in the Canon XL-1. The XL-1S Main PCB is even more complex. But like anything if ya only look at one view at a time, it is rather simple electroniks.

Because the camera has to be seperated (taken apart), I would keep it and pay for the service. I am sure that Canon will clean the XL-1 to new specifications.

The DMC is the critical part of the camera. So you are actually getting a new camera in a sense.

Ask Canon about replacing the Main PCB while they have the camera apart. You might find it cost effective to have that part replaced.

Also, if you plan on keeping that camera for two more years ask Canon what they would recommed replacing or repairing while the camera is in their hands.

Regards,
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