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Old May 20th, 2009, 06:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Ridgewood, NJ
Posts: 15
FS100 won't startup


I have a FS100 which I've used infrequently but alway successfully. I forget which software version it is, but I think it's current or close to it. I haven't turned it on since last August but it's been sitting in a Pelican case with my HVX200. I need it for a job tomorrow. I put a battery on it, plugged it in to charge, and tried turning it on. No go. Changed batteries, still plugged into AC and tried again. Still no go. Took the battery off and just had the AC plugged in. Still no go. There's an orange light on top next to 'charge', but it won't power up. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks, Herb Forsberg
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Old May 20th, 2009, 08:17 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Speculative suggestions only.

In storage.

A dry solder joint previously hanging on due to flow of current and movement has gone open with a bit of oxidation. - Return to vendor for warranty or repair.

The battery connectors might have gone resistive due to oxidisation. If there is an isolating switch for when the unit is operated without the battery connected, the contacts in this may have become resistive. - Slide a battery on and off several times to wear the contacts in any switch and also to polish the contact surfaces on the battery. If you can get at the battery contacts, give them a clean. - If still no go, return to vendor for warranty or repair.

The charger/power supply connection in bottom of the unit may have a resistive switch. Without any power connected, shove the plug in and out about 10 times. - If still no go return to vendor for warranty or repair.

Both batteries may need a long charge - discharge cycle to restore them if they have been stored flat but your suggestion that the problem remains without batteries connected suggests another problem. However the charger on its own also may not be rated to run the unit on its own only charge flat batteries. - If perservence with the batteries does not work, return to vendor for warranty or repair.

Connections to internal hard drive may have become resistive due to lack of use. - Return to vendor for warranty or repair.

Internal hard drive may have a stuck motor due to long period of storage. - Using a wrist action while holding the unit, oscillate the unit rapidly back and forth in a rotating motion which is parallel to the front face of the unit. - This may fix it for a few more uses but it cannot be relied upon as such faults usually get worse. - Return to vendor for warranty or repair.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 08:50 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Ridgewood, NJ
Posts: 15
It came back to life

Mr. Hart,

Thank you very much for attempting to assist me with this matter - very generous of you. As it turns out, I left the unit plugged in and charging overnight. The next morning when I turned it on it still didn't turn on; I removed the battery, but it still didn't come on; then I unplugged it and put the fully charged battery on and it started up. After that I plugged it back in to ac, while running, and removed the battery and it kept running.

This particular bit of kit is a bit too finicky in its operation for me to provide it as an option to my clients any longer. I've heard that Abel Cine Tech has removed it from its rental inventory for similar reasons. It's great when it's working, but the unpredictablility is beyond the realm of professional standards.

Again, thank you for your assistance.

Herb Forsberg
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 09:40 AM   #4
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Posts: 4,299

The product does have its peculiarities but when in frequent use has been reliable and predictable in my experience.

My experiences of problems have all been of the uncontrollable third agency kind - the human hand of another, frying the camera firewire port or internal settings having been changed as the person went on a menu tour trying to get the disk to mount to the computer and changing settings along the way.

This came about through clients taking out the camera or DR-100 to capture or download their footage to their own editing systems, not such a good business plan as it has turned out.

The firewire plug at the JVC camera is an achilles heel. My personal preference would be to glue the plug into the camera socket by its shield with non-hardening bathroom sealer, not the acrid smelly silicon stuff because that uses some sort of acetic acid as a catalyst.

I think it may be one of the those use it or lose it things on two levels :-

Lack of usage does things to appliances and batteries once they are out of their sealed shipping enclosures and enter the real world. Sometimes they are baulky on startup after a long sleep.

If you do not use the appliance frequently, then your operating skills remain investigatory and do not have a chance to become and remain intuitive.

Combine these two factors and frustration quickly builds.

If you have the time, fit the DR-100 up to the camera and operate the combination at least once a fortnight. As I understand things, lithium batteries should be kept charged and not stored in a discharged state like nicad batteries. Hopefully somebody who knows batteries better may correct me on this.

Hot swapping the power source during operation is not something I would recommend for any appliance. A surge or noisy disconnect could fry something in the DR-100 which might then cascade across to the camera via that cranky firewire port. The DR-100 is a disk drive with a little computer managing it and doing a codec conversion on the fly. Would you switch your desktop computer off at the wall or connect a big electric heater to the same power outlet and turn it on and off?

It seems like you rent the DR-100 and camera out. This is a little like the camera and DR-100 here. People who rent or borrow sometimes can be a little careless or clumsy.

If you are renting out and not operating the combination exclusively yourself, then I would be inclined to partially agree with your comment of not providing it as an option for clients. But if you are renting out the JVC camera, especially for captures to mac computers via firewire, then you may find youself repairing more firewire ports that the DR-100 may have otherwise saved.

I hope your fortunes improve or are sustained in these financially straitened times.

FOOTNOTE: My observational skills are a bit deficient. I have been relating experiences of the DR-100 and irts partner JVC GY-HD*** camera. The FS100 is a closely related but not identical product. Hopefully, the comments have been of assistance and not sent you down a dead-end.

Last edited by Bob Hart; May 23rd, 2009 at 12:08 AM. Reason: error
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