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Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
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Old June 28th, 2003, 09:08 AM   #1
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Looking for advice dv953

Purchased the underwater housing for the MX5000 to use for my new DV953, (sounded like a good idea to me?). Well no workee, nothing on the unit will work the appropriate camera functions,However i found a fellow dv'er nearby that helped out and had the MX and his worked the controls, so now i know the housing is operable. MY question is, with your guys knowledge do you think a quality repair shop could get this to at least get the external mic to get sound (the remote can operate the rest). Thanks for the help and your time.
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Old June 29th, 2003, 01:21 AM   #2
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Well, no one's answered your post, and I cannot help you either, other than suggesting you contact Panasonic. Stuart is a good man who just might be able to help you. His e-mail:

stuartc@panasonic.com.au
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Old June 29th, 2003, 10:57 AM   #3
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Reply to mic

Thanks for the reply Frank, Pana can not help in the states they refer me to the area in which the part was bought (Japan), Japan wont help because i have to call them from an area inside Japan(at least thats what appears when i tried to contact them). I think i am going to try and wire up a new mic and see if that will work and then go from there. Thanks again!
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Old July 13th, 2003, 10:47 PM   #4
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953

I am getting ready to buy a housing for my 953. Which housing should I buy. I have been told the spdj3 or the spmx50. Bruce which housing do you have? Have you gotten the problem fixed yet?
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Old July 14th, 2003, 05:30 PM   #5
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As a matter of fact i have not repaired the housing (or made it work at least, for the 953), I tried a couple of things and ran it by a reputable shop but was unsuccessful, i ran out of time before my trip. The SPMX-50 is made for the sister unit MX 5000, thats made and sold in Japan, so it would be logical to think that it would work but it does not. You may run the unit with the remote, but you wont get sound, so the next thing i will try is to locate a power source(external battery module) to run this or a new mike that will fit in the mike enclosure of the housing. I hope this is'nt to confusing. Previous Post about Stuart did not have anything further to say other than what i have written,I wish he did, it's some anomoly between the two units.
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Old July 14th, 2003, 06:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
The SPMX-50 is made for the sister unit MX 5000, thats made and sold in Japan, so it would be logical to think that it would work but it does not.
This is interesting. I'll take note of it...funny, the cams are so similar yet the all-weather housing seems to suggest otherwise. Thanks!
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Old July 14th, 2003, 08:51 PM   #7
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advise about housing

I was talking to Walt Stagner of MX source. He assures me the vw-spmx50 is the correct housing for the 953. However he says only the basics will work. Play, Record On, off and the mic.

He has refered me to this web page. http://www.supervideo.com/panadigicam.htm
Even though it is for the 3000 he says the info on the operation is the same.

I am getting ready to buy one and your post has me worried. I don't want to throw money down the drain. Good luck
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Old July 14th, 2003, 10:29 PM   #8
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Well i dont know how to respond to Mr. Stagner, the only thing he left off is the tele and the photoshot button if this were the case that would be great. I have taken the unit to another DV'er and his MX worked the the housing, and everything on my camcorder works, but it will not work the housing. The housing [fits] exactly because of the footprint of the cams being the same. In another forum they are talking about how the MX has a hot shoe for the mic(maybe a powered plug in for mic) and that the USB is somehow different (a micro system link?) i dont know about that, but something is. The housing has three buttons on the back and also a slide lever for the wide/tele, Also just the USB and mic connection, I wish i could attach a pic for you. I purchased the housing from a Tim Selander in Japan i believe he posts here when hes not working. Also i read where Price Japan is used also but they seem more difficult to use.
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Old July 15th, 2003, 07:24 AM   #9
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vd953 housing issues

I will let you know. I have just placed my order with price japan. So far it was very easy and painless. If the mic does not work, it will not be a deal breaker for me. Most of the stuff I want to shoot is less than 15 feet of water and sound would be mostly from other boaters in the area, (not a pretty noise). I hope you get yours figured out. I will post again when I get mine.
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Old July 24th, 2003, 05:22 PM   #10
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underwater housing

OK just to let everyone know I got my housing and it does not work with the 953. I have not given up YET.
I wonder if anyone out there has translated the housing manual yet. Thanks Dean
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Old August 5th, 2003, 10:30 AM   #11
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underwater housing

Ok I have been busy trying to figure out what is wrong with the PV-DV953 and the underwater housing. I have just had it confirmed by the Chuckmeister that Pana stripped the circuit for the underwater housisng out of the 953. So that is another difference between the two cameras. I believe the port is fully function when used by the computer software so the problem may simply be that the factory cut the power to the port. I will look into making a widget which will supply the power for the housing. Hope this helps anyone else out there who may be thinking of buying a housing.
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Old August 5th, 2003, 07:55 PM   #12
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I am relieved

Not that your housing does not work but that same thing is wrong with mine! I,ve come up with an idea to purchase a battery module to go in between the microphone and the 953 mic input jack this should enable the mic. Of course this will not do anything for the rest of the housing buttons but i have used the housing underwater with the wireless remote and its a pretty good workaround.
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Old August 5th, 2003, 08:15 PM   #13
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These problems with the housing sound quite strange as I would expect the differences in the cameras MX5000/PV953 be only internal, not in terms of buttons/layout.

Anyway, I would like to add some more questions regarding housings. I need a housing for at least 30m/90feet, such as the ones offered for JVC (strangly, as they both belong to Matsushita).

Previously I used Sony cams and housings are readiy available from a number of different suppliers.

Personally I'm fond of Ikelite which could make a housing for a Panasonic. But that would mean that I would have to send in my camera. Not practical as I'm living in Thailand.

Any ideas/suggestions? Most housing manufactures are based in the US, but have not caught up with Panasonic yet.
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Old August 5th, 2003, 09:33 PM   #14
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underwater housing

Hi Bruce, Ok here is what I have identified so far. I believe the problem with the housing not working is simply that the 5 volts are missing from the camera. I plan to get my o'scope out tomorrow and will verify this. If I am correct all we need to do is add a 5 volt battery to the circuit board. I assume you have already opened the cover on the small gray camera tray. The front circuit board has the connection we need. If you look very closely you will see a solder point labeled "A Gnd" This is were the negative side of the battery will go. The positive side will go to the yellow wire which comes from the Mini USB connector. It is labeled "JW5" on one side or "Y" on the other side. I would recommend disconnecting the yellow wire from the circuit board before you connect the camera to it. In case I am wrong we don't want to apply voltage back to the camera. This should enable everything. I plan on hooking up my oscope to verify the board has power and we are generating a signal when we push a button. Should you get excited and try something before I do please let me know what you learn. Thanks

Joao - Before I decided to try the Panasonic solution I looked at underwater housing made by several other companies. The best one I found was at www.aquavideo.com They are located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida USA. I did not go for it based on the cost.
Several other companies make housings but I do not believe they will go as deep as you want.
I am not sure why Ikelite would require you to send your camera to them? I like Ikelite myself but after looking at their web site it does not appear that they work with Pana very often.
I wonder if you have considered carrying lights with you plus batteries. I do not know what your application is but just a reminder that very little light reaches down to 100 feet. Especially red. Hope this helps.
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Old August 6th, 2003, 03:45 AM   #15
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Hi Dean,

I've given up on Ikelite. They have housings for Sony, JVC and Canon. For Pana only custom made, with camera sent to them. They won't send you a semi-finished housing (meaning with controls to be fitted/adjusted by the customer, even if expressed that I would do it at my OWN risk). I know of companies that would do this.

As for Aquavideo, I already had a bad experience. Got a Sony TRV900 housing shipped from them with extremely bad finishing and no red filter. It looked like it was made by a blind man with 2 left hands (no ofense to the left-handers meant).Never got any reply to my emails/complaints.

At this stage, I'm not interested in lights as I do most of my diving/shooting above 20m.

Actually I would like to get a more "universal" housing as the camera is most likely to have a shorter life than the housing. It would be nice to be able to use the housing with a different camera if necessary. Even if it means that controls layout is not perfect.

I'm open to ideas/suggestions. Thanks.
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