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Old June 25th, 2003, 05:28 PM   #1
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What's wrong with my DVX100?!

I was shooting for a commercial for a local jewler today for several hours. When I had it in VCR mode reviewing a few seconds of footage and cuing up for the next shot I noticed I'd lose picture when I fast-forward or rewind. Usually when you fast forward or rewind from play (without hitting stop first) you can see the image....my screen would go blue or the last shot before I hit the button would stay on the screen and stutter as it was ff or rewound untill I hit play again. Then I noticed large horizontal stripes offsetting the picture. I hit stop then play again and they were gone- I figured, I'd continue shooting and see how it works. Soon enough a red circle with an x started flashing in the upper left- so I promptly removed the tape and shut the camera down.
Does anyone know what the heck is going on?!

I'm using Sony DV tapes and have never once mixed tape brands. I'm incredibly, INCREDIBLY anal and carefull with equipment as well. How can this be happening with less than 20 logged on this camera so far!
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Old June 25th, 2003, 05:45 PM   #2
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Found it in the manual it says- "This flashes when the cylinder head is dirty". In other words my "heads" are dirty?! What theeee?! How could that be. Maybe Sony tapes are crap for the DVX. Anyone have this problem when using Sony tapes? I think I remember a member mentioning this- and he ran the head cleaner and switched to Panasonic MQ tapes, and never looked back. If this is the case, hopefully it's that easy to fix. Anyone have any input on this?
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Old June 25th, 2003, 06:20 PM   #3
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Hey Glenn, this was brought up a few times a while ago in this thread. Do a search for 'red x' or something under the AG-DVX100 forum. Some other people experienced this before and I believe a change in tape helped them too. But do a search on it since I don't remember exactly. Hope it gets resolved.
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Old June 25th, 2003, 06:42 PM   #4
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Chris, yeah I did do a search prior to posting this because I did find that thread. The problem is no one really resolved it- they were all speculations, and most of them just had the symbol flashing and that was it. Mine was accompanied by rewind/ff oddities and horizontal bars (digital artifact'like) in my footage which seemed to be intermitted. It be there, then I'd hit stop then play again and it'd be fine.

I'll try and call Panasonic customer support tomorrow- hopefully they'll offer me somewhat more of a stock answer than- "oh you should be using only Panasonic tapes" or something along those lines. I'd like to know why my $3,500 camera is malfuntioning with only 20 hours of delicate use.

The only other thing I can think of that might have contributed was the temperature. It was hot and humid today. I know if you go from hot into air conditioning that can cause a problem- but usually thats condensation. It clearly wasn't showing a condensation warning it was showing one that would designate dirty heads. I'm wondering if the temperature of the environment I was shooting in had a part to do with it. If so, can I just store my camera in a cool dry environment tonight and alleviate the problem? Or do I have to do the whole tape cleaner, brand switch to MQ thing?!
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Old June 26th, 2003, 05:43 AM   #5
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Glen,

given that you've stuck to using one brand of tape, your "dirty head" problem is puzzling. One would hope that regardless of which brand tape you use, the tapes wouldn't cause a problem, provided you don't mix brands, as you haven't.

That said, having run 20 some Panasonic MQ tapes through my camera so far, I haven't had a problem. So who knows, maybe there is something to be said for using the MQ's.

Perhaps Pana discovered a way to have the heads deliberately clog when they detect any rival brand tape running over them? : )

As for the humidity issue, I've read reports of the DVX coming through with flying colors after use in harsh environs, both cold and hot, so I'd guess the humidity probably didn't cause the problem, unless of course, the heat adversely affected the Sony tape formulation.

Anyway, best of luck getting things straightened out and keep us posted on your solution.
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Old June 26th, 2003, 12:18 PM   #6
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well that lil x DOES mean dirty heads, as its the standard symbol for Pana across the board...

I use Pana DVM60 tapes, and USED to have a problem, but now its all good... most of the newer cams have issues but clogging is quite common, especially when the cam is stored in dusty environments....

i actually had a HAIR in my viewfinder, had the tap it for a hundred or so times to get it out of view..... so its not immune to particles and crap if a hair can geting into an almost airtight gap...
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Old June 26th, 2003, 01:37 PM   #7
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Yeah dusty & dirty environments are one of the elements that contribute to dirty heads. Ironicly enough I'm probably the most anal DVX100 owner on the planet. I never let the DVX100 sit out while not using it. When I put a tape in and/or take a tape out I do it as quickly as possible making sure not to have the deck open for any length of time. I do the same thing with the tapes, I make sure they go right from the camera directly into their storage cases. Even with ALL that I ended up getting a dirty head message at the 20 hour mark. UGH! I've used my GL-1 extensively for almost 2 years and STILL have yet to have a problem with the heads. Maybe it IS something to do with sony tapes and the Panasonic- though, yet again, there have been many people that use sony tapes and don't have problems as long as they don't mix tapes- I unfortunatly am not one of them.
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