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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).


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Old July 29th, 2010, 03:43 AM   #1
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Disc Loader Issue (It's Real)

I had my loader jam (no eject, error code 20-118) in the beginning of June on my PDW-700. I replaced the entire loader assembly and noticed the part had some gray gears (not all black) and the SE-709 circuit board was a different shape. I suspected that they had re-designed the part to address the widely reported errors with this part. People would get a no eject disk and errors #20-111 or #20-118. For many cameras (the PDW-700/ 800 certainly) this loader assembly part was A-1256-958-D which is now A-1256-958-E.

Turns out that the new loader IS redesigned. The redesigned part has an E suffix. In Sony's Technical Bulletin 20-2010-054 they talk about the loader differences and state:

The new loaders are improved to prevent:
• Damage to the gear if a disc is inserted with excessive force.
• A shift in gear phase if a disc is inserted upside down or if a
strong mechanical shock is applied to the unit during
transport while a disc is inserted.
As a result of the improvements above, the following errors are
minimized, and the disc can be ejected:
Error20-111/Error20-118/Error20-211/Error20-218/
Error20-811/Error20-818/Error20-911/Error20-918

I had heard stories about discs getting jammed after traveling with the camera, but could never track them down. So, turns out you could have a problem at some point... if you are going to some remote location for a shoot you might want to replace this part before you experience a jam. The part alone is $650. I know some great techs that have tried to get the gears back in cadence/ phase after an error with these old loaders to no avail. Once this loader gets out of whack you will probably be dead in the water until you can replace it. Additionally the recommended manual disc eject procedure is unlikely to work and you will have to find the latch release after you remove the side cover of the camera.

Hope this helps everyone... if you had this part replaced recently you may want to check and see if you got an E series. If you have an old loader take care to insert disc correctly and maybe consider removing the disc when you travel. If your next shoot is in Borneo or something exotic you may want to go ahead and get an E series loader.

Cheers,
George
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Last edited by George Griswold; July 29th, 2010 at 03:47 AM. Reason: Clarify
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Old July 29th, 2010, 08:18 PM   #2
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George,
Thank you for finding Technical Bulletin 20-2010-054. As a former 700 now 800 owner, I can attest that it takes time to load these disks properly. They can not be forced and the door shut like a beta cam!!!! The insertion process/alignment is simple but must be done with a light touch until the gears engage and take over and complete the insertion . Try to educate others on the set who might find themselves loading your camera.
Sometimes in the rush of the moment to change a disk, while the $$$$$$ shot happens, will lead to load error codes.
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Old July 29th, 2010, 10:13 PM   #3
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You are right Dennis, you have to really walk new users through a disc load or they will push it to fast, too hard. I ask that after the disc is 3/4 of the way in that they use one or two fingers just as a reminder they are not slamming it home like a U-matic tape.

The disc malfunction occurred when the camera was off during transport. The operator is experienced with the XDCAMs and goes to the instability of the old loader design that has bedeviled some users. Not an education issue in this instance. This bug is unacceptable for a broadcast product especially since Sony has been making tape and disc mechanisms for over 30 years. Then it took them years to get it right.
George
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Old August 1st, 2010, 04:47 PM   #4
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George,
I agree Sony needs to come up to the plate on this one. I must disclose that I'm a member of a user group which is headed by Sony. They call it I.C.E., "Independent Consulting Expert", the last term being subjective.
Let me check in with NJ in the am and I'll relay what I can.
In the mean time I'll check my 800.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 10:53 AM   #5
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Has anybody had this problem with the F-350/355 series?

I've been running my F-350 for years now with no issues so far. Is it a different assembly/part number than the F-700/800's?
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Old August 7th, 2010, 02:40 PM   #6
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According to the service bulletin it is the same part as the 700/800. Your 350 is so much older maybe the loaders made then were not as prone to failure?
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Old August 9th, 2010, 09:31 PM   #7
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Be mindfull of the loader lid

Hey,

We ran into this a couple of years ago with a 355. Make sure your loader lid is not blocked by a camera cover or cable when you eject a disk. We learned on the first one with a new loader.
In the heat of battle it has happened again. The error code comes up panic sets in.
We have found that if one turns off the camera, closes the lid, remove the battery(Cold boot), clear any obstruction (cover), Replace the battery and power the camera up this may fix the issue.

Jon
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Old August 16th, 2010, 01:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Griswold View Post
According to the service bulletin it is the same part as the 700/800. Your 350 is so much older maybe the loaders made then were not as prone to failure?
There were a few disc mechanisms that had issues with the earlier 3xx series, but they were few and far between.

Greg B.
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