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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old October 29th, 2005, 07:52 AM   #1
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Can a drowned FX1 be repaired?

I have an FX1 that was in my basement when a flood covered it with 6-ft of fresh water. It was not under power at the time.

I can see water in the lens.

Can Sony make it whole again? Any idea on how much it will cost?

BTW, flood isurance, which I had, is all but useless. Buried in the fine print is a clause stating very limited coverage for basments. Why sell me 50K in protection that can never be collected on?
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Old October 29th, 2005, 08:39 AM   #2
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I am really sorry to hear that. I just lost a camcorder too, but it was a cheapie. The only advice I have is not to turn it on! That can short circuit it.
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Old October 29th, 2005, 04:43 PM   #3
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I'd say it's dead.
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Old October 29th, 2005, 08:34 PM   #4
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complex issue. maybe it's dead, but i revived a digital photo camera after a beer bath ;-)

ask your local repair center, or do it yourself.
if you do it yourself, it's your risk...

1) you need to act fast: the water was probably no 100% clean water, therefore some acid is surely in the water. the longer it's in there ...

2) get *all* batteries out. as i've heard there is a small battery for some settings (time, etc.) in the camera - this may have killed some circuits until now.

3) open it as far as you need in order to let the water out - no more

4) do this in a room with low humidity (heated small room)

5) after the water is out. leave the optics alone

6) don't touch the ccd, hope there is no water in there, if there is you may be screwed, cleaning it is hard and should be done with air only. (no touch)

7) wipe the electronics dry. have no fear of the electronics, but take care.

8) the optics sould be cleand by a professional, in order to re-assemble properly (if there is really water in there)

9) let it dry overnight

10) if you see/hear water (use some bright light) let it dry some more

11) if the parts are dry - reassemble
(wait another day after you seem sure they are dry)

12) put the small battery in

13) try it

better be lucky ;-)

it may be possible to revive it this way but it definitely depends on the time in the water and the case of the camera.

i was lucky there was nearly no water between the lenses and the ccd and none on the ccd.

i wish you luck!!!
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Old October 29th, 2005, 10:51 PM   #5
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Bake It !

Really sorry to hear that. The advice that Armin gives you is sound advice and worth to follow.

However, I would say the following. When problems are so bad, you need dramatic solutions.

I once almost lost an expensive Super 8 sound camera due to flooding. It was all wet. I know there is much less (or there was) electronics in a Super 8 camera. But it is still a camera. Basically, I "baked" the camera in an oven for about 24 hours. It came back to life !

Doing so, it is still extremely risky. However, do all the safety things that Armin recommended specially removing all batteries. Also, when I said I "baked" the camera, I did not really mean I put it there under 500 degrees. That would be insane. I just warm up the oven, not really hot, and switched it off, then I put the camera inside until it dried up completely. A couple of times, I removed the camera and warmed the oven again and switched it off before putting the camera back in there to keep it drying as fast as possible.

As Armin suggests, time is of the essence. And it really is. You need to have the water evaporated as soon as possible, all of it, because the longer it stays in there, the less chance is that you will revive your camera. Important, never leave the oven on with the camera inside. And make sure you live alone in the house because if someone inadvertendly switches the oven on, be ready to include a side dish for dinner -perhaps a couple of HDV Sony tapes 'alla Parmegiana' with the roasted FX-1

Good luck and please keep us posted. And about the insurance, they are really insane and sometimes I feel it is a rip-off !

* Ideally the oven should be heated at the maximum operating temperature of the camera to avoid melting any of the electronic circuitry. Check the camera manual for this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Cascio
I have an FX1 that was in my basement when a flood covered it with 6-ft of fresh water. It was not under power at the time.

I can see water in the lens.

Can Sony make it whole again? Any idea on how much it will cost?

BTW, flood isurance, which I had, is all but useless. Buried in the fine print is a clause stating very limited coverage for basments. Why sell me 50K in protection that can never be collected on?

Last edited by Augusto Manuel; October 30th, 2005 at 06:25 PM.
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Old October 30th, 2005, 02:33 AM   #6
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1) baking may be an option, a sauna too, any very warm room/space may do

2) don't put the optics into an oven, there is normally no/little electronics in there, you should be able to dry it in a better way - however if you a careful ;-)
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Old October 30th, 2005, 02:47 PM   #7
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Another idea

The conventional advice is to remove as many side panels as possible and immerse in 100% Isopropal (sp) alchohol, then skake it out. That absorbs the H2O that lingers inside. Good bet the camera is toast... sorry.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 06:33 AM   #8
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Still holding out hope

I haven't powered them up yet. I would be happy if just the heads and transport diddn't work and I could use them with DVRack to record to disk.

I will contact Sony and ask their advice.

Thanks for the well wishes and suggestions.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 01:35 PM   #9
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Even more sorry to hear about the fine print. hmmm..... Actually, I heard your camera was 'stolen'....

just kidding. ;) Good luck bro.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 03:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Griswold
The conventional advice is to remove as many side panels as possible and immerse in 100% Isopropal (sp) alchohol, then skake it out. That absorbs the H2O that lingers inside. Good bet the camera is toast... sorry.
That's true George. Although Isopropol Alcohol doesn't exactly absorb water. It displaces water, is non-conductive, and is a solvent that will evaporate. I've done the alcohol bath before with immersed electronic devices.

-gb-
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Old October 31st, 2005, 04:04 PM   #11
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Good news - sort of

No, I didn't save money on my car insurance, but so far, every item I've tried has worked, at least to some degree. All were submerged in 6-feet of water.

My NEC monitor -works

3-week old Olevia, 32-inch LCD TV - works (a little water between the screens should evaporate)

Newly built puter -MB, CPU, power supply and sound card seem okay. Video card NG, drives likely NG.

7-inch Sony TV - works

I'm waiting for the water in the lenses of the FX1 to evaporate before I plug them in.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 07:49 PM   #12
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I'm getting my FX1 this summer so I'll stick around to hear what happens.
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Old November 5th, 2005, 06:08 AM   #13
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Couple of op[tions open to you. Dpon't tell you insurance it was in the basement. Say you dropped it off a rowing boat on a pond etc.. they might buy the story.

or if its too late for that, stick it on ebay as a camera with a fault, so some mug pays $500 for it or so. Very naughty I know, and I wouldn't do it, but others might.....
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