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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old November 6th, 2003, 05:42 AM   #1
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PD150 Blown Firewire Port = YIKES!!!

Well, it had to happen--and of course, to me...

I plugged up to my PC's 1394 port yesterday, expecting to be greeted with the familiar *dong-ding!* sound of XP finding the camera.

Instead, I get... nothing.

"Hmmm, this can't be right", I think, so I pull another cable from the drawer, plug it up, and.... nothing.

(insert sound of butterflys merrily fluttering around in stomach)

I reach up and take my XL1S off the shelf and plug it up. I am greeted with a happy *dong-ding!*...

Uh oh.

2 PCs, a laptop, and testing for continuity and shorts in the cables later, I finally concede that the camera's port is blown.

I call up Sony, and discover to my horror that the flat-rate of repairing the camera is $550.00. Although, not a bad deal if somthing *really bad* went wrong with it, but a 1394 port? More than likely, it's a micro surface-mount fuse or somthing. Ouch.

Anyway, it's still got a month left on the warranty. Hopefully, the problem is covered.

If this ever happens to anyone, I have included the link for Sony service that has their phone number, as well as a link to the repair form you need to fill out for service.

Sony's service centers and phone numbers

http://bssc.sel.sony.com/Professiona...cecenters.html


Sony's repair form

http://bssc.sel.sony.com/Professiona...xpress2002.pdf

Stay tuned...

-Phil
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Old November 6th, 2003, 10:31 AM   #2
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Try to record from your XL1 to your PD150 via the firewire. Sometimes, softare problems in the comptuer prevents it from recongnizing certain cameras.
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Old November 6th, 2003, 11:35 AM   #3
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Yang is offering some very good advice. Many thanks for those links, Phil. Sure hope your FW jack isn't blown.
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Old November 6th, 2003, 01:59 PM   #4
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Try resetting the camera.

May not help but what the heck.

Firewire ports are apparently very delicate both mechanically and electrically. There were a bunch of ports blown by a bad batch of 3rd party firewire cables that applied voltage to the signal leads some time back.

If you know that the port is blown, you might try calling someone like Armatos and see what they will quote for just fixing that problem. Course I'd recommend you have the transport cleaned and align-checked while you are at it.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 01:58 AM   #5
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I had the same thing happen on a vx2000. The repair guy showed me the part, very cheap connected with 2 small pieces of metal "made in china" style. It only cost me $100CDN to fix which I thought was reasonable. So, I'd shop around if u can.

The moral of this story:

The firewire connection on the vx2000 (other sony models?) is very fragile. Take care with it. Get a firewire cable that doesn't put any stress whatsoever on the connection (a very unstiff cable).
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Old March 15th, 2004, 10:35 AM   #6
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Yet another reason to not use a camera as a tape deck if you can afford a deck.
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Old March 18th, 2004, 06:25 AM   #7
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Hi Phil,
As you may have seen I blew out my fire wire port by plugging the cable in reverse in the computer.
I took the camera to a shop and they say that it burnt a chip on the main board.
I live in Costa rica which makes it very dificult to send the camera to the USA for repair, so I am trying to find out how to order the main board.
The link you gave us does not seem to work.
Maybe someone on the forum has a camera to sell for parts?
Any help would be apreciated.
Mike
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Old April 21st, 2004, 03:42 AM   #8
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Looks like I've gone and done the same thing somehow, cheap cord in combo with a loose gripping connection on my creative labs audigy card let the 6-pin end slip in backwards.

Now no "ding dong" when I plug it in to my VX2000. Any info from any of you with similar experiences would be great. I'd hope theres an alternative to the $550 buck Sony repair I heard about?

Richard, how did you fix it/who fixed it?


Desperately needing to capture,
Spencer Houck
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Old April 21st, 2004, 06:26 AM   #9
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It turns out that the 1394 port on my camera had a cold solder joint on the circuit board, which had caused two of the four pins on the connector to become disconnected from the solder pads.

Being that in my procrastication, the camera was out of warranty when I finally got around to thinking about sending it in. (I had started using a cheap Sharp DV cam as my deck to save wear and tear on my "good" equipment--good advice from the community here)

If I was not already electronically inclined, I probably would have taken them up on it. Since I have a service manual for my PD-150, I decided to give it a shot myself and was lucky.

Mike Rehmus' advice on Armatos as a repair center is good. (Thanks Mike) They quoted me $150.00 to repair the problem and clean the camera transport.

I don't recommend taking a camera apart yourself if you are afraid of small parts and springs. I won't do it again! *grin*

Like Mike said earlier in this thread, get a cheap DV cam or deck for capturing if you can afford it. There is absolutely no decrease in quality (data is data) and it will pay for itself in saving wear and tear on your expensive baby.

Good luck, drop me a note if I can help.

-Phil
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Old April 21st, 2004, 10:49 PM   #10
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$1,000 Repair

I wrote to Armatos and this was the answer from Dennis Hopkins.

Hello Michael,

I'm sorry to hear about your misfortune.
To the best of my knowledge, the board has to be
replaced. We can fix this for you. It costs aprox.
$1,000.00 to replace, this an extremely expensive
repair.

Dennis

Please feel free to contact me at 1-800-628-6801 or email me at dennishopkins@armatos.com


I have not had it fixed yet since I have a friend who will lend me his VX2100 for downloading. The moral of the story is: Dont connect the cable at the camera end until you are sure the computer end is in correctly. I am traumatized, I now check about ten times before connecting the camera.
Mike
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Old April 22nd, 2004, 05:13 PM   #11
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Well then, the repair route would seem to be Sony and their flat-rate repair rate which is about half that $1000 estimate (plus labor).

Send it in and tell them you want the transport checked, cleaned, aligned and the port repaired.

Normally, the only time Sony won't flat-rate a repair is if the camera has been dropped or drowned.
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 07:57 AM   #12
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The moral of this story:

The firewire connection on the vx2000 (other sony models?) is very fragile. Take care with it. Get a firewire cable that doesn't put any stress whatsoever on the connection (a very unstiff cable).



My PD-170 came with some square peice of plastic I wasn't sure WHAT to do with. I was looking through the literature that came with the cam and I ran across a single sheet with instructions. Apparently that "peice of plastic" is used to loop through the handstrap and then is used to support the IEEE cable when capturing. Your supposed to thread the IEEE cable through the square plastic adapter and THEN into the camera- thus reducing any vertical resistance on the port. Interesting.
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 12:13 PM   #13
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Glen,
Wow, thats almost rediculous that instead of fixing the strength issues with the port somehow they just said...hmm tack this on and we won't be held responsible anymore...crazyness.

Anyway thanks everyone for your posts, I'm going to look into the Sony repair, and if its more than getting a decently capable cheap miniDV vacation cam then I won't do it. I hope I can find a cheapo cam that still acts as a quick deck through device control.

Thanks,
Spence
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 01:58 PM   #14
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Spencer- re: your post above....I've noticed the same thing with the audigy- the port is sloppy. It's not only large but has a bit of play when the IEEE is plugged in. UGH! I have an Asus P4C800E mobo with 2 onboard firewire ports but can't use them due to some annoying conflict with the onboard Intel controler. Go figure.
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Old April 24th, 2004, 10:27 AM   #15
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My problem concerned only the firewire port itself, a small, extremely cheap and cheaply made part. It would take an hour maximum to replace this part and service center rates are $75? an hour so you should pay 125 after tax. Take it to a shop that repairs Sony cams. I wouldn't take it to Sony myself because I thought the turn-around time would be a lot and price would be a lot. Its a simple fix if its just the pins on the port ie port replacement. Hope u find a good shop for good price.
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