Anyone Ever Had A Loose VX 3.5mm Mic Input? at DVinfo.net

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old February 12th, 2004, 03:45 PM   #1
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Anyone Ever Had A Loose VX 3.5mm Mic Input?

I've only plugged in an external mic to my VX
less times than I can count on one hand, and
now the socket is loose and buzzing the audio.
It just went out of warranty. Any idea how
much it would be to have Sony fix it? Would
this be an easy fix to do myself? Outwardly,
it looks like about a half dozen small screws to
get in there, but I really don't know. Is this
problem common? Anyone fixed it themselves?
(I've got a 170 been sitting at Sony for about
two weeks with an audio buzz, and I'd like
to keep one cam around, but I need to
get this fixed for an upcoming gig; it's bad enough
I'm down to the one cam.)
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Old February 12th, 2004, 04:14 PM   #2
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Is there no ring around the socket that you can tighten, Dave?

One can bend the internals of the 1/8" sockets by putting a sideways strain on a plug that is inserted into the socket. The internal leaves bend when that happens.

Is it visibly loose or just making a poor connection. If the socket is solidly mounted but the plug rattles around it like a BB in a Boxcar, then the contact leaves have been bent and you will have to get inside to fix them.

Look at the top of this forum where you will see a posting by me about reference sites. One of those has a full set of pictures of a VX-2000 as it is stripped down.
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Old February 12th, 2004, 07:01 PM   #3
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It moves around easily with a plug inserted, and when it's
bent to the side, there's a buzz.
Are the 1/8" VX sockets normally on the loose side?
So that a plug inserted can easily move the socket
around?
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Old February 12th, 2004, 08:08 PM   #4
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No. Usually when that happens it is because a significant side-load has been placed on the plug when it was inserted in the socket and the socket frame has bent.

One of the downsides of the 1/8" sound input is that sooner or later, they will give problems.

If this is the first time you have had problems, then I'd guess that some significant physical force was applied to the plug the last time you used the camera. I don't mean a hammer blow, I mean even a reasonablely light hit against something. The plug sticking out is a significant lever and multiplies the force.

The recommendation to long-term users of the VX2000/2100 and others like them is to use a right-angle connector with a stub cable fastened firmly to the handle. Then always plug and unplug into the female connector on the end of the cable. That way, when it fails, you just have to replace a cable, not service the camera.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 12:59 PM   #5
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The more I think about your comment regarding the
sideways strain, the more I think I may have
inadvertantly caused the problem.
I was using electrical tape to secure a right angle
permanently to the VX. Thing is, I synched it down
tight to the cam, but in such a way that there
was a continuous side load on the socket, if you
know what I mean.
I should have put the electrical tape so that there
was no side load on the plug.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 02:44 PM   #6
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Just got off the phone with Sony consumer support.
The only good thing I can say is they spoke English,
which is a rarity these days.
Worst part is the phone is answered by a computer
with voice recognition. No way to request to speak
to a real person. The voice recognition could not
understand "VX2000". After a half dozen attempts,
the closest it could get is "ZS2000" and I speak
perfect English with no accent!
The computer told me that it appears my cam is
out of warranty and charged my credit card $92
as a flat fee. As "it" was about to finalize my
transaction I got "I'm sorry, I'm having a problem
with my computer, let me transfer you". What a
laugh!
When a person came on, I was told I was in the wrong
department and had to re-give all my info. Then I
was transferred to a different department.
Bottom line is the VX does not qualify for a flat fee.
I have to send the cam in for an estimate. Repairs
normally take 2 to 3 weeks.
It took a half hour on the phone to get the address
to send the cam to.
Atleast with pro support, the phone is answered
by a real person.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 04:24 PM   #7
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Time to call Armatos and ask them what they will charge you to replace the socket. Should be faster and for less $.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 05:04 PM   #8
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Mike, I'm not familiar with Armatos. Do you think
they're Sony authorized? Do you know anything
about their service department?
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Old February 16th, 2004, 06:06 PM   #9
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Armatos is considered one of the premiere camera suppliers in the Nation. They are my choice for a camera purchase, even before B&H. This is because of their service policies and their in-house service department.

They get nothing but outstanding marks from everyone that's dealt with them.

That said, I bought my 150 before I knew about them so I have not dealt directly with them on anything but a VX-1000 rebuild quote that I did not go ahead with. The 1000 was so beat up (school camera) that it was more cost effective for the school to buy a new camera (150).

AFAIK, they will not screw up your camera and you can call them and have a discusssion with the service manager before you send the camera their way. Even get a $ number I think.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 10:23 PM   #10
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you might consider...

Dave - after you get prices on what they charge to replace that 1/8" jack... consider an upgrade to your VX2000 or PD150 - check out what I do at: http://www.gregjwinter.com/modification.htm

Regards,
Greg.
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Old February 25th, 2004, 11:17 PM   #11
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I just checked out Armatos. They have a great deal of Sony, but no Canon video (at least listed).
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Old March 3rd, 2004, 01:20 PM   #12
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Well, I just heard back from Armatos. The VX got
repaired.
The mic socket wasn't even broken. It had just come
loose of its own, so all they had to do was
tighten it.
I must say that at the time I was considering the VX
versus PD question, my number one concern was the
fragility of the VX' 3.5mm mic jack. Food for thought
for those considering VX versus PD. Like I said
previously, Armatos told me that trouble with the
VX mic socket is common. When you figure the
additional cost/weight of a Beachtek, and repairs
like I've had to do now, if you need this class of
camera, you're probably better off with a PD.
Also, my dealings with Armatos were fine. No
F'ing answering machine! No F'ing menus to wind through! Real people answer the
phone! Amazing. Thanks for the tip, Mike.
Just remember to request that they insure
your repaired camera, as they don't do this
unless requested.
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Old March 3rd, 2004, 05:20 PM   #13
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does anyone know if this hiss problem is found in the vx2100 too. i'm considering buying a beachtek dxa6 and at-897 sometime within the next month or two. am i going to have to correct audio every time like you guys with the 2000?
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Old March 3rd, 2004, 05:44 PM   #14
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hiss in VX2100

This is the 6 million dollar question. I'm considering purchasing the service manuals for the camera to look at the circuitry and see. I'd be interested in any other comments on this. -Greg.
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Old March 3rd, 2004, 07:53 PM   #15
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Greg, everybody does not work the audio over when they shoot with the 2000. It isn't that bad for use in the real world.

This issue is very much overplayed other than the original 2000's and PD150's and the humm problem in the earliest 2100's & 170's.

Yes, they aren't as good as other cameras. No, it normally does not interfere with the use of the cameras in pretty much all applications.
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