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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.

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Old February 18th, 2006, 09:45 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1
PD150 maintenance question

I have a PD150 that has served me well for over 3 years. I've shot with it quite a bit, and when I am shooting, it's usually somewhere remote (mexico, brazil) where I wouldn't have access to repair if the heads crapped out. I'd like to be preventative here and get the camera serviced before it craps out.
What is the recommended amount of hours one should put on a PD150 before getting it serviced, and what exactly is involved in a basic "tune-up?" Do they just clean the heads, which I can do myself? And if so, do I only go to Sony when i am ready for new heads? How much does that usually cost?
My hours meter says:
Operation: 33 x 10H
Drum Run:25 x 10H
Tape Run: 17 x 10H
Threading: 58 x 10

Jill Freidberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2006, 12:08 AM   #2
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vallejo, California
Posts: 4,049
With only 250 drum hours, you have no danger of having problems from worn heads. Figure 1,000 hours for a set of 150 heads with no problem.

That doesn't mean you cannot have problems and if you are going on shoots where the footage is not replaceable, you should carry a backup camera.

Sony replaced my first 150 with about 500 hours on the heads when the bearings in the idler arm and the drum failed. I always carry a small single-chip camcorder with me as a backup.
Mike Rehmus
Hey, I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel!
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Old February 19th, 2006, 12:54 AM   #3
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Posts: 4,299
Mine has just over 400 hours on the heads and there are occasional small pixel group dropouts, more often near to the head of the tape and variable betweeen individual batches of tapes.

Furthur to the backup single chip camera suggestion, it might pay to investigate whether this backup camera can accept vision ported in from the PD150 via firewire when the single chip cam is used in VTR mode.

If it does, then you've got a little added redundency in terms of image and sound quality if the image and audio functions of the PD150 otherwise remain intact, but you still have an alternative cam if the PD150 dies entirely.

Battery exchangeabilty between the two cams is also good if you can get it.

If you get your cam serviced, put the camera to about another 30 minutes start - stop - start usage including load - unload cycles to confirm the "service" has not introduced any faults.
Bob Hart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2006, 07:34 AM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,463
Hi Jill and welcome to DVinfo! You could find out how much a cleaning will cost by contacting one of Sony's service centers:


Bob: I don't think you'll find a single chip camera that uses the same batteries. Aside from the VX-2000, VX-2100, PD-170, FX-1 and Z1 I think the only other models that use these are the TRV-900 and PD-100. But just about any camera should be able to record if you connect it to the PD-150 via a 4-pin firewire cable.
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 20th, 2006, 12:27 AM   #5
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Location: Minnesota (USA)
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You can also record directly to a laptop if it has a firewire port built in (or through the PCMCIA slot using a PCMCIA card with a firewire port). I've found that the 5400rpm drive in my laptop will work, without dropping frames, so long as it is defragged (that is pushing the limits of a 5400rpm drive). A nice long firewire cord can give you some freedom of movement (I picked up a 25 footer that's working great for me).
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply

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