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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 11th, 2003, 01:18 AM   #1
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PD150 Error Message PLEASE HELP

I was using the camera as normal and having used off branded tape (panasonic, as I normally only use Sony Excellence or Premium) I decided to clean the tape heads with the Sony Cleaning Cassette (DVM12CLD). When I inserted another tape it would not display timecode and then after a few moments it displayed the error code C:31:23. I ejected the cassette and about 8 inches of tape had unspooled out of the cassette enclosure. I respooled it and tried another tape and received the same error code. I have tried several tapes and in both the VCR and CAMERA modes. The tape does sound as if it is moving though it sounds labored and while in VCR mode it cannot Play, Rewind nor Fast Forward. The error code is easy to replicate if you put in a tape and after closing the door, try to Fast Forward. It begins to cue and then halts showing to the Error Code. If you could check the sound it makes when it powers on as well, it sounds like a shuffling sound as the CAMERA mode is engaged.
Any and all help appreciated.

Justin
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Old April 11th, 2003, 09:46 AM   #2
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I don't know what that error code means but since you have the PD150, you can call the Sony Professional Help telephone (find it at http://bssc.sel.sony.com/Professional/startpage.html ) for assistance.

It may just be a coincidence but switching tape brands sounds like the culprit.

Maybe we should put it across the top of this forum in red letters. Don't swap tape manufacturers. Ever.

Did you run the cleaning tape for just 5 seconds at a time? Allowing the heads to cool for 30 seconds between application? Overly long use of the cleaning tape can literally bake the contamination onto the heads.
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Old April 11th, 2003, 11:01 AM   #3
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Get a magnifying glass and a bright light such as an LED white light and peer down in there with the door open. See if you see tape gunk (brown oxidized material) sticking to things like the capstan or pinch roller, or tape guides. Also look at the video drum, but don't touch the heads! The heads are extremely delicate and it costs more than $700 for Sony Service to replace.

If you see gunk elsewhere you can clean it off with a q-tip (better, a foam tip made for clean room work) and head cleaner. Watch for threads left over from q-tip which will also cause trouble.
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Old April 11th, 2003, 10:05 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice.
I think that I figured out the problem and now the it is working great. I just saved $500+ dollars!
Ask me if I am happy...
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Old April 12th, 2003, 09:57 AM   #5
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What was the problem?
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Old June 15th, 2003, 10:53 PM   #6
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I guess we'll never know.

Mike, as usual, is correct. Start with the right tape... and use nothing else. From what I remember, some tapes are "wet" and others are "dry" and to accidentally mix the two results in "mud".

I also seem to remember that Panasonic and Sony are polar opposites in this regard.
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Old June 16th, 2003, 09:19 AM   #7
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Justin, would you please share with us what the problem was?

Just visited your website. Loved it!
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Old June 16th, 2003, 11:20 AM   #8
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I apologize in advance for not using the proper terminology. I hope you can see what I mean anyway.

The problem was the PD150 would not record or play back. It would display the error code "C:31:23" which in the manual means to reset the tape by ejecting it and re-inserting it, a lot of helpful advice in that manual :)

I followed the advice to manually go in with a Qtip and some rubbing alcohol (bad bad PD150 owner!!) and after finding no apparent gunk, I realized that the two sides of the transport did not look symmetrical (for some reason I thought they should be) and gently fiddled with the portion of the mechanism that was stuck in the upright position until all of a sudden it un-jammed itself and fell neatly back into the proper down position. It has worked beautifully ever since.
My only guess is that the Cleaning Cassette was so tightly packed that when it pulled through it managed to jam one of the movable mechanisms due to the torque of moving through the transport.

HTH
Justin
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Old June 16th, 2003, 12:04 PM   #9
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Is it possible you weren't pushing the inner case closed before closing the outer case?

Just wondering.
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