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Old December 6th, 2019, 11:23 PM   #1
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Canon HF-G30: Screeching Noise !

My beloved HF-G30, which has served me well for 3 1/2 years, has suddenly developed an unearthly and somewhat distressing screeching noise at power-up. I've uploaded a video that demonstrates the issue:


Sending to Canon Canada for repair would likely be costly. They charge a flat rate for assessment and minimal repair. Looking at least $CAD 300 (including shipping) and more if it requires changing parts. Given the current value of the HF-G30 ($CAD 600 - 700 based on EBay 'Sold' listings), hardly seems worth it.

Anyone else encountered this problem and can suggest a fix ? Or this the end of my HF-G30 as I knew it ?

Last edited by Bryan Worsley; December 7th, 2019 at 10:37 PM.
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Old December 7th, 2019, 05:30 PM   #2
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Re: Canon HF-G30: Screeching Noise !

Sounds like a fan bearing, I've heard that sound from failing PC power supply fans a number of times. However, I don't know whether or not there is a fan in the camcorder.
Does it make the noise if you turn the camera on in Media mode?

When I turn my XA20 on while my good ear is on the closed view screen door I can hear the lens checks followed by a very low level continuous motor sound, kind of like a fan. Turning off IS and/or AF does not make a difference. But it is not present when in Media mode.
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Old December 7th, 2019, 09:09 PM   #3
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Re: Canon HF-G30: Screeching Noise !

Thanks Don. No it doesn't do it when powering-on to Media mode and in Camera mode, once the noise has stopped, it doesn't recur - the camcorder appears to function quite normally. Also if I power on to Media mode and then move the switch across to Camera the screeching still occurs. Switching between Manual, Auto and Cinema modes has no effect either.

When the screeching stops I can hear a short whirring and click as if its completing some mechanical operation. I thought possibly something to do with the optical stabilization but it does the same thing when stabilization is turned off in the settings and in both Dynamic and Standard stabilization modes.

What's interesting is that the prolonged screeching seems to occur less frequently if I power on with the camcorder tilted to the left (anti-clockwise, looking from the back) and more so if it's tilted to the right - makes me wonder if something is impinging on a motor coupling . Also, once it has been powered off and on again a couple of times, the noise (usually) goes away.

Came across this tear-down of an HF-G30 where the guy cannibalized the front lens assembly from another camcorder....not something I would attempt, surely there's a matter of verifying the lens alignment also.


After watching the video I'm tempted to remove a casing panel on the right (hand-strap) side, which doesn't have any internal connections, to see if I can better locate the source. If it is a bad motor/worn coupling it must be behind that inner metal plating and would surely be a very costly repair if I sent it to Canon. However, if it's some component in the outer casing that's pressing against something it shouldn't, I could maybe fix it. I'm loathe to undo those tiny panel screws though.

I'd really like to save this HF-G30 if I can. I purchased it in 2016 (June, I think it was) from a guy who had bought it for making corporate videos but never used it - hadn't even opened the box. Older model it might be, but it's still a great camcorder IMHO - or was till this problem cropped up.

Last edited by Bryan Worsley; December 7th, 2019 at 11:47 PM.
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Old December 7th, 2019, 10:11 PM   #4
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Re: Canon HF-G30: Screeching Noise !

Now here's something significant, and not too encouraging. In those instances where the screeching persists after the screen has fully booted up ( i.e. the on-screen data markers have appeared) - if I press the zoom rocker while it is screeching it appears to stop it - takes a second or so. Which suggests that the noise is coming from a motor involved in the lens mechanism i.e. operating the zoom rocker is nudging-on some mechanism that is labouring. Not a good prognosis if that is the case, unless the mechanism is labouring because some (accessible) component in the outer shell is impinging on it, and I'd only know that by opening up the casing.

Last edited by Bryan Worsley; December 8th, 2019 at 12:33 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2019, 10:42 PM   #5
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Re: Canon HF-G30: Screeching Noise !

Duplicate post

Last edited by Bryan Worsley; December 7th, 2019 at 11:32 PM. Reason: Duplicate post
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Old December 8th, 2019, 04:59 AM   #6
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Re: Canon HF-G30: Screeching Noise !

Hi Bryan,

I'm hardly an expert but I think it's some kind of servo motor in the lens assembly that confirms its synch as part of the hardware component checks when the device firmware is booting. For some reason it is having difficulty locking on, and the screeching noise you are hearing is the continuous repeated noise of the high speed seeking action of that motor.

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Old December 8th, 2019, 02:00 PM   #7
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Re: Canon HF-G30: Screeching Noise !

Thanks for your valuable input Andrew.

But if that is the case, wouldn't you expect that the firmware boot, with associated hardware component checks, needs to be completed before the screen boots i.e. the black screen (that normally appears briefly) would persist until that process is completed ? But that's not what is observed - the screeching starts while the screen is booting and maybe persist after the on-screen data markers have appeared. Or is the screen boot, with the data markers displayed, a prerequisite verification in the firmware boot sequence i.e. the camera data settings written to the firmware have to be read in order to sync with the lens assembly ? That does make more sense, even to a layman like me ? By the same token though, wouldn't you expect that the screen would display some error message while the screeching persists ?

And why does touching the zoom rocker (or turning the zoom ring) bring the screeching to a halt ? Looking at the lens as I do that I don't see the lens element (which has already moved to the forward position) moving at all until the noise has ceased - then the zoom rocker (or ring) moves the element back and forth as normal. There's no 'zoom creep' or freeze-up as commonly reported when there is a faulty zoom switch.

So what servo motor mechanism is the zoom rocker switch 'freeing up' to bring the screeching to a halt?

What's interesting also is that when I power-on with my LANC zoom remote (Libec ZC-LP) connected (I always take the precaution of powering off the HF-G30 before connecting and disconnecting it), the screeching is still there, but then the on-screen data markers don't appear until the noise stops. I don't want to check if pressing the remote zoom rocker also halts the screeching, because I never ever touch it until those markers appear on screen. Seems likely (to me anyway) that many reported instances of camcorder zoom rocker malfunction (assumed to be a bad switch) stem from from improper use of LANC controllers - connecting and disconnecting while the camcorder is powered-on - screws up the LANC instruction sets.

Anyhow, I suppose I need to make a decision. I'm definitely not inclined to use the HF-G30 in it's current state. So, either I leave well enough alone and sell it as is - expecting that I'd get rather less for it with the problem declared or listed as 'For Parts or Not Working' on EBay. Depends of course on how fixable those who buy defective gear deem it to be. Or I go ahead and remove one (maybe two) panels to see if there is any obvious impingement going on, and hopefully not make matters worse.

Sending to Canon for repair is out of the question, but I wonder if they might give me a tentative diagnosis based on that that video. I'll maybe phone them tomorrow.

Cheers.
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Old December 8th, 2019, 04:36 PM   #8
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Re: Canon HF-G30: Screeching Noise !

On a visit to London one time, I saw an adv. by a retired video camera technician who would quote on repairing tourists broken cameras asap.

There may be someone similar in your area. If so and he locates the problem, maybe he could give you a better quote than Canon to repair it, if you supply the parts. Obviously get some references first.

Think twice about repairing it yourself, you could wind up wasting a few days and end up with a table full of bits.

Cheers.
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Old December 8th, 2019, 07:45 PM   #9
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Re: Canon HF-G30: Screeching Noise !

Two possibilities with the firmware boot. One is that you've got a multitasking operating system on board (very likely) and that all these things can be happening at once and merely report in as completed.

The other is that it's not a checked item but part of the initialisation of the servo motor when power is supplied to the lens assembly as part of switching on in camera mode (as opposed to playback mode where the lens isn't needed). Using the rocker switch forces the servo motor to engage further in with where it should be. If it's only happening as part of power being applied then that could explain why there is no camera error reported.

Some of these servo motors will be calibrated so that the intelligent part of the camera can know where the focus point etc is. Going beyond this into the "guessing zone" it would be that at the stage of powering on, the servo is looking for its zero point and is missing it. The end of the whining noise may be some sort of time limit for seeking this place, and using the zoom rocker to take it elsewhere (forward or backward) bypasses the issue. I must emphasise that this is not my area and I'm guessing at the hypotheticals.

I reckon Canon should be able to watch the video and tell you exactly what is happening, subject to a proper confirmation with the camera in hand. The behavior should be a dead giveaway for the diagnosis.

If you're going to put it up on eBay then declare the issue. No point breaking someone's heart, who may have well saved up to finally own a video camera.

Andrew
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Old December 8th, 2019, 09:57 PM   #10
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Re: Canon HF-G30: Screeching Noise !

Thanks both

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
On a visit to London one time, I saw an adv. by a retired video camera technician who would quote on repairing tourists broken cameras asap....There may be someone similar in your area. If so and he locates the problem, maybe he could give you a better quote than Canon to repair it, if you supply the parts. Obviously get some references first.
There is one I know of in Montreal (AFC Camera Service) who repairs camcorders on site, but the Google reviews are very mixed - some glowing, some nightmares.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Smith View Post
The end of the whining noise may be some sort of time limit for seeking this place, and using the zoom rocker to take it elsewhere (forward or backward) bypasses the issue. I must emphasise that this is not my area and I'm guessing at the hypotheticals.
As shown in my video though, there were instances when the whining continues and I had to power-off to stop it. Maybe it would eventually stop, maybe not. Hasn't done that since mind you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Smith View Post
I reckon Canon should be able to watch the video and tell you exactly what is happening, subject to a proper confirmation with the camera in hand. The behavior should be a dead giveaway for the diagnosis.
That's what I'm hoping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
Think twice about repairing it yourself, you could wind up wasting a few days and end up with a table full of bits.
Watching that HF-G30 tear-down video, I don't think I'd go beyond removing a single panel on the underside that extends part way up the right (hand-strap) side, and doesn't have any internal connections. The noise does seem to emanate more from that side, but that could be because the small speaker grill is located there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Smith View Post
If you're going to put it up on eBay then declare the issue. No point breaking someone's heart, who may have well saved up to finally own a video camera.
I wouldn't do otherwise....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Worsley View Post
......sell it as is - expecting that I'd get rather less for it with the problem declared or listed as 'For Parts or Not Working' on EBay.
Besides the buyer would soon discover the fault, doubtless request a return and it could come back in a worse state. And the seller would be obliged to pay for the return shipping.

Last edited by Bryan Worsley; December 9th, 2019 at 09:56 AM.
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Old April 16th, 2020, 05:30 AM   #11
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Re: Canon HF-G30: Screeching Noise !

Can you share how this resolved?
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Old April 17th, 2020, 12:26 PM   #12
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Re: Canon HF-G30: Screeching Noise !

Decided to sell the HF-G30 'as is' and used the proceeds towards purchase of a used HF-G40, which I won on EBay at a very good price.
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Old April 17th, 2020, 05:43 PM   #13
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Re: Canon HF-G30: Screeching Noise !

Bryan, I see that your originally posted video is no longer available. It would be good to have it remain available so others who have this issue in the future can compare and learn from your experience.

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Old April 17th, 2020, 07:14 PM   #14
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Re: Canon HF-G30: Screeching Noise !

Yes, I took it down from YouTube after I sold the HF-G30 as I was no longer looking for a fix and no-one had responded in the comments anyway. I don't think I kept the original video. I did submit another version to Canon when I was weighing up whether it was worth sending it for repair - maybe still have that. I had hoped they could give a tentative diagnosis based on the symptoms but they were non-committal and advised that I would have to send it in for proper assessment. I decided not to.

I was tempted to open up one of the panels myself, but figured it was not worth the risk of making matters worse. So I never found the cause.

Wondering why you are asking Don. Have you encountered the same problem ?

Edit: The video:


Uploaded as 'Unlisted' on YouTube.

Last edited by Bryan Worsley; April 17th, 2020 at 09:02 PM.
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