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camcorder repair

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Matthew David Hills, Apr 2, 2004.

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  1. I've got a question for those of you with experience working on camcorder
    tape mechanisms (or, more specifically, Sony mini-DV mechs).

    When the camcorder starts up or tries to load a tape, the motor spins for
    a bit and then ultimately gives up with an error code:
    "FG fault when starting capstan"
    Since I hear the motor spinning, I assume that the capstan is running, but
    that there is a failure with either the sensor or the electronics that
    complete the feedback loop.

    My question is: is that a reasonable assumption? (or are there known other
    causes for this?)

    More tidbits:
    The camera is a Sony TRV11, the error code is "C:31:30" (I've seen
    several other notes on various message boards from other users with
    this problem.) For me, I started getting it after a couple of years
    of light duty. The problem is intermittent--it will have problems for
    a couple of days, then it will be fine for a while, then problems again.
    People who returned the camera to Sony for repair have reported that it
    worked for several months, then the problem returned.

    I had one shop take a look at my camera. They said that this is a pretty
    common problem with sony camcorders, and indicated that something comes
    loose within the mechanism. They disassembled the unit and then put it back
    together and I got a couple of months out of it. (It wasn't clear to me
    whether the problem they were referring to was this specific failure, or
    Sony camcorder reliability in general; and it wasn't clear whether they felt
    it was a screw or a connection that came loose; I got the impression that it
    was a screw)

    Any suggestions on likely culprits?
    (The diagnostics in the service manual rely pretty heavily upon their
    service ROMs and command modules to put the machine through its paces;
    Sending to Sony for service in unappealing due to the high (flat-rate) cost
    and the short warranty on repairs. If I can't fix it, I'll likely just buy
    a new camera and get an extended warranty, but I figure that I can at least
    learn a bit first ;-)

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