Thursday, September 11, 2014

The end of one recorder era

My Panasonic DMR EX75 HDD/DVD recorder has given up on the Freeview signal again. Checking the usual overheating 680 microfarad capacitor, I didn't find obvious signs of failure. It wasn't blowing it's top as the previous failures had done, for example -

But given the inexpert deposit of excess solder I left the last time it's possible the failure was internal or further under the board. I decided to attempt to replace the capacitor again anyway. Unfortunately two attempts to replace it failed, largely due to my incompetent soldering skills, I suspect.

Tinning the soldering iron tip proved unusually problematic this time. So I cleaned it with wire wool before the second attempt (and after it had cooled completely to room temperature). Note that you need to be really careful with this not to strip the iron surface bare or you'll find yourself in need of a new soldering iron.

As I said before, though, if you're thinking of tackling something like this, especially if you are an infrequent actor in such an arena, be sure to snip the legs of the failed capacitor quite high up on the first pass, so that you have a solid base to crimp the legs of the new capacitor to before soldering. My original failure to do this meant successive replacements over the years have been increasingly difficult to crimp/graft and solder.

I seem now to have reached the point of no return, at least as far as my rusty engineering repair skills are concerned.

I blame middle aged eye-sight and the need for reading glasses for close up work too. It's probably just as well I don't have to build flight simulation rigs any more, though I'm pretty sure I could still do the mathematics, the modelling, the design and the testing the parts of aircraft to destruction bit - operating the rigs and running the tests was never as tricky as constructing them.

Well the saga of the Panasonic DMR EX75 HDD/DVD recorder draws to a close. In any case, the machine won't now pick up the Freeview signal and though I can play what was recorded up to losing the signal, I can't record anything else. The old box of electronics is going to have to be retired. It's taken in
I hope the next recorder finding it's way into the B2fxxx household has a long but less eventful existence.

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