I have several Panasonic DVRs and DVD/VHS combo recorders, some purchased new, some refurbished, some used, and some for parts. These consist of DMR-ES30V, DMR-ES40V, DMR-ES35V, DMR-ES15, and DMR-EZ17 models.
SaintBaz gave some very helpful advice concerning cleaning the DVD drive hub and related parts. That advice is found at:
http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=210507 (Fixing your Panny: When there’s a fault and lens cleaning doesn’t help…)
Recently Iâ€™ve been following this advice for one DMR-ES15, and three DMR-ES35V models. To open the case there are two or four large head Phillips screws on the sides and three Phillips screws securing the upper cover at the rear, found at the left, right and top center. This gives enough access to the DVD (and VHS drives) for cleaning.
After removing the four small Phillips screws and lifting the drive top cover notice the guide rail on the underside of the DVD cover. When viewing the DVD drive from the front (where the tray rolls out) notice the roller assembly at the rear of the tray. This mechanism must be positioned to the left corner before reassembly so these parts will be correctly aligned.
I have found two problems related to front panel buttons. If the machine has suffered some trauma to the top cover or front panel there may be a misalignment of the contacts between the front panel circuit board(s) and the chassis mother board(s). Misalignment of these contacts may cause left and/or right buttons not to respond. The second type of button failure occurs due to the malfunctioning of the small switches on the front panel circuit boards behind the front panel buttons. When pressing a front panel button if no click is heard there is a good chance that the switch on the circuit board may have failed.
If circuit board contact misalignment is suspected it is necessary to remove the front panel. After removing the top cover observe that there is one Phillips screw securing the front panel at top center. Once that screw is removed release the snap-clips; usually two at the top left and center; two on the left and right case sides; and two more are on the case bottom at the left and right.
Observe and correct front panel circuit board fit to the front panel and correctly seat circuit board screws. Notice that the front panel circuit board contacts have pointed guides to facilitate alignment with chassis mother board contact assemblies.
When reassembling a combo recorder be sure to hold the VHS door open as the front panel is being fit back into place. This will assure correct alignment with the VHS door lifting mechanism.
Reassemble the front panel back to the case. If the snap-clips fit without forcing this should correctly realign the circuit board contacts. If not, realign the front panel and attempt to fit it into place without forcing the snap-clips. If the front panel snap-clips do not easily fit use a straight edge along the case bottom to determine if the case is bowed due to some trauma to the top of the machine. A bowed case may cause circuit board contact misalignment. If the case is bowed it may be gently straightened.
In combo recorders the conductive bridges and connectors between the left and right chassis motherboards are sturdier than they appear. Nevertheless observe caution when working near these bridges.
Jazzguy1233 has mentioned capacitor failures on Panasonic hard drive recorders at:
http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=204006 (DMR-E85H Hangs on PLEASE WAIT)
Jazzguy1233 writes â€œI fixed my DVD Recorder, it turned out to be a power supply issue. There are two capacitors that fail in the power supply (the power supply is located under the hard drive holding bracket). I easily observed the failed capacitors because they appeared slightly bloated, with a slight leakage of substance on the top.â€
So far on three of the four machines I have opened for cleaning I have observed the leaking of a beige substance from the same motherboard component. This component is identified as C11108 on a DMR-ES35V motherboard. It is a dark brown-covered canister with a shiny silver top, 1 3/16 inch tall by 11/16 inch wide. The dark brown cover has a wide grey stripe running down one side and the cannister has these markings, H0630, 220uF250V CS(M), 105 (degrees) C, nichicon. There is severe leaking on a non-functional DMR-ES35V parts machine that can not produce a picture for viewing–but that machine can tune and record satisfactorily on a DVD that may be played on other Panasonics. There is minor leaking on two other machines, one a still-functional DMR-ES15 (that experienced a couple of recording failures a couple of days following a power outage); and on one non-functional DMR-ES35V, a parts machine that produces a pink display with narrow vertical blue/black lines. This machine can not operate its own DVD drive or a known good DVD drive and its â€œfloatingâ€ circuit board assembly swapped from the other just-mentioned DMR-ES35V parts machine.