How could I find out if there are any panasonic units that have ram drives that might be compatible with the ram drive in a DMR-EH55. I'd like to be able to purchase a similar product and swap the ram drive.
I know there is a European DMR-EH55 available for around $500. A replacement ram drive is around $650. If swaping the drive from the $500 unit would work - that woud be cheaper.
Any thoughts on the most practical thing to do to resurrect my machine?
Do you mean you want to replace the hard drive in the unit? If so, I have one of these units and I installed a new PATA hard drive and then "prepared" it with a firmware update that is available from Panasonic's website. I tried to increase the capacity by installing a 500GB hard drive, and also a 300GB hard drive, but no matter what size I put in, after I initialized the new hard drive with the firmware disc I always only had 92 hours available to me. In fact there was never anything wrong with my unit, I was only trying to increase the capacity for recording - which I was never able to do. I did find that another 200GB hard drive I tried didn't actually work for some unknown reason, but the 500GB, the original 200GB and a 300GB hard drive worked no problem every time I swapped them around. Let me know if you need the link to Panasonic's download - it's easy to find.
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You may be able to obtain a new DVD-RAM drive for this model from Amazon site - there are more than 2 available at a cost of $130USD each plus shipping. These are marked as VXY1961 RAM drives - with 4 ribbon connectors (at most) and should be a simple fit if this is what you are after. (you can always check the connectors on your existing original drive - you do not need to remove the front panel of the combo to get the DVD deck out)
You can have a look and figure shipping out later if interested (depending on your location - these costs (not the price of the drive) will vary accordingly - Amazon will ship outside USA). At this stage, you would be paying solely for the drive itself, not a workshop repair or a new combo unit.
The VXY1961 DVD-RAM drive is compatible with the following models:
does it record?We have noticed that these problem is occured by dirt on optical .First you have to clean optical lens .take cotton sworb and open the dvd-ram assy ,open top cover and claen leser.If problem still persist than only solution is to change dvd-ram drive thats optical assy.