The unit's remote control and front panel buttons act completely dead. The unit locks up after displaying "hello" on its front panel and refuses to do anything more. In other cases, the front panel display appears completely dead. In this instance, the unit will display "Interface error" or "Interface error! Turn off the power" on the television screen and do nothing more.
In all cases, if a DVD or VHS tape was inserted just prior to the failure, you won't be able to remove either from that point further. They'll remain stuck inside the unit until you've completed the repair contained in the guide below.
Critical information you need to know immediately
If you haven't done so already please unplug the unit's AC power cord and leave it that way until you're ready to begin the repair. Taking this action will guarantee no further extensive electronic or mechanical damage can occur.
Under no circumstances attempt to remove anything stuck inside the unit until the repair has been completed. Should you attempt to do so you'll almost certainly damage its ultra-delicate DVD and VCR mechanisms which are very expensive to replace!
Once the necessary electronic repair has been completed, you'll easily be able to remove them in the customary manner without any problem whatsoever, by simply pressing the EJECT or OPEN/CLOSE button.
Why your unit has recently failed
The cause of all the above symptoms are entirely due to an inherent manufacturing defect in the unit's internal power-supply board, all of which will ultimately fail due to one or more defective capacitors contained on it.
Known brands and models affected
LG RC797T and RC897T
Memorex MVDR2100, MVDR2102, MVDR2102A, MVCD2102 and MVCD2102A
Panasonic DMR-ES15, DMR-ES30V, DMR-ES35V, DMR-EH55 and more
RCA DRC6200N, DRC6355N, DRC8030N, DRC8040, DRC8052N
RCA DRC8060N, DRC8295N, DRC8300, DRC8300N, DRC8310N
RCA DRC8312N, DRC8320N and DRC8335
...plus many others not yet identified - please contact me if your's isn't listed above
Completely restore the unit yourself in under 20 minutes for just a few dollars
This simple repair doesn't require any prior knowledge or experience with electronics, takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish and typically costs between $1.59 and $5.00 for the replacement parts obtained from your local Radio Shack. All that's involved is simply replacing one (or occasionally just a few more) defective capacitors on the unit's internal power-supply board which are most often running painfully hot to the touch.
The repair guide is provided to anyone who needs it simply upon request
Upon discovering the massive quantity of Chinese manufactured combo recorders having this inherent defect, in addition to the callous manner RCA Thomson and other manufacturers were leaving their loyal consumers out in the cold whose units had completely failed thru no fault of their own, it so enraged me I was compelled to fight back. That was just 3 short months ago and the day this Combo Recorder repair brief was born.
How do I obtain a copy?
Just send an email to my public address provided below. Please include your brand and model followed by "repair brief" in the SUBJECT line. For example, "RCA DRC8335 repair brief" and I'll send it using my private ISP address as soon as possible. Email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Why don't you just post the repair brief directly on Fixya?
Due to the dynamic nature of its content, the repair brief's constantly being updated on nearly a daily basis, as new information becomes known that wasn't previously. Unless the repair brief is kept at one centralized location, it becomes impractical to manage and keep up to date. Many of the DIY repair forums like Fixya don't even provide the author any way of updating their prior submissions.
Why are your posts often so long?
They're whatever length they appropriately need to be. Nobody likes having to read a long post until it happens to be the one supplying the ideal solution to their problem--in which case it's never long enough!
Can I really do this repair myself?
Over 1,000 combo owners just like you have successfully restored their units using this DIY repair guide during the past 90 days! Below is a tiny handful of the nearly 1,000 follow-up messages I've received to date. Ann's follow-up message is an excellent example demonstrating how new strategic information is provided by your direct feedback and why it's essential the repair brief's kept up to date.
December 27, 2008 received by email from Ann M.
Just like John H, my problem was also capacitor C226, but in my case overheating wasn't the give-away here. Instead, I noticed the bottom of the capacitor appeared melted a little and the top looked like it was slightly bulged. I removed the damaged capacitor and replaced it with a new one rated at 35 volts and now my DRC8335 is working perfectly again!
December 15, 2008 received by email from Mike J.
Mike. Just recently discovered the link to your repair brief posted on AnswerBag and wanted to let you know my previously dead DRC8320N combo recorder is now working perfectly again! Even though I'd never worked with electronics before, following your excellent instructions made the task easy. Bless you for having saved me a pile of money.
December 7, 2008 posted by TinyPeanut on AnswerBag
What Mike says works! My nephew went to Fry's Electronics store in California and got the part he suggested, in our case a 1,000µF 50 volt electrolytic capacitor as that's what they had on hand. He and my brother soldered it in and now my DRC8320N combo's working perfectly again! Thanks so much.
December 04, 2008 received by email from John H.
Mike. Thanks for providing this excellent DIY repair guide. My RCA DRC8335 is now performing perfectly again! In my case, the failure was caused entirely by capacitor C226 which I've just upgraded to 35 volts as advised, purchased from Radio Shack. Thanks again.
December 04, 2008 received by email from Glen
Dear Mike. Simply awesome, my DRC8320N combo's now fixed thanks to you! The only thing remaining I need to do is replace the VCR drive belt so its drawer will lock into place properly. Feel free to share my joy. Thanks again for all your help.
November 25, 2008 posted by Norstar448 on Fixya
I printed out Mike Adam's solution and phoned 2 electronic repair shops who refused to listen to how my machine could easily be repaired. The third said to bring in the info and my machine. He quickly located the part and replaced it and my machine is 100%. Thanks Mike!
November 14, 2008 received by email from Brandon
Mike. Since I last wrote, I've already taken my DRC8320N recorder apart, replaced capacitor #C232 and it's now working great! I repaired it myself without any electronics background or having done anything like this before. It really felt rewarding after putting things back together and plugging it in, to discover everything was working perfectly again.