Question about JVC GR-DVL505 Mini DV Digital Camcorder
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
Assuming you have a JVC MiniDV Camcorder, the E04 error message means that the rotation of the video head has stalled or is too fast.
When the little motor that pulls the videotape through the camera detects that the tape is not moving at the right speed, you get the SAFEGUARD MODE error. The principle here is that the camcorder detects a problem and shuts down in order to avoid doing additional damage to the unit. This is a legitimate way of protecting itself.
The problem is that there are many reasons why the unit might not be able to move the tape, and obviously the question is: Why it is happening to my unit in particular? If your unit is still under warranty, then by all means run to JVC and have it diagnosed and repaired for free as soon as possible. Once your warranty runs out, if you start getting these errors again, it can cost over $150 just to have JVC look at it. Then possibly several hundred more to repair the unit.
A few Quick Fixes to try:
In most cases you should clean your camcorder's heads by running a cleaning cassette through.
A little trick some have tried to eliminate this error message is to keep the cassette door open and then pull out the battery. Doesn't work? keep trying this routine. Some people actually report getting the error message to clear.
Eject the cassette and just when it is about to eject, push it back in... and the error is gone.
In Depth Solutions:
Solution #1: Cold Reset
The reason it tells you to REMOVE AND REATTACH BATTERY is not that the battery is bad, but that removing all sources of energy (battery and power cord) causes a COLD RESET. When you use the unit's on/off switch, parts of the camera are still receiving power and so you do not get the benefits of a COLD RESET. Just like your car; turning the ignition off will still power the clock and radio. You have to completely remove all power. If you are lucky, the camera will reset itself and start working again.
Solution #2: Awareness of Humidity
It seems older units would issue the same SAFEGUARD MODE error message for more than one problem. For example, older units do not tell you that they are shutting down for an hour because they detected high condensation, or moisture. So you play with the camera, remove the battery, reattach it, remove the tape, reinsert it, stand on your head, pray to your god, go to the bathroom, and voila! The camera is working again. It was nothing you did, just that the humidity went down enough for the unit to start working again. So consider high humidity as a possible source of the problem. If it is a rainy day, or you are near the sea, you might never get it to work that day in that location.
Solution #3: Head Cleaning
If you have never used a head-cleaning tape on your camcorder, you might give that a try. Mine has come back to life a few times by doing just that. Just don't do it too many times in a row because you can permanently damage the head. Read the instructions.
So we have covered a few reasons why these errors come and go as if by magic. They are intermittent and recurring. The camera will appear to work at times, and the next minute it shuts down.
Solution #4 : Fake Solutions
Another reason why the problems come and go is that, as several technicians have reported, the problem can be a loose connector inside. That is why some people report that tapping the camera gently or rocking it side to side has brought it back to life. Some have gone as far as putting cardboard between the tape door and the tape mechanism in order to exert pressure and keep the camera working. I can only warn you that these kinds of "repairs" are temporary and likely to damage the unit further.
Solution #5: Compressed Air
On some models, there is no shield covering the many delicate electronic and moving parts in the tape mechanism when you open it to replace the tape. A piece of dirt, grain of sand, or other debris can get caught in the tiny gears and stop movement or throw them off alignment. You can explore this possibility by getting a can of compressed air at any computer shop and blowing it into the inside of the camera. Follow the instructions, keeping the air nozzle however many inches away from the target as they say. Practice on some other object first, because if you tilt the can or hold it too close to the target you can freeze the target and do more damage than good. This applies to fingers too!
Solution #6: Tape Age, Brand, and Type
Have you tried using a brand new tape? Or only your really old ones? Try a new tape.
Now for the controversial issue of what brand of tape to use. Controversial because JVC's own Stacy Sample, Service Coordinator for JVC in Houston, TX says that "TDK and Maxell tapes tend to be two brands that are very problematic in our digital line wherein Panasonic, JVC and Fuji seem fine. We just find that TDK has the most problems, Maxell is a close second and Sony is 50% of the time.
A different point of view I ran into is. Yes, there is an issue, but it has nothing to do with the brand, but with the tape type. There are MP and ME tapes. These two types use different particles, and different lubrication. The two lubricating materials form some sort of goo when mixed together, if you use both types of tape in the same unit. So as long as you don't mix tapes of different types, they will work just fine in your camcorder. Some refer to these types as "dry" and "wet", but I don't know which is which. In any case, it is not known (to me) how accurate this point of view of not mixing tape types is.
Solution #7: Do not store tape in unit
Because of the delicate nature of the miniDV mechanism, do not store the unit with a tape inside. The theory is that a loaded tape will put pressure on parts of the mechanism and increase the chance that parts will stick together, making the tape harder to be pulled by the motor, causing the SAFEGUARD error.
Posted on Jul 18, 2007
Here's what i found. I was able to clear the message by opening and closing and ejecting the cassette. I also had to play with the battery at the same time. Keeping the cassette door open and then pulling out the battery. After is did this a couple of times i got the message to clear. I too haven't used my camcorder for some time and now that the error message has cleared the camcorder tells me that i need to clean the heads. Hope this helps. Below is the message i found that pointed me toward ejecting the cassette. An error indication (E03 or E04) appears. - (E03 or E04 UNIT IN SAFEGUARD MODE REMOVE AND REATTACH BATTERY) This massage a malfunction of some kind has occurred. In this case the camcorder's functions become unusable. - Eject the cassette once and re-insert it, then check if the indication clears. When it does, you can resume using the camcorder. If the indication remains, consult your nearest JVC dealer or service center
Posted on Oct 18, 2007
SOURCE: E04 unit in safeguard mode
I tried every method I could find from people posting on the web, but the method that worked for me is this.
1. Eject the tape and close the tape holder.
2. Turn the camera off and remove the battery.
3. Put the battery back in. Leave the camera off.
4. Open the tape holder.
5. Slide the tape in, but as you press the holder in to accept the tape, keep your finger pressing in on the holder, being careful not to slow the tape holder from moving downward.
6. Turn the camera on.
7. If it doesn't work the first time, press more firmly to help the tape holder accept the tape.
That's it. This method seems to work for me and lets me use the camera for a long while. If the camera is sitting unused for more than a few hours, I have to do it again. And each time I insert a tape, I make sure that I keep pressing as the tape holder lowers the tape.
Posted on Mar 25, 2009
Do a search of this problem and you will ind that every JVC owner is having the same problem. I finally got mine "reset" by powering the unit on in payback mode while holding down the "play" button. Then, turn it back off and power it on in the camera mode while holding down the "rec" button. This seems to have reset it and I've not had anymore issues SO FAR!
Good luck with it.
Posted on Dec 17, 2009
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