My camcorder has been fine until recently. Now when I turn it on to "camera", the red power light stays on for 3-4 seconds and then starts flashing on and off. It will record for the 3-4 seconds that the red power light stays on consistently, but when the red power light begins flashing on and off, it will no longer record. Also, when the light is on, the LCD displays the word "index"...I have never seen this before. It stops recording when the "index" word disappears.
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Try turning the screen all the way around and close the screen so the screen its left outside where you can see if that doesn't work you will need to replace the ribon that connects the screen to camcorder.
when you insert a battery into a hero3 or 3+ black model you must wait 4 seconds before trying to turn it on or it wont turn on until you remove the battery and then reinsert it while waiting 4 seconds to try and power it up:
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Make sure you use a good USB 2 port and make sure your computer stays turned ON during the charging or it will not charge. The red light should stay on on the front of the camcorder while charging and will go off when charging is complete.
Try a different USB port maybe also. or if using a USB extension make sure it is a powered extension, and if not, connect the camcorder directly into a USB instead of using an extension.
My extension has a light to show that it is a powered extension.
I had to charge mine for 7 to 9 hours the first time, and make sure computer is left ON or it won't charge and the red light stays lit until it is fully charged. make sure the red light isn't blinking if it is, plug it into a different USB 2 port and don't use extension with it unless it is a powered USB extension.
The flashing "boat" in the middle of the viewfinder just means the button battery is dead. Camera will still work. It's the little pull-out light grey plastic thing that's next to the heel of your right hand when you're using the camera normally. You need a CR2025 cell.
The problem here is condensation inside the camera. I leave the camera turned off, remove the cassette tape and then point a hair drier on warm or low heat and slow speed right into the innards of the camera through the open cassette tape door. I run the hair dryer for 5 minutes and then replace the cassette. If the camera still dosen't work just wait for another 5 or 10 minutes and then it will work OK.
Its the tape is stuck or the mechanism is jammed or the small pan caps have started there demise of your camcorder.. Inside most camcorders there are small surface mounted capacitors made by panasonic and they all I say ALL will leak one day and when they do its not just the cap thats bad but if left unattended it will eat up the Printed curcuit traces on the pc board. Have the unit looked at right away by a camcorder expert and see if its too late to save the board. Good Luck