This is the 06/01/2004 update concerning "REMOVE AND REATTACH BATTERY" or\n"UNIT IN SAFEGUARD MODE" problems that affect many JVC camcorder owners.\nMany also\nhave had only blank tape to show after videotaping. The problems also go by\nerror codes such as "E01", "E03", "E04" and probably others, depending on\nthe camera model. In the case where the unit seems to record but the tape is\nempty later, there is no error code, to my knowledge.\n\nThere are so many complaints on the Internet that I have started keeping\ntrack of them at [URL]http://jvc-class-action.blogspot.com[/URL] The earliest complaint\ndates back to 1997.\n\nThere are 503 people complaining about the issues listed above. So far 179\nof these people have given me their contact information and joined this\nlawsuit. There are complaints from 26 different countries, and 82 different\nJVC camcorder models.\n\nHere is the number of complaints, by JVC Camcorder Model. The letters at the\nend of the model number have been removed, as they only indicate which\ncountry or market the model was sold in. For example, if you have a\nGR-DVM90U model, drop the "U" at the end before looking in the following\nlist. If you do not find your model number listed, it is because there are\ntwo or fewer complaints about that model.\n\nMODEL # COMPLAINTS\nGR-DVM90 35\nGR-DVL300 14\nGR-DVL805 13\nGR-DVL505 9\nGR-DVL100 9\nGR-DVX10 7\nGR-DVM80 7\nGR-DVF21 7\nGR-DVX8 6\nGR-DVL520 5\nGR-DVL720 5\nGR-DVM70 5\nGR-DVX9 5\nGR-DVP3 4\nGR-DVX44 4\nGR-DVL150 3\nGR-DVX80 3\nGR-DVL500 3\nGR-DVL510 3\nGR-DVL20 3\nGR-DVL915 3\nGR-SXM240 3\n\nCOUNTRIES COMPLAINING\n\nARGENTINA\nAUSTRALIA\nAUSTRIA\nBRAZIL\nCANADA\nCOLOMBIA\nDENMARK\nFINLAND\nFRANCE\nGERMANY\nGUATEMALA\nHOLLAND\nISRAEL\nITALY\nMEXICO\nNETHERLANDS\nNEW ZEALAND\nPOLAND\nPORTUGAL\nROMANIA\nSLOVENIA\nSOUTH AFRICA\nSPAIN\nSWEDEN\nUNITED KINGDOM\nUNITED STATES\n\nA legal firm is preparing the case against JVC. This process will take some\ntime, but it will get JVC's attention. As part of their investigation, they\nhave asked me to ask you to consider lending your camera to a mechanical\nengineer who is looking at the problems that affect us all.\n\nYour camcorder would be shipped via Fedex, free of charge, insured, and\nreturned to you a few weeks later. I for one am sending mine in, since I own\nthe GR-DVM90, the model with the most complaints, and there is particular\ninterest in looking at models with the highest number of complaints.\n\nI realize the uneasiness you might feel in lending your camera to strangers,\nbut this is a key step in the lawsuit. The lawyers need to present the case\nin court with a solid, convincing argument that JVC has done a poor job of\ndesigning and manufacturing their cameras, so the more cameras they can look\nat, the better. If your camera is, due to its problems, virtually unusable\nat this point, you would help the lawsuit and possibly get a clear diagnosis\nof the problem with your particular unit if you agree to lend it in.\n\nIf you have not joined this lawsuit, join now, and you will help yourself,\nus, and future camcorder buyers. These problems have been known to JVC for\nyears; they affect multiple product lines, and have cost us time and money.\nWorse, we have lost opportunities to tape our family and other things that\nare important to us. Together, we have great power and cannot be ignored by\nJVC or asked to pay for repairs that do not work. There is no cost to you or\nany obligation on your part if you decide to join.\n\nTo join, send your name, address, phone number, camera model, and a\ndescription of your losses, and any horror stories to [email][/email]\n\nHere is additional information about the camcorder problems. For most of us\nthis information arrives too late to do anything about our cameras, but\nmaybe it will help you understand your particular situation better.\n\nHere is some information about the UNIT IN SAFEGUARD MODE and REATTACH\nBATTERY problems that your JVC camera is having. Everything here has to do\nwith those errors and those errors only. I hope at the end you will\nunderstand your particular situation and be in a better position to decide\nwhat to do about your broken unit.\n\nFirst of all, you should know that I am not a camcorder technician, but a\nconsumer just like you. The Internet is full of "solutions" but often they\nare more rumor, coincidence, and temporary workarounds than real solutions.\nI will try to sort through these too. I am not responsible for anything that\nhappens to your camera as a result of your reading this document. Whatever\nyou do is your decision and thus you are responsible for the consequences.\n\nTHE PROBLEMS\n\nWhen the little motor that pulls the videotape through the camera detects\nthat the tape is not moving at the right speed, you get the SAFEGUARD MODE\nerror. The principle here is that the camcorder detects a problem and shuts\ndown in order to avoid doing additional damage to the unit. This is a\nlegitimate way of protecting itself.\n\nThe problem is that there are many reasons why the unit might not be able to\nmove the tape, and obviously the question is: Why it is happening to my unit\nin particular? If your unit is still under warranty, then by all means run\nto JVC and have it diagnosed and repaired for free as soon as possible. Once\nyour warranty runs out, if you start getting these errors again, it can cost\nover 0 just to have JVC look at it. Then possibly several hundred more to\nrepair the unit.\n\nTHE SOLUTIONS\n\nSolution #1: Cold Reset\nThe reason it tells you to REMOVE AND REATTACH BATTERY is not that the\nbattery is bad, but that removing all sources of energy (battery and power\ncord) causes a COLD RESET. When you use the unit's on/off switch, parts of\nthe camera are still receiving power and so you do not get the benefits of a\nCOLD RESET. Just like your car; turning the ignition off will still power\nthe clock and radio. You have to completely remove all power. If you are\nlucky, the camera will reset itself and start working again.\n\nSolution #2: Awareness of Humidity\nIt seems older units would issue the same SAFEGUARD MODE error message for\nmore than one problem. For example, older units do not tell you that they\nare shutting down for an hour because they detected high condensation, or\nmoisture. So you play with the camera, remove the battery, reattach it,\nremove the tape, reinsert it, stand on your head, pray to your god, go to\nthe bathroom, and voila! The camera is working again. It was nothing you\ndid, just that the humidity went down enough for the unit to start working\nagain. So consider high humidity as a possible source of the problem. If it\nis a rainy day, or you are near the sea, you might never get it to work that\nday in that location.\n\nSolution #3: Head Cleaning\nIf you have never used a head-cleaning tape on your camcorder, you might\ngive that a try. Mine has come back to life a few times by doing just that.\nJust don't do it too many times in a row because you can permanently damage\nthe head. Read the instructions.\n\nSo we have covered a few reasons why these errors come and go as if by\nmagic. They are intermittent and recurring. The camera will appear to work\nat times, and the next minute it shuts down.\n\nSolution #4 : Fake Solutions\nAnother reason why the problems come and go is that, as several technicians\nhave reported, the problem can be a loose connector inside. That is why some\npeople report that tapping the camera gently or rocking it side to side has\nbrought it back to life. Some have gone as far as putting cardboard between\nthe tape door and the tape mechanism in order to exert pressure and keep the\ncamera working. I can only warn you that these kinds of "repairs" are\ntemporary and likely to damage the unit further. Control your anger!\n\nSolution #5: Compressed Air\nOn some models, there is no shield covering the many delicate electronic and\nmoving parts in the tape mechanism when you open it to replace the tape. A\npiece of dirt, grain of sand, or other debris can get caught in the tiny\ngears and stop movement or throw them off alignment. You can explore this\npossibility by getting a can of compressed air at any computer shop and\nblowing it into the inside of the camera. Follow the instructions, keeping\nthe air nozzle however many inches away from the target as they say.\nPractice on some other object first, because if you tilt the can or hold it\ntoo close to the target you can freeze the target and do more damage than\ngood. This applies to fingers too!\n\nSolution #6: Tape Age, Brand, and Type\n\nHave you tried using a brand new tape? Or only your really old ones? Try a\nnew tape.\n\nNow for the controversial issue of what brand of tape to use. Controversial\nbecause JVC's own Stacy Sample, Service Coordinator for JVC in Houston, TX\nsays that "TDK and Maxell tapes tend to be two brands that are very\nproblematic in our digital line wherein Panasonic, JVC and Fuji seem fine.\nWe just find that TDK has the most problems, Maxell is a close second and\nSony is 50% of the time. The others I mention rarely have a problem." Why\nJVC does not make this information available when you purchase the unit or\nvisit their many websites is beyond me.\n\nA different point of view I ran into is. Yes, there is an issue, but it has\nnothing to do with the brand, but with the tape type. There are MP and ME\ntapes. These two types use different particles, and different lubrication.\nThe two lubricating materials form some sort of goo when mixed together, if\nyou use both types of tape in the same unit. So as long as you don't mix\ntapes of different types, they will work just fine in your camcorder. Some\nrefer to these types as "dry" and "wet", but I don't know which is which. In\nany case, it is not known (to me) how accurate this point of view of not\nmixing tape types is.\n\nSolution #7: Do not store tape in unit\nBecause of the delicate nature of the miniDV mechanism, do not store the\nunit with a tape inside. The theory is that a loaded tape will put pressure\non parts of the mechanism and increase the chance that parts will stick\ntogether, making the tape harder to be pulled by the motor, causing the\nSAFEGUARD error.\n\nSolution #8: Send in for Service\nLet us say you have tried all of the above and your camera still will not\nwork. Now you have to decide whether to send the camera in for repair or\nnot. My JVC camcorder, model GR-DVM90, turns out to be the model that most\nfrequently suffers from these problems. For that reason, I am not having the\ncamera serviced and instead taking JVC to court in a class-action lawsuit,\nwhich you are welcome to join free of charge and with no obligation.\n\nIf you find your model on the list I provided above, and there are a lot of\ncomplaints, I would interpret that as meaning that the problem you have is\nnot with your individual unit but a design problem. Fixing it will probably\nresult in the problem coming back. But you will have to make up you own\nmind. JVC will take your money over and over again to make the same repair\nover and over. If you can afford to do that, great. I cannot, so we are\ngoing to court.\n\nJuan Carrera\n11021 N Snapper Creek, Miami, FL 33173-2020\nBest way to reach me:\nemail to [email][/email]\nand also [email][/email]\nOr at 305-815-2081 (cell)\nOr at 305-279-8270 (home)\nNO MARKETING CALLS, MAIL or EMAIL PLEASE!