Sharp camcorder, VL-Z1, Error 'DEW'

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GREM
GREM's picture
Sharp camcorder, VL-Z1, Error 'DEW'

Hi everybody,

I got a problem with my camcorder. When I started to video-tape, almost immediately,
an error message 'DEW' in red showed up and the
screen blacked off and the power was shut down, so I could not do any videotaping.

What is the meaning of DEW?

Thanks for your attention!

Guan

Ron Repking (not verified)
Guest's picture
This means there is moisture

This means there is moisture inside the Viewcam. Try taking the tape out, leaving the cassette compartment open for 2 hours to allow any condensation to evaporate. If the DEW indicator is still illuminated you'll need to call a Sharp authorized servicer.

GREM
GREM's picture
Thanks!I used a hairdryer, it

Thanks!
I used a hairdryer, it works now!

grem

OMlet
OMlet's picture
Sharp DEW Problem

Sharp DEW Problem

Many VL-Z series (1,3,5,7) cameras show a DEW message and shut down
even when there is no excess moisture - Sharp's recommendations don't
work and the camera is useless till repaired. Commercial are
expensive and often more than a new camera would cost. There may be a
simpler and less expensive way.

After posting on a few evaluation sites, I have had hundreds of
requests for the message below.
====================================

A FIX FOR THE SHARP VL-Z DEW MESSAGE

Go to:  http://ataplow.googlepages.com/sharpd... for a picture
from the perspective of the tape cover being at the top of the
picture and the rest of the camera at the bottom. The dew sensor will
be on your left.

(If clicking on the link doesn't work, just copy and paste it into
your browser)
Get a real slim soldering iron with a fine point. Open the tape cover
and take the tape out. Get a strong light to shine down into the mechanism.

If your camera is like mine was, you may see a brownish material on
or around the solder joint - if you do, this is flux used in
soldering which was applied too heavily, and not heated long enough
to burn off.  Not all cameras have excess flux, but if you are
getting a DEW message when there is not excess humidity in the area,
the chances are that the solder joints don't quite connect the dew
sensor to the terminal post - depending upon heat/cold ambient
conditions, sometimes it makes contact and sometimes it doesn't .

Before you start, remove the two batteries - the main battery and the
little CR2016 battery located under a small plastic slide at the
upper right of the battery compartment.

If your eyes happen to be elderly like mine, I put on one of those
magnifying head-bands (not absolutely necessary if your eyes are
normal.)  Heat up the soldering iron - make certain the point is
tinned (has a thin film of solder on it).  Carefully just touch each
solder joint for a couple of seconds - just enough for it to melt,
and then quickly remove the soldering iron. You don't want to leave
the iron in contact with the solder too long or it may melt other
insulation around the terminal. You are just touching each joint
separately, don't solder them together. This all probably sounds more
complicated than it really is - but it's actually just a 5 minute
operation.  If you've not done much soldering, and feel uncomfortable
about trying it, you may want to take it to a radio, tv or computer
repair shop and ask them to do it for you. Of course, reinsert the
batteries when your done.

Here are a number of TEMPORARY fixes which have been reported:

1. A couple of people reported that they were not secure about taking
a soldering iron to their camera, so just poked the contacts with an
ice pick or screw driver, and it began working again.  Try this when
you are away from home and suddenly the DEW Message comes on.  Remove
the batteries, poke the contacts, & reinsert the batteries.

2. Sometimes just removing the small CR1216 battery which keeps the
time display, will get it working again, though most report it only
works for a little while. When you remove the main battery, this
little battery is located under a small plastic slide at the upper
right of the compartment.

3. One person reported that out of desperation he put the camera in
the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours and that it began working again. My
experience is that there is a better connection when the camera is
cold than on hot days, however this too, is probably not a permanent fix.

4. Another said: I wrapped aluminum foil around the contacts in order
to lower the resistance and it worked. I haven't tried this myself,
so would appreciate feedback from those who have found it successful.

5. And finally, another person reported cleaning the contacts with a
cotton swab soaked with alcohol (mineral spirits) , got his camera
working again.

You may want to try some of these other reported fixes, however
re-melting the solder joints are more likely 'the long term fix.'

What I've put above is just my experience and that of others.

A disclaimer - this worked for me & I have reports that it has worked
for many others. Like me you will be trying it at your own risk - I'm
certain I voided Sharp's warranty, if they have any. Of course your
camera isn't working now, so there isn't much to lose, is there?

Good luck and let me know how it worked out for you.

Peace,
Alan ataplow@vtlink.net  

Larry Dillon
Larry Dillon's picture
The proper fix on this

The proper fix on this camcorder is to order the dew sensor and simply replace it. It has a plug at the end of the wires that is plugged into the printed circuit board, and the entire sensor is secured to the chassis with only one small screw. Should take no more then an hour for a novice to do. Good Luck

severtheties
severtheties's picture
OMlet said: Sharp DEW Problem

OMlet said: Sharp DEW Problem Many VL-Z series (1,3,5,7) cameras show a DEW message and shut down even when there is no excess moisture - Sharp's recommendations don't work and the camera is useless till repaired. Commercial are expensive and often more than a new camera would cost. There may be a simpler and less expensive way. After posting on a few evaluation sites, I have had hundreds of requests for the message below. ==================================== A FIX FOR THE SHARP VL-Z DEW MESSAGE Go to:  http://ataplow.googlepages.com/sharpd... for a picture from the perspective of the tape cover being at the top of the picture and the rest of the camera at the bottom. The dew sensor will be on your left. (If clicking on the link doesn't work, just copy and paste it into your browser) Get a real slim soldering iron with a fine point. Open the tape cover and take the tape out. Get a strong light to shine down into the mechanism. If your camera is like mine was, you may see a brownish material on or around the solder joint - if you do, this is flux used in soldering which was applied too heavily, and not heated long enough to burn off.  Not all cameras have excess flux, but if you are getting a DEW message when there is not excess humidity in the area, the chances are that the solder joints don't quite connect the dew sensor to the terminal post - depending upon heat/cold ambient conditions, sometimes it makes contact and sometimes it doesn't . Before you start, remove the two batteries - the main battery and the little CR2016 battery located under a small plastic slide at the upper right of the battery compartment. If your eyes happen to be elderly like mine, I put on one of those magnifying head-bands (not absolutely necessary if your eyes are normal.)  Heat up the soldering iron - make certain the point is tinned (has a thin film of solder on it).  Carefully just touch each solder joint for a couple of seconds - just enough for it to melt, and then quickly remove the soldering iron. You don't want to leave the iron in contact with the solder too long or it may melt other insulation around the terminal. You are just touching each joint separately, don't solder them together. This all probably sounds more complicated than it really is - but it's actually just a 5 minute operation.  If you've not done much soldering, and feel uncomfortable about trying it, you may want to take it to a radio, tv or computer repair shop and ask them to do it for you. Of course, reinsert the batteries when your done. Here are a number of TEMPORARY fixes which have been reported: 1. A couple of people reported that they were not secure about taking a soldering iron to their camera, so just poked the contacts with an ice pick or screw driver, and it began working again.  Try this when you are away from home and suddenly the DEW Message comes on.  Remove the batteries, poke the contacts, & reinsert the batteries. 2. Sometimes just removing the small CR1216 battery which keeps the time display, will get it working again, though most report it only works for a little while. When you remove the main battery, this little battery is located under a small plastic slide at the upper right of the compartment. 3. One person reported that out of desperation he put the camera in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours and that it began working again. My experience is that there is a better connection when the camera is cold than on hot days, however this too, is probably not a permanent fix. 4. Another said: I wrapped aluminum foil around the contacts in order to lower the resistance and it worked. I haven't tried this myself, so would appreciate feedback from those who have found it successful. 5. And finally, another person reported cleaning the contacts with a cotton swab soaked with alcohol (mineral spirits) , got his camera working again. You may want to try some of these other reported fixes, however re-melting the solder joints are more likely 'the long term fix.' What I've put above is just my experience and that of others. A disclaimer - this worked for me & I have reports that it has worked for many others. Like me you will be trying it at your own risk - I'm certain I voided Sharp's warranty, if they have any. Of course your camera isn't working now, so there isn't much to lose, is there? Good luck and let me know how it worked out for you. Peace, Alan ataplow@vtlink.net  

severtheties
severtheties's picture
I fixed the problem om my

I fixed the problem om my camcorder by re soldering the the connections on the sensor. You can order them for $18 at Sox International. Phone 1-800-321-6993

Lon

hellnick
hellnick's picture
Does anyone know the part

Does anyone know the part number for this sensor? I have found this site http://www.donberg.ie/descript/s/shvc_379.htm but that makes no mention of the vl z5e. Does anyone know if the sensor on the vl z3 s is the same as on the 5?

many thanks

OMlet
OMlet's picture
Hi,

Hi,
I do believe that all the parts on the VL-Z series (1, 3, 5 & 7) are the same. However, I don't think the sensor itself is usually the problem - more so the poor solder joint between the sensor and the rest of the camera:

A forum about the Dew Message problem is at:
http://sharpdew.ning.com/

Go to: http://ataplow.googlepages.com/sharp-dew-problem
-----------------
Sharp DEW Problem

Many VL-Z series (1,3,5,7) cameras show a DEW message and shut down
even when there is no excess moisture - Sharp's recommendations don't
work and the camera is useless till repaired. Commercial repairs are
expensive and often more than a new camera would cost. There may be a
simpler and less expensive way.

After posting on a few evaluation sites, I have had hundreds of
requests for the message below.
====================================

A FIX FOR THE SHARP VL-Z DEW MESSAGE

Go to: http://ataplow.googlepages.com/sharpdew.jpg for a picture
from the perspective of the tape cover being at the top of the
picture and the rest of the camera at the bottom. The dew sensor will
be on your left.

(If clicking on the link doesn't work, just copy and paste it into
your browser)

Get a real slim soldering iron with a fine point. Open the tape cover
and take the tape out. Get a strong light to shine down into the mechanism.

If your camera is like mine was, you may see a brownish material on
or around the solder joint - if you do, this is flux used in
soldering which was applied too heavily, and not heated long enough
to burn off. Not all cameras have excess flux, but if you are
getting a DEW message when there is not excess humidity in the area,
the chances are that the solder joints don't quite connect the dew
sensor to the terminal post - depending upon heat/cold ambient
conditions, sometimes it makes contact and sometimes it doesn't .

Before you start, remove the two batteries - the main battery and the
little CR2016 battery located under a small plastic slide at the
upper right of the battery compartment.

If your eyes happen to be elderly like mine, I put on one of those
magnifying head-bands (not absolutely necessary if your eyes are
normal.) Heat up the soldering iron - make certain the point is
tinned (has a thin film of solder on it). Carefully just touch each
solder joint for a couple of seconds - just enough for it to
melt, and then quickly remove the soldering iron. You don't want to
leave the iron in contact with the solder too long or it may melt other
insulation around the terminal. You are just touching each joint
separately, don't solder them together. This all probably sounds more
complicated than it really is - but it's actually just a 5 minute operation.

The following useful soldering tip was posted on a review site (by
someone code named Deadsharp.) " Because the soldering job is a bit
tricky, even with a dedicated circuit board soldering iron I made a
temporary extension by wrapping a short length (about two inches) of
#12 copper wire around the tip. This tip extension can be inserted
past the tape carriage with no danger of hitting the delicate plastic
bits. Worked like a charm."

If you've not done much soldering, and feel uncomfortable about
trying it, you may want to take it to a radio, tv or computer repair
shop and ask them to do it for you. Of course, reinsert the batteries
when your done.

Here are a number of TEMPORARY fixes which have been reported:

1. A couple of people reported that they were not secure about taking
a soldering iron to their camera, so just poked the contacts with an
ice pick or screw driver, and it began working again. Try this when
you are away from home and suddenly the DEW Message comes on. Remove
the batteries, poke the contacts, & reinsert the batteries.

2. Sometimes just removing the small CR1216 battery which keeps the
time display, will get it working again, though most report it only
works for a little while. When you remove the main battery, this
little battery is located under a small plastic slide at the upper
right of the compartment.

3. One person reported that out of desperation he put the camera in
the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours and that it began working again. My
experience is that there is a better connection when the camera is
cold than on hot days, however this too, is probably not a permanent fix.

4. Another said: I wrapped aluminum foil around the contacts in order
to lower the resistance and it worked. Accomplishing the same thing,
another person said, "Just run a bead of solder between the contacts
and essentially cut the dew sensor out. Worked on my camera." I
haven't tried either of these myself, so would appreciate feedback
from those who have found it successful.

5. Another person reported cleaning the contacts with a cotton swab
soaked with alcohol (mineral spirits) , got his camera working again.

6. Just recently on our new forum, someone had success placing a
small magnet near the dew sensor for a minute or so, and another
reported it worked for him as well.

You may want to try some of these other reported fixes, however
re-melting the solder joints is more likely 'the long term fix.'

What I've put above is just my experience and that of others.

A disclaimer - this worked for me & I have reports that it has worked
for many others. Like me you will be trying it at your own risk - I'm
certain I voided Sharp's warranty, if they have any. Of course your
camera isn't working now, so there isn't much to lose, is there?

Good luck and let me know how it worked out for you.

Peace,
Alan
ataplow@vtlink.net

hellnick
hellnick's picture
Thanks for replying. I had

Thanks for replying. I had seen the various suggestions and decided I'd probably try replacing the sensor unit as it looked a bit easier than buying and learning to wield a soldering iron . Since my post I tried scratching around the solder joints with a small screwdriver and it has been okay since then. I was only trying to resurrect this so I could back up videos for my mother in law - I think I've got her convinced to get one of the tapeless devices that are around now.

It probably won't be a Sharp.

Thanks again.

n

YORKIE
YORKIE's picture
i had endless problems with

i had endless problems with the "dew" sensor keep flashing up-it always seemed to happen when i needed it the most,i got so annoyed with it one day-i hit it a couple of times at the bottom right hand side of the tape compartment(which is where the dew sensor`s are)it hasnt happened since.RESULT

valyyyy
valyyyy's picture
a fost de ajuns sa o lovesc

a fost de ajuns sa o lovesc de sus in jos cu palma!si a functionat!dupa ce am fost la reparatii de 3 ori si nu au gasit defectiunea!

Larry Dillon
Larry Dillon's picture
sorry I do not speak Spanish,

sorry I do not speak Spanish, but it seems you have a common problem such as a bad dew sensor that has to be replaced.

valyyyy
valyyyy's picture
tradu pagina!you have a

tradu pagina!you have a options!translate!

valyyyy
valyyyy's picture
in my coutry y have a damage

in my coutry y have a damage repair to camcorders video becouse shi's don't now!puss by upsydes ,and see!

diy dave
diy dave's picture
Been without the use of my

Been without the use of my camera for 2/3 yrs, just out of warranty when i got the dredded DEW message on the screen To fix would have cost me more than i paid for it. Thanks to OMlet's suggestion i soldering the joints and it's now up and running.I was on the verge of binning it, once again many thanks OMlet.

sonny1
sonny1's picture
i saw DEW error too, open up

i saw DEW error too, open up where the tape and battery are located...used the hairdryer... then it works....

jreed94652
jreed94652's picture
HOLA, QUIERO AGRADECER A Alan

HOLA, QUIERO AGRADECER A Alan ataplow@vtlink.net, POR QUE PUDE REPARAR MI VIDEOGRABADORA SHARP VL-Z1U GRACIAS A SUS CONSEJOS. SOLDE LAS TERMINALES DEL SENSOR Y QUEDO PERFECTA. GRACIAS Y RECOMIENDO LA SOLUCIÓN. THANK YOU

sadanand shahi
sadanand shahi's picture
I too purchased a

I too purchased a sharpveiwcamZ when I was in Heidelberg Germany in 2003.The problem of Dew occor since 2005 and camera doesn't work.Now sggest me what is to be done.One more query-Is it possible to change from casset system to chip or card system?

Conrad
Conrad's picture
With technology changes and

With technology changes and the ability to video edit I wanted to pull out the 8MM just to find the same issues everyone else had with the dew problem. I left it open, used a hair dryer no fix. This worked for me although I would be cautious not to recommend because your footage is probably heirloom at this point but.... I left the door open once the tape engaged the video camera and hit play. Just as a precaution I made sure that I put dark fabric over the top to prevent light from entering (if that really mattered??). My intention was to move the video quickly and probably discard the tape if it worked. I ran the video out to my mini dv input and hit record. I have had no issues thus far. Cost ranges about 25.00 per tape to get them formatted on DVD and about 500.00 to buy another 8MM DV. It was worth the gamble - I didn't want to pay for something to read obsolete equipment just to move over 15 tapes.

 

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