Sony GV-D800 Video Walkman
Sony Digital Video Cassette Recorder GV-D800 NTSC Digital 8
This Sony GV-D800 Video Walkman is a lot smaller than what it looks on the picture. The portable Sony GV-D800 provides a 4" Color LCD Screen, to edit and record your digital videos. While it can play previously recorded Digital8, Hi8 or Video8 videos, it can only record in Digital 8 format.
I bought this Sony Video Walkman on the Facebook marketplace for $60 Canadian, even though the LCD wasn't working. I decided to try and fix it, and it turned out to be a pretty easy fix. This highly coveted Video Walkman is otherwise in great condition, and I've started to appreciate these sophisticated devices with all the mechanical magic going on inside them.
Here is a picture of the device working with a Digital8 tape from the movie Alien (1979).
Table of contents
User and Service Manuals
You can read more about the specs of this unit in the brochure or user manual.
After I brought it home and plugged it in, there was no video as expected. I wasn't sure where to start, so I scanned through the service manual. It was a bit overwhelming. At this point, the issue could have been any number of things, including leaking out-of-spec capacitors, failed components, or loose wires.
I unscrewed the six screws holding the top cover of the LCD screen in place and measured the voltage on the larger white wires (EP-51) that fed the PCB. There was no voltage at all when the device was playing the tape.
I thought the mechanical switch that turns the LCD on/off might be defective, so I removed the detection cable from the LS-56 board that was hiding near the center of the hinge. Still, no luck. Below is a picture that explains what I experimented first.
Always remember, fixes are usually simple
Well, finding the issue can be difficult, especially if you haven't worked on similar devices previously or the know-how of the engineering that went into building it.
I decided to remove the bottom cover and inspect. After removing few screws (they are quite intuitive to find), bottom plastic panel came off, revealing the VC-250 board that was sitting underneath it.
VC-250 appeared to be the main board for the device. I was pleased to see that there were no electrolytic capacitors. I inspected all the cables and they all looked great at a first glance. After carefully looking, I found this flex cable connector to be loose.
Moment of truth
I decided to push the flex cable in a bit more snugly, and then power on the device. Voila! Sony GV-D800, Video Walkman from early 2000s was back in action. Pictures shown above were all taken after tightening up the cable, so you are seeing the after pictures. In the heat of the moment, forgot to take the before pictures. But, you get the idea.
I tried an external input, since my 3 year old was eager to see the outcome of her favorite TV show.
I'm glad that everything worked out in the end, but I wanted to share my experience bringing this device back to life.