I just bought The RCA DRC8030N 80GB Recorder and thought I would put my 2 cents in, So far I like it, has a few things I do not like, but the one thing I do like is, if I record a program onto the internal hard drive and there is another show I want that comes on right after that one and not going to have time to stop that recording and start the next one, I just let it keep recording and when it is done use the split title and that seperates the 2 programs, also comes in good when you record at one of the top 3 better speeds and then doesn't fit on a dvd, you can use the title split. It happened to me this afternoon, but I was able to get 2 of the shows onto a disc at the #3 good speed and the third program will wait until i have enoght to fill another disc. Do not use the Smart Record, if you do, you will have to watch the show over again as it records it onto dvd at real time and shrinks it so bad that the recording is bright and not good to watch.
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where is the option to finalize the disk just copied to disk but it did not ask me to finalize disk will not play in other dvd player. cant find this option
Hit the "menu" button on the remote, that should give you a screen on the left. The top item is "Watch TV", the second is "Disc", scroll to disc and click ok, the next screen will have as the fourth item from the top "Disc Actions", scroll to that and click ok, the next screen will have "finalize" as the fourth item from the top.
"Disc Actions" will not be available if the disc is already finalized.
I only have the ES10 and 531H. I had the 2001G briefly last year for testing, next the two M10's that came in for repair, and now this 8030N. It might seem like a lot but I returned the 2001G and the M10's have gone back to their owners.
By the way thanks for the advice about VirtualDubMod years ago. That set Gshelley61 and I on the right path to all this testing. The testing itself takes little time, but learning how to use these machines takes longer. You probably have noticed that the RCA and Polaroid have quite different user interfaces.
Sorry to see you are not as active as before. Work related I presume.
Between changes at work (for the better) and some other video-related side projects, yes, not as available for forums and whatnot, not for a while.
Trying to find a nice HDD recorder for myself has been a big hassle, so I'm testing machines whether I want to or not!
It's either that or stop watching tv, which is almost tempting sometimes, given the frustrations of HDD machines. I'm possibly going to look at a Toshiba before throwing in the towel.
This RCA unit is barely good enough, it has a lot of potential, like so many other machines do. It mostly just needs a good stereo tuner. You ever look into modifying those kinds of components? It's really the only thing that doesn't get picked apart by hackers so far. Drives, burners, firmware, etc... those are often attacked, customized, modified or exploited.
So you can fix JVC machines? Ever consider opening a service for it?
It mostly just needs a good stereo tuner. You ever look into modifying those kinds of components?
Notice in the lower left, the output labelled SIF. That means Sound Intermediate Frequency. That signal has stereo information if it is broadcast that way, but what the recorder designer does with it is what determines if the recorder can only present mono sound from the tuner. In the RCA it means that it is parts on the main board with the mpeg processor that determine if it will have mono sound. I do not want to redesign their main board with the mpeg processor but it would require that.
So you can fix JVC machines? Ever consider opening a service for it?
I prefer to help people help themselves rather than do it for them. Hkan has a great site for Pioneer like that at www.pioneerfaq.info.
P.S. You have a pretty nice web site yourself. Have you ever considered adding a self help section for upgrading and repair? There is a wealth of knowledge out there but it requires searching many threads to get it.
Seems like there is a lot of interest in these subjects. The Pioneer 520H hdd upgrade thread has about 180,000 hits but itself. The JVC M10S repair about 62,000 and another 61,000 for hacking the Pioneer 510.
Hkan is not doing all the work himself on his site. He has a long list of credits for all the people who contributed. Corona and I produced the pdf's for how to pull the TV Guide and Timer functions off a good Pioneer hdd, we submitted the code from my good drive for him to archive, and how to install it back onto a new drive. He was kind enough to credit us.
A problem with the threads, is that some material submitted does not work. For example, when I downloaded code submitted early in the 520H hdd upgrade thread for loading into a Philips Pronto remote, I found every button worked except the "9". My CPRM code had two "9's" in it. I was lucky that later on, Mark Venture posted a link to code that worked.
Hkan's site has filtered out some of these issues and he has it nicely organized. I was surprised that nearly 1000 people have downloaded the archived Pioneer TV Guide and Timer code. I hope his donations are rolling in.
P.S. I found the the 8030N can record a mode 2 ( two hour mode ) title for eight hours on the hdd before it creates a new title. I found nothing about that limitation in the manual. I had it set to timer record from 7am to 9pm and found it created two titles from 7am to 3pm and 3pm to 9pm. The Pioneer has a similar limitation but the Pioneer's maximum recording time per title is 12 hours.
Originally Posted by masochrist
Recently made my purchase of the 8030N which my local WalMart had on clearance at $125. I agree with most of the pro and cons mentioned here in the forum along with my two cents.
I successfully increased the hard drive to a 200G drive. The slow time amount for recording increased from the advertised 120 hours to 351 hours. The recording times for best increased to 98 hours.
In reading about the "heartbeat" noise that a few others have mentioned, I must admit that my system also has it and although not overly loud, it is annoyingly noticeable, and therefore I'll be reinstalling the 80G drive and exchanging for one more system and if it too has the audible noise, then I will reluctantly shop for something else at a higher price.
Bee46 or any one else with informatin on hard drive replacement. Does the brand of hard drive make any difference? Does the RCA auto detect the hard drive heads, cyl., etc.?
Also has anyone figured out the operating system? or the partition information?
Partition commander sees the partition as free space and Windows XP home edition does not see the drive at all (refering to the 80 gig drive that came with the recorder.)
I would really like to make the drive removable to edit recordings in my computer.
I purchased two of these recorders for $85.00 at Walmart on clearenceKasitrol
Originally Posted by kasitrol
Best regards from Brazil............Fernando
kasitrol, nice job on scoring an excellent price for those. A Walmart down the street has them down to $159. But even with the minor audible noise, I'd keep mine for what you paid. Let us know if you hear the noise that has been referred to as a "heartbeat", albeit an irregular one.
As for the hard drive swap, I noticed the original post on this idea, the person used a WD 160G, I used a Maxtor 200G 7200rpm/8M cache and the system formatted and recognized it fine.
I don't have any other detailed info on the hard drive, but would like to know the answers as well. Would also like to know if there is any firmware updates available. As far as I can tell, not on RCA's website.
Hello Bee46 and Fernando. Thanks for the replys. I am learning as I go.
I have not heard the heart beat sound but my hearing is poor to start with so I am not sure I hear what everyone else hears. My wife has not mentioned it and she has excellent hearing.
I have not opened the 2nd recorder box as yet. It is still factory sealed. I am frustrated because I want to use VideoReDo to edit out commercials and I cannot do it due to the fact I can't find any files listed on the "free space" partition.
I also have a Accurian 80 gig recorder I got from Radio Shack a few months ago and it uses a Dos partition and file structure. I can easily make the HDD external and swappable and I really would like to do the same with the RCA.
Still I couldn't beat the price and Walmart sold out in two days. This one was located in Houston, Texas.
I love to play with this stuff and I love the challenge. I hope someone has figured it out and will read and reply to this post
So far I have not found anyone (looked in several forems in different web sites)who has figured out the HDD partition information.Kasitrol
Originally Posted by trhouse
Note : This Devices does not recover the stereo pilot tone from the RF signal, so it is not suitable for mobile application, like automobile.
Originally Posted by kasitrol
Wanted to check and see if you have heard the infamous heartbeat yet? I have since bought two more units, the last one locally on clearance, and one from walmart.com (for a total of three) and right out of the box, both had the problem. I am contemplating checking the warranty options for repair on one of them and if that looks promising, then I may go that route on one or two of them. But more realistically, since I have yet to find any mention of resolve for this online, I will probably just re-populate Walmart's shelf.
I still have not noticed the heart beat sound that you are describing. My wife and I watched a recorded movie this last weekend and it was ok as far as I know. She still did not complain
I should mention that I record everything in Best mode and also from Dish network Satellite. I do not record through the air or use the built in tuner. I go directly into the composite video and audio inputs bypassing the tuner. I have heard complaints about the tuner but for my purposes I don't use it.
I still have not opened the box on the second recorder as yet. The date code on the unopened box is 6644CA. I don't know what the date code on the opened unit is but they were purchased at the same store one day apart.
I did buy a 200 Gig Maxtor HD ($49.99 at Frys Electronics Houston, Texas) this weekend so that I can change out the drive but I have not done so yet.
Do you know how large the hard drive can be? I have a 320 gig I would like to try but I do not want to run the chance of damaging the drive or recorder.
I tried putting a larger drive in the Accurian Recorder from Radio Shack and it wiped out the Firm Ware on the Recorder and I had to send it in for re-programming. It was covered under warranty but I do not want to run the chance with the RCA.
Does anyone know how to extract a copy of the firmware out of these machines? I don't know if it can be done but I would like to have a copy for archive purposes so if I do glitch the recorder I can re-program it myself.Kasitrol
Hi Bee46. My recorder arrived yesterday. I recorded some programs to test, and I did not hear the heartbeat. I will make some more tests today.............Fernando
Hello Bee46 and Fernando,
Bee46, did you put a blank non-partitioned 200 Gig drive in the recorder or did the drive have an existing partition? Since the recorder re-formats the drive I was curious if the drive was new out of the box without any partition or it had an existing partition from being used in a PC. I have Fdisk and Partition Commander available so I can do whatever is necessary but there is no since gambling if you have the answer.
I hope you enjoy the recorder Fernando. Keep us posted.Kasitrol
Hello Kasitrol. Thank you. The only thing that bothers me is my Toshiba recorder. It is an expensive recorder and it's impossible to replace internal HDD. Now it records only using medias (DVD-R / RW).
I think it's a big feature that RCA makes easy to replace HDD. Here in Brazil it's impossible to find a service center that fixes these recorders with HDD.
Sorry about my poor English. Best regards from Brazil.......Fernando
I don't know if this will help but it is worth a visit to the website. www.manualsparadise.com.
I did a cut and paste on their information. I hope this helps. It might be a good place to get information.
I hope this helps----Good Luck! By the way your English is fine.
Products for Toshiba RD-KX50SU
Product Format Language Price Cart
Service (repair) manual  Digital (Acrobat .PDF) English US$ 25.0
Schematic diagrams  Digital (Acrobat .PDF) English US$ 20.0
User/Owner manual  Digital (Acrobat .PDF) English US$ 10.0
Product Types Explanation
 Service (repair) manual: Depending on the type of product, it includes schematic and block diagrams, printed wiring boards, waveforms, parameters and IC pin descriptions, parts list, drawings and schematics of mechanisms. Please note that a service manual includes schematics, unless the product description mentions the opposite. Also please note that in some cases we also offer just the schematics as a separate product at a lower price, but that doesn't mean the service manual doesn't include them.
 Schematic diagrams: Includes only the schematic diagrams.
 User/Owner manual: Contains information on how to operate the device. It doesn't contain information on how to repair/service it.Kasitrol
Kasitrol, thanks for your help.
Two weeks ago I purchased service manual for RD-KX50SU. Believe it or not, it only explain this:
1. REPLACEMENT OF MECHANICAL PARTS
1. Peel off two tapes (1).
2. Remove four screws (2).
3. Disconnect the flexible cable (3) and the connector (4).
4. Remove four screws (5), then remove the dampers (7) and HDD (8).
• After replacing, attach the tape (1) to its original position.
It shows diagrams explaining the sequence. but after replace HDD, when recorder is turned on, it stucks with error code ER7034. I sent several e-mails to Toshiba in USA but they say they only support products used in USA. So I don't know what's the meaning of this error code.......Fernando
Originally Posted by kasitrol
Here's the test I use to find the heart beat sound. I like you run from a cable/satellite TV signal box into the DVR and do not use the built in tuner, and I run out of the back from the composite video to the TV and the digital coax out to a receiver/amp (but also tested using the regualr audio outputs and went directly to the TV).
Now tune into any channel and once audio and video are present, shut off your satellite box, which should result in no more audio or video signal, but the DVR should still be on. Now turn up the volume of your receiver (or TV as the case may be) and see if you don't pick up the heartbeat. For the most part it is masked while watching/listening to TV or a DVD.
As for any formatting of the 200G hard drive that I put in, I did nothing and put it in straight from the box. I didn't check on this one, but am thinking that any more some/most hard drives are coming straight out of the box pre-formatted w/ the whole drive being one partition and formatted in FAT32. Could be wrong on this one as I didn't check, but the "reformatting portion performed by the DVR itself did not take even a minute before shutting itself off. I was so quick that I was concerned that it did not work, but it was successful.
Let us know if you attempt the 320G. I would not think that any damage would come to it or the DVR as I had no problem with the 200G install, but can understand your leeriness after what happened on your Accurian.
btwe, sure miss shopping at Fry's. Had one in Austin before we moved from there.
Originally Posted by Bee46
I have to do everything online now. That means 1 week minimum in most cases. No more quick 30-minute round trips down the road.
As for any formatting of the 200G hard drive that I put in, I did nothing and put it in straight from the box. I didn't check on this one, but am thinking that any more some/most hard drives are coming straight out of the box pre-formatted w/ the whole drive being one partition and formatted in FAT32. Could be wrong on this one as I didn't check, but the "reformatting portion performed by the DVR itself did not take even a minute before shutting itself off.
I have been busy for the past few days and I have not had a chance to log on.
I will try the sound test as soon as I get home--out of town for a week or so.
I wonder if the RCA DRC8030N has a hidden partition? Some how it sounds like it might. I don't think the drive comes out of the box preformated or partitioned but I am not sure either.
If there is a hidden partition that could explain the free space and no files present. I don't know about the quick format though.
I will try to look at the 80 Gig system drive with fdisk and see what I find if I ever get the time. I have not tried the drive exchange yet as I have not had much play time.
I did try the edit function of hiding chapters and for the most part I thought it was very poor. Maby I don't understand it very well.
I have checked at Wally World in several Texas towns over the past couple of weeks and I did not find any of the DRC8030N's on the shelves. They may have been dropped from the stores.Kasitrol
New hard drives never come formatted retail or OEM. That would be silly.
Customer a wants it fat 32 and 3 partitions.
Customer b wants it NTFS and one big partition
Customer c wants it for linux
Originally Posted by TBoneit
A hard drive being pre-formatted doesn't preclude anyone from reformatting it in any of the configurations mentioned and more.
So what would be silly is to make a blanket statement that no hard drive ever came preformatted. That is unless you can say definitively that you have purchased a hard drive from every manufacturer. And it is very common for external drives to come out of the box preformatted.
Originally Posted by Marvingj