I recently acquired the DMR-ES15 (PAL) and the drive seems to think there's a disc in there. It sounds like the laser is trying to locate and read.
Here's the video, you can hear it after a bit of Please Wait. You can see the disc icon is on in the display when the trays empty.
Dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/534aw56y496b6sz/Es15-issue.mp4?dl=0
Im good at taking stuff apart so any help appreciated.
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The laser is shot, happens all the time, especially with an es-15. If you can locate a replacement laser you might be able to DIY, there is a guy in the states that does just that. Not so much for the es-15 as it was basically a disposable DVR but he keeps busy replacing plenty of lasers on HDD model Panasonics which are starting to fail more and more as the years go by.
Last I read there was a place in the UK advertising replacement lasers. Not sure if they are still around or what replacing it entails but from what I remember the part was quite cheap(<5lbs). Good luck!
Oh BTW I currently have 6 Panasonics with the same problem, 3 es-15s, 1 EH-55, 1 es-45v and 1 es-35v, all just sitting on a shelf, unusable
Bummer. I should note the player worked before it was sent to me (ebay). So I suspect something got knocked in transit.
Will keep an eye out for lasers or replacement drives.
It could just be a dirty lens. Try gently cleaning it with a cotton bud dipped in alcohol.
I tried cleaning it to no avail.
Heres a video with the top removed.
Looks like laser is powered and all motors are functioning. No idea why it thinks theres a disc there.
My ES-15 always does a laser/sled check when it powers up whether a disc is loaded or not. So your unit is failing the test and giving an error message which may not be reliable.
I have a working Panasonic EZ-28 which I decided to open up, looks like has same drive but it wouldnt work in the ES-15. Probably has different firmware or controller pcb differences. Tried the ES-15 drive in the other and did same thing. Guess Ill try a laser or drive replacement.