Panasonic WJ-AVE5 guidance and help - outputting b&h (no color)

Hey, this is my first post on this forum, and I’m grateful that this resource exists!

I recently bought a Panasonic WJ-AVE5. I was excited about using it not only to create visual glitches, but also to integrate it into a linear editing workflow (I also have two AG-5700s and am looking for an editing module - background in film editing and interested in the older workflows)

Anyway, the device appeared to be in optimal condition - clean, fader caps all intact, the previous owner provided the manual and they’d even written in the date they purchased the device (30.12.1993!) and so I was optimistic that everything would be fine.

I connected two separate video sources from the 5700s and previewed them (using monitor out for channels 1 & 2) on separate monitors. Everything so far is fine.

However, when I try to output the mixed signal (here I tried both BNC monitor as well as Rec out 1 & 2) the signal I get is mostly black and white, definitely distorted, with strange banding which affects most of the picture. The effects still work just fine, meaning fades, mixes are clean, but the signal is not.

I’m not experienced yet with electronics, so i don’t know where to start:

  1. can an error like this be repaired, or should I just try to find another device?
  2. does the community know of people who can fix these mixers? I’m currently based in Germany, and most people I speak to about video moved on from this tech years ago
  3. has anyone had any experience dealing with these errors on the WJ-AVE5, and do you have any suggestions for me?

It feels like a bit of a crap shoot right now. This was the cleanest example I could find online, for a reasonable price. No one here seems to be able to test their devices before they sell, because no one has the appropriate cables/equipment. I can see this becoming a bottomless pit of wasted money, unless I can drive out to each individual with my own gear and test everything beforehand.

So… can anyone help?

PS: I can post some pictures later, if that helps.

Kaminski

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From experience, the black and white is caused by the clock on the mixer channels having drifted. Twiddling the tuning capacitors can bring it back.

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Hey, thanks for this! can you explain what you mean by twiddling the capacitors though? Do I need to replace them, or is this external?

Hello Everyone, greetings from argentina once again, so I’ve bought an old PAL AVE 5 that seems to be working just fine except for I cant get it to output in color, at first I thought it could be a video norm issue, but the tv I’m using can handle NTSC and PAL since its a rather “modern” model. Then I thought it could be the BNC to RCA adapters the previous owner of the AVE5 sent but that probably isn’t the case, so I was reading different threads in this forum and found people having similar issues and then read [this thread] where someone commented that it could be due to the clocks in the mixer channels drifting, and that it could be fixed by twiddling the capacitors but then didn’t go into further details about how to fix this or what he/her meant by that.
Im just getting into analog video mixing and video art so I have 0 experience in the matter, any help is welcome.
(Panasonic WJ-AVE5 guidance and help)

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Hey Matt, greetings from Germany. Looks like we’re in a similar boat. I’m asking people locally if they have any more info, and I’ll share here anything I find out as well. Would love to know what we’re supposed to open up and look at. Worst case scenario, I’m considering taking the mixer down south to someone who still does repairs on gear. The problem is that most people in this country who used to do video stuff have moved on. DVDs killed the medium, it seems.

Kaminski

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this is more of a meta reply than specific, but it might be good just to have 1 dedicated thread for stuff like this, either maybe on a per-mixer basis, or for specific issues like color loss on panasonic mixers in general? seems like it could help folks looking for issues and for folks doing troubleshooting together. otherwise like i’ve seen in other internet video art groups we could literally end up with 100 separate threads all literally asking the same question about color loss on ave5/3/7 with various ppl only responding with links to other threads

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I agree

hey folks, as discussed i merged the new thread into the existing thread about this issue, and renamed the original post to be more explicit about the issue - let’s keep the discussion all in one place so we can easily find it later!

i can understand how frustrating it is to have a seemingly fully working mixer, which is outputting a video signal successfully except that there is no color. i have seen this issue come up many times, and unfortunately have never seen any simple fix that people reported to solve it, not that it’s impossible but these devices are aging and unfortunately it’s probably capacitor related, which to me means i should probably just use it as i can in its current state – aka, embracing the limitations the world throws at me.

i do know that, in similar mixers, i have opened them up and seen some trim pots for calibration - they are little round plastic things usually with a straight edge groove so they can be turned with a small screwdriver. sometimes, twirling these around while the device is powered on can adjust the signal and correct it. i believe the ave5 is mains powered which means it’s extra important to not touch anything else inside while it’s powered on. that was what came to mind when i read “twiddling the capacitors” even though i still don’t know what that means. all i can imagine is just poking various capacitors which doesn’t seem too helpful.

good luck to all and let us know if you figure anything out or if anyone else has advice.

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I have heard (from Jonas Bers, I think) that opening up these Panasonic mixers and simply making sure the internal ribbon cables are firmly attached will fix many common problems.

This is true of more equipment than just Panasonic mixers as well.

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this is a solid tip for literally any of electronic troubleshooting. its cheap and easy to open something up and not just check any ribbon/molex connector between different pcbs but do a quick alcohol wipedown on the ribbon/molex leads/slots as well. look out for the tan/orange colored pcb with the extra large capacitors & inductors all over it that sits right near where the ac plug goes in, there is always potentially a charge stored in there that could at the very least knock you on yr ass if not worse.

once you’ve got everything open, then you can take a look around. next easy step is to clean out any fans/air holes, anything that has enuf dense microprocessors on it hopefully has some kind of temperature sensor that just cuts power to anything with dense enuf transistors if the internal temperature is too high.

then just look around and see if theres any caked on gunk/dust/human grease that could be causing a short. clean it off with some alchohol. maybe you found an exploded or leaking capacitor at some point, its the stuff that usually smells like a metallic fish is rotting and sometimes looks like it too. you’ll def want to put on some gloves and maybe a mask too to clean that junk off.

apologies to the OP’s, because this might not be exactly the steps that will fix yr panasonics. on the other hand, this is a routine i’ve followed that has ‘fixed’ a suprisingly large number of electronic devices that other folks had given up for dead. For more detailed knowledge on a very specific peice of hardware i look at the service manual, it will usually have a laundry list of common failures and instructions on how to troubleshoot them. Theres always the option to try to find some old broadcast engineers message boards and search through for relevant advice too! if the boards are still active you might actually even find someone who will be literally amazed that anyone still gives a hoot about some panasonic prosumer sd video mixers in 2022 and will help you out just for shits and giggles.

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