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Gemstar VCR Plus Model VIP-18



Jan 1, 1970
I have owned about a dozen of these through the years, all with pretty much
the same failure -
Symptoms - the LCD begins missing several segments. If a vcr+ code is
punched in, the unit will go ahead and turn the vcr on and off, like it is
supposed to, but the LCD is mostly unreadable.

I took one apart this morning. Found a dead 3 volt lithium battery inside.
Replaced it with a good battery and powered the unit back up. Same
symptoms. (The word VCR is displayed on the LCD, but several segments are
missing). Next I checked the ESR on the four electrolytic capacitors and
found everything within reason there. Next I ohmmetered the caps, just to
make sure none were shorted, then I paralleled the caps with known good
ones. No change. Checked all transistors and diodes, everything looks
good. The circuit board is the double sided type so I resoldered every
connection, just to ensure conductivity from one side of the board to the
other, still no change. The only thing I have noticed, when I press on the
back side of the LCD, and run my finger across it, the segments do flash on
and off intermittently (but the text isn't correct), and when I stop
pressing on the back side of the LCD the text returns to pretty much what it
was when I started. I (very carefully) soldered a little bit around the
microprocessor on the side that feeds the LCD, but still no change.

Has anyone ever worked on one of these and figured out what fails? It's
apparently a pretty common problem. I had one of these that I bought brand
new. It worked great until the low battery warning message appeared on the
LCD. I replaced the batteries and from that point on the LCD has never
displayed right. I called Gemstar and they said they don't service them
(this has been two or three years ago).

Thanks for any help.


Jan 1, 1970
Don`t know the problem with that unit, but I see newer 4 head hi-fi vcr`s
working at yardsales for $5.00 and they have trouble selling them. how much
are brokens worth?
I guess DVD recorders are in.


Jan 1, 1970
hi there

i have also had the same problem, with 2 of mine and 1 from a friends
again i have not managed to fix it. i now ignore the screen and just
make sure i type the code in correctly
and hope for the best ..

thing is they will become pretty usless in a couple of years
unless that can be totally re-programmed to work with
dvd recorders and freeview boxes .its a pitty that did not make one
for freeview boxes as i would not miss as much stuff as i do now .

good luck

de paul