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Sony FDL-220R Watchman Troubleshooting
Due to the simplicity of the Watchman's design, troubleshooting is fairly easy.
- Screen doesn’t light up
- Buttons are unresponsive
- Poor reception
- No/distorted audio
- Damaged plastic casing
Screen is either very faint or completely blank and seems to have no backlight.
It is possible that the screen does not light up because a bad battery prevents the device from turning on. In order to check the batteries, open the easy-access, rectangular battery case on the back of the Watchman.
Make sure that the device's batteries are clean and functional. The Sony FDL-220R Watchman takes three (3) AA batteries. Change batteries if they are unclean or dead. Correctly align batteries within the battery compartment with the (+) and (-) symbols. If problem persists, examination of the battery contacts in the battery compartment or on the main circuit board may be necessary. Follow this guide to fix battery problems.
The screen will not light if the device is switched to the incorrect input. The device has two options for input: "TV" and "Radio." In order to check the selected input, locate the input switch on the right side of the device's exterior. The device must be switched the "TV" position if the screen is to light.
The Watchman does not respond when buttons are pressed.
If the buttons are unable to be pressed and therefore unable to elicit a response from the Watchman, the problem may simply be dirty buttons. Although a minor issue, the solution is to clean your Watchman's buttons of any unwanted substances.
You can clean the device's buttons simply with a damp paper towel, or by using special cleaning cloths for use on electronic devices. Make sure that the buttons are free of debris or sticky substances in order to make sure that they are able to be pressed and function properly. If the buttons need to be removed and cleaned, follow this guide.
The buttons may not evoke a response from the Watchman because the component on the circuit board that sends a signal may be broken. The circuit board components connect the button to the main circuit board, facilitating the needed action. If this connection is lost, the Watchman will not properly react.
The components have small black buttons and are soldered to the circuit board. To check the components, you'll need to open up the main body of the Watchman. If the components are damaged or disconnected, they will need replacing.
There is faint to no reception of TV channels and radio stations.
The device may not pick up reception if it is set to the improper bandwidth. The Sony FDL-220R Watchman provides two selections for bandwidth: "UHF" or "VHF." The appropriate selection depends on what signal you need to pick up. In order to select the appropriate signal, use the switch on the upper right exterior of the device.
A main cause of poor reception is simply bad signal strength. In order to receive proper reception, you must adjust the device's antenna. With the Sony FDL-220R Watchman, the antenna is located within the device's handy blue strap. The combination of the strap and antenna has cleverly been dubbed the "straptenna." Conveniently located and easily adjusted, the straptenna is able to slide through the device in order to pick up different signal strengths.
To slide and adjust the straptenna, you must first press and hold the grey, round button located on the device's back. Pressing and holding the button unlocks the straptenna, enabling the appendix to slide freely. Adjust the straptenna by sliding it through the device until the strongest signal is acquired.
If adjusting the antenna for better signal strength does not allow for better reception, the antenna may be frayed or broken. If the antenna itself is unable to properly function, it disconnects signals from reaching the Watchman and therefore provides poor to no reception.
A disconnected antenna cannot be fixed with simple adjustments. A broken antenna must be replaced. See this guide to reattach or replace the antenna.
When used, the Watchman makes little to no sound in either the speaker or headphones.
A simple cause for no audio is that the headphone jack is engaged. In order to check the to see if this is the cause, look at the small hole at the top of the Watchman which has a picture of headphones beside of it - this is the headphone jack. If something is plugged into the jack and is compatible with the device, the audio will come out of whatever is plugged into the jack instead of through the main speaker.
If audio from headphones is indeed desired, make sure that headphones are firmly and securely inserted into the jack. Loose headphones will provide little or distorted audio.
If audio from the main speaker is desired, remove the item engaged in the headphone jack. The audio's output should immediately switch to the main speaker.
Another easy solution to a bad volume issue is to check the selected volume level. The volume knob for the Sony FDL-220R Watchman exists to the right exterior of the device. The volume knob controls what level the audio output is. If the volume knob is set to a low or no volume level, then the simple solution is to turn it up. Adjust the volume knob upwards to increase the level of sound.
In a worst-case scenario, no/distorted audio may be caused by the device's mono-speaker having gone bad. If you cannot get your audio to work from the above methods, then a bad mono-speaker could be your issue.
In order to fix the issue of a bad mono-speaker, complete replacement of the component is necessary. To replace the speaker, see this guide.
The casing on my device is cracked, chipped, or broken.
The silver, plastic body of the device can crack or chip. While an external and mostly cosmetic issue, if this happens, take precautions to ensure your fingers' safety. Cracks and chips may be sharp and hazardous. In order to remedy a broken plastic case, complete replacement of the body's casing is necessary.