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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.

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Old March 28th, 2005, 08:15 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 55
Head Cleaning Tapes? Please Help

I received a message that said clean dirty heads when I was trying to record the other day. I have only made about ten hours of recordings since I've had the GL-2 (June 04'). I have dubbed some tapes to my GL-2 and have used the pause mode since I edited the recording from another camcorder. I just read that pausing a tape can cause the heads to become dirty. I would send it to the factory, but I need to use it in a couple of days.

Will running a canon dry cleaning tape help at all?

Is it normal to get that message since I've barely used it?

Is it possible since I was on a humid beach at the time it could have caused the message to pop up? I tape the cassette door so I don't think there is anyway dirt can get in is there?

If pausing is causing this problem would it be less wear and tear to fast forward and rewind during playback using the GL-2 instead of recording to the GL-2 when I dub via firewire from camcorder to camcorder?

Thank you for your help,
Tony Marino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2005, 12:18 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Shreveport, LA
Posts: 96
Head Cleaning

I do not believe you have a major problem. I had my first dirty head message in less than 10 hours. At that moment I had no time to use a cleaning tape. I inserted another tape and a few moments later captured the bride and groom leaving the church. The footage was fine The second time I got the dirty head message I had time to use a cleaning tape, then continued with the same recording tape. Once again, the footage subsequent to using the cleaning tape was fine.

Yes, humidity could cause the dirty head message. My Canon ZR50mc seems more prone to the dirty head messsage in areas of high humidity. My GL1's and GL2 are less affected by humidity.

The pause issue is during the camera/record mode, not in the VCR/playback mode. I seldom use my GL2 for playback so I really cannot comment on the effect of pauses during the VCR/playback mode.

The problem with pauses during the camera/record mode seems to occur only when there are frequent LONG pauses. So, when I record 6 or 10 seconds, pause for 3-4 minutes, and record another 6 or 10 seconds, and continue likewise, I am more likely to get a dirty head message. A cleaning tape has always fixed the problem.

Use a cleaning tape for 10 seconds in the VCR/record mode (not in the camera/record mode). That will clean the heads. Don't overdo the cleaning because it it is abrasive to the heads. Periodically send your GL2 to Canon for cleaning and adjustment. I send mine in once a year. Otherwise, use the cleaning tape as needed when a problem is exhibited (mosaic footage) or you get the dirty head message.
Mike Donley
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