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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
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Old August 21st, 2007, 06:50 PM   #1
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What Canon says about cleaning tapes

I wrote Canon tech support about an issue I'm having where when I play back a tape I get spurious brief freezes (no distortion, just a freeze) that occur in different spots each time the tape is played. BTW, I am using the Panasonic 63AMQ tapes exclusively.

As I suspected, dirty heads seems the most likely culprit. The first reply from one support tech said to clean the heads for 2-3 minutes using one of the dry cleaning cassettes. I questioned the length of the cleaning and another support tech echoed the same thing.

Thoughts?
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Old August 21st, 2007, 06:55 PM   #2
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Sounds like a drastic measure and one I personally would be hesitant to try.
Dry cleaning tapes are abrasive. Stands to reason the more you use them the harder they are on your heads. Thats not to say a one time 2-3 minutes use would do damage. Just my two cents.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 08:24 PM   #3
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I have a Sony cleaning tape I reserve for the XL1 and XL H1, since I only use Sony tapes in both. The instructions say run for 10 seconds. If the heads need repeat cleaning, repeat, but no more than 5 times consecutively. I also have a Panasonic cleaning tape that came with my AG-DV1000 deck. The instructions say run for 20 seconds, but no more than 4 times consecutively. So why print instructions, if someone else tells you to ignore them. Use them for what they were designed for, but I don't think that cleaning tapes should be used carelessly as a cure all for perhaps a more serious problem that might lurking inside your camera. If a cleaning tape doesn't do the job in at least 2 passes, it might be time for a professional head cleaning.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 08:33 PM   #4
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I would most definitely not run the tape for 2-3 minutes. If you got that advice in email, you might want to save the email. Maybe Chris will run into a Canon engineer at NAB or something and say, "Hey, see what your service guys are telling people." If you did run the tape that long and damaged the heads, you're not going to find any service tech who'll ever admit to telling your that. And probably the first thing they'd say is, "Hey, did you overuse your cleaning tape? Sure looks like it."

I'd send the camera in while it's under warranty.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 08:36 PM   #5
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Our shop tech states no more than 5-10 seconds. THEN.....wait 2 minutes and repeat no longer than three times with 2 minute intervals. This allows the heads/drum to cool down.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 08:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
Maybe Chris will run into a Canon engineer at NAB or something and say, "Hey, see what your service guys are telling people."
I don't even have to do that... they read this forum regularly so they'll find out for themselves and get it corrected fairly quickly.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 09:59 PM   #7
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As I mentioned, it was two different techs that gave the "2-3 minutes" answer.

Given that, I betcha it's in a standard answer in a Canon document. Of course, that doesn't mean it's really the right thing to do. Which is why I did not take the action and asked for advice here.

I did save both emails. :-)
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