Dirty head message on A1 at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old January 31st, 2009, 06:18 PM   #1
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Dirty head message on A1

Just got this used A1, shot maybe a tape through it and have had the 'dirty heads, use cleaning cassette' message appear 3 times. I have run a cleaning cassette through it each time, and after it came up the last time, I just kept recording when the message appeared and I think it came out of it and recorded fine for the rest of the day (roughly 20 min of footage) . The previous owner said he used Panasonic tapes, and the tape I used was a Panasonic AMQ (to stick with the same brand). I was filming outside each time it happened in cold weather, but NEVER had a problem with the PD170 or VX2100's in the same conditions.

Andy suggestions would be great. I tried searching the other posts, but couldn't really find a solution other than run the tape cleaner and it should correct itself.

Thanks
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Old February 1st, 2009, 12:40 AM   #2
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Try pressing the reset button, follow instructions.

Cheers.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 10:44 AM   #3
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Ill give it a shot.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 12:18 PM   #4
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I had horrible problems with those AMQ tapes with severe dropout problems. A bad one could give you head clog easily. The cold weather shouldn't be an issue. I switched to the Sony Digital Mastering tapes, which cost twice as much, and haven't had a single dropout since. I use the head cleaning tape about every 30 hours or after shooting in a dusty environment.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 01:24 PM   #5
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Interesting, the reason why I got the AMQ's was because I read some good reviews on here about them. I suspected they might be the tapes as well. I received a bad batch of sony tapes when I had my old PD 170 and really caused some problems. The guy that had the cam before me ran the lower end panasonics with no problem whatsoever.
Sucks that you pay more for a tape that gives you less reliability. I just figured I'd poke around and see if other canon users had any problems.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 02:35 PM   #6
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There have been quite a few posts about this. I also switched to the AMQs when I got my XH A1 because of good reports. My first dozen or so tapes were fine and I was a happy camper. But I went on a shoot with another guy, who also has an XH A1. He bought the tapes, two cases of AMQs. Between us we had five or six bad tapes out of one of the cases. I wrote that off to a bad batch. However, later on the same thing happened with a different batch I bought a couple of months later. I think it's a quality control issue and it's the luck of the draw whether you have trouble.

As far as I'm concerned, tape on any shoot is less money that what we spend on pizza, so I want the best I can get. We're paying about $17 each for the Sonys now. At the same time, I know one company that shoots with the cheaper Sony Premium tapes, and as far as I know they haven't had any problems at all. If I were just shooting home movies, I'd use the cheaper Sonys. They also have an "HDV" tape that's about the same price as the Panasonics, maybe a dollar or so more. But for professional stuff, I'm sticking with the PHDVM. At B&H they're not under HD tapes, they're under DVCAM, for some reason. Probably because they start with "P", like the PDVM DVCAM tapes (which I used for hundreds of hours of tape over a 7 year period without a single dropout).
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 10:56 AM   #7
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The guy that used my camera before was using the panasonic AY-DVM63PQ with no problems from what he told me. Those are going for $3.65 each at B&H. I might try those first before I switch over to Sony's. Did you have any problem switching brands? I want to avoid it if possible.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 12:54 PM   #8
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No problem switching as long as you use your head cleaning tape (for no longer than 10 seconds) before switching. It's not a good idea to switch back and forth a lot.
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