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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 May 14th, 2009, 12:50 AM   #1
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Remove the cassette

So I just got back from a shoot and I am trying to capture the tapes, and my A1 is giving me huge problems. First it would not accept any tapes. I would push the compartment in and it would go down there, but then one of the gears would start turning back and forth pretty quick, and say "Remove the Cassette." So I tried a bunch of different tapes, and now it is taking tapes every once in awhile, but not showing any timecode or video or anything when I hit play.

Any ideas what could be wrong, and how serious it could be? I have an aftermarket warranty on the camera, but I have a ton of work coming up over the next few months, and can't afford to send it out for more than even a week.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 01:05 AM   #2
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Hi Mike........

Sounds like you have a tape transport malfunction and it's a "back to Canon" repair.

My suggestion is to go out and buy either a HV20/30/40 (second hand is fine) to use as a backup deck and B cam, which may see you through the worst of the A1's repair absence.


CS
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Old May 14th, 2009, 01:10 AM   #3
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Okay I am going to drop by a local repair shop tomorrow and see if they say the same thing. I have a Mack warranty...hopefully they can do something for me. I need XLR inputs and everything, so an HV20 won't work.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 03:33 AM   #4
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Hi again.....

you might want try running a cleaning tape through the camera, as many as three straight times.

If that doesn't clear it, yep, your toast.

BTW, you don't need XLR's to capture from tape, only to capture TO tape.

If it is imperitive that you capture these tapes now, another deck is a must, it might as well have a lens on the front.


CS
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Old May 14th, 2009, 09:40 AM   #5
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Oh sorry, I guess I wasn't clear there. I do have another small mini DV camera that I use to capture 4:3 SD footage from (these are sports broadcasts that were shot in 4:3 from 3 different Canons). So I am okay with capturing for the time being. But I need the XLR inputs for feeds from the press box to the main camera.

Here is a little update: I let the camera sit overnight while I went home and tried to get some rest. Back in the office this morning, and it appeared to be doing the same thing. However, it eventually found timecode on one of the tapes, and started playing the footage back with 4 solid horizontal black bars. At this point, I popped a cleaning tape in and ran it for 10 seconds, and then put the regular tape back in and it appears to be playing the footage like normal! I think I will run the cleaning tape for another 10 seconds, and hopefully I can be back in business here. Thanks for your help!
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Old May 15th, 2009, 01:51 AM   #6
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FWIW... I noticed long ago that if you don't let the tape fully "drop" into the cassette well, that triggers the "remove cassette" bit. Even mere milliseconds before it's fully loaded can cause this.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 03:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Busby View Post
FWIW... I noticed long ago that if you don't let the tape fully "drop" into the cassette well, that triggers the "remove cassette" bit. Even mere milliseconds before it's fully loaded can cause this.
Interesting Bill, so you do make sure the tape hits the bottom of the well first time?

Mike you ARE pushing *PUSH* to load the tape, not the side of the lid.

Cheers.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 03:45 AM   #8
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Alan, ever since the first few times I noticed this, I always make sure I let it do it's thing. And you're right... I forgot about the "PUSH" side. Funny though, one would think it shouldn't make a difference, but seems it does.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 05:44 PM   #9
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Yeah I was pushing *PUSH* and not just the door. I must have ejected and inserted a tape over 50 times in this particular instance before it finally grabbed it. Had the camera for over 2 years with no problems, so it doesn't seem like it would be an error on my part. I think it was a mechanical failure that somehow corrected itself. Pretty scary stuff though!
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Old May 21st, 2009, 06:16 PM   #10
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Mike, reading your first post with the work coming up, after 2 years I'd send your A1 in for a service as soon as possible. You'll wish you'd done so if it goes down at some super critical stage.

Canon also check and make other adjustments during a service. See if you can arrange a fast one somehow. Maybe rent an A1 in the interim.

Cheers.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 01:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Flynn View Post
...started playing the footage back with 4 solid horizontal black bars. ...
Usually this is a magnetized tape or head. I had this problem quite often on my Sony D8 TRV 420e and I sort it out by recording one second before playing the tape. Cleaning cassette had no effect at all.




God help us all!
Honestly,
Christian.
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