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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 October 22nd, 2007, 06:07 PM   #46
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I know this thread is a few months old... found it in a search, but I figured I would share a similar problem I had this weekend.

During shooting, after inserting a brand new Panasonic AY-DVM63AMQ tape, things were going great. About 20 minutes into the tape I get a message about heads dirty right when I started recording again. I thought it was odd since I've only used about 10 tapes in the camera thus far, so I disregarded the message, waiting until the event was over to run a cleaner.

Well it happened again... "use cleaner heads dirty" and again I kept going when out of nowhere the camera stops recording and I get the famed "removed cassette" error right in the middle of my shooting. So indeed I remove the cassette, re-insert it, and continue recording. At this point my timecode started over, which at the time was not as important as capturing the footage.

Well, now that I am back at home transferring the footage on my Mac, the tape plays back completely blank, no data whatsoever, not even timecode. Somehow the tape got off track and I recorded an hour's worth of video that has now disappeared.

I've inspected the tape visually by manually opening the door, and the edge of the tape is damaged. It won't play back in my A1 or HV20. The footage was pretty important, but not the most important I got for the whole shoot, which I guess is positive. So if you have any ideas how to recover my footage from a damaged tape, I'd be more than happy to listen.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 06:33 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Weeks View Post
I know this thread is a few months old... found it in a search, but I figured I would share a similar problem I had this weekend.

During shooting, after inserting a brand new Panasonic AY-DVM63AMQ tape, things were going great. About 20 minutes into the tape I get a message about heads dirty right when I started recording again. I thought it was odd since I've only used about 10 tapes in the camera thus far, so I disregarded the message, waiting until the event was over to run a cleaner.

Well it happened again... "use cleaner heads dirty" and again I kept going when out of nowhere the camera stops recording and I get the famed "removed cassette" error right in the middle of my shooting. So indeed I remove the cassette, re-insert it, and continue recording. At this point my timecode started over, which at the time was not as important as capturing the footage.

Well, now that I am back at home transferring the footage on my Mac, the tape plays back completely blank, no data whatsoever, not even timecode. Somehow the tape got off track and I recorded an hour's worth of video that has now disappeared.

I've inspected the tape visually by manually opening the door, and the edge of the tape is damaged. It won't play back in my A1 or HV20. The footage was pretty important, but not the most important I got for the whole shoot, which I guess is positive. So if you have any ideas how to recover my footage from a damaged tape, I'd be more than happy to listen.

I am totally clueless on that one. If the tape was damaged then it is possible the tape was damaged to begin with. Were you recording SD or HDV. If it was SD and you were uploading through an HDV cam you need to set it to downconvert on export in the menu settings. Other than that a problem like that sounds like it may be tape related. Now if the tape is bad all the through (damaged edges) as you mentioned then perhaps you can contact the manufacturer and hold them to their warranty and see if they can save your footage. Just an idea.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 07:57 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Philip Hinkle View Post
If it was SD and you were uploading through an HDV cam you need to set it to downconvert on export in the menu settings.
I'm sure this was a typo because if it was SD to begin with there's nothing to downconvert :)

Bill
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 08:03 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Bill Busby View Post
I'm sure this was a typo because if it was SD to begin with there's nothing to downconvert :)

Bill
But if you had your A1 or HV20 set to lock the playback to HDV in the menus you would not get anything to upload. This was what I was hinting at. Obviously if shot in SD there is nothing to downconvert but if the camera is in a locked playback of HDV you may have problems.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 08:27 PM   #50
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Ohhh... I see what you mean & you're right. I should think more thoroughly before I post :D I usually have mine set to Auto. Maybe that's why I didn't think of that.

Bill
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Old October 26th, 2007, 12:25 AM   #51
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I'm a little embarrassed that after starting this thread last November I sent my A1 to the Canon Factory Service Center (in Irvine, CA) for repair last week. (The factory warranty was about to run out). It came back yesterday (they received it on a Thursday and shipped it out the following Tuesday).

Armed with the experience of explaining the problem on this thread, and in hearing others explain similar problems, I carefully explained the problem on the phone when getting the RMA, and in my cover letter. Unfortunately they didn't fix that problem.

The repair documentation I received lists the following "Request Details":
  • Repair Transport
  • Camera shows remove cassette
  • Clean and check all functions

My impression is that they have a canned set of "Request Details" to choose from, but this is just an impression.

This document also lists the following "Service Details" performed:
  • Clean and align tape path
  • Replace mic holder
  • Update firmware from 1.0.0.0 to 1.0.1.0

After unpacking the camera the first thing I did was try to load a cassette with the power dial in the A position. After that failed a few times I tried the VCR/Play position which worked only the second time out of four attempts. The problem was not fixed, and probably was not understood by the repair person. I would have gladly explained it again if they had contacted me but they didn't.

I don't know why they replaced the mic holder since it worked fine before. I use it sometimes. The shaft of the bolt in the new holder is bent as shown in the attached photo. When tightening it the head swings around nearly hitting the holder. It's awkward. I never appreciated how straight the old one was.

The firmware update fixed the -40 in Custom Presets bug but unfortunately all of my custom presets got erased so I'll have to set those again.

On balance, sending it in seemed to result in a minor net loss. I'm not sure I want to try again. (Never had this problem with Mack warranty service for a GL2).

Has anyone had this problem successfully corrected at a Canon Factory Service Center?
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Old October 26th, 2007, 08:19 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Steven Glicker View Post
Has anyone had this problem successfully corrected at a Canon Factory Service Center?
I can't say much for the Canon repair service as I haven't used them. We have a company near me that does service on most things. Some computer board replacement type of things they have to send in. Anyway they fixed my camera that had the remove cassette problem. They uncovered the problem and it hasn't done it since (my old GL2). Not sure if your cam is still under warranty or not or if you have the Mack warranty. I am not sure they honor Mack warranties or how those work but I can tell the tech at Full Compass systems in Madison, WI knows how to fix the problem. If you call them and find out about repair, warranty and stuff like that their phone number is 1-800-356-5844. Ask for Keith in service. He knows the problem and has helped me with a few obscure issues. If you want to reference Philip from Frogman Productions he will probably remember me and the issue.

I believe the fix involved replacing the tape drive mechanism. I think he narrowed the problem down to bad gears or pinch rollers in the mechanism. On the GL2 the repair was about $300 at the time....not sure about the A1 and the tape mechanism.

Good luck.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 10:38 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Hinkle View Post
... Full Compass systems in Madison, WI ... Ask for Keith in service. ...
Thanks Philip. I enjoyed talking to Keith. Unfortunately they don't honor the Canon Manufacturer's Warranty and he said Canon requires units to be sent to one of their facilities for this work. He also thought it was odd that I was only able to record or playback on a tape when,
  1. the tape is inserted and loaded when the power dial is in the off position
  2. then the power dial is adjusted to a record or play position.
I the good news is that I have a 4 year Mack warranty so I'll sent it there.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 10:54 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Glicker View Post
... The shaft of the bolt in the new holder is bent ...
I decided ask Canon to replace the bolt (thumb screw) so I called Customer Service and explained what happened. They sent me to the Parts Department but Parts said they only sell parts (they don't comp them) and sent me back to Customer Service. Then I got this first-rate-sounding customer support person, Chris Canada, who said he'd take care of sending it out himself. (Actually he's going to send out the whole mic holder assembly since the thumb screw does not come separately). I'll be glad when that arrives.

Am still planning to send the unit to Mack to fix the original 'Remove the Cassette' problem.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 04:53 PM   #55
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Stupid workaround for "remove the cassette"

What I've learned to do is pop each cassette's tape cover open (depress the little plastic safety tab and it opens), then use a finger to add a little slack in the tape. This has solved the dread "Remove The Cassette" problem for me. I mostly use the "industry standard" Pana AY-DVM63PQ, which has never let me down -- except for this annoying Canon XH-A1 problem, which seems to happens no matter what tape you use.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 11:38 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Brad Tyrrell View Post
Me too. But.... my A1 only takes tapes without exception when the dial is turned to "off". Is it broken or working the way it should?
Mine is brand new and I recently experienced this problem filming a wedding. I almost cried!
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Old October 12th, 2010, 12:32 PM   #57
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Mine is brand new and I recently experienced this problem filming a wedding. I almost cried!
As far as I know yes, that is how they work. [I sold my A1 and got a G1 some time ago -- they were identical in this respect.] I record directly to disk whenever possible.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 03:40 PM   #58
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No guys, don't load a tape with a record mode selected, that's like trying to start your car in gear with the brake off.

And wait till the tape transport actually goes down and reaches the bottom before you close the lid. There are reports of folk jamming up the transport .. to play safe you could wait till you hear the tape has loaded, then close the lid.

After that, using a new tape, it's good to fast fwd for 5secs and rewind to start to free up the start of the tape pack inside the shell. Always load a tape and check it before you go out, at the gig spells trouble.

Cheers.
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