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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 December 4th, 2006, 11:09 AM   #1
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Remove The Cassette

If I load a tape when my A1 is in 'play' or 'record' mode, half of the time
it won't accept the tape and and issues the 'Remove The Cassette' message. However if I load a tape when the unit is 'off' it works fine. [Perhaps a tape-tension test is being bypassed this way??? -- is this ill-advised?]

It has been this way since I first got it. I use Panasonic MiniDV Master tapes (AY-DVM63MQ).

I'm reluctant to send the unit in for repair now because it is otherwise working fine and I want to use it for some upcoming events. Any advice, warnings?
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Old December 4th, 2006, 11:33 AM   #2
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That is a big concern. Hopefully it is not a big problem like on the GL series. I had so many problems with my GL2 I swore I would never buy from Canon again, due to technical incompitencies and not having a working camcorder for over 3 months. I was furious that I kept having problems and they keps sending it back to me with different problems, but anger subsided and I couldn't resist the new XH-A1.

Anyhow, I hope that this doesn't become a large problem. I am very happy with mine, and no problems so far.

I would suggest sending it in after you don't need it for a while, cause who know how long it will take.

I am sure that they would make it a priority to fix, the last thing Canon needs is bad publicity for the camcorder, that is sweeping up the marketplace right now.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 11:58 AM   #3
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Steve -

Did you try other tapes (Sony)? What about included HDV tape? Does the same problem occur then?
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Old December 4th, 2006, 12:28 PM   #4
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I'm using the AMQ (Advance Master Quality) tapes in mine. No problems at all. What you're seeing is definitely not normal.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 09:35 PM   #5
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Holly, 3 months? Ugh! Were you wrangling with one of the Canon Factory Service Centers? (I had great service from Mack Camera with my GL2).

Adrian, my impression was that the manufactures behind the HD standard defined it so they could re-use/leverage certain existing technologies (including DV tape drives) in their new product lines. Oh well...

Bogdan, I just got that Canon tape that came with the A1 kit and tried it for the first time. Same thing -- loaded 2 out of 4 times. When it fails initially it sounds like a normal load but then you hear a rewind sound for four/five seconds, then it stops and issues the message.

Bill, I agree. This is a problem with my unit. (There is no way this behaviour could be considered normal).

Thanks everyone!
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Old December 4th, 2006, 10:31 PM   #6
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Steven, since you're in the middle of the country, you have your choice between the two CUSA video service centers. The phone number for the one in Jamesburg, NJ is (732) 521-7007 and the phone number for the one in Irvine, CA is (949) 753-4200. Hope this helps,
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Old December 4th, 2006, 11:22 PM   #7
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Steven,

I actually sent in in 4 times, each time it had a new problem and the original problem wasn't fixed, each time they said it met factory specs. I ended up selling it for cheap because they still coudln't fix it (they messed up the focus, it wouldn't hold focus or respond to manual focusing.) I couldn't deal with their incompitence any longer.

I wrote an email to the vice president and no response, not paid work and about quit videography because of it.

I swore I wouldn't buy Canon again, but this camcorder caught my eye, and I am in love with it.

It is to bad that the remove cassette happened to you.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 11:24 PM   #8
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Can this problem crop up after the warranty's deadline ?
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Old December 4th, 2006, 11:43 PM   #9
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I am sure it can happen after warranty, I am not sure what would stop it from happening. When it does, Canon will charge you for it, because in there words "we haven't heard of this before" and "this is new to us."
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Old December 5th, 2006, 02:38 AM   #10
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If the problem is widespread, I'd imagine we'd have heard from H1 owners with the problem. I'm assuming that Canon uses the same transport for the H1 as the A1 and G1.
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Old December 5th, 2006, 03:24 AM   #11
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There may be components in common, but the tape mechansm of the XL H1 is different. With the GL2 and XH cameras, you have to push in the tape slot to close, whereas the XL H1 tape slot retracts automatically.

According to the Canon web site, the GL2's Remove Cassette error is fairly generic and can be due to a number of possible causes, some benign and temporary, others requiring repair. Any mechanical device can fail, but by definition a well designed gizmo does so much less often. Let's hope that the tape mechanism has been beefed up and Steven's problem is a rare anomaly.

Holly, sorry to hear you had such difficulties. A lot of states have lemon laws, usually something on the order of mandating replacement or refund in full after 3 failed repair attempts for a problem that occurs within the bounds of a warranty. Generally, you're out of luck if the problem is outside the warranty, either in time or as an exclusion (as an aside, I'll reiterate my gripe that Canon has placed these cameras in their new professional line, yet at last read a few weeks ago, the warranties still exclude professional use.). In any case, I don't think you'd have been out of line demanding a replacement unit after four failed repair attempts regardless of warranty status.
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Old December 5th, 2006, 05:21 AM   #12
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I searched the forums for the gl2 tape drive error and found what is causing this malfunction. Seems that the same drive of the GL2 is being used with the A1 :(. This is what I found :

"I am lucky and have a repair facility locally. I got to know the tech in the process of figuring out the problem. Basically according to the tech the pinch rollers have to be replaced. It is part of the tape drive mechanism. The tech told me that the motors try to place a specific amount of tension on the tape as it is pulled over the heads. I guess the pinch rollers are a little set of gears that help keep the pressure constant. If the pressure varies just the tiniest bit it stops and wants to eject the tape because it thinks the tape has ended or something."
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Old December 5th, 2006, 07:03 AM   #13
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It wouldn't be a surprise if the XH tape mechanism was essentially the same as the one as the GL2's but I don't think we know that for a fact. The quote Adrian mentioned came from near the end of this thread:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=30557

Here is a link to the GL2 advisory, which does indicate that there are a number of possible causes for the "Remove the Cassette" message:
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...7&modelid=7512

We shall see if other cases of XH tape mechanism problems turn up. Maybe, maybe not. Time will tell. For now, Steven is unlucky enough to need warranty service or replacement "out of the box" but so far I think he's the only one?
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Old December 5th, 2006, 01:57 PM   #14
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I find it quite strange how a camcorder which costs $3999 tends to have a defective tape drive while a consumer camcorder which costs about $500 works perfectly :S

I think this thread should be a sticky.
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Old December 5th, 2006, 02:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Paul Spiteri
I find it quite strange how a camcorder which costs $3999 tends to have a defective tape drive while a consumer camcorder which costs about $500 works perfectly :S

I think this thread should be a sticky.
interestingly enough, my 3+ (?) year old canon elura 40 minidv cam which has a very similar action as the A1 (e.g. put the tape in and it retracts automatically) has worked flawlessly for years, even when other stuff failed.

each time I see the tape retracting on that one, I wonder how long till that thing breaks, but it's been flawless...

I know this doesn't help on the A1 but I couldn't help but reply to the above...
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