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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old March 4th, 2005, 07:52 PM   #1
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head cleaner

I wanted to pick up a head cleaner for my XL2 before a shoot that I am doing tomorrow - and no place I went today had any instock except a ShutterBug - who only had one in stock. So I bought it without any alternatives. After arriving home, I remembered that the manual for the XL2 and several forums state the importance of using a 'dry' head cleaner - and I realize the one I bought does not indicate what it is. I bought what is called a "Digital DVC Head Cleaner" that states it works with All DVC/MiniDV formats. It is manufactured by "Digital Concepts" and bears packaging that is sorely limited in its information, including how to run it (how long, etc). Before I put this thing in my precious XL2, does anyone have any info on this particular cleaner? Any comments much appreciated.
-Jon
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Old March 4th, 2005, 08:07 PM   #2
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update

I went ahead and cut open the case, and I did find directions in small print on the cassette body itself. Run for 20 seconds, etc.

Just still don't know if it is a 'dry' system and I am not sure what a 'dry' system is compared to a 'wet' system. I am guessing that a 'wet' system layers the cleaning tape with lubricant that could damage or leave unwanted residue on the XL2 - hence the need for a 'dry' cleaner. Just no indication as to what this one is.
-Jon
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Old March 4th, 2005, 08:15 PM   #3
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I wouldn't run it for 20 seconds -- five seconds should be sufficient.
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Old March 6th, 2005, 10:40 PM   #4
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moot for now

Well, I guess that is a moot point for now. Dog-gone it! Anyway, I put the head cleaner into the XL2 on Friday night and closed the mechanism - BEEP BEEP BEEP! The screen started to flash a red X and the directive for me to 'eject tape immediately' as if the tape was screaming 'get me outta here....NOW!!!". I opened the tape mechanism and lifted the cleaning tape to note that it was unwound and tangled up inside the rollers of the tape mechanism. (This is where panic sets in as it is my first 'for pay' shoot starting early next morning with the XL2) So I very carefully cut and removed the offending cleaning tape without tugging on it and it came out quite easily.

I put in a DV tape and ran it for a while gathering footage around the house and played it back. Smooth as silk. So I decided to run with it on the shoot next morning. All seemed well although I haven't played back the tape or captured it into my editing system yet. (It was six hours of interviews so it will have to wait until Monday or Tues.)

Since shoot was 2 hours away - I went through other towns to get there and on the return I stopped into a Best Buy and picked up Maxell DV head cleaner. It says 'dry type' and has instructions right on the packaging. I am pretty confident that this one should be more stable so I will run it tomorrow before capturing as I have run enough tape through the XL2 to warrant it after the interviews.

I sure wish the other hadn't munched though. That was panic I didn't need.
-Jon
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Old March 7th, 2005, 04:19 AM   #5
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If you have already done your shoot, and the results when checked look OK, then why bother to clean the heads? The cleaner does it's job by rubbing the heads, and I would be wary about using the head cleaner at times when it doesn't need it.
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