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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old May 4th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #1
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Dirty heads message...too much?

I've gotten a dirty heads message four times in the last two weeks over about 30 hours of shooting. Granted I'm working in a fairly dusty environment but I feel this is a bit too much as far as using s head cleaner. None of my footage is corrupt. I've ran a head cleaner for ten seconds each time I got the message.

Your thoughts? Is it possible my camera need to be serviced? It's not even a year old and has maybe 60 hours shot on it so far.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 10:09 AM   #2
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Tyge,


I reckon you are using new tapes, right? Reused stripped tapes seem to dirty heads faster for some reason.

I had a session of what you mention here as well. I had to clean the head several times before it was rectified. I have gone quite awhile now sense I cleaned them.

Of course one should stay with one type of tape, that has been worked over hundreds of times on the list.

I also was thinking that perhaps the tape cleaner was old. I do not know if it is just an abrasive tape of if it has residual chemical, probably a solvent of some sort, and if that is the case then old cleaners could be a problem. Just because it is purchased recently does not mean it is not old!!

wish i could help more.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 10:11 PM   #3
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Maybe I should have been a bit more detailed. Glad you brought it up, Dale.

I use new tapes, Sony Premium. Always have.

An old tape cleaner sounds like a reasonable reason why I keep getting this error message. I have another shoot right after this current gig and think while I'm still under warranty I may send it in for a checkup.

Any one else had this problem with this model?
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Old June 19th, 2009, 12:08 PM   #4
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Dirty Heads Message

Me too!
I am getting the same message. I use Sony tapes as well. My footage looks just fine, so I am not really sure what is going on. I am going to buy a new head cleaner this week and see If I am still getting the same messages.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #5
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I bought a new Panasonic head cleaner and have not had an error message in this regard since I started using it. I believe my old head cleaner was too old! LOL The new one seems to have eliminated this problem.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 02:33 PM   #6
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I also use the Panny head cleaner. I've used it 3 times total.

1) upon camcorder purchase
2) after maybe 1 year
3) about 3 weeks after that...hmmm.

I've had the cam for over 2 years now. I have maybe 100 hrs on the heads. It's usually recommended to clean every 50hrs of use ("under normal conditions"). Sometimes you may have to use it twice instead of one run, but anymore than that is probably asking for trouble. Glad you sorted it out!

JS
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Old June 20th, 2009, 03:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
I also use the Panny head cleaner. I've used it 3 times total.
Sometimes you may have to use it twice instead of one run, but anymore than that is probably asking for trouble.

JS
What is a "panny" head cleaner and why would any more than twice be asking for trouble - and what would symptoms of that trouble be please?
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Old June 24th, 2009, 07:29 PM   #8
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Dave the others must be out shooting. Panny is Panasonic and like most DV tape suppliers they offer a cleaning tape. It's designed to be played in your cam transport for 10 secs at a time to clean its tape guides and heads.

They come with instructions some say, if you get the dirty heads message use it once, but no more than 3 times successively to clean them.

They don't say what to do after that, but there may be more trouble so you'd take the camera in for a service.

IMO over the years a wives tale has built up concerning DV cleaning tapes. Many folk believe if you use them 'too much' you'll damage your heads. That's probably true if you run the whole 10min tape repeatedly for many hours but years ago Panasonic stated DV tape heads have a life of 1000 hours and recently I saw another quote saying 3000 hours.

Yes cleaning tapes are abrasive but not too much. How would running one for 10secs .. for say 1000 times over the time you own the camera, do any damage.

And what they mean is at 1000hrs in rec/play you should get new heads, but in fact the old ones will probably run for much longer. No one I know over 30yrs has ever reached that point (pros excepted) .. everyone upgrades their camera well before that time.

Regarding cleaning tapes, the Canon HV20 manual says quote, 'clean the video heads frequently.' And you should use the same brand cleaning tape as the DV tape you record on. Hope that helps.

Cheers.
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