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Old November 26th, 2005, 01:49 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
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Help! Problem with Mini DV cassette and tape compartment

Hi to all members of the forum - I'm writing from Edinburgh, Scotland. Not sure if I'm in the right place, but I need help!!
Yesterday while digitising from my XL1s to Avid Express through firewire, somehow the tape compartment managed to unthread some tape from the cassette. I pulled out the Mini DV tape and there was a few inches of tape exposed outside the cassette!! I tried again with another (non-master) tape and it happened again - when running on rewind i noticed the timecode starting to flicker intermittently, and then the camera stopped and told me to remove cassette. The result was more damaged tape and about 4 inches exposed.
Firstly, is there any way to wind the tape back inside the cassette safely? I realise that I will have lost some material but many of the shots I really need so I must try to save them. The next question is - does anyone know what the problem with the camera could be? Are the heads out of alignment perhaps? I've never seen this happen before, so does it look like the camera should go for a check up? Any advice would be much appreciated...

Best regards
Alan
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Old November 27th, 2005, 07:22 AM   #2
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Location: Northern VA
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Sounds like the take-up reel drive is not working for some reason so it is spilling tape.

The reel/spool lock on a MiniDV cassette is on the bottom, center just in from the spine label edge. It is ina rechangular hole about 1/4" x 1/8". If you carefull slide the plastic inside the hole toward the spine the reels are unlocked and can be carefully turned to take up slack tape. Be sure to turn inthe correct directiontoavoid spilling more tape..

The tape door on the cassette is probably pinching your tape. THe door is unlocked by moving a small plastic level on the right side (as you look at the bottom of the cassette with the spine up) by the door hinge.

Caution: badly crinkled tape may be prone to shedding coating material which could cause head clogs. Good luck.
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Old November 27th, 2005, 12:48 PM   #3
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could be idle/drive gears....

Alan.....I had exactly the same problem only a couple of weeks ago. My XL1s is only 14 months old. I rang Canon who gave me the number of my local repair agent, who luckily was only 20 miles away from where i live. I took my XL1s there in person. The problem was found to be faulty idle/drive gears. They must have had the problem before because they had plently of the parts in stock. Three days later I had the XL1s back. Everything OK since. Cost...85. My advice, get it straight in, it's not worth risking any future footage.
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Old November 28th, 2005, 06:49 AM   #4
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
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Canon XL1s problem

Thanks a lot for your feedback Carl. I'll be making some calls today and hope to have the camera repaired soon - as you say, can't afford another accident!
Best regards
Alan
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