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Old June 1st, 2005, 02:55 AM   #1
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Head Cleaner Tape

I have a Maxell Head cleaning tape, but I have lost the instructions. I can't remember if you are supposed to PLAY for 10 seconds or RECORD for 10sec. Please help. Thanks
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Old June 1st, 2005, 05:12 AM   #2
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Just play it, but for no more than 10 seconds.
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Old June 1st, 2005, 10:59 AM   #3
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I vote for five or six seconds.
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Old June 1st, 2005, 11:04 AM   #4
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Agreed Chris... Try going to the Maxel site, and search for instructions. If you overuse it, you'll kill the heads. Keep it short.
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Old June 1st, 2005, 06:20 PM   #5
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What's the vote on when and how often? I seem to remember a figure of every ten hours or so of head time - sound right?

Also, I remember someone advising using the head cleaner after just a few hours of usage with a new camera - do you recommend that?

I've just bought a new Z1 and I'd like to keep it in as good a shape as possible, as it's going to be something of a work-horse...
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Old June 1st, 2005, 07:04 PM   #6
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I do it before every shoot, but I usually go through 2-3 tapes and then capture from the camera that night. And then shoot the occasional 5-10 minutes of whatever grabs my attention until the next job.

Also, cleaning the the cam and doing a 5 minute camera test are a ritualistic safety net for me. I run the cleaner tape, inspect the lenses and filters for damage and clean them. Load a virgin tape, shoot a few minutes and white balance. After rewinding, I'll play it back and look for problems in picture and audio. If there is going to be an issue, I want to know before the event, not after.
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 04:29 PM   #7
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I've always heard 50 hours (or when the "clean" indication comes on on the cam) as the time to clean. I would think 10 hours would seriously shorten the life of the heads.

Good luck.

Dennis
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 05:52 AM   #8
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I've just tried a Sony cleaning tape in my Canon XM1. It seemed to work a little, as some tapes I was experiencing playback problems with now play fine while others still have sound issues. I've played the cleaning tape 5 times, ten seconds each time. Should I just play it more until the problem is totally gone or will it do damage?
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 07:23 AM   #9
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Sony recommend that for the Z1 you only use cleaner tape as a last resort and if absolutely necessary. You should only run the tape for 5 seconds and no more than twice at a time.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 07:45 AM   #10
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The (sony) manual stated 10 seconds and a maximum of 5 times in a row..

What will go wrong if you do it for too long/too often?
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 09:12 AM   #11
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You'll wear out the heads, and you will end up with a very expensive tape rewinder.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 05:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Forman
Agreed Chris... Try going to the Maxel site, and search for instructions. If you overuse it, you'll kill the heads. Keep it short.
I did do this and could not find it to my surprise. I think I'll go for the 5-6 sec. just top be safe. I know Canon says to clean the heads after each use at least the manual for the GL2 says this.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 06:34 PM   #13
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" I know Canon says to clean the heads after each use at least the manual for the GL2 says this."

Of course they do... When you need a new cam, they'll be very happy to sell you another ;)
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Old June 4th, 2005, 04:57 AM   #14
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Well, not necessarily an expensive tape rewinder - you can still record directly to a harddrive.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 10:48 PM   #15
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I've had my VX2100 for over a year now and my cleaner cassette is still sealed in its original wrapper. It'll stay there, until I see signs that the heads really need cleaning. The delicate surface on video heads is just like the cartilage in your knees. If you do things that wear it down, you'll be hobbling at a too-early point in life.
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