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Old July 4th, 2010, 12:35 PM   #1
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Am I stuck with a certain brand of tape? Panasonic in my case.

I was gifted a DCR-PC1 and it was using Panasonic tapes.

I tried a NIW Sony tape and had solid horizontal bars upon recording. I tried going over the same section of tape but it would either not record at all, playing the original recording, or it would be solid black. I even tried recording pure darkness.

Those tips I had found on the net in addition to the general rule of sticking with one brand.

I put the Panasonic tape back in and it recorded fine.

But they're tough to find locally. I've found Sony in most of the places I've gone.

Should I do a head cleaning in order to use Sony or just order a pack of panasonics from amazon lol.

Thanks.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 02:51 PM   #2
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Since Panasonics appearently were the steady diet, before switching to another brand most definately I would at the very least run a head clener tape thru it BUT (there's 2 of them) IF you do that follow the directions to the letter. If it says no more than 10 seconds don't go 11. Second if at all possible take the camera in to have a professional cleaning done. There are areas of the tape mechanism that won't be cleaned by the head cleaner tape as it does exactly what the name implies. It cleans head but there are pinch rollers and other cute little thing in there that really hould be cleaned. Once you change tapes always stay with that one and if you do make a change again go thru the same process again. Otherwise you can end up with exactly what you saw. Banding, pixelation, nasty stuff of all sorts then come the nasty words and who knows what later. :-)
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Old July 4th, 2010, 03:45 PM   #3
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Thanks. Guess I'll get panasonics lol. Any benefit to the 'pro' tapes?
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Old July 4th, 2010, 04:39 PM   #4
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Although most tape head cleaners say on their label that you can use it twice through before throwing it out .. only use it once through then throw it.

You don't want to deposit crud back on the guides and heads.

It's a marketing thing because folk baulk at paying $ for a tape to use only once.

BTW Panasonic are no longer importing their head cleaner tapes into Oz.
I found a source here and bought up 10 because I eventually want to sell my Canons as going concerns. Check your supplier.

Cheers.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 06:26 PM   #5
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I've never seen the warning to only use 2x then throw out. You NEVER rewind it and reuse it EVER.

They do say to not use for more than 10 seconds then allow the heads to cool and IF necessary to use not more than 10 seconds again then do not use again unless necessary. (until a later date or tapes have been run thru or something like that) So I guess it does say to not use more than 2X but nothing about throwing it out.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 06:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
I've never seen the warning to only use 2x then throw out. You NEVER rewind it and reuse it EVER.
Sony branded head cleaning tapes used to say in the instructions to use them twice. Strange as that may seem.

And I just pulled out my JVC head cleaner. And I quote:
"After cleaning, do not rewind the head cleaner. Just press the STOP button and remove the cassette. Only when you come to the end of the tape should you rewind the Head Cleaner. You can then start using it again from the beginning of the tape. But rewind only once: this Head Cleaner cannot be used a 3rd time"
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Old July 4th, 2010, 08:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
I've never seen the warning to only use 2x then throw out. You NEVER rewind it and reuse it EVER.
Guys .. sorry Don I could have written that better, throw it out is my addition ie: if you can't use it again throw it out.

There are strange instructions that have evolved over the years and I too have seen that 2 times notice on various cleaners .. but it's not on my latest Pana cleaners.

They say 'this tape may be rewound and used only once.' If you can only use it once why rewind it? Odd.

I was involved with mag tape for 46yrs both here and BASF in Germany and offer that 10secs is really nominal, they emphasis 10secs to ram it home and make people really aware, not get distracted and let it run for 20 or 30secs .. or worse wander off and it runs for the full 15mins to the end of the cleaner.
I'll bet that has happened.

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Old July 4th, 2010, 08:27 PM   #8
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Am I stuck with a certain brand of tape?  Panasonic in my case.-cleaning-cassette.jpg  
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Old July 4th, 2010, 08:42 PM   #9
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Yeah I kind of thought we were all saying the same thing just different words. I would NEVER rewind a cleaning tape and use it again, I just can't see doing that. No problem on the throw away ;-) I haven't bought a cleaner tape in probably a year and a half maybe more and honestly I don't read the instructions so it might have been there and I never saw it. Oh well, another advantage of tapeless. Maybe one day I make the change.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 06:18 AM   #10
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I would use a Panasonic Head Cleaning Tape.

Also, I am not sure why you aren't mail ordering the tapes. The general consensus from Panasonic and Sony (I called them both) is NOT to use 83 minute tapes as the transports on most miniDV camcorders have trouble pulling the longer tapes. For longer recording times use LP with 63 minute tapes or change 63 minute tapes.

Panasonic AY-DVM63PQ Professional Quality MiniDV 63min Data Tape Cartridge 5 Packs - SuperMediaStore.com

Often on sale for less than that. Sign up for e-mail.

PANASONIC AYDVM63PQ 63 MINUTE MINIDV TAPES

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Old July 6th, 2010, 10:09 AM   #11
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I think I'll stick with Panasonic tapes and try out the pro grade :D


If I were to get (for example) a Canon HV20, just stick with the same rule right ...... one brand of tape?
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Old July 6th, 2010, 10:25 AM   #12
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yep, one brand. Also keep in mind that while most manufacturers use pretty much the same formulation of lube thruout their line there can be differences so I would suggest chose one manufacture and tape line and stick with it.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #13
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got my 5 pack of Panasonic AY-DVM63PQ 63 Min Pro Mini-DV Digital Tape from Adorama's eBay page along with their Panasonic Head Cleaner.

Before cleaning though I stuck in a tape and it worked/recorded just fine.

Think I'll save the cleaner tape for now
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Old July 16th, 2010, 11:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Peterson View Post
The general consensus from Panasonic and Sony (I called them both) is NOT to use 83 minute tapes as the transports on most miniDV camcorders have trouble pulling the longer tapes. For longer recording times use LP with 63 minute tapes or change 63 minute tapes.
Maybe 40yrs ago but I don't know why they'd say that today.

I've been using 83min Pana AY-DVM83MQ for many years without any problems, if they were known to cause trouble like that they would've been discontinued .. lol and they have now but not because of the 83mins. It's promotions and marketing again.

Recording DV tape at LP speed is fraught with problems, you're cramming the same signal on 1/2 the amount of tape as SP speed, with more likelyhood of dropouts, through the tiniest bit of grit.
Mostly you can't play LP recorded tapes on other machines without hassles, so you run the real risk of not being able to play your family archives etc. when you upgrade your tape camera.

Years ago Sony (I think it was), first offered a DV LP speed option, same as the audio cassette. It was a marketing thing again .. the others had to follow.
Cheers.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 12:25 PM   #15
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Well, as an update: I had to run the cleaning cassette through the deck last night as a result of mixing tape brands for/from clients. A number of Sony DVM60s (my usual "in house" brand for DV/DVCam work), some (maybe a dozen total) Fujifilm and some JVC. Had a head clog when printing back to tape. 15 seconds of head cleaner and the client went away happy.
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