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Old July 11th, 2003, 03:25 PM   #1
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Same Brand Tapes? Dirty Heads?

I'm new to all this, but why is it necessary to use the same brand of DV tape in a camcorder? I have two Maxell tapes and six brand new TDK tapes. I've only done test runs on the Maxells and my camera works great indoors. When I go out on hot or mildly warm days, though, I get a "dirty heads" warning. Condensation, perhaps? It wasn't very humid and the weather mild. The camera also was in a padded case.

Also, how is the best way to clean dirty heads? I see tape head cleaners in various price ranges. Can one change brands of tapes after a head cleaning? I worry about abrasion and how often to clean. And I've heard some report they get the "dirty head" warning even after cleaning the heads.

Finally: Why are so many DV models leaving off a microphone jack? Mine has a little fill-in light -- big deal. I'd rather have the mic jack!

Thanks for any feedback.

John
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Old July 14th, 2003, 03:21 AM   #2
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Different companies uses different "oil" on their tapes.
Wet lube/dry lube...

Therefore you should always use a cleaning tape before you change to an other tape brand.
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Old July 14th, 2003, 04:35 AM   #3
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Here are some links in regards with this:

http://www.dvfreak.com/tape.htm
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Old July 15th, 2003, 10:10 AM   #4
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Head Cleaning

Thanks for the information. I also ran across this site that contains a great deal of information:

http://www.hallesservice.com/carefeed.htm

I'm curious to know the best method of tape head cleaning. The above site indicates that tape head cleaners are abrasive, put hours of wear-and-tear on your tape heads in seconds and can move contaminants around. They say they've also seen camcorders damaged beyond practical repair by video headcleaning tapes.

But paying more than $50 for a cleaning every 40-50 hours seems ridiculous. So is it hype?

They also talk about how delicate these mechanisms are. You'd almost think you couldn't take them outdoors. The batteries won't work right in the cold and lubricants could harden. In the summer humidity can cause condensation and ruin the heads while heat will destroy tapes.

I guess the best place to keep a camcorder is in the drawer!

Cheers,

John
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