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Old March 17th, 2003, 09:34 AM   #1
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New MX500 heads clogging...

Hello from sunny Athens, my first message begins with a problem on my three weeks old MX500, I keep getting a U11 error message after every new tape l use. All 5 tapes used are Fuji ME (from same box) except for the first which was a Sony. So l use the Head cleaning tape and all is OK until the next tape. I would like to stick to Fuji as l have been using them on my Hi8 and had no problems. I also don't want to mix and match at this stage. My question is how often should l use the cleaning tape ?

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Old March 17th, 2003, 12:10 PM   #2
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Yes, I would stick to one brand of tape first, clean the heads, and do not swap back.

Another suggestion is that you might want to swap to Panasonic MQ or PQ tapes. You may have better luck with them.

If you keep having problems between tapes (same brand though) then it might be worth sending it in for warranty repair (if its still under warranty).
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Old March 17th, 2003, 04:20 PM   #3
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You just may have faulty heads.
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Old March 17th, 2003, 07:37 PM   #4
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There is a possibility that even if you bought the cam new, the dealer could have taken it for some test drive(s) before selling it to you. Who knows what type of tapes he's used - could be an old & crusty well used tape...

If you've used the free Panasonic tape that comes with your cam, then, you're using 3 types already: Panasonic, Sony, Fuji.


You could open the tape compartment & peek at the rollers & heads to see if they have brown stuff on them. It's not advisable to do too much head cleaning with the tape head cleaner (abrasive!). Since you're doing head cleaning a lot, it may be better to take it to Panasonic to professionally clean & check the heads, rollers etc. etc.
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Old March 17th, 2003, 07:55 PM   #5
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I can tell you that Canon XL-1 Club advised me once not to run more than 4 simultaneous passes with the head cleaner when I had problems with my then brand new XL-1. I had to run 3 before the heads work right (and have ever since).

Whether this applies to your cam I would not hazard a guess. Check with the experts first.
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Old March 17th, 2003, 08:39 PM   #6
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If you are having this problem, and head cleaning doesn't work, RETURN the cam for an exchange or warranty work.
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Old March 17th, 2003, 09:56 PM   #7
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For head cleaning, I will first use my lens blower to blow the interior of the tape chamber. After that, I'll run the cleaner tape (abrasive!) for 10 secs. I'll load a pre-recorded tape and check that things are fine. If not, I'll repeat above. Normally, after at most 3 rounds, things are fine. Finally, when I am satisfied, I'll run the cleaner once more for 10 secs, and blow the chamber again.

Please note that I do the blowing in a 'dust-free' environment, which is probably in an air-con environment and not the construction site.

Also, to ensure that I won't have any problems, I'll do one round of cleaning (even when no U11 is blinking) before any major shoot, like weddings or tours.

I use Sony tapes and Panasonic cleaner. I fine that when I use Panasonic tapes I need to clean every two weeks, but when I use Sony tapes (now) I clean every three months. Something about the tapes...

(Hey! I just noticed that this is my 100th post, I really talk too much!)
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Old March 18th, 2003, 03:54 PM   #8
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Gee guys thanks. That's what l call REPLY !! Well my problems seem to have been solved, got myself some Sony tapes and things are running very smoothly now. My conclusion is that the specific tapes l bought are in fault, perhaps a storage problem by the shop. Also the price of 4 Euro each was very cheap compared to 8 Euro for the Sonys (both 60 min MEs) makes me suspicious of either an old or problematic lot.

Best Regards
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