Taking the door off for cleaning at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant > Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant

Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
...and other Panasonic DV camcorders.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 9th, 2003, 02:18 AM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
Taking the door off for cleaning

I've run a cleaning tape through the MX300 a few times but now I feel it's time I gave the complete tape path a clean with iso-propyl alcohol. Thing is the bottom loading of my MX300 makes access to the tape deck very difficult indeed, so my question is this:

Has anyone taken off the outer plastic door of this cam? I've had a good close-up look and there seems to be a couple of screws holding the curved "track" that guides the door on its opening and closing travels, and removing these seems to be the best bet.

Thought I'd ask here first before I go do something daft.

tom.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 9th, 2003, 02:27 AM   #2
Outer Circle
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hope, BC
Posts: 7,527
I haven't; maybe Terrence has. Good luck! Keep us informed about how it goes.

You are a brave man!
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 9th, 2003, 04:31 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Singapore, Passport: Malaysia
Posts: 407
Very brave indeed! But I believe that your warranty period is over, anyway, right?

Just wondering:
Is it possible instead to try to build a tape with absorbent cleaning 'cloth' like those used for cassettes, wind a few rounds onto a discarded MiniDV tape shell? The solvent can then be dripped onto the tape, just like the good-old pre-CD days when we used cassettes.

all the best, and keep us informed.
Yow Cheong Hoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 9th, 2003, 09:19 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Posts: 112
Hi, Tom.

Hope you have a sober head & steady hands & money for repairs, if you want to do this....

Sure, you can remove the bottom cover by removing the screws holding the "arms". But that's not going to solve your problem - it's more complicated than that.

I've had the pleasure of being at Panasonic Malaysia's workbench before, and have seen a few MX300's opened up before there.

The metal chassis of the tape system (the one that holds your DV tape, part of it slides out when your bottom cover is opened) is attached to the rest of the body of the cam. It is one whole unit - the shiny metal body shell holding the head + rollers etc. Removing this unit means you've got to remove the cover of your cam first....

I've seen the metal tape chassis on it's own, on the workbench.

Once you've got the metal tape chassis removed from the main body, it's easy enough to clean the head.

BUT...

My advice: it's got too many small screws & it's easy to screw up...

Just get some long sticks with wads of cotton & reach in when the cover is open & clean as best as you can. This way is less risky.

Or try Yow's suggestion (takes some DIY skills as well).

Or just send it to your Panasonic techie & let him take the risk.
Steven Khong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 10th, 2003, 05:47 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
I think you misunderstood me Steven. I certainly don't want to remove the tape deck from he body of the camera for cleaning, I simply want to remove the dark grey plastic "outer door" to enable me to get the cleaning swabs in there. I've done many such tape path cleans on the TRV900 and VX2000 and those two cameras - with their sensible top loading) allow the door to be taken off very easily.

tom.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 10th, 2003, 06:01 AM   #6
Outer Circle
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hope, BC
Posts: 7,527
Tom, were you able to remove the door smoothly?
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 10th, 2003, 06:19 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
Haven't had a chance to look at this - too much to do right now. I have a lot of film to video (and DVD) to do, though thank goodness for the Storm's real-time colour correction - a boon for people in my profession.

tom/
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 10th, 2003, 08:39 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Posts: 112
Hi, Tom.

I was just advising you, the fact that Panasonic has made the metal tape chassis as a module. Meaning that they don't like to muck about with the precision task of opening up the tape chassis. They just change the whole metal tape chassis thing & charge you accordingly.
Taking off the tape chassis also makes cleaning the head & stuff a lot easier (but riskier ;)

I've been looking at my MX300, and I think you mean getting off the tape door that is covered by the hand strap.

Oooer... looks tricky. The arms you mentioned end up being attached to some spring mechanism. I would hate for that spring to come off, if you remove the screws for the arms, the tension holding the springs isn't there any more, so it MIGHT happen.

The screws on the arms (and everywhere else) look awfully small. And at an awkward position, so you need to get short microscrewdrivers in, else you have to unscrew at an odd angle.

You may want to have another person around, to catch the screws. I would hate for it to drop in.... and get lost. Tilt the camera so that the screw drops down easily via gravity.

I hope I'm not scaring you too much, just making sure you know & are ready for the consequences of your actions.
If you're confident, and have been tinkering sucessfully for some time, by all means, go ahead!

Personally I would use some cotton buds (the good ones where the cotton doesn't come off when wet!) soaked in tape head cleaning alcohol, and stick it in the open tape compartment.

Also, I would use one cotton bud to hold down the rotating head, while I give it a wipe with another wet cotton bud, then rotate it a bit, wipe again, repeat until I have finished the whole surface of the head.

All the best to you!
Steven Khong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 10th, 2003, 08:52 PM   #9
Outer Circle
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hope, BC
Posts: 7,527
With this 2nd MX300 cam I've kept, I've been using Fuji miniDV tapes. So far I've had no drop-outs whatsoever. On one of my DVL9500s, I've shot about 80, 60 min tapes now, all Fuji; and again, never a drop-out to be seen. So hopefully, as long as I use Fuji, I won't have to take off any cam doors! (I hope.)
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2003, 08:43 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
That's a lovely thought Frank, but look at it this way. Each hour of tape you run through your camcorder puts 70 metres of tape past all those guide pins, rollers, spinning heads, capstan and pinch roller. Say you shoot and then play back to your pc. That's 140 metres. How much tape do you shoot per week? In no time you'll be at 500 metres and after that you'll be measuring in miles.

With the best will in the world that much tape, binder and emulsion must leave behind deposits, and it certainly does. The fact that camcorders will happily run 20 tapes (over a mile, before any replay) without a head clean is nothing short of miraculous, but the build-up of debris is cumulative, and slowly but surely the day will come when proper cleaning is a necessity.

We pay so little for out 70 metres of tape that we can't expect it to be completely pure, completely free of dropout material, completely perfect.

tom.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2003, 12:34 AM   #11
Outer Circle
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hope, BC
Posts: 7,527
>...slowly but surely the day will come when proper cleaning is a necessity.<

Believe me, I know "the day" is coming. But just to add, a few years back when I got my DVL9500s, I only used JVC tapes. My heads got gummed up all the time. After 3 or so JVC tapes, I did some research and found out that Fuji was the best at the time. I cleaned; I switched (to Fuji). And since then, I never had problems again. So through some bad luck, I got lucky.
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant > Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:58 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network