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Old July 1st, 2003, 09:19 AM   #1
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Who all here had problems with the DVX100's heads?

If you haven't read on another thread, I recently began encountering problem with my DVX100's heads. Apparently, according to the warning flashing in my lcd, I have a dirty cylinder (heads). Oddly enough I never swapped tape brands specifically to avoid this problem- heck I never even rewound a tape in it, as I use a DV tape rewinder to alleviate any additional stress on the heads. Even with all the precautions I took I still encountered problems.

Now I'm in the midst of waiting for my shipment of Panasonic MQ tapes to arrive- when I'll promptly run the cleaning tape and start using only MQs. I was curious:
1. How many people have encountered this problem or something similar with their DVX100?
2. What brand of tape were you originally using when you encounterd the problem?
3. What measure were taken to fix the problem and how sucessfull were they- does your camera now work as good as new?

I'm just a bit worried- I've been reading posts both on here and on 2-pop, and Camcorderinfo.com about people having similar problems. At least a couple have noted that running the cleaning tape and switching to MQ tapes 'still' hadn't fixed the problem and they are in dilemma of sending the camera back and forth to Panasonic. *ugh, and I have paid gigs scheduled comming up- I sure hope the old tape cleaner/MQ tapes combo works!*
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Old July 1st, 2003, 10:47 AM   #2
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I haven't had any direct problems with the heads on my DVX100, yet. I've only had the camera for a week and have only logged about 10 hours on it, mostly just playing and learning. I was using Fuji DV tapes, and quit taping for now while I await my shipment of Panasonic MQs which should be here within the hour.

The Fuji tapes would squeal and slip in my DVX100 and I would get noise and drop outs. No dirty heads yet, but Fuji tapes have never given me any troubles in any other camcorder, but the DVX100 doesn't seem t like them, even though they have been recommended by others using the DVX100 on other sites.

I'm hoping that my problems with dropouts and slipping or sticking tapes will go away with the MQ tapes. I've found that fast forwarding and rewinding the Fujis before I use them helps a little. But mostly I'm hoping that I just needed the better tapes and don't have a problem with the new camera.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 10:51 AM   #3
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I've had two DVX100's (one when they first came out, had a financial crisis, sold, then re-bought one a couple of months ago).

Only used MQ's on both and had nary a dropout or problem on either one, though I've only shot about 2.5 hours so far. I do all viewing, rewinding in my JVC deck.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 11:06 AM   #4
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Jeff, is there any technical reason why one would fast-forward and rewind a tape before using it...just curious.
Also are you going to run the head cleaner before switching to the MQs beings the FUJI tapes are a wet lube system and MQs are dry?

Stephen, 2.5 hours...jeez is that what is logged on your camera. Last time I checked I was over the 20 hour mark. Mainly because I've shot 3 weddings with it. Do you know if just having your camera on logs hours onto the internal clock (the one that logs total hours). Or do you have to have a tap in and/or be recording or viewing to actually log time. It's pretty neat this cam has an "odometer"....I'd be even neater if I never encountered this head problem right off the bat!
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Old July 1st, 2003, 01:06 PM   #5
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I admire anyone who shoots weddings...

It tracks recording time, not playback as far as I recall from the manual.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 01:15 PM   #6
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Maybe it tracks cylinder head rotation. I guess having a tape loaded and on record-pause wouldn't count. Speaking of which- why does a camera have to shut off if a tape is inserted and your operating the camera in record-pause mode. What is at danger of being damaged? The heads, the tape, or both?...and WHY?

PS I admire people who shoot shorts. I wish I had time to do them! I only do wedding videos because it's the only thing I found to be lucrative. In order to get deep into production of a short I'd have to turn down wedding business...which I simply can't. Too much debt!
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Old July 1st, 2003, 01:30 PM   #7
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You are correct sir - in the manual it says head rotation, but it does not say recording or playback specifically.

Fortunately, I work in IT part-time (use to do it full time for years) so I can spend time in shorts (pun intended)

Still, too much debt as well to just play moviemaker all day... :)
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Old July 1st, 2003, 02:15 PM   #8
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I was just thinking about it and it COULDN'T be by "record" time only. There's no way I ran 20 tapes thru the camera yet. I maybe shot 10 tapes if that. It's probably record and playback- that would make sense. Roughly 10 hours of tapes, and 10 hours of capturing (which I'll remedy soon when I buy an inexpensive DV cam to do my capturing to save wear).
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Old July 1st, 2003, 04:15 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Glen Elliott : Jeff, is there any technical reason why one would fast-forward and rewind a tape before using it...just curious.
Also are you going to run the head cleaner before switching to the MQs beings the FUJI tapes are a wet lube system and MQs are dry? -->>>

Fast forward and then rewind theoretically should remove any slack in the tape and allow the heads to keep it under proper tension -- hopefully to minimize any slipping. Seems to work a bit with the Fuji tapes, but I don't know how well... I have noticed that if I do a lot of scanning back and forth on the tape it seems to start slipping more. I only ran 2 fuji tapes through the camera and the only reason I ran a second is that I first thought I just had a bad tape.

My MQs arrived today, but I haven't had a chance to give them a try yet. I plan to take a good look inside the tape mechanism and see if it looks like there's any build-up before I run the first MQ tape through it. If I can avoid running the head cleaner, I will.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 04:31 PM   #10
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Problem is you won't "see" any buildup. Head clogs can be microscopic. It's always recomended you run the head cleaner before switching tape brands. Though I agree- I always try and avoid using the head cleaner at all costs.

Oh and about ff and rewinding- you don't do that in-camera do you...I'd think that would put uneeded stress on the tape mechanism and/or heads.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 04:40 PM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Glen Elliott : Problem is you won't "see" any buildup. Head clogs can be microscopic. It's always recomended you run the head cleaner before switching tape brands. Though I agree- I always try and avoid using the head cleaner at all costs.

Oh and about ff and rewinding- you don't do that in-camera do you...I'd think that would put uneeded stress on the tape mechanism and/or heads. -->>>

Yeah, I'll probably run the head cleaner for a few seconds or so just to be sure.

The FF and Rewinding... I've got a separate FF/rewind unit thankfully. I did have a Sony miniDV deck, but got rid of it nearly a year ago because it seemed to only want to read tapes shot on the PD-150 that I sold along with it.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 04:51 PM   #12
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Yeah I've heard others do the same thing regarding rewinding and ff a tape before use. I'll have to start doing that- anything to limit the possibility of problems. If I were shooting a goofy short or something it wouldn't matter but I'm doing wedding videography and the footage is of utmost importance. I can't afford (litterally) to lose any of the footage due to the tape/camera messing up. I've also heard it helps loosen any factory contaminants that might end up clogging your heads.

The only concern I have about that is DV rewinders seem harsh. They rewind and fast-forward FULL SPEED untill they SLAM into the beginning or end. Is this bad on tapes? I'm using a B&H video bought "Sigma" DV rewinder.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 08:42 PM   #13
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On page 9 of the manual, under the 'Cassette tapes' section there's some best practices advice on tapes. This includes fast forwarding and rewinding a tape every six months, and to always rewind a tape before storing it. I guess if the manual suggests doing so than fast forwarding and rewinding isn't a bad idea? I broke down and purchased a AG-DV1000 deck and haven't had any problems so far. Maybe you should sell the rewinder on eBay and get a real deck, especially if your business is critical?
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Old July 1st, 2003, 09:32 PM   #14
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Well my main concern is getting the camera up and running. My MQ tapes are arriving thursday- I'll run the head cleaner and do some test shots with the new tapes and see what happens.

Regarding buying a deck- it's definitly a good idea. Saves loads of stress on the tape transport- however I'm going a different route. I'm gonna purchase a Sharp Viewcam DV camera ($350) to use as a DV deck and throw-away camera. It's about $600 less than a deck and if the heads get ruined I can just go out and buy another one....barring it lasts at least a year or so.
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Old July 2nd, 2003, 05:34 PM   #15
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Glen--I have also had tape dropouts on my DVX100. I've only used the MQ tapes however, and have run maybe 40 hours through. I was pretty pissed about this, though I love the camera otherwise, called Panasonic and they were supposed to get back to me but haven't. Meanwhile I have not noticed any more dropouts so maybe things are fine now. I will let you know if I have more and what I finally do to fix them. You can see my thread regarding these dropouts in this forum.

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