Hours Meter in Z1 - how to read it? at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.

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Old September 25th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: glasgow
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Hours Meter in Z1 - how to read it?

Hi all...
I have 2 Sony Z1s and im trying to read the Hours Meters and what they mean?
Im putting both in for a service when i go on holiday for 2 weeks and the service company said
they can perform a routine service and they advise given the age of the equipment that the pinch rollers be replaced at this time on both cameras. I have had both cameras from brand new.
Can anyone in the know help me with reading this info and can you give me your analysis on my usage?

Many thanks

Z1 Number 1
Operation: 223 x 10h
Drum Run: 144 x 10H
Tape Run: 107 X 10H
Threading: 293 x 10H

Z1 Number 2
Operation: 297 X 10H
Drum Run: 192 X 10H
Tape Run: 147 X 10H
Threading: 352 X 10

I had both for 3 years with no service and no problems (so far) except one thing:
Today while filming on one of my Z1's I thought that the amount of tape i had shot looked suspicious as i was filming for 20 min and the remaining tape counter read 4 mins? It was a brand new tape i was using, so i rewound the tape and found that in playback i had a blue screen with a strange remaining tape readout of 141 mins?? BUT... in play/FF or play/RW I can see the footage, all be it distorted - but it has large moving grey horizontal blocks on it and will not play or capture. Put in another brand new tape in and ran a test it is now fine and shot 4 hours more footage on it woth out a problem. Talked to a film cameraman colleague of mine who had the very same problem a few weeks ago and he told me it was a duff tape as he had sent his tape away to try to get the footage to play - scary stuff - so from now on i check every new tape by recording a minute or so then play back to check all is ok!
Thats not the way the world works!

Last edited by Allister Gourlay; September 25th, 2010 at 06:11 PM. Reason: additional info added
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Old September 26th, 2010, 12:35 AM   #2
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The first three numbers on the readout are number of hours in increments of ten, as you've seen, so cam 1 has 2230 hours being powered on and 1070 hours of tape running through it. The last number is number of times the tape has been unthreaded from the heads, so 2930 unthreading (eject) operations.

That's pretty heavy usage... you're getting your money's worth. I recall reading that Sony recommends service every 500 hours of tape run, and head replacement after 1500 hours of tape run. If this is true then you're a little overdue for cleaning and service, and could be looking at new heads for cam 2.
"It can only be attributable to human error... This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error."
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Old September 26th, 2010, 12:41 AM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Montreal, Quebec
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I agree with Adam. Those are pretty high hours.

I had the pinch roller replaced on mine at about 1000 hours drum run, so I 'm not surprised they're suggesting that for you. You definitely got your money's worth...
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Old October 1st, 2010, 01:22 PM   #4
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I've never heard of a MiniDV tape deck clocking up so many hours unserviced. Has there ever been a thread on DVi to find the world's highest number of hours? When you get a MiniDV tape deck in your hands you marvel at the delicacy of the hundreds of finely-toleranced component parts. The thing that strikes me is the question, 'How can this ever be made to be cheap and reliable?' Yet it surely is - and is a tribute to the original design concept

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Old October 1st, 2010, 02:39 PM   #5
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Location: glasgow
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Z1 tape usage

Got this message from he company who will be serving my Z1's

From having had a look at yours hours counters, you camera’s have not accumulated too many hours (Drum Run) to be of great concern.
From your description of your recent issue it sounds as if your camera has had a severe head clogg. This could be attributed to a dodgy tape as your colleague suggested. We have not had to change very many head drums on Z1 camera s so far. They seem to be quite robust. I would advise in instances like this that you use a head cleaning tape. If the issue does not clear after 2/3 passes (5 sec each) then I would advise that there may be some other explanation.


Richard MitCorp Glasgow
Thats not the way the world works!
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