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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 August 14th, 2006, 01:36 PM   #1
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Tape mechanism durability...

Some time ago, I made the bad mistake of slightly opening the tape door on my Z1U, then shutting it again. However, the opening of the door slightly was enough to trigger the cassette eject mechanism, which then promptly jammed itself up against the door. I started to panic as I couldn't open the door at this point, but after 10 seconds or so, the mechanism went back down. I was then able to open the door.

So far, everything seems to be working fine... just wondering if I could have caused any kind of damage by doing that? I'm hoping that the system is smart enough to cut the motors off from pushing if it senses some sort of blockage?
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Old August 14th, 2006, 02:55 PM   #2
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I would guess/hope it's designed to do that, without any self-inflicted harm. It is clearly quite possible that one might open the outer door and immediately shut it again, and Sony couldn't possible design a mechanism that could damage itself if this happens. Could they? No. No?
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Old August 14th, 2006, 04:08 PM   #3
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Well since your camera is still working I'd assume you didn't do any permanent damage. That whole mechanism seems delicate, but also has the same feel as my other two Sony cameras. My VX-2000 has seen 4 years of use and no tape transport problems whatsoever... same with my PDX-10 and Z1. So in spite of its delicacy, I think the design is pretty robust but you still need to handle it carefully!
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Old August 14th, 2006, 05:38 PM   #4
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When inserting a tape, does it hesitate a split second before the mechanism completes its downward travel?
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Old August 14th, 2006, 07:57 PM   #5
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LOL James, I had the same Noobish problem.

It scared me crapless I have to say.

And yes, I notice a slight pause in the moving of the mechanism now. Before, it was: Push the tape in and watch it slide smoothly down. Now, it slides smoothly down halfway, pauses for a fraction of a second, then continues down.

I've seen no problems from the mechanism, and its fine to be honest. But there is always that nagging feeling that, sometime, somewhere, something is going to happen and we will break down cradeling our dead camera in our arms crying "WHY! WHY? OH WHY OH WHY!!?"

But on a serious note, I often blame my HDV dropouts to my bad mistake, even though Its probably not true, lol. I use the cheap, basic JVC tapes when I record in HDV, and I once got 4 drop outs somewhere in the middle of the tape, and even though I'm pretty much using a tape thats quite cheap, I often think that the God of tape mechanisms is angry with me.... lol..

Dont worry James, everything should be fine.... for now.... lol

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Old August 14th, 2006, 11:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Pepingco
And yes, I notice a slight pause in the moving of the mechanism now. Before, it was: Push the tape in and watch it slide smoothly down. Now, it slides smoothly down halfway, pauses for a fraction of a second, then continues down.
Interesting to hear. I'm trying to remember if my tape mechanism always did that, or if I just became more attentive to its little eccentricities after that incident. I've actually owned the camera for quite some time, and I was really tired when that happened. Must not have been thinking straight.

Anyway, just out of curiosity and to perhaps help allay some of my paranoia, can anyone else confirm whether or not their mechanisms also have a slight pause when loading a cassette?

BTW, I've only put the Sony HDV tapes through it... don't know if that would have a bearing or not on the mechanism travel pausing. I'm assuming and hoping that the delay is related to the tape door being swung open.
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Old August 14th, 2006, 11:50 PM   #7
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I have seen a FX1 and Z1P both do it. It may be just normal habit once the parts have worn and polished a little or it could be a binding effect from wear between two inappropriate surfaces or crappy design.

Whatever, the mechanism seems to be adequate for the job as my own PD150 has not failed yet??? and that has done a lot more load-in load -out cycles than normal due to me prototyping an accessory on it.

I suspect the hesitation may be at a point of resistence in the excursion where the cassette lid is flipped upon. I don't know if it opens with manual insertion of the cassette or during the cycle like a VHS which can show the same behaviour.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 12:03 AM   #8
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^^^

Reassuring to hear Bob. Thanks for the reply. I suppose my concern was unwarranted.

P.S. Slightly OT, but I notice a lot of folks from Australia here. Born and raised in Melbourne myself, although I haven't been home since '95. -cheers!
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Old August 15th, 2006, 11:02 AM   #9
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I remember having the same delay with Sony handicam and wondering what the heck was going on. Then realized that there is a delay with a new tape, but not one that has footage already on it (or the other way around, I don't remember).

Check it out. Insert a new tape, then a used one and see if there is a difference.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 11:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo
I remember having the same delay with Sony handicam and wondering what the heck was going on. Then realized that there is a delay with a new tape, but not one that has footage already on it (or the other way around, I don't remember).

Check it out. Insert a new tape, then a used one and see if there is a difference.
I'll double check when I get home, but if memory serves me right, it happens with all tapes - regardless if they're fresh out of the package or have already been used.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 02:40 PM   #11
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Anyone else notice the same thing?
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Old August 17th, 2006, 09:36 PM   #12
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My HC1 has the very same issue, always a slight pause mid-way before resuming and locking down. So it's not a model specific issue.

I busted it on the tripod and it will run me about $500 in parts and labor to get it back. Part of the damage involved the mechanism at the tripod mounting plate, and it warped the frame in that area. It ejected the tape, surprisingly, then it refused to reopen to accept another. This time completely stopping at the same point and going no further. So it's gotta be a clearance issue.

Be interesting to see how it behaves once it comes back next week.
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