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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old October 29th, 2003, 01:25 AM   #16
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I tend to agree with Mike, but for some reading matter on this have a look at my article on tape path cleaning. The pictures will show you the capstan and pinch roller that actually drive the tape past those spinning heads.

http://www.xs4all.nl/~sl/trv900/cleaning.html

tom.
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Old October 29th, 2003, 12:46 PM   #17
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The problem with most inexperienced people cleaning tape transports is they tend to think that if a little is good, more is better.

They also use the wrong fluids as well as too much fluid. Not much sense in cleaning a capstain if they wash all the lubricant out of the bearings at the same time. Or put fluids on the pinch-roller that causes it to dry out.

Pluse everyone seems to think that cotton-tipped swabs are the natural tool to use. Ignoring the need for the foam covers that keep the strands of cotton out of the works. Or that chamois-tipped sticks or a small sheet of chamois is the best tool for cleaning heads and drums . . . upper and lower.

For most people, I strongly recommend having an experienced person clean their tape path.

If they are going to attempt a cleaning on their own, at least take the top off their VCR and practice on something a bit bigger and stronger before taking on a camcorder.
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Old October 29th, 2003, 02:15 PM   #18
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Tom, thanks for the link. The images have helped me identify the capstain and other sections of the transport. Unfortunately my capstan does have that telltale ring of emulsion. I have taken your advice Mike and am currently looking for a Sony Authorized repair center to do a cleaning and a head alignment. One place has quoted me around 70 dollars for the whole job. Is this reasonable?

Also, I have about 35 hours of tape recorded and then at least 5-10 Hrs worth of extra tape time spent seeking and striping. I know striping is a controversial issue but our teacher makes us do it for class. My question is, does this amount of tape warrant a whole head cleaning/alignment? Or is my situation unusual? I know the often quoted number for cleaning is after 50+ hours of tape, but then it is usually in reference to a quick cleaning with a head cleaning tape.

Thanks again for your responses. I really appreciate being able to learn from those with more experience.
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Old October 29th, 2003, 07:42 PM   #19
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There is no such thing as a head alignment on these cameras. A transport alignment, yes.

$70 is a reasonable price.

What you want them to do is check the alignment and if it is out, let you know before they correct it. If they align the transport, you might not be able to read recently recorded tapes.

I doubt if the transport is out of alignment. Sounds like it is just really dirty.

I have to mention that I believe that the best way to stay out of trouble like this is to use the tapes that are made by the camera manufacturer. I know people have had (so far) no trouble running tapes from other manufacturers. But frequently there are people like yourself that have problems.

I have 10 Sony DV cameras at the local college. Some of them almost 9 years old and none of them have ever had a tape head clog or a dirty transport. We do not allow anything but Sony tape in the cameras. We also don't clean the transports on a regular basis either.

You might ask whomever you have clean the camera to show you how to do it properly. It doesn't take too much in the way of tools and supplies. A properly sized screwdriver, cleaning fluid and two types of cleaning sticks will do it. With those tools, you can clean almost any set of heads. Done one, you can do them all.
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Old October 29th, 2003, 09:59 PM   #20
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Hey Fellas... sounds like Jacob has a dirty head problem but I have a question... would it be possible for the same "no rec'd no playback" to happen if only the monitor were broken or not getting signal. Loose contact or something? Just curious if this ever could be a possibility.

That said...I could only find Canon DV80 tapes. Never had good experience with longer tapes of any type. Too thin, poop out quickly, break, etc. I have always used Fuji products and after reading many threads here, links to articles, etc. decided that they were well thought of and went with that. I use a JVC GR30 to transfer footage to the computer. One day it worked fine. Then about a week later (few days ago) while trying to transfer YUCK! Suddenly broken image, junk on the screen and a message "use head cleaning tape".

OK..simple enough but here's the thing... I've used ONLY Fuji DVC 60's in that and my GL2. A transfer house put some 8mm footage from a client on Sony Premium DV stock. I just plain forgot to mention that I could provide a Fuji tape. It is the ONLY and I mean ONLY time anything but Fuji has touched the JVC. Within seconds the problems started. Also I only have a max of 15 hours on the heads. Barely used. Is it possible that the Sony tape gunked it up immediately? I will never do this again but WOW... what a mess. Just seems like pure tape stock up to this and only running the Sony tape about 1 minute shouldn't have *that* big of an effect. I'm baffled.

Ideas? Also Jeff wrote to me in another thread that the brand of cleaning tape does not matter. How can that be if the other tape stock is so important? Would also like to hear opinions about Sony, Pana and other stocks. May need to clean heads, switch and stick with a different brand if Fuji's are not the way to go. But earlier research said "Fuji is best" ??? Ideas, help... please ;) Thanks!
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Old October 29th, 2003, 10:27 PM   #21
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Hi Roze,

In response to the LCD Viewfinder question, all electronics of the 2000 work fine. The LCD shows video, it shows the little red dot when I press record, all buttons and systems work other than actually *putting* the video onto the tape. Or viewing it for that matter. This led Mike and Tom, and me as well, to think that it's time for a cleanin.'

I too am feeling the pain of trying to choose a tape brand to stick with after this cleaning is completed. I really do like panasonic stock, however some people will say Fuji, or TDK, or Sony. I really respect Mike's opinion so I am heavily considering a switch to Sony tape. My thread on this topic is here http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=16422 As far as which brand *you* should pick...well I have no idea. Thanks for your reply!

-Jake
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Old November 26th, 2003, 02:16 PM   #22
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Quick Update...

Well I just got the camera back last night. After about 3 weeks and 168 dollars, my camcorder records just like new. I have decided to stick with panasonic tapes since if I switched to sony I would lose the ability to play all of my existing tapes back. Thanks to everyone who lent suggestions and helpful advice.
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Old November 28th, 2003, 10:58 PM   #23
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We get cameras in our shop to be repaired on a regular basis due to tape mixing. It is still an issue. I suggest that since the camera malfunctioned so bad that a manual head and transport cleaning is in order. You can't mix tapes. Go with Panasonic MQ's due to the dry lubricant. Also PQ's are now dry but not packed as tight as the MQ's.


<<<-- Originally posted by Tom Hardwick : It is a possibility though not a probability. If you'd asked this question in 2000 the answer woul've been more positive, but it seems as if tape binders have become more compatible across brands in the last 3 years, and I hear of 'mixing' problems less and less.

If you take off the tape deck door (very easy, two screws) and get good strong sunlight pouring into the mechanism, what do you see up close? Good, bright, shiney components? No brown ring on the capstan? If you see any gunge marks at all then it could be tape path cleaning time.

And how come 'everyone at school uses Sony tapes' and you don't, huh? What tapes do you think the Sony developement engineers used when they ran 10000 hours through the machines in prototype guise? Right. Sony tapes :-)

tom. -->>>
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Old November 28th, 2003, 11:09 PM   #24
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hi Lou,

I just got the camcorder back from the cleaning shop. I will now strictly use PQ's. If I wanted to switch to MQ's, would I still have to run a cleaning tape since they are dry? Also, If I run one of my PQ's through a machine that has Sony tapes in it all the time, should I consider that PQ contaminated?

Thanks,
Jake
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Old November 28th, 2003, 11:47 PM   #25
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My best advice is to stick with one brand/type. With Panny tapes it is not necessary to use a cleaning tape as they are ALL dry according to Panasonic.

ALSO-no matter what brand of tapes are utilized in the RECORDER, if the transport is dirty, the particles do adhere to a new tape. Good Luck. Let us know how it works out for you.

Lou Bruno
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