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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old October 25th, 2003, 04:12 PM   #1
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Help! Vx2000 Won't Record/Play Anything!

I am in need of serious help. Today I went to look through some tapes using my vx2000 and i popped in some that I haven't looked at for a while. Surprisingly there was no timecode anywhere on the tape. I didn't thing it was that unusual because the tape was unmarked. However, once I started to view tapes that I *know* are full of video, nothing showed up. No video, no timecode, no nothing. I also tried recording, while the camera would say it was recording, it would move the tape and the light would come on, upon review it would show nothing. It would start moving the tape, but no timecode or video.

I do not have a cleaning-tape otherwise I would've tried that. The last time I used the camera was this wensday, so only 3 days ago, and then it was working fine. I have not switched brands of tape ever. I use panasonic professional. Although I have been using tapes put in decks that are used mainly with sony tapes. Could the lubricant problems transfer over to my camera this way? And if so would it cause a complete loss of ability to read/write?

I am freaked out because I cannot afford to pay for a complete head replacement, and also because I don't know what happened or what to do. Thanks for any suggestions you can offer.

-Jake
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Old October 25th, 2003, 04:28 PM   #2
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I can think of least several reasons why your tapes won't play:
  • battery is dead/no hydro
  • you didn't set the cam into playback mode
  • you stored your tapes near a magnet or heat
  • your cam's heads need some cleaning
  • your heads need replacement or something
  • your cam is completely shot

Is your cam able to record?
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Old October 25th, 2003, 04:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply.

It's not the power issue as the camera turns on and functions normally in every respect aside from recording or playing back

None of tapes were exposed to high heat or magnetic fields. And even so, video should still show up if I record new video on to a tape.

So basically I'm starting to think my heads are completely messed up. Anyone have any suggestions on where to get it fixed?
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Old October 25th, 2003, 04:34 PM   #4
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If your warranty has run out, take it to a cam repair shop.
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Old October 26th, 2003, 04:18 AM   #5
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Some thoughts. Those very same tapes play back well on other equipment? If you go DV out to your PC, still nothing? Analogue out to your TV - any difference? The new recordings you've made (that don't replay) - anything show when played on another cam?

tom.
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Old October 26th, 2003, 12:06 PM   #6
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First off thanks for the reply Tom. I did take my tapes to a studio to try them out on MiniDV decks that are known to be working. Tapes that had video played well on the deck, but nothing showed up when they were played on the 2000. While I was there I did a recording test again with the vx2000. To my surprise it kept the timecode when I was done recording. I rewound and played back to see heavy heavy dropouts and Lines. THe video was barely viewable under all the erroring. I took the tape out and played it back in the deck. Instead of just gray dropout lines I had heavily pixelated multicolor filled lines with somewhat garbled video inbetween. I am now hoping that this is just a head cleaning issue and not a head alignment one. Insights?

Thanks, Jake
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Old October 26th, 2003, 04:42 PM   #7
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Have you tried using a head cleaning tape yet?
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Old October 26th, 2003, 09:32 PM   #8
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First off I must apologize for posting with an account using an alias as the username. Way back when i created it the rules were not so strict about using your real name for an account. And since for the past year or so all I've really done is just read it hasn't become an issue. So from now, this is me, no more papabryd.

As for the cleaning tape, I have ordered one but it will not be here until friday. If the video dept. here has a tape, I'll try that, but otherwise I'll just have to wait until Friday. Thanks!

-Jake
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Old October 26th, 2003, 11:00 PM   #9
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I had this happen on my PC100 camcorder, also a Sony although I've used many types of tapes with it. I used a simple $15 head cleaner twice and everything started to work just fine again.
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Old October 27th, 2003, 02:14 AM   #10
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Yes, the more I read, the more I think it's a head cleaning job that will be quickly sorted. Have you been mixing tapes in the camera Jacob? In which case it might be time for a tape path clean rather than a simple head clean. But try that first.

tom.
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Old October 27th, 2003, 11:52 AM   #11
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Thanks for the reply Tom. Yes, I did order a tape cleaner which is scheduled to be here on friday. The bigger questions is now on the tapes. I have never switched tape brands, I've always used panasonic AY-DVM63PQ tapes. However, at school we are forced to use standalone DV decks to do editing on the school computers and to present our work. And everyone at school is uses Sony tapes. I'm wondering if its possible that my panisonic tapes got gunked up by the DV decks, and then transferred that gunk to my VX2000. Let me know what you think.

-Jake
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Old October 28th, 2003, 01:25 AM   #12
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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 October 28th, 2003, 02:34 AM   #13
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>I'm wondering if its possible that my panisonic tapes got gunked up by the DV decks, and then transferred that gunk to my VX2000. Let me know what you think.<

What do I think? I think that by doing this you have mixed tapes---especially if those Sony tapes were "wet" while your Pana tapes were "dry." So it's very likely your heads are gummed up because of this. This is my opinion only, maybe Tom's is a better one. :)
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Old October 28th, 2003, 07:00 AM   #14
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Alright Tom thank you for the reply. First where exactly is the capstain so if I open the door up I know where to look. And second if I want to change my tape type to Sony, what steps should I take. And since I have a large library of Panasonic tapes, what should I do if i ever need to play those back?

Frank, those were my thoughts as well. Either way it looks like I'm going to have to kiss Panny tapes goodbye.

Sigh, thanks guys.

-Jake

EDIT- I just looked at the inside and forgive my ignorance, the large circular object which I would assume to be the drum, appeared clean and shiney. However the recesses below the smaller pins on either side of the large drum contained visible dust and small hairs or fibers. Will the tape cleaner remove this? Is this something I should deal with by using a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol? Thanks again for your reply's.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 04:39 PM   #15
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Jacob,

After reading your posts, I conclude you don't have enough experience to clean the heads yourself. Q-tips should never be used on a drum or video heads. One always uses Chamois-tiped sticks or something very similar. If you wipe up and down, the heads will break.

I suggest you find a local shop to clean the transport because you are right, hair and gunk do not belong in the head/drum assembly.
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