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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 01:52 AM   #1
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VX2000 Problem

Greetings. Just recently, I recorded a video while on vacation. When I got home, I played the tape and was quite surprised to see the results. Every other second of the audio cut out and the video also cut out at parts although not nearly as much. I've never had a problem with this camera and I'm quite scared that it is ruined. I tried running a head cleaning tape (dry type) and it did nothing to correct the problem.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Would a wet type head cleaning tape fix it? I'm by no means a dv-camera guru but I would like to keep using this camera as it takes great video.

All help is much appreciated!
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 08:41 AM   #2
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First thing to try is a new tape. You used the inbuilt mics? Picture loss in sync with the audio loss? Then I'd press the 'reset' button and revert the cam to the maker's spec. Shoot another test film on auto everything, Steadyshot off. Then test the cam with a recorded tape you know is good. Replay ok? . Make notes, be methodical, report back.

tom.
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Old September 7th, 2005, 07:35 PM   #3
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Reporting Back

Tom,

Thanks for the reply. I apologize for taking so much time to report back.

I just did a couple different things with the camera as per your suggestions.

After stopping at the local store, I loaded a new tape and recorded about 15 seconds on it. At playback, the video glitched (the left side of the screen boxed out at different levels) and that seemed to correct itself but only to be replaced by the noise cutting out every 2 or so seconds. Not good.

Next, I reset the camera and shot some test film on auto settings with the steadyshot off. During playback, the video seemed fine but the audio cut out every 4 seconds. The audio seemed better than it was before but I could just be looking for something positive.

Lastly, I loaded a tape that I know is good and attempted to play it. From that, the video looked fine but the sound cut out every 4 seconds or so.

Does that help at all? Anything I am not being clear on?

Again, I appreciate all the assistance.

Thanks for taking the time.

John
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Old September 7th, 2005, 07:41 PM   #4
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Have you always used the same brand of tape in the camera?
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Old September 8th, 2005, 12:59 AM   #5
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I've used either Sony or Panasonic tapes over the past 3 years. Never had any problems with either until a couple weeks ago.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 01:04 AM   #6
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If you look very closely into the tape cassette compartment with a focused maglight and some close-up specks on, how does it look in there? If it's time for a tape path clean, there'll be a ring of brown gunge on the capstan, the chrome spindle that drives that tape through the deck and resides next to the rubber pinch roller. This will probably need doing if you've used a lot of tape, if it's never been done before, and if you've mixed brands of tape.

If a professional tape path cleaning doesn't cure things, then it really does sound as if there's a more serious problem that only test equipment will be able to diagnose. But first I'd try a head cleaning tape.

tom.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 01:48 AM   #7
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I apologize for my ignorance on camera-related issues but does anyone know where I could possibly find a picture that would help me identify the various parts inside the tape compartment? I think I recognize what you told me to look for (mainly because i see a piece of metal that has a brown ring where I would assume the tape runs) but it is not right next to the rubber stopper.

Regardless, I think I need to do the professional tape path cleaning. After reading about the problems of switching tape brands and the need for maintenance/cleaning, I think I am way behind the ball. In all honesty, this really isn't something I am comfortable doing so I might try to find someone who can tomorrow.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 02:01 AM   #8
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Without a good level of knowledge about how to go about cleaning tape transports, you can do a thousand dollars worth of damage in a heartbeat.

Don't know where you are located but I'd send anything like that to Armato's in New York City.

Ask them to clean the transport and heads and check the transport alignment but to contact you before they correct any misalignment. The reason you want to be asked is that if you've recorded any must-have tapes with a mis-aligned transport, once the transport is aligned, you will not be able to read the tapes.

Easy to check this. Take a must-have, if you have any, to a store and ask them to allow you to put it in a camera and see if it will play the tape. If it does, you are OK. Write-lock the tape first.

Then when you get the camera back, use only one brand of tape. I prefer Sony as they make the camera (see my sticky posting at the top of the Forum).
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Old September 8th, 2005, 02:07 AM   #9
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Of all the things I do understand, the ability to do irreparable damage in a split second is one of them. That's why I'm trying to be so cautious. I've definitely learned some lessons that I won't forget.

Any recommendations for stores/people in Philadelphia?
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Old September 8th, 2005, 08:07 AM   #10
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I've never talked to them about repairs, but Videosmith (at 100 Spring Garden, 215 238-5070) might be a place to try. Of course, NYC is pretty close so Mike's suggestion is a good one.
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