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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old October 27th, 2005, 03:34 PM   #1
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Drop-outs with Sony Digital Master mini DV tape (again)

Shot a play few weeks ago. Sounded fine through headphones.
There are "glitches" or audio drop outs every 3-10 seconds when playing back on camera or capturing to HD. Tried a second tape of same type, with same results. Tried a 3rd tape (non-sony) and had no problems.

This was the first time using the Digital master tapes and have not had any issues prior.

I have seen this topic before and am currently experiencing the same issue.
Has anyone found the cause or have a solution???
Thanks!

(See prev thread ----> http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=45832)
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Old October 29th, 2005, 01:05 AM   #2
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You know.. I was using Sony DVCAM Digital Masters (Yellow/White Case) and having drops like crazy. I sent my Camera in to Sony thought it was the camera.. But who knows anymore..I'll let you know what they say..
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Old October 31st, 2005, 08:47 AM   #3
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Drop-outs with Sony Digital Master mini DV tape (again)

Please Do. And Anyone else who's had this problem, please chime in if they've had any luck or found a solution.
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Old November 28th, 2005, 01:05 PM   #4
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Update

Got a call from Sony (sent them an email) and the Tape Tech guy said that "in his experience" the Master Tapes are truly made for the HD video and the PD170 may need to be configured to allow for a thicker stock tape and that should fix my problem.

Planning to send in the camera to Sony Service after the holidays...
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Old November 28th, 2005, 01:26 PM   #5
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I'm curious why would you want to 'fix' your camera so it may only play one specific model of tape?

I suspect that the answer isn't a thickness problem (there are no thickness adjustments in the transport).

The problem is probably that the magnetic signal requirements of the HD tape is much higher than that of 'normal' DV tape.
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Old November 28th, 2005, 01:42 PM   #6
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Mike, Thanks for the reply.
The Sony Technician said that the adjustment would allow for both the standard and Master Tape thicknesses. Unfortunately, My limited knowledge on the inner workings of this camera leaves me to depend on other's expert advice on this matter. His recommendation was to send it in for adjustment.

I haven't had any problems with the standard DVCAM tapes, so I agree that I should just stick with what works.

Just p*sses me off that Sony markets a product as compatible, but in the end is not.

Bottom line, I broke a golden rule... don't try anything new without testing it first...
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Old November 28th, 2005, 01:52 PM   #7
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Since you have a 170, why not call the 800 support line (not the repair facility) and ask them why they sell a tape as compatible when it is not and you think they should adjust the camera for free.

But knowing Sony service, I'd not send in anything that isn't broken. They are just likely to disturb something else in the camera (happened to me, they screwed up the back-focus) and you will be without the camera for a long time.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 12:05 PM   #8
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I don't have any solutions, just having the same problem with my vx-2000 also. I don't think it matters what tape you use, you still end up with the same results...audio dropouts every 2 to 5 secs, then the more you use it, you'll end up with video & audio dropouts every few frames. I sent my camera in and had the videoheads replaced (thinking that may fix the problem). After recieving the camera back and trying it out, I'm still experiencing the problem. The only fix that I have come up with, is using the heck out of the cleaning tape. That seems to fix it for like one 20 - 30 minute pass.
I wish someone had a good remedy, I hate the idea of trashing the camera.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 12:08 PM   #9
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My problem was specifically the DVMaster tapes by sony.
I switched back the the normal DVCAP tapes and haven't had any more issues.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 12:14 PM   #10
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I've been using the Sony Premium tapes exclusively for the past 5 years and the only time I've ever had a problem was when I attempted to record DV over a tape with a previous DVCam track on it.

I don't use head cleaners at all.

BTW, this is on a pair of PD150's and a DSR-20, all with plenty of hours on them.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 03:50 PM   #11
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Depending on the problem it can be:

Dirt embedded in the tape path. Head cleaning tape won't fix that. You'd need the path cleaned. That would require service (Armato's does that for example).

Could be tape path out of alignment on either the record or playback path. Alignment would need to be adjusted and heads may (or may not) need to be replaced. Any time heads are replaced service should also do an alignment.

Could be issue with brand or type of tape.

BTW if tape path aligment is changed and the problem was a record path issue then those tapes may not playback in newly aligned camera.

All this is a good example of why one should use a deck. Get a Sony DSR-11 for around $1600 give or take.

Some of the above has been said before in this on other threads but seeing it all in one place may help.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 12:52 PM   #12
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SONY tapes ruined my shoot

Okay just came to the forum to post my problem when I read this post. I too have got a brand new pd170, months old, probably shot 30-40 tapes on it so far. Only ever used Sony Premium tapes. recently bought two packs of six tapes from a normal electrical store. Shot with these twelve tapes over two days.

Anyway when I got back and ran all the tapes into the editor 2 of the twelve tapes were ruined! on each tape they had a 'patch' (10-30 min long) where the audio as other posts have reported glitchs every 2-3 seconds and dropouts firing off everywhere around the screen like fireworks. This playback was the same on the pd170 and another sony camera.

I gently pulled back the head cover to inspect the tape. If held at the right angle i could see faint tiny horse shoe like impressions spaced along the tape at regular intervals. I now have two very important tapes with unusable footage. I would send the tapes immediatly to Sony but the tape contains sensitive school children footage which by parental release is restricted

I could understand one tape messing up but two ? and then what confuses me more is if its a problem with the camera why is it not doing it on more tapes. Its so frustrating !!! I could have lost my reputation over this. At the moment Im thinking its just two badly manufactured /or 'stored (horizontally) in the shops tapes - Does anyone agree or is it the camera.

**Please let me know your opinions before I call silver support**
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Old March 17th, 2006, 02:21 PM   #13
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Anybody have Sony's 800 number for Pro/Prosumer support?

I have been experiencing this issue with other tapes, with same bad audio results. I'm going to just send it in for repairs.

Thanks
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Old March 18th, 2006, 11:45 AM   #14
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I had the same 2 to 3 second audio/video dropout problems on my PD150 which I just got back from servicing. Here's what got fixed on mine.

I had the "Spring, Tension Coil" and "Pulley Assembly Midway" replaced on the camera which fixed the problem. The technician told me that the spring tension that holds the tape against the drum was no longer doing its job properly because of age. The Pulley Assembly is what unthreads the tape from the cassette and wraps it around the head. I'm guessing it unthreads around 2 to 3 seconds of tape. That's why I was getting that frequency of dropouts.

I knew my camera wasn't threading properly because I inspected a brand new tape and the edges were clean. After taping about 3 minutes I inspected the tape again and I saw the "horse shoe like impressions" so I knew the camera had caused it.
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Old March 18th, 2006, 11:53 AM   #15
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Oh, it cost me $53 in parts but $150 in labour. All prices are in Canadian dollars.

The only other plus to this is that they cleaned, lubricated and aligned the heads as necessary probably because they had the whole thing taken apart already.
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