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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old May 1st, 2003, 01:06 PM   #1
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NEED HELP w/ a new pd150

I just got a new pd150. As soon I took it out of its box, I turned the camera up-side down, holding it from the carrying handle, to check its serial number; as I was doing so, I heard a sort of soft clicking noise coming from the cassette compartment. Returning the camera to its normal position I heard the same noise again. I repeated the same movement and again the same noise was heard. Is that normal, or might there be something wrong with the camera?

Thank you,
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Old May 1st, 2003, 02:30 PM   #2
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Mine makes some sort of soft noise. Not certain where it is coming from though.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 04:11 PM   #3
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Mine is over a year and a half old and I've never noticed any sound like you describe. But just now I tried it with and without a tape, and seems like a very soft something moving around, maybe a wire or something, doesn't matter if the tape is there or not.

Just make a list of things that might be wrong and see if anything really bad happens before the warranty period is over and if so handle it then!
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Old May 1st, 2003, 04:33 PM   #4
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Mine is about a year and some months and makes as much noise as my first beater car when I was 15. Ahhh, the good old days. Anyway, it works fine, so I don't worry about it.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 02:48 AM   #5
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Beware!

Do watch out for drop out problems...I early on used some off-brand tapes that someone bought me for a shoot and ended up having a big problem with video dropouts or getting stripes eventually. I fought it with head cleaning tapes and such for about three months and finally out of desperation got a magnifying glass and a very bright light to see properly, and tried to clean the heads with Q-Tips and head cleaner from Fry's Electronics. I never handled the dropout problem but did crack one of the heads, they are VERY delicate! It cost me more than $700 to get the drum replaced, but it works perfectly now with never a dropout.

I never use anything but DVCam or Sony Premium Mini-DV tapes now.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 09:07 AM   #6
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Yeow, Robert.

Q-tips are, as you now know, deadly inside transports.

Camois-covered sticks are just about the only way to clean dv heads. I've done it a number of times with no problems.

One can not just stick the stick in there. It only takes 2 minutes to train someone to clean up a transport. 2 minutes and the right tools.

Practice on your VCR first. The principle is exactly the same.

Does anyone want the instructions on how to clean a transport?
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 02:11 PM   #7
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Mike, I'd very much like to have the instructions on how to clean a transport. Thank you; I appreciate it.

Also, many thanks to everyone else who replied.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 03:30 PM   #8
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Stelios,

My camera make the same noise you describem it's a VX2k but has the same internals, I took it to my camera store when I first discovered it and all the VX's were doing it, it must just be something that naturally moves in the cassette compartment, my camera is 2 years old now and its not caused any problems. I wouldn't worry.

John.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 04:42 PM   #9
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I got some of those angled chamois tips from Radio Shack, and some 99% Alcohol and head cleaner. Can you tell how to take off the door and clean the drum unit and heads along with transport?
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 06:02 PM   #10
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Garrett. You just got your camera. Why do you want to clean the heads? Head cleaning is probably not needed more than once or twice a year.

Tell you what. When I get back from vacation in June, you can bring a VCR over and your cleaning stuff and I'll show you how to do it. You will also need the foam-covered Qtips that you can get from ZaKit for the rest of the transport. Never use medicine-cabinet Q-Tips for this.

Camcorders require some small, specialized Phillips head screwdrivers as the stuff you normal get in the hardware store is too large.

WARNING. If you are not certain what is what inside the transport. Don't. If you are not certain you can do this, Don't. If you break your VCR or Camcorder following my instructions, Don't blame me.

Basically, and I strongly recommend you do this the first time on your VCR, not your camcorder, you unplug the VCR and remove the top cover. Then you use a foam-covered Q-Tip to clean the tape guides, the audio heads and the rollers. You then squeeze out any excess cleaning fluid and clean the capstain. Don't use too much cleaner on the capstain or the fluid will run down the capstain and into the bearings, flushing out the lubricant. Lastly, wipe the pinch-roller that holds the tape against the capstain.

The heads are located on the chrome-shiny drum that sits at an angle at the back of the transport. It is separated into two sections. The fixed lower section and the rotating top section. Right at the bottom of the upper section, located 180 degrees apart, are the two tape heads. They look like very small dark dashes mounted in slight slots at the bottom of the upper drum. The top head rotates at a speed that makes each head traverse the tape during the time of one video field.

Whatever you do, NEVER wipe up or down on the heads. This will crack them. What you do is dampen the chamois tip with cleaning fluid and then hold it so that the leading edge of the head will not make contact with an edge of the chamois and then you gently rotate the upper drum with your finger so that the heads are rotated under the chamois tip. Don't press hard and try to keep the tip parallel to the drum rotational axis. The chamois tip will become streaked if there is dirt on the heads.

You must also clean the tape path where it rubs over both drums. I frequently find dirt on the lower, fixed drum with VCRs that have had rental tapes run through them. ( If you care for your VCRs, never run rental tapes through them.)

This cleaning process is much more effective than a cleaning tape but I've got to tell you that I've only had to clean a DV head in this manner once in almost 8 years of DV camera operation at the local community college. Truth is, when I looked for a DV cleaning tape the other day, it could not be found.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 06:33 PM   #11
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I just figured it would be great to know when the time comes, okay Mike I will hold you to that. Let me know when you get back and I'll stop by for a short course in maintenance? It will by the very least save me $60. The tapes are pretty expensive I bought one for my old DV cam for almost $30.

Alex...I have some old hi8 that probably needs the TLC, my VX9K is probably due for a good cleaning of transport and heads. I will bring an older 4 head VCR to Mike one of these days and learn how to clean the inside since the stuff we buy form the store is really a waste of money. I was thinking of taking a Sally Strudder's course on TV and VCR repair for fun...but Since I can pick Mike's brain I guess it will save me some $$ for a support system for my PD150.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 08:17 PM   #12
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John, thank you for your reply. It turns out that I am just a little paranoid when it comes to my camera; plus, I spent a considerable amount of money to buy it new, so I accept it to work fine.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 08:22 PM   #13
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I don't blame you $3000+ on a cam will make anyone but CNN paranoid.
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