Cleaning Cassete message on LCD??? at DVinfo.net

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old May 8th, 2007, 07:54 AM   #1
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Cleaning Cassete message on LCD???

Just bought 2 new PD-170's and videoed two weddings with them this weekend. Got an interesting message on the LCD screen of both of them within minutes of each other. A 'Cleaning Cassette' message was blinking on the LCD screen. The manual says the heads are dirty. How is this possible on the second hour of shooting them. Both weddings were indoors. I'd rather not use the sandpaper-like cleaning tapes on the brand new cameras. Anybody ever experience this before?
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Old May 8th, 2007, 08:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Marty Reinhardt View Post
Just bought 2 new PD-170's and videoed two weddings with them this weekend. Got an interesting message on the LCD screen of both of them within minutes of each other. A 'Cleaning Cassette' message was blinking on the LCD screen. The manual says the heads are dirty. How is this possible on the second hour of shooting them. Both weddings were indoors. I'd rather not use the sandpaper-like cleaning tapes on the brand new cameras. Anybody ever experience this before?
Marty,

It is recommended that you clean the heads before using the camera, did you do this? I would say to clean them well and go on about your business. Don't get too excited about it.

And, welcome to the forum from a fellow Port St. Lucie resident.

Mike
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Old May 8th, 2007, 09:58 AM   #3
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I agree with Mike but for the record SOMETIMES when I hit the redcord button on my 150 or 250 I get that message and I've found that I really dodn't PUSH the button-it's like it's only partially in. Sounds stupid I know but if I hit record again and stop then hit it again to record the message disappears. YMMV!
Clean the heads per the instructions on the cleaning tape and like Mike said, nothing to really worry about.

Don
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Old May 9th, 2007, 07:20 AM   #4
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Alright..will do..I had a GL2 four years ago and used a cleaning tape too much I guess and wore down the heads. The repair tech who worked on the camera said DV cleaning tapes are like sand paper and should only be used in the rarest of occaisions, so that's why I was a little thrown off with the message. I was not aware of the fact that you should clean them before you use them. I 'll do that though. Thanks PSL neighbor.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 07:36 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Marty Reinhardt View Post
Alright..will do..I had a GL2 four years ago and used a cleaning tape too much I guess and wore down the heads. The repair tech who worked on the camera said DV cleaning tapes are like sand paper and should only be used in the rarest of occaisions, so that's why I was a little thrown off with the message. I was not aware of the fact that you should clean them before you use them. I 'll do that though. Thanks PSL neighbor.
You know, for years we have heard about unscrupulous auto repair people and shops that do work that is not necessary or over charge the customers. I'm beginning to think that we have the same problem in the camera repair business. I would love for someone to show me a camera that actually had the heads destroyed by the over use of a cleaning tape. To me that sounds like an excuse to charge the customer for new heads that are probably not bad at all.

Not only are these techs overcharging their customers, but they are scaring them into not properly cleaning the camera when it should be done. Every manual I've seen says to clean it regularly, but it seems that no one reads that, or is scared to do it because of the stories they read about damaged cameras. My opinion is that these stories are just urban legends and not proven out in reality.

I would love to see some tests done! One thing for sure, I'll bet more cameras are sent in to have the heads cleaned because they were not cleaned regularly than are sent in to have the heads replaced prematurely because of the use of cleaning tapes.

Have a great day all! :)

Mike
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Old May 9th, 2007, 09:53 AM   #6
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I recently bought a VX2100, too. I cleaned the heads right away and the 1st blank Panasonic tape I put in gave the message Clean Heads. I forwarded the tape and then brought it back to the beginning and did not receive the message again. The cam has woked fine but, I sometimes still get the message. I do the same trick and the cam works.

I have no idea why a new cam would do this but I have found a work for it.

The problem has me a little scared.

Marty, do you use Panasonic tapes?

These dry cleaning tapes are not so great. I have a DSR 11 that was giving me dropouts. I used a dry cleaning tape and nothing changed. I opened it up and cleaned the heads manually and saw some dirt wipe off onto the chammy swab that the dry head cleaner could not get off. The deck works much better now.

I may try this on the vx2100, if it is not too hard.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 02:14 PM   #7
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I use Panny Professional Quality tapes. As an aside, I saw Panasonic makes a 186 minute Master Quality tape. Anybody use them before. I have a grad cermony at the end of this month that will be around 2.5 hrs. straight w/ no break so it would be nice to not have to scramble to switch in between kids.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 02:50 PM   #8
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I've not used the MQs but I use the 124 and 186 PQs frequently and never had any problems with them. Of course I also use the PQs in 63 and sometimes 83 so it's basically the same tape.

Don
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Old May 9th, 2007, 02:58 PM   #9
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You've got to remember that a MiniDV tape has 28 accurately made components all crammed into a matchbox and it sells for $3 or so. They will not all be perfect at that price, and you can get a minute portion of emulsion flake off in your first tape or your 200th.

I would stick to one brand of tape though and Richard Z's advice is good. Head cleaning tapes do just that and no more - they simply clean the head drum and certainly do nothing for the many pins, rollers, guides, capstan and pinch roller along the tape path. That requires manual cleaning.

tom.
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