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-   -   "dirty head" error (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-gl-series-dv-camcorders/47837-dirty-head-error.html)

Patrick Smith July 17th, 2005 11:48 AM

"dirty head" error
SO the last two times i have been filming, it has been very hot 90 degree's and humid.

To make a long story short, both times i have used my camera, it has been for at least 3 hours plus.

ANd both times i get a "dirty head, clean" error.

The first time i got it, i kept recording, and everything came out good. When i got home, i ran a cleaner thru it.

Today i filmed for about 2 hours and got it again, and again my film did not mess up...

ANy ideas!?!!!

Mike Donley July 17th, 2005 06:04 PM

Tape Cleans, too.
I assume you have a GL2 because I have seen this message numerous times with my GL2 and never with one of my GL1s. Usually recording will pause as soon as you see the message. If the problem was caused by a small amount of debris, you can immediately start recording again because the tape itself will clean the heads of the debris and you will not notice any affect on the footage. The tape will even clean a larger amount of debris off the heads, however you might see a mosaic affect on the footage until the tape has cleaned the heads sufficiently ( I have had a Canon ZR50mc single chip camera take 10 minutes for the tape to clean the head sufficienlty enough to start recording clean footage).

I usually get the message when I have been pausing my GL2 for long periods of time. I believe that is because the tape is in contact with the rotating drum during pauses. So debris builds up from the (oxide?) on the surface of the tape.

Just my observations based on experience. Maybe someone more technical can enlighten us

Patrick Smith July 17th, 2005 07:19 PM

ya. i would record for about 10 seonds. pause. then again pause...etc etc.

i use sony prem tapes, so they are lubricated.

when it happens to me, i take the tape out, and then rewind and play back to make sure i got the last shot... and then its fine...

Anyone else know anything about this?

Jamie Rinehart July 18th, 2005 06:44 AM

This happened to me as well, and I'm glad you mentioned it and found a possible answer to the question. Just a couple weeks ago I was shooting a wedding and during the first dance my new GL-2 through me this message and paused which led to a drop out on a portion of the first dance clip. I was not ammused by this happening and am glad I now have an answer to the issue.

Jeremy Davidson July 18th, 2005 08:44 AM

Well, I guess I can now officially join the "GL2 Elite User's Group" -- I got this message yesterday for the first time (camera is about one year old). I was surprised that it still let me record, and the footage seems to have come out OK (haven't checked it real carefully yet). After a few minutes I had a chance to stop recording and run a cleaner cassette before continuing to record. I have not noticed any major problems with the tape yet, but I'll be watching for dropouts or other weird stuff.

Patrick, not to start any rumors here, but I also use Sony Premium tapes. I don't think it was 90 degrees (inside with at least some air conditioning), but it was fairly humid.

David Ennis July 18th, 2005 09:19 AM


Originally Posted by Jeremy Davidson
...not to start any rumors here, but I also use Sony Premium tapes. I don't think it was 90 degrees (inside with at least some air conditioning), but it was fairly humid...

Still, it might be useful information.

Jaimie, Mike, were you by any chance using Sony tapes?

Mike Donley July 18th, 2005 10:48 AM

Panasonic Tapes
I use Panasonic MQ tapes exclusively. Both 63 minutes and 83 minutes.

I've noticed the dirty head error only when starting to record after pausing for a long period of time, e.g. 4 minutes. Just like Jeremy, as soon as I could, I used a cleaning tape. And just like Jeremy, I never did see a flaw on the footage. I only ran the cleaning tape to be on the safe side because I was shooting pre-ceremony footage, and still had to shoot the ceremony and reception with that GL2.

I assume that the dirty head message was caused by a little built up debris that was immediately cleaned off the heads by the recording tape, itself.

Jamie Rinehart July 18th, 2005 02:39 PM

I was using Panny DVM63 tapes when my problem happened. although I had just started up after a lengthy pause.

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