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-   Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-gl-series-dv-camcorders/)
-   -   Heads Dirty, Use Cleaning Cassette (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-gl-series-dv-camcorders/32404-heads-dirty-use-cleaning-cassette.html)

Raymond Schlogel September 23rd, 2004 02:11 AM

Heads Dirty, Use Cleaning Cassette
Got my XL2 and though I hooked it up to an external monitor and tried the different settings didnt do any recording. About three days later I used it on a shoot, was the first tape in the camera. After shooting for about ten mins got the warning " Heads Dirty, Use Cleaning Cassette ". On playback the first 30 seconds of the tape had that notorious XL stripping ( is there a word for that ? the thick lines of alternate video ). The rest of the tape looked great but just want to know what gives ? Doesn't seem right for a brand new camera to need its heads cleaned. Anyone else get this ? Should I be concerned ? Should I try to bring it back and swap it with another ?

Love some feedback here.

- Ray

Greg Boston September 23rd, 2004 03:33 AM

Hi Raymond,

Welcome to DV INFO. This phenomenon has been reported with other brand new video cameras as well. Yours is the first report I have seen of an XL2 doing this. The good news is that running a head cleaning cassette seems to get rid of the problem.

My own Pana 953 did this on the second tape. I too thought it was much too early for this to happen. Ran a cleaing cassette and its been a happy camera ever since.

Also, in case you weren't aware, it's considered bad practice to switch brands of tape. So, whatever brand your first tape is, try to stick with it. There are differences in the tape formulations between various manufacturers that when mixed, can gum up the heads.



Chris Hurd September 23rd, 2004 07:15 AM

Always, always, always run a head cleaning cassette, the very first thing with *any* new camcorder.

This oughta be a law.

Greg Boston September 23rd, 2004 09:07 AM

Really Chris? I've not heard that suggestion before. What's the theory behind it? Is it cause you have no idea what brand of tape the factory used for testing?

Rest assured, I'm not challenging you on this. I feel you must know something I don't and I hope you'll share it with us.



Chris Hurd September 23rd, 2004 10:33 AM

Well, basically the number-one problem that keeps coming up with any new camcorder is this particular problem. Not every cam will have it, but running a head cleaner before that first tape goes in seems to eliminate it before it happens, and it doesn't hurt anything otherwise. So that's why I always say that.

I've seen this issue so often, it just became sort of my adopted slogan. That's where it comes from, though... so many previous complaints of the same type, regardless which camcorder it is.

(Hey, a Texan thread! How'bout that.)

David Lach September 23rd, 2004 11:05 AM

I've heard from one seller head cleaning tapes could potentially dammage the heads. Any truth to that at all?

Greg Boston September 23rd, 2004 12:52 PM


They are slightly abrasive soooo....if you overuse them, that is a potential possibility. Just as some people brush their teeth too often and actually wear down the enamel from excessive abrasion.

Best bet is to follow the manufacturer's recommendations on frequency of head cleaning.


Ok, so you're basically trying to 'head em off at the pass' in Texan talk. Clean immediately=No problem later. Gotcha. ;-)


Yi Fong Yu September 23rd, 2004 01:02 PM

ah man david ya ruin the texan thread! YEeee haw!

heh heh heh. i got the spirit of texan even though i don't live there.

let's say if my cam was using TDK tapes. can i do a head clean and THEN switch brands to sony tapes? i know it's not preferable but is this possible with damaging somn? i know the lubricants and all are different but i haven't used the TDK tapes much.

Greg Boston September 23rd, 2004 01:06 PM


I use TDK in my xl-1 and xl-2. I started with Sony in my 953 so that's what I use in it. I've heard that Sony's tapes are the LEAST compatible with other brands so I would proceed with caution there.


Chris Hurd September 23rd, 2004 01:15 PM

Choose one brand and stick with it. Clean between brands if you must switch back & forth.

David Lach September 23rd, 2004 03:18 PM

Brian from Zotz Digital told me they only sell and recommand the Panasonic DV tapes since it's the only brand that does not use oil based lubricant. I couldn't say why this is better though, I'm fairly new to the DV world. My last video cam was an old CCD-VX3 Sony Hi8. Anybody has more info on this?

Chris Hurd September 23rd, 2004 03:35 PM

We have an entire forum about it -- "The Long Black Line" on the main forum index page.

Kevin Chao October 5th, 2004 01:09 PM

how long should i run the cleaning tape for...

Ken Tanaka October 5th, 2004 01:17 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Kevin Chao : how long should i run the cleaning tape for... -->>>

Read and carefully follow the instructions on the tape.

Kevin Chao October 5th, 2004 01:23 PM

i would... but the instructions are in japanese... lol... i got it when i ordered my DSR-11...

and when you run it... do you press record... or do you press play on VTR mode?

thanks in advance...

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