Repair of old/cheap VCRs--is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Jeff Strieble, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. I've been reading some of the posts to this group regarding problems
    with old and/or inexpensive VCRs, and am puzzled. Why spend $150 or
    more to have a 15-year-old VCR repaired, when you can get a brand new
    one with stereo sound, VCR Plus+, and all sorts of bells and whistles
    (not to mention one that will run rings around your old one in terms
    of performance) for that much or even less? VHS machines are being
    phased out in favor of DVD players and recorders, so VCRs can be had
    at very low prices these days (I've seen them advertised as low as $39
    at places such as H. H. Gregg--my Sunday newspaper usually has their
    flyer and others, such as Best Buy and Circuit City, which list these
    and other brand-new VHS VCRs at similar savings). When my Panasonic
    VCR with VCR Plus+ went bad after only two years (the machine ate one
    of my tapes that I had just made hours earlier), I simply junked it
    and bought a new one of the same make.

    VCRs, televisions and most consumer appliances/electronics today are
    made to be throwaways when they go bad (after the manufacturer's
    warranty expires, of course). It doesn't even pay to get an estimate
    in most cases, as all shops charge an arm and a leg simply to look at
    the beast. Most shops today only do warranty repairs; those that still
    perform out-of-warranty service charge outrageous rates that, again,
    more often than not equal or exceed the price of a new unit.

    Kind regards,

    Jeff Strieble, WB8NHV (mailto: )
    Fairport Harbor, Ohio
     
    Jeff Strieble, Jan 29, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Jeff Strieble

    gothika Guest

    On 28 Jan 2004 21:47:23 -0800, (Jeff Strieble)
    wrote:
    In some cases it's not worth it.
    That said, if you have some knowledge in repairing vcr's and know
    where to order the parts cheaply it can be worth it.
    I buy the el cheapo hifi units from wal-mart(That's about all they
    sell these days.) particularly the Emerson brands and find that they
    have almost singular problems when they fail.
    It always tends to be the take up spindle and drive.
    It's either the belt on the take up spindle or the drive motor.
    I usually get a bit heavier and tighter belt from my local electronics
    parts store or a replacment motor. The belt runs me about 50 cents and
    the motors are around 4 bucks.
    The next thing that finally goes is usually the power supply or tuner
    section, after that I just toss.(I usually get around 2-2 1/2 years
    froma vcr that cost me around 46-50 bucks.)
    These problems could be fixed by going through the board and testing
    out to find the faulty component but tends to be a bit of a pain
    compared to just shelling out for a new unit.
    I might get motivated enough to do this when vcr's become a bit harder
    to find or the parts become even cheaper though.
    >I've been reading some of the posts to this group regarding problems
    >with old and/or inexpensive VCRs, and am puzzled. Why spend $150 or
    >more to have a 15-year-old VCR repaired, when you can get a brand new
    >one with stereo sound, VCR Plus+, and all sorts of bells and whistles
    >(not to mention one that will run rings around your old one in terms
    >of performance) for that much or even less? VHS machines are being
    >phased out in favor of DVD players and recorders, so VCRs can be had
    >at very low prices these days (I've seen them advertised as low as $39
    >at places such as H. H. Gregg--my Sunday newspaper usually has their
    >flyer and others, such as Best Buy and Circuit City, which list these
    >and other brand-new VHS VCRs at similar savings). When my Panasonic
    >VCR with VCR Plus+ went bad after only two years (the machine ate one
    >of my tapes that I had just made hours earlier), I simply junked it
    >and bought a new one of the same make.
    >
    > VCRs, televisions and most consumer appliances/electronics today are
    >made to be throwaways when they go bad (after the manufacturer's
    >warranty expires, of course). It doesn't even pay to get an estimate
    >in most cases, as all shops charge an arm and a leg simply to look at
    >the beast. Most shops today only do warranty repairs; those that still
    >perform out-of-warranty service charge outrageous rates that, again,
    >more often than not equal or exceed the price of a new unit.
    >
    > Kind regards,
    >
    > Jeff Strieble, WB8NHV (mailto: )
    > Fairport Harbor, Ohio
     
    gothika, Jan 29, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. What motor, the direct-drive capstan motor, which they all use for reel
    drive as well? For $4.00?

    Yeah, right.

    Mark Z.

    --
    Please reply only to Group. I regret this is necessary. Viruses and spam
    have rendered my regular e-mail address useless.


    "gothika" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On 28 Jan 2004 21:47:23 -0800, (Jeff Strieble)
    > wrote:
    > In some cases it's not worth it.
    > That said, if you have some knowledge in repairing vcr's and know
    > where to order the parts cheaply it can be worth it.
    > I buy the el cheapo hifi units from wal-mart(That's about all they
    > sell these days.) particularly the Emerson brands and find that they
    > have almost singular problems when they fail.
    > It always tends to be the take up spindle and drive.
    > It's either the belt on the take up spindle or the drive motor.
    > I usually get a bit heavier and tighter belt from my local electronics
    > parts store or a replacment motor. The belt runs me about 50 cents and
    > the motors are around 4 bucks.
    > The next thing that finally goes is usually the power supply or tuner
    > section, after that I just toss.(I usually get around 2-2 1/2 years
    > froma vcr that cost me around 46-50 bucks.)
    > These problems could be fixed by going through the board and testing
    > out to find the faulty component but tends to be a bit of a pain
    > compared to just shelling out for a new unit.
    > I might get motivated enough to do this when vcr's become a bit harder
    > to find or the parts become even cheaper though.
    > >I've been reading some of the posts to this group regarding problems
    > >with old and/or inexpensive VCRs, and am puzzled. Why spend $150 or
    > >more to have a 15-year-old VCR repaired, when you can get a brand new
    > >one with stereo sound, VCR Plus+, and all sorts of bells and whistles
    > >(not to mention one that will run rings around your old one in terms
    > >of performance) for that much or even less? VHS machines are being
    > >phased out in favor of DVD players and recorders, so VCRs can be had
    > >at very low prices these days (I've seen them advertised as low as $39
    > >at places such as H. H. Gregg--my Sunday newspaper usually has their
    > >flyer and others, such as Best Buy and Circuit City, which list these
    > >and other brand-new VHS VCRs at similar savings). When my Panasonic
    > >VCR with VCR Plus+ went bad after only two years (the machine ate one
    > >of my tapes that I had just made hours earlier), I simply junked it
    > >and bought a new one of the same make.
    > >
    > > VCRs, televisions and most consumer appliances/electronics today are
    > >made to be throwaways when they go bad (after the manufacturer's
    > >warranty expires, of course). It doesn't even pay to get an estimate
    > >in most cases, as all shops charge an arm and a leg simply to look at
    > >the beast. Most shops today only do warranty repairs; those that still
    > >perform out-of-warranty service charge outrageous rates that, again,
    > >more often than not equal or exceed the price of a new unit.
    > >
    > > Kind regards,
    > >
    > > Jeff Strieble, WB8NHV (mailto: )
    > > Fairport Harbor, Ohio

    >
     
    Mark D. Zacharias, Jan 29, 2004
    #3
  4. Jeff Strieble

    Ken G. Guest

    Almost every new VCR is pretty cheap these days .
    Many of the 10 to 15 year old VCRs are still real good if repaired
    compleatly and right . I have an older ( RCA ) Panasonic made that works
    great but i have kept the power supply serviced .

    I just bought a DVD recorder it makes a 100% better picture than the VCR
    ever did ... however i doubt the dvd recorder will last as long ? i just
    dont use it that much .
     
    Ken G., Jan 29, 2004
    #4
  5. Jeff Strieble

    Jerry G. Guest

    You seem to have a good source for cheap parts. The original manufactures
    will generally not supply parts for these cheap machines. They are
    considered throw-away after warranty products. I know that there are jobber
    replacement parts around for the older machines. A number of them are
    compatible to the newer models. This is especially true with the belts,
    pinch rollers, some of the pullies units, other assorted bits and pieces,
    and guides.

    If someone has to pay the labour to fix a machine, this alone would exceed
    the replacement value of it. Doing the work yourself, will save the greater
    part of the expense. But, the necessary skills and tools are required.

    You have to remember the average person cannot troubleshoot his VCR or DVD
    player, change heads, guides, some of the belts and pullies, and then do the
    tape path alignment (disk tracking alignment if it is a DVD player) when
    necessary.

    The average user doesn't even own a descent screwdriver, never mind a DVM,
    and scope to start with.

    --

    Greetings,

    Jerry Greenberg GLG Technologies GLG
    =========================================
    WebPage http://www.zoom-one.com
    Electronics http://www.zoom-one.com/electron.htm
    =========================================


    "gothika" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    On 28 Jan 2004 21:47:23 -0800, (Jeff Strieble)
    wrote:
    In some cases it's not worth it.
    That said, if you have some knowledge in repairing vcr's and know
    where to order the parts cheaply it can be worth it.
    I buy the el cheapo hifi units from wal-mart(That's about all they
    sell these days.) particularly the Emerson brands and find that they
    have almost singular problems when they fail.
    It always tends to be the take up spindle and drive.
    It's either the belt on the take up spindle or the drive motor.
    I usually get a bit heavier and tighter belt from my local electronics
    parts store or a replacment motor. The belt runs me about 50 cents and
    the motors are around 4 bucks.
    The next thing that finally goes is usually the power supply or tuner
    section, after that I just toss.(I usually get around 2-2 1/2 years
    froma vcr that cost me around 46-50 bucks.)
    These problems could be fixed by going through the board and testing
    out to find the faulty component but tends to be a bit of a pain
    compared to just shelling out for a new unit.
    I might get motivated enough to do this when vcr's become a bit harder
    to find or the parts become even cheaper though.
    >I've been reading some of the posts to this group regarding problems
    >with old and/or inexpensive VCRs, and am puzzled. Why spend $150 or
    >more to have a 15-year-old VCR repaired, when you can get a brand new
    >one with stereo sound, VCR Plus+, and all sorts of bells and whistles
    >(not to mention one that will run rings around your old one in terms
    >of performance) for that much or even less? VHS machines are being
    >phased out in favor of DVD players and recorders, so VCRs can be had
    >at very low prices these days (I've seen them advertised as low as $39
    >at places such as H. H. Gregg--my Sunday newspaper usually has their
    >flyer and others, such as Best Buy and Circuit City, which list these
    >and other brand-new VHS VCRs at similar savings). When my Panasonic
    >VCR with VCR Plus+ went bad after only two years (the machine ate one
    >of my tapes that I had just made hours earlier), I simply junked it
    >and bought a new one of the same make.
    >
    > VCRs, televisions and most consumer appliances/electronics today are
    >made to be throwaways when they go bad (after the manufacturer's
    >warranty expires, of course). It doesn't even pay to get an estimate
    >in most cases, as all shops charge an arm and a leg simply to look at
    >the beast. Most shops today only do warranty repairs; those that still
    >perform out-of-warranty service charge outrageous rates that, again,
    >more often than not equal or exceed the price of a new unit.
    >
    > Kind regards,
    >
    > Jeff Strieble, WB8NHV (mailto: )
    > Fairport Harbor, Ohio
     
    Jerry G., Jan 29, 2004
    #5
  6. Jeff Strieble

    tweak Guest

    On Thu, 29 Jan 2004 12:07:57 -0500, "Jerry G." <>
    wrote:

    >You seem to have a good source for cheap parts. The original manufactures
    >will generally not supply parts for these cheap machines. They are
    >considered throw-away after warranty products. I know that there are jobber
    >replacement parts around for the older machines. A number of them are
    >compatible to the newer models. This is especially true with the belts,
    >pinch rollers, some of the pullies units, other assorted bits and pieces,
    >and guides.
    >
    >If someone has to pay the labour to fix a machine, this alone would exceed
    >the replacement value of it. Doing the work yourself, will save the greater
    >part of the expense. But, the necessary skills and tools are required.
    >
    >You have to remember the average person cannot troubleshoot his VCR or DVD
    >player, change heads, guides, some of the belts and pullies, and then do the
    >tape path alignment (disk tracking alignment if it is a DVD player) when
    >necessary.
    >
    >The average user doesn't even own a descent screwdriver, never mind a DVM,
    >and scope to start with.



    Well put. I tend to forget that the average consumer didn't grow up
    around the electronic repair business like myself.
    I've been round so long that I can remember a time before the
    transistor.
    Conversly many of you younger turks can run circles around me on
    latest theory.
    I to oft take for granted a familiarity with all things
    mechanical/electrical and have difficulty unstanding how most escaped
    the training during childhood.(My old man locked me in a room with his
    Audels engineering manuals when I was five and wouldn't let me out the
    whole summer. Been hooked ever since.)
     
    tweak, Jan 29, 2004
    #6
  7. Jeff Strieble

    tweak Guest

    On Thu, 29 Jan 2004 05:32:24 -0600, "Mark D. Zacharias"
    <> wrote:

    >What motor, the direct-drive capstan motor, which they all use for reel
    >drive as well? For $4.00?
    >
    >Yeah, right.
    >
    >Mark Z.


    Wholesale sport.
    I have anumber of catalogs around with all the small dc motors for use
    in tape decks vcrs etc...
    The original units cost less to build.
    How do you think they mange to sell these vcr's for 45-50 bucks
    retail?

    I've even gotten dc motors for cassettes decks for as little as 1.99.
    The drive motors for the actual drum head do cost more, but seldom
    have I seen one of those go out.
    In my Emersons the tape drive motors are small dc motors that are
    separate.
     
    tweak, Jan 29, 2004
    #7
  8. Jeff Strieble

    tweak Guest

    On Thu, 29 Jan 2004 06:45:55 -0700 (MST), (Ken G.)
    wrote:

    >Almost every new VCR is pretty cheap these days .
    >Many of the 10 to 15 year old VCRs are still real good if repaired
    >compleatly and right . I have an older ( RCA ) Panasonic made that works
    >great but i have kept the power supply serviced .
    >


    True the older units were built like tanks. I have some 1/2 inch
    industrial units that just run and run, with very little service
    needed. And old Panasonic AG-1950 as well as a couple of newer Sanyo
    S-vhs editors that are spot on even after 100's of hours of use.
    Funny, Panasonic held the crown for building the best broadvast vhs
    machines for the bucks, to turn around and put such crappy power
    supplies in their consumer decks.
    I've got a couple of consumer units sitting on a back shelf with fried
    modular power supplies.(Alot of other manufacturers used these power
    supplies as well. I've got a todhiba vhs machine uses the same as
    those panasonics machines, and it burns out every 2-3 years like
    clockwork. 50 buck + shipping from Herman's. Now it's cheaper just to
    buy the Emersons. Waiting for some supplier to put these power
    supplies on clearance then I'll buy a bunch.)

    >I just bought a DVD recorder it makes a 100% better picture than the VCR
    >ever did ... however i doubt the dvd recorder will last as long ? i just
    >dont use it that much .


    True, but then the makers have learned a lesson, the consumer isn't
    going to pay top dollar for electronics any more. so they'll just
    build them cheap.
    If you want a DVD recorder that'll last and doesn't cost a fortune try
    looking at some of Panasonic's commercial units.(May find them listed
    under Masushita industrial division.)
    I still get sales flyers and catalogs from Masushita from time to time
    from when Iused to work in Broadcast/Film.
    I've been seeing some really nifty DVD machines in them.
     
    tweak, Jan 29, 2004
    #8
  9. Jeff Strieble

    James Sweet Guest


    >
    > True the older units were built like tanks. I have some 1/2 inch
    > industrial units that just run and run, with very little service
    > needed. And old Panasonic AG-1950 as well as a couple of newer Sanyo
    > S-vhs editors that are spot on even after 100's of hours of use.
    > Funny, Panasonic held the crown for building the best broadvast vhs
    > machines for the bucks, to turn around and put such crappy power
    > supplies in their consumer decks.
    > I've got a couple of consumer units sitting on a back shelf with fried
    > modular power supplies.(Alot of other manufacturers used these power
    > supplies as well. I've got a todhiba vhs machine uses the same as
    > those panasonics machines, and it burns out every 2-3 years like
    > clockwork. 50 buck + shipping from Herman's. Now it's cheaper just to
    > buy the Emersons. Waiting for some supplier to put these power
    > supplies on clearance then I'll buy a bunch.)
    >


    What fails in the power supplies? There's kits out there to repair quite a
    few different ones, they're not particularly expensive.
     
    James Sweet, Jan 29, 2004
    #9
  10. >I've been reading some of the posts to this group regarding problems
    >with old and/or inexpensive VCRs, and am puzzled. Why spend $150 or
    >more to have a 15-year-old VCR repaired, when you can get a brand new
    >one with stereo sound, VCR Plus+, and all sorts of bells and whistles
    >(not to mention one that will run rings around your old one in terms
    >of performance) for that much or even less? VHS machines are being
    >phased out in favor of DVD players and recorders, so VCRs can be had
    >at very low prices these days (I've seen them advertised as low as $39


    Because new VCRs that are made today are utterly horrible in terms of their
    design.
    Compared to my 15 year old Sony SVO-160, the junk sold at the stores as brand
    new do not have as good a picture (my VCR employs full HQ processing from
    technologies by Farjouda and has more carefully designed chroma and luma
    stages), do not have as good Hi-Fi sound quality, does not have as reliable or
    stable a transport chassis, does not allow manual adjustments to the sound
    level and do not have VU level indicators, usually does not have special
    editing features like flying erase heads, and are not as easy to service.

    My SVO-160 runs circles around even the highest end consumer JVC S-VHS decks in
    terms of regular VHS playback. The same could be said of my SLV-575UC and my
    father's SLV-750HF.

    S-VHS playback on the aformentioned models is not applicable because my VCRs
    are not S-VHS decks.

    > VCRs, televisions and most consumer appliances/electronics today are
    >made to be throwaways when they go bad (after the manufacturer's
    >warranty expires, of course). It doesn't even pay to get an estimate
    >in most cases, as all shops charge an arm and a leg simply to look at
    >the beast.


    A throwaway attitude with electronics can be potentially hazardous, IMO. There
    are a lot of compounds used in electronic components that are hazardous to the
    environment. TV picture tubes contain phosphors and are an implosion hazard if
    the vaccum of a CRT is not breeched properly, solder is an alloy that is mainly
    composed of lead and tin, a lot of the components in electronics do not
    biodegrade, and other points that I will not bother going into detail.

    The throwaway attitude is disgracefully wasteful.

    Most shops today only do warranty repairs; those that still
    >perform out-of-warranty service charge outrageous rates that, again,
    >more often than not equal or exceed the price of a new unit.


    The people who own repair shops have to find some way to pay for their
    overhead. It's not cheap operating a business, and the repair business is no
    exception to that.

    Also, there are many instances where repair is more economical than replacing.

    For instance, if you have a relatively new Sony XBR TV set that develops a
    problem, you are better off paying for repairs to that set than buying a lower
    end set that not only will have inferior performance, but inferior build
    quality and design in addition.

    Same thing goes for a rear projection big-screen TV. Most repairs for
    big-screen TV problems do not come close to costing the same as new lowest of
    the low end big-screen TVs. Only if the picture tubes are too badly worn out
    or if a problem requires a replacement part that is no longer available, or if
    the set itself is just too worn out to ensure a reliable repair should anyone
    entertain the notion of replacing the busted big-screen with a new big-screen.

    Same thing even applies to VCRs. If you own something like a Sony SLV-R5UC
    S-VHS deck, you are better off getting it repaired than replacing it with a new
    S-VHS deck from Best Buy. The SLV-R5UC has A LOT more features than just about
    any new VCR sold at stores and uses more carefully designed components. Same
    thing goes if you own a Toshiba Diomage S-VHS deck, or a rare Toshiba S-VHS VCR
    with digital Hi-Fi audio in addition to AFM Hi-Fi with analogue VU meters in a
    sleek black casing with wood sides in an anodized aluminum face.
    Also, if you still use Betamax, like I do, then repair is a necessity. There
    are aftermarket parts available for Beta decks.

    Many Beta decks, like the Pioneer VX-90 and Sony SL-HF900, Sony SL-HF1000, Sony
    SL-HF750, Sony SL-HF2100, Sony EDV-9500, Sony EDV-9300, Sony, EDV-7500, and
    Sony SL-HF870D are worth their weight in gold. They sell for obscenely high
    prices on eBay, for instance.

    Many high end decks for Beta, VHS, and Video 8/Hi-8 from the 1980s and 1990s
    are true prosumer models and have never been equalled in every quality aspect
    in the current home VCR market. Only in the professional/commercial market
    will you have VCRs that equal or exceed the performance of these decks, and
    they usually cost hundreds upwards to over a $1000 each, which buys you a deck
    specifically designed for use in professional applications like television
    broadcasting!

    I don't think you will ever find anything remotely close to prosumer at a
    Circuit City these days. - Reinhart
     
    LASERandDVDfan, Jan 29, 2004
    #10
  11. >>What motor, the direct-drive capstan motor, which they all use for reel
    >>drive as well? For $4.00?
    >>
    >>Yeah, right.
    >>
    >>Mark Z.

    >
    >Wholesale sport.


    It must be an awfully crappy motor.

    A decent brushless capstan motor is never that low in price.

    Then again, one really shouldn't expect decent parts in an Emerson VCR. -
    Reinhart
     
    LASERandDVDfan, Jan 29, 2004
    #11
  12. >I have an older ( RCA ) Panasonic made that works
    >great but i have kept the power supply serviced .


    Are you saying that RCA makes VCRs for Panasonic? That would be the other way
    around.

    RCA never made their own decks; they always had their models OEMed, usually by
    Hitachi, Matsushita (parent company of Panasonic), or Samsung. - Reinhart
     
    LASERandDVDfan, Jan 29, 2004
    #12
  13. >What fails in the power supplies? There's kits out there to repair quite a
    >few different ones, they're not particularly expensive.


    A lot of power supplies in VCRs these days are switch-mode supplies. They're
    O.K. ... as long as you don't get power surges.

    Also, many SMPS, particularly those made by Matsushita, always develop leaky
    electrolytics on the secondary side after a certain number of years. It's not
    a matter of how, but when. They're usually the ones rated around 330 and
    470-560 microfarads.

    Sometimes, you can also have a coupling cap go bad, too.

    When a fuse blows in those things, you can count on a repair that may be
    complicated.

    On the other hand, various older VCRs, like my Sony SL-HF400 SuperBeta hi-fi,
    uses a more traditional transformer supply. A fuse blew in my SL-HF400, but
    the only problem was with a marginal rectifier diode in the bridge circuit.
    Easy fix. - Reinhart
     
    LASERandDVDfan, Jan 29, 2004
    #13
  14. Jeff Strieble

    tweak Guest

    On Thu, 29 Jan 2004 19:21:10 GMT, "James Sweet"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >>
    >> True the older units were built like tanks. I have some 1/2 inch
    >> industrial units that just run and run, with very little service
    >> needed. And old Panasonic AG-1950 as well as a couple of newer Sanyo
    >> S-vhs editors that are spot on even after 100's of hours of use.
    >> Funny, Panasonic held the crown for building the best broadvast vhs
    >> machines for the bucks, to turn around and put such crappy power
    >> supplies in their consumer decks.
    >> I've got a couple of consumer units sitting on a back shelf with fried
    >> modular power supplies.(Alot of other manufacturers used these power
    >> supplies as well. I've got a todhiba vhs machine uses the same as
    >> those panasonics machines, and it burns out every 2-3 years like
    >> clockwork. 50 buck + shipping from Herman's. Now it's cheaper just to
    >> buy the Emersons. Waiting for some supplier to put these power
    >> supplies on clearance then I'll buy a bunch.)
    >>

    >
    >What fails in the power supplies? There's kits out there to repair quite a
    >few different ones, they're not particularly expensive.
    >

    I don't know for sure as I've never repaired the unit itself.
    The decks I have that use the Panasonic power supply use the model
    that'a a modular rectangular unit that plugs onto the board and are
    held on with a single screw.(The bum decks are stacked up in a closet
    in one of our storage rooms and I don't wanna have to drag them out
    just to look up a model # off the supplies.)
    I'm told it's often a power cap that pops out. I did inspect one once
    before tossing it and noticed a small transformer coil was fried.
    The first time I took the Toshiba in for an estimate the repaiman
    tried fixing the power supply with no luck.
    I used to but my replacements from Herman's in Miami and a person in
    the service department there told me that it was generally a waste of
    time trying to repair these units. You'd wind up replacing half the
    parts in the module. Rare to be just one thing.
    I'd originally paid around 500 bucks for the toshiba and 450 or so for
    the Panasonic, hence the reason to try and keep them up. At least for
    a while.
    I just picked up a second hand Sharp vcr recently that has excellent
    picture quality for a consumer. It's an early 90's model and while not
    complex as some of the 80's stuff is still a much better machine than
    today's toss aways. It has a feature called S picture. Assuming that
    it's just a comb/enhancment filter, but it renders a really sharp
    picture with good chroma.
    It's the unit I'm using for recording from digital satellite.
     
    tweak, Jan 30, 2004
    #14
  15. Jeff Strieble

    James Sweet Guest

    "LASERandDVDfan" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > >What fails in the power supplies? There's kits out there to repair quite

    a
    > >few different ones, they're not particularly expensive.

    >
    > A lot of power supplies in VCRs these days are switch-mode supplies.

    They're
    > O.K. ... as long as you don't get power surges.
    >
    > Also, many SMPS, particularly those made by Matsushita, always develop

    leaky
    > electrolytics on the secondary side after a certain number of years. It's

    not
    > a matter of how, but when. They're usually the ones rated around 330 and
    > 470-560 microfarads.
    >
    > Sometimes, you can also have a coupling cap go bad, too.
    >
    > When a fuse blows in those things, you can count on a repair that may be
    > complicated.



    Switcher repairs are usually pretty simple, check the ESR on the caps or
    just replace them all, there's usually only half a dozen or so. If the fuse
    is blown check the rectifier and the chopper transistor, sometimes a fusible
    resistor has opened as well, but not much else goes wrong with them. Several
    companies sell kits of all the parts that fail regularly for the shotgun
    repair.
     
    James Sweet, Jan 30, 2004
    #15
  16. Hi!

    > I've been reading some of the posts to this group regarding problems
    > with old and/or inexpensive VCRs, and am puzzled. Why spend $150 or
    > more to have a 15-year-old VCR repaired, when you can get a brand new
    > one with stereo sound, VCR Plus+, and all sorts of bells and whistles
    > (not to mention one that will run rings around your old one in terms
    > of performance) for that much or even less?


    Because older machines have transports that are tough and are easy to
    service when something goes wrong. I wouldn't trust most newer machines with
    my tapes.

    Buying new VCRs only to have them break and be unfeasible or impossible to
    repair is ridiculous. It's also an unnecessary use of landfill space.


    > VCRs, televisions and most consumer appliances/electronics today are
    > made to be throwaways when they go bad (after the manufacturer's
    > warranty expires, of course). It doesn't even pay to get an estimate
    > in most cases, as all shops charge an arm and a leg simply to look at
    > the beast. Most shops today only do warranty repairs; those that still
    > perform out-of-warranty service charge outrageous rates that, again,
    > more often than not equal or exceed the price of a new unit.


    Very true. But as far as old machines go, it is usually possible for the
    average person with common sense to repair the problem and make the machine
    work once again. A new unit will have such an integrated assembly that
    repairs will be difficult or impossible.

    So that's why I'm sticking it out with my old VCRs. I've only ever had one
    decide to chew on a tape...while I've seen a LOT more new units decide that
    tape munching was a good idea.

    William
     
    William R. Walsh, Jan 30, 2004
    #16
  17. Jeff Strieble

    Ken G. Guest

    Are you saying that RCA makes VCRs for Panasonic? That would be the
    other way around.


    No i said ( RCA ) Panasonic made .


    What goes wrong with the power supplys ?
    The ones in a metal box run hot and the capacitors start drying out .
    There are a couple capacitors that hold the voltage down & if these go
    bad first it will make the supply run overvoltage on some of the other
    capacitors quickly ruining those .
    There is a Zener diode that holds the output voltage down so it does not
    overvoltage the whole VCR .
    The Zener diode sometimes gets so hot the solder cuts loose to it and
    allows overvoltage out into the vcr & you can tell by scorched spots
    around on the boards .
    Usually the Zener will short out & cause one or two transistors in the
    supply to short out & then blow the fuse .

    It makes no sence to me to keep using VCRs when the DVD recorders do a
    much better job . Its the same to me as using a cassette machine or a
    CD machine .. i choose the CDs
     
    Ken G., Jan 30, 2004
    #17
  18. >Switcher repairs are usually pretty simple, check the ESR on the caps or
    >just replace them all, there's usually only half a dozen or so.


    I was thinking about worse case failures, like a power surge. A good surge is
    torture on any power supply, but they seem particularly unforgiving to VCR SMPS
    modules. - Reinhart
     
    LASERandDVDfan, Jan 31, 2004
    #18
  19. >No i said ( RCA ) Panasonic made .
    >
    >


    Oh. An RCA VCR made by Panasonic.

    Thanks for the clarification.

    >What goes wrong with the power supplys ?
    >The ones in a metal box run hot and the capacitors start drying out .


    Pretty much, or they get hit with one too many surges.

    >It makes no sence to me to keep using VCRs when the DVD recorders do a
    >much better job . Its the same to me as using a cassette machine or a
    >CD machine .. i choose the CDs


    True, but you would still want a decent VCR to play cassettes that you still
    have, at least to keep the VCR working for transferring your videos onto DVD.
    - Reinhart
     
    LASERandDVDfan, Jan 31, 2004
    #19
  20. Jeff Strieble

    tweak Guest

    On 31 Jan 2004 06:50:33 GMT, (LASERandDVDfan)
    wrote:

    >>No i said ( RCA ) Panasonic made .
    >>
    >>

    >
    >Oh. An RCA VCR made by Panasonic.
    >
    >Thanks for the clarification.
    >
    >>What goes wrong with the power supplys ?
    >>The ones in a metal box run hot and the capacitors start drying out .

    >
    >Pretty much, or they get hit with one too many surges.
    >
    >>It makes no sence to me to keep using VCRs when the DVD recorders do a
    >>much better job . Its the same to me as using a cassette machine or a
    >>CD machine .. i choose the CDs

    >
    >True, but you would still want a decent VCR to play cassettes that you still
    >have, at least to keep the VCR working for transferring your videos onto DVD.
    >- Reinhart




    Some of us don't have money to burn either. Keeping that old vcr
    running is a required.
    Most who hang on to this technology use it for things like recording
    day to day tv shows or other secondary uses.
    I keep alot of old vcr's running as part of my home security system.
    One vcr for every proximity camera I have on property.
    Run an 8hr tape in each(mostly at night) and you can catch thieves in
    the act.
    It an troublsome way to run a security setup but costs 0$.
     
    tweak, Jan 31, 2004
    #20
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