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scored vcr head

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by sawney beane, Jun 8, 2006.

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  1. sawney beane

    sawney beane Guest

    My aunt told me her vcr suddenly began recording and playing only snow.
    There is no mirror finish on the head. It's deeply scored as if it
    were being turned down on a lathe. What could have caused this? Was it
    manufactured that way?
     
  2. Ray L. Volts

    Ray L. Volts Guest

    Drums have channels cut in them to facilitate an air cushion under the tape
    as it's dragged across -- this keeps friction down and thus helps keep tape
    and heads cool.

    The uneven surface you see on the drum mount is simply to help guide the
    tape.

    Now, if you have scoring which isn't even or doesn't look purposeful (i.e.,
    stock), then somebody's been doing a pretty horrible job of cleaning, or a
    toddler has "fed" the VCR the wrong items.
     
  3. Ray L. Volts

    Ray L. Volts Guest

    Almost forgot.. the snow is most likely just dirty heads. Try a WET TYPE
    cleaning tape, or, if you feel capable, manually clean using lintless swab
    and 91%+ alcohol (or cleaning solution made for the job). Just remember
    never to clean using an up and down motion on video heads. This can cause
    the fragile heads to shatter. Hold the swab steady and hand turn the drum
    across it. Don't press against the heads; only a small amount of friction
    is required.
     
  4. sawney beane

    sawney beane Guest

    Thanks, it works again. It took several passes with a wet cleaning
    tape, then an abrasive one. I wonder why the picture disappeared
    suddenly. How long ago did they quit using heads with a mirror finish?
     
  5. Papa_J

    Papa_J Guest

    The oxide coating material from the tapes can accumulate on the heads. I
    takes only one defective tape, which is somehow damaged, to release enough
    debris to clog the extremely small gaps in the actual head assemblies. The
    wet and dry cleaning tapes remove most of the debris from the assemblies and
    allow functions once again. It may be prudent to run the wet cleaning tapes
    through the machine on a regular basis, probably once ever 6 weeks or so, or
    if the picture tends to go snowy once again.Cheers
     
  6. I wouldn't recommend cleaning unless it needs it. Tapes in good condition
    tend to do this on their own.

    When the picture turns to snow suddenly, it is usually due to a defective
    tape - a crinkle in one place will do it. Regular head cleaning won't help
    and just increases the possibility of damage.

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