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VCR image only when fast-forwarding (tried cleaning heads)

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by [email protected], Sep 20, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    Hi,

    The VCR quit playing tapes (all of them), but the sound still works.
    When fast forwarding, the picture is crystal clear (except for the
    normal static bar). When I switch from fast-forward to play, the
    picture goes to 3/4 static (where I can still make out the picture,
    which is no longer fast-forwarding), for a half-second (or less),
    before going to full static, then just blue.

    I tried cleaning the heads, which had no effect.

    The VCR is as ESA. Any ideas?

    A note on head cleaning: Did I do it right? I must have spent an hour
    on Google trying to find a picture of VCR heads IN a VCR, before giving
    up. I had some VCR cleaning fluid and chamois cleaning sticks someone
    left behind long ago. So I just opened it up and guessed. There's a
    cylinder that has horizontal lines on the top half, with none at the
    bottom. At two points 180 deg. apart, in the middle of the cylinder,
    there are small openings. I assume those are the video heads. I moved
    the cleaning stick back and forth horizontally over these two areas, as
    I had read about (no pictures...). I tried this three times, checking
    with a tape in between. No effect. I still only get an image while
    fast-forwarding. (So I apparently didn't do additional damage...) I
    checked the manual, and this is supposed to be a 4-head VCR. Are the
    heads paired up, with two in each of those two small holes?
     
  2. Guest

    tim:
    Either the heads are still dirty or clogged..... or the heads are
    damaged or broken. An improper or haphazard cleaning can easily damage
    the fragile head chips.
    A quick examination by a service shop tech can give you the answer....
    many times a small shop can give you a fairly inexpensive diagnosis for
    the price of a cleaning or less.... and if it just needs to be
    cleaned, it will be done properly and safely by a shop tech.... and of
    course, expect to be charged for a cleaning.... and then your VCR will
    work properly.
    electricitym
    ..
    ..
    ..
     
  3. nolsar

    nolsar Guest

    Try adjusting the tape guide posts, white plastic cylinders on chrome posts,
    up or down may need tightening with small flat screwdriver or hex tool,
    sometimes they become loose and the picture will be half missing.
     
  4. DON'T touch the alignment! I'd quicker go with clogged heads if it's
    a 4 (or more) head VCR. Then, a different set of heads is used for
    normal play and FF, and for different speeds. Have you tried playing
    back tapes recorded at both SP and EP speed?

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Mirror: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/
    Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/
    +Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lasersam.htm
    | Mirror Sites: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

    Note: These links are hopefully temporary until we can sort out the excessive
    traffic on Repairfaq.org.

    Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header above is
    ignored unless my full name is included in the subject line. Or, you can
    contact me via the Feedback Form in the FAQs.
     
  5. Don't fiddle with those unless you know exactly what you're doing and
    have the necessary equipment. You'll only make things a lot worse.

    Are you sure you're actually cleaning the heads, not just polishing
    the drum? Again, if you don't know what you're doing, don't do
    anything. A professional clean is cheaper than new heads.
     
  6. nolsar

    nolsar Guest

    Try adjusting the tape guide posts, white plastic cylinders on chrome
    posts,
    up or down may need tightening with small flat screwdriver or hex
    tool,
    sometimes they become loose and the picture will be half missing.
     
  7. DON'T touch the alignment! I'd quicker go with clogged heads if it's
    a 4 (or more) head VCR. Then, a different set of heads is used for
    normal play and FF, and for different speeds. Have you tried playing
    back tapes recorded at both SP and EP speed?

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Mirror:
    http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/
    Repair | Main Table of Contents:
    http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/
    +Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ:
    http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lasersam.htm
    | Mirror Sites:
    http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

    Note: These links are hopefully temporary until we can sort out the
    excessive
    traffic on Repairfaq.org.

    Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header
    above is
    ignored unless my full name is included in the subject line. Or, you
    can
    contact me via the Feedback Form in the FAQs.
     
  8. Guest

    I'm not taking this thing to a repair shop. It was junk right out of
    the box, and the person who bought it didn't keep the box or receipt.
    I suggested taking it back a week after it was purchased (again it's an
    ESA). It would constantly not fully rewind tapes, you would have to
    stop and then hit rewind again a couple times on most tapes. The time
    it takes to spit out a tape is extremely annoying, who know what the
    *** it's doing before it just ejects the stupid tape. About 4 months
    later is quit recording - everything came out as just noise, like you
    are tuned to a non-existant channel - and we had recorded with it
    infrequently. Now it has quit playing our daughters cartoon tapes,
    which is its main use. (It's only a few months old.) I'd just throw the
    thing away right now, except the TV gets broadcast channels better when
    the antenna goes through the VCR - the ONLY thing that still works. I'm
    looking for a replacement. If I can't easily fix it, it's going in the
    trash.
     
  9. Guest

    There doesn't seem to be a way to adjust that. Like the heads, I can't
    find a picture of "guide posts" with Google. Are you talking about
    those two pieces that move to push the tape against the cylinder? Those
    seem to be fixed, and I don't see any other parts that could effect the
    tapes position on the cylinder.
     
  10. Guest

    The VCR quit recording 3-4 months ago, and there isn't another VCR
    around to make a tape to test SP/EP. This VCR was junk right out of the
    box - see my reply to the first reply in this thread.
     
  11. Guest

    I don't know. That's why I included all those details. Are the heads
    180 deg apart in the middle of the drum? There are only two "holes" in
    the drum, and it's supposed to be a 4-head VCR.
     
  12. sofie

    sofie Guest

    ????? why would anyone tell a non-technical person who is having difficulty
    with a simple task of cleaning the heads tell them to adjust the roller
    guides or alter any other critical alignment????
    More than likely the heads are still dirty or clogged.... or have been
    damaged by improper cleaning or a defective tape?
     
  13. b

    b Guest

    ha escrito:
    snip

    if you aren't sure on how to clean the heads manually, then just get a
    new 3 hour tape, recorded on or not, doesnt matter, and leave it
    playing through till the end. This works mostly for light clogs but you
    never know in your case it may work also. The dirt works itself out
    eventually due probably in part to the mildly abrasive nature of the
    videotape. worth a go!
    -Ben
     
  14. Bad advice. Unless one understands the principles of operation quite well,
    tweaking alignment on a VCR is almost certainly not going to solve a
    problem. If the guides are loose, that needs to be fixed, not just
    adjusted. Likely still a clogged head or a damaged head.

    Leonard
     
  15. Kevin Buhr

    Kevin Buhr Guest

    The problem you described certainly sounds like dirty heads, and guck
    that gets into heads can sometimes be difficult to remove, so it's not
    all that unusual that your first attempt at cleaning didn't do the job.
    Try http://images.google.com and search for vcr heads.
    Yes, that's where the heads are. As you guessed, many 4-head VCRs
    have two openings with two heads each.
    I've personally found the "dry paper" method very effective for
    removing really stubborn dirt. In the usual version, one presses a
    dry strip of plain white (copier or laser printer) paper against the
    drum and applies moderate-to-strong pressure while turning the drum by
    hand back and forth to bring the heads across the paper horizontally.

    In the "I don't care if I break this crappy VCR" variation that I use,
    I press the strip of paper against the drum while the tape is playing
    and the drum is spinning normally. In using this version, one must
    pay attention to which way the drum is spinning (because catching the
    edge of the paper with a head would be bad) and to the pointy bits on
    top of the drum (which are flying around at 1800 RPM ready to shred an
    unwary knuckle).
    Try:

    http://images.google.com/

    and search for "vcr heads". Also, see the VCR FAQ here:

    http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/vcrfaq.htm

    which has a whole chapter devoted to video heads including a
    description of the dry paper method.
     
  16. wrote in
    Sounds like you've got it figured out :)

    I would bet money (a dollar or two only) that the heads or their
    associated wire leads or amplifiers have died. As one poster pointed
    out, there are separate heads for different speeds, which would
    explain why FF & REW still show a picture.

    Looks like it's time to find a new one and hope it's better made.

    Gino
     
  17. Ken G.

    Ken G. Guest

    To get those heads clean put in a good movie get it playing then hold an
    ordinary pencil erasor against the gap on the spinning heads somewhere
    at the back where no tape is in the way .
     
  18. Ken Weitzel

    Ken Weitzel Guest


    Hi Ken...

    You have a real good name, but I'd sure like to disagree with you
    anyway :)

    I suggest that if you do that, you'll instantly destroy both the
    heads and the 'good movie'.

    Clean them properly and thoroughly instead. Piece of chamois,
    little bit of isopropyl alcohol. Clean gently, look at the gap with
    a good magnifying glass and flashlight. Repeat as necessary.

    Give it a few minutes to dry before putting a tape in it.

    Take care.

    Ken
     
  19. Guest

    Agree fully. A pencil eraser on the heads, spinning or not, will
    usually result in destroyed head chips.....
    electricitym
     
  20. Ken G.

    Ken G. Guest

    You are both wrong . I have done this more times than i can remember on
    very stuborn dirty heads . You dont force the erasor in there like
    shoveling dirt .. you set it on there very light and let it rub for a
    bit and watch the picture come back .
    Have you ever tried it ?? no .. so you dont know .
    It does not hurt the movie tape either .

    Alcohol is useless to clean anything its just like using water .. throw
    it out and forget it thats why many people dont get vcr heads clean .

    The little heads on vcrs are only a problem if the rub up &down across
    the gap instead of with the gap or push to hard and gouge . They will
    not melt or absorb anything . I have repaired vcr`s sence the beginning
    of the boat anchor top loads and work on brand new stuff of today and
    not a drop of alcohol around .
     
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