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Agoraquest • View topic - DenMar's home theater setup

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View topic - DenMar's home theater setup

DenMar's home theater setup

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by Reinhart » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:38 am


On 2010-12-13 23:18, The-Ish316 wrote:
I do still have the deck, Reinhart.  Finances are very tight right now, but I will keep your offer under advisement.  I don't yet know if I will need a VCR again, at this point.  I do desperately need to find someone who can clean my old DCR-TRV120 Digital 8 camcorder or at least point me in the direction of resources to learn how to clean it.  


I hear ya about the tight finances.  This economy sure isn't doing many people favors, that's for sure.

As for the camcorder, what's it doing?  If it just needs the heads cleaned and all you need is a head cleaning cassette, here's a couple of resources that I hope may be helpful:

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-V825CLD-Camcorder-Cleaning-Cassette/dp/B00005TQKQ

http://www.tapeonline.com/products/sony-cleaning-tape-8mm-video-8-hi8-cleaning-cassette

Or, if you wish to do the job manually, which may save the cost of purchasing a head cleaning cassette, here's a nice how-to guide at ehow.com.

http://www.ehow.com/how_5209068_clean-mm-video-head.html

Of course, when manually cleaning the heads, be VERY careful as the head chips on the upper drum are quite fragile.

The directions indicate not to use Q-Tips.  While it is possible to clean video heads using cotton swabs successfully, you have to be mindful of cotton strands that can be left behind whereas this isn't much of a problem using chamois swabs or lint free wipes.

In general, I concur with the recommendation NOT to use cotton swabs as there are better materials in the household available for the purpose.

What I may use is a paper towel or even a plain white sheet of printer paper moistened with isopropyl alcohol (no less than 80% alcohol in an alcohol and water solution only, but 90%+ solution is recommended) and I wipe the head chips clean by putting the sheet against the head drum with VERY light pressure and I carefully and slowly rotate the drum a couple of times.  That should be enough to wipe any residual oxide off the head chips.  It doesn't take much at all to clean the head chips.

Hope this helps and Merry Christmas.
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by The-Ish316 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:11 pm

Thanks for the feedback, Reinhart.   I also suspect that the SLV-676UC VCR has a tape tension issue.  I should try to get some chamois swabs.  I have denatured alcohol to use.  

Here's the link for the thread I started regarding my camcorder playback issue.  It has more detail I need not repeat here.  I doubt I can get the camcorder apart far enough to reach the whole path.  

DVR-TRV120 playback issues



There has been a recent addition to the Home Theater setup, a DVR.  It's Comcast's Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD.  It's ugly as the grinch and noisy, but otherwise not too shabby.  I'll have to update the photo and list AND the cabling diagram.  Eventually.


STR-DA4ES, Bravia KDL-52XBR9, DVP-NC600, BDP-S1, Athena AS-F2 fronts, AS-C1 center, CSW Surrounds; ChannelMaster DVR+, Sony HDR-SR12, TC-WR6655S
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by Reinhart » Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:54 pm


On 2010-12-15 17:11, The-Ish316 wrote:
Thanks for the feedback, Reinhart.   I also suspect that the SLV-676UC VCR has a tape tension issue.  I should try to get some chamois swabs.  I have denatured alcohol to use.  

Here's the link for the thread I started regarding my camcorder playback issue.  It has more detail I need not repeat here.  I doubt I can get the camcorder apart far enough to reach the whole path.  

DVR-TRV120 playback issues



There has been a recent addition to the Home Theater setup, a DVR.  It's Comcast's Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD.  It's ugly as the grinch and noisy, but otherwise not too shabby.  I'll have to update the photo and list AND the cabling diagram.  Eventually.




I see that you've attempted head cleanings already but to no avail.  How often was the camcorder used?

I wonder if it's really the heads or if there is another problem.

As for the 676, what's it doing if I may ask you?
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by The-Ish316 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:07 pm

I used the TRV120 a lot.  I have no less than 30 1-hour Digital 8 tapes.  Once I get all those transferred into the PC, I'll start working on the 40 2-hour analog 8mm tapes.  I think the problem is the different brands of tapes I've used over the years.  They use different lubricants in their tapes and I've heard that mixing tape brands clogs the heads.  Of course I learned this after years of using the camcorder.   I wonder if the sensor that determines whether it's analog 8mm analog or Digital 8.

The 676 is idle.  I don't have it in the system now, since it eats tapes.  I have the JVC VCR to playback, but it doesn't record (and is now incompatable with recording cable channels).  I could likely dump SD quality recordings from the DVR onto it, but have no reason to at this point.  So the 676 is sitting out.  I may not even have a reason to use it again, but I do have a lot of old VHS tapes (pre-recorded and self-recorded) I may want to play someday.  I remain a bit unsure if any tapes are archival.  I transferred the only 2 of any importance I know of to DVD a while back.  I'm fond of the 676, but have no use for it at the moment.


STR-DA4ES, Bravia KDL-52XBR9, DVP-NC600, BDP-S1, Athena AS-F2 fronts, AS-C1 center, CSW Surrounds; ChannelMaster DVR+, Sony HDR-SR12, TC-WR6655S
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by Reinhart » Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:13 pm


On 2010-12-15 22:07, The-Ish316 wrote:
"I think the problem is the different brands of tapes I've used over the years.  They use different lubricants in their tapes and I've heard that mixing tape brands clogs the heads.  Of course I learned this after years of using the camcorder."


I wouldn't put too much credence on that claim.  Sony themselves had experimented this concerning different lubricants with MiniDV tape and they couldn't ascertain any negative effects.

The same conclusion must also apply to Digital 8.

IMO, it's usually a good idea to stick with one brand, but there likely isn't going to be any negative consequences with using a different brand, so long as the tape comes from a top tier manufacturer.

Considering heavy use, the camcorder may require service resulting from such, including repairs that may require replacement of consumable parts (upper drum, lower drum, pinch roller, belts, etc.).


"I wonder if the sensor that determines whether it's analog 8mm analog or Digital 8."


More than likely from a control signal recorded on the tape, similar to signals that identify tape speed.


"The 676 is idle.  I don't have it in the system now, since it eats tapes."


I'm willing to bet the 676 problems may be due to one of six factors or a combination thereof.

---

(1) The first problem and **THE** most likely one: the chassis that the 676 uses is known for developing problems with a sticking half-load arm, which is an arm that pulls the tape up to the capstan during the threading cycle.  This arm is on the top upper half right side of the chassis close to the capstan and A/C headstack and is manipulated by a white gear.

This arm is spring loaded, so when the gear that manipulates the half-load arm upon threading releases the arm during the unthreadig cycle, the spring is supposed to drive the arm back to the cassette to allow the tape to be completely wound back to allow a clean ejection.

The oil used to lubricate the sleeve bearing is known to dry up and allow the half-load arm to bind up, which can slow down the arm's response or even freeze it completely, which keeps some tape out when the carriage ejects the cassette, resulting in eaten tape.

The fix is EASY: using a precision oiler (3-in-One will work well), apply a sparing amount of oil at the base of the half-load arm, between the top of the arm's base and the bottom of the adjustment/retention nut.  After application, work the oil in by moving the arm back and forth. The arm should begin to loosen up.  Continue to work the applied oil in until the arm can move quickly from the load position to the unload position.  Once the arm is freed up, use a dry swab to absorb any excess oil.  This should stop this part from eating tapes.

---

(2) The second problem: there are two guidepost gears that drive the guideposts, pulling tape to the video head drum during the threading cycle as well as pulling away from the drum while the idler mechanism reels the tape back into the cassette during the unthreading cycle.  These gears are known to crack apart, which can keep one or both guideposts from threading and unthreading the tape correctly.  Unfortunately, fixing this problem is an involved repair and may also require replacement parts (new guidepost gears), which are available from sources such as Studio Sound Electronics.

---

(3) The third problem: the capstan uses a bearing that is known to bend out of shape, which can cause the capstan motor flywheel to scrape against the motor circuit's coils.  This is manifest as a peculiar scraping noise that can be heard during any modes involving tape movement (play, rewind, fast forward, etc.).  The scraping can also cause intermittent pauses to occur during playback and recording and could also even interfere with proper capstan operation in other modes requiring its use.

This is a BAD condition because, if the scraping is allowed to continue, it can damage the capstan motor coils, permanently breaking the capstan motor circuit, thus requiring a replacement capstan motor.  Before this is allowed to happen, you can replace the bad bearing piece with a new one, which will restore the capstan motor back to normal, thus repairing it and resolving the problem.  However, this is also an involved repair as you must remove the capstan motor from the chassis to replace the bearing.

---

(4) The fourth problem: the capstan motor may be failing.  This can be manifest as intermittent pauses or even seemingly unexplained stoppages of capstan and idler operation during their use, such as when playing or winding tape.  This can cause tape eating as the VCR may engage the unthreading cycle in response to a reel movement error without the capstan driving the idler to reel the tape back into the cassette.  The cause of this kind of capstan motor problem may be a heat-stressed control IC on the motor itself.  The only remedy is a new capstan motor.

---

(5) The fifth problem: a dirty mode switch encoder.  Over time, the internal conductors and the contact wipers of the mode switch encoder assembly can develop oxidation.  This can cause confusing information to be delivered to the VCR's system control circuit.  The purpose of the mode switch encoder is to tell the VCR's system control where the chassis is mechanically, whether it's in play or rewind or so.  The mode switch can be cleaned, the conductors and contact wipers polished of any oxidation and lubricated with a corrosion inhibiting grease to restore its operational characteristics.  But, this is an involved repair.

---

(6) The sixth problem: power supply fault.  Electrolytic capacitors in the switch mode power supply can become bad with age and use, especially in the secondary side of the circuit.  This can be manifest as several weird problems, such as bad video, a dim front panel florescent display, and poor operation of the motors.  The repair would be replacing any faulty parts in the power supply, usually just the electrolytic caps although faulty caps can, but rarely, cause damage to other parts, including transistors and diodes.

---

There are other potential problems, but these six are the ones that are coming to mind right now.


"I have the JVC VCR to playback, but it doesn't record (and is now incompatable with recording cable channels).  I could likely dump SD quality recordings from the DVR onto it, but have no reason to at this point."


The cable box may still be able to downconvert HD content to standard definition through the A/V outputs and some VCR timers can be programmed to record on schedule off the auxiliary input rather than the tuner.

Of course, having a DVR means that time-shifting using video cassette is pointless, so that would leave recording what's saved on DVR onto cassette for archival purposes to free up space on the DVR's hard drive.  However, if there is no reason to do this, then the VCR is rightfully relegated to playback of existing recordings.

The only reasons in this case for the 676 over the JVC would be if you have any recordings made on the 676 that may not play well on the JVC, especially recordings in EP as the VHS standard does not guarantee interchange compatibility with EP recordings, especially with Hi-Fi tracks. Another may be if you want to perform any kind of editing as the 676 has a flying erase head whereas the JVC may not.

But, if all you need is a playback deck and the JVC plays all your recordings perfectly well, then the only remaining reason of getting the 676 back in commission would be to have an extra device bearing the Sony brand in your system along with a VCR whose exterior style is classier than that of the JVC.

However, vanity may be a poor reason to invest in repair if all you're concerned about is functionality.

Simply put, and as you've subtly put, the Sony doesn't work and was replaced by a deck that does; the problem is effectively resolved.

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by The-Ish316 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:28 am

Wow!  You nailed the 676 vs. JVC quandary I have gone through right on the head, Reinhart.  Using the info you detailed on the 676 problem, I may try my hand at remedying the issue, eventually, IF it becomes that important.  The TRV120 was sent in to be repaired at a place that does such repairs but they wouldn't touch it since they couldn't get parts.  Harrumph!  That thing is way to tiny for me to get into.

I really enjoyed the 676 a lot.  It has seen a lot of use and I hate that it's not in the lineup.  But you're right that the DVR has superseded it.


STR-DA4ES, Bravia KDL-52XBR9, DVP-NC600, BDP-S1, Athena AS-F2 fronts, AS-C1 center, CSW Surrounds; ChannelMaster DVR+, Sony HDR-SR12, TC-WR6655S
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by dontsleep33 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:20 pm

Nice setup ther buddy!
I have to say although the new TV is better I miss my old 32" Trinitron very much.Non HD content on it was always a joy.My friends would always say they never saw a dvd look so good on it.I agree too.
Anyhow I've moved on to HD as well but I find myself trying only to watch HD content because to me the Trinitron still looked better with 480i stuff.
I'm also an Athena fan.I have a pair of original ASB1's that I use with my Sony TA-N55ES power amp.I've used this combo for most of the last decade and it is wonderful.
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