Tip & How-To about Televison & Video

How to clean a VCR tape machine.

You just rented a tape and your VCR will not track properly or you tried to record a tape and it would not play back. You have a dirty machine.

Remove the power. Remove the top cabinet by removing all the screws on the back and probably a few on the bottom. Once the top is off look to see where the video tape comes into the machine. Directly ahead of the input is the video drum assembly. It should be about 2 or 3 inches in diameter and be directly in front of the tape slot. It is very fragile and should never have any cleaning device moved up and down on it.

Once you locate the video drum you should saturate a cotton swab with a 100% alcohol solution and while turning the drum slowly with the swab pressed against the video drum you should be able to clean the heads.

The heads are very small and very fragile. Any vertical movement will break them. After cleaning the video heads move to the erase head, CTL head and audio head.

The erase head is located to the left of the tape path entry to the video drum assembly. The CTL head is located with the audio head on the right side of the tape exit from the video drum assembly. Using a swab saturated with alcohol clean all these heads.

You should also clean the tape path and load mechanism ( the tracks that the tape guides slide on). Clean the pinch roller and capstan.

All cleaning supplies such as 100 percent alcohol and lint free cleaning swabs are available at http://www.mcminc.com .

This should complete the cleaning of your VCR. If all went well the unit should now work.

Thanks for using FixYa and for the great rating.

hardrocko

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1 Answer

Picture rolls and the tracking is off.


do the heads need cleaning? sounds like the heads are seriously out of alignment? take off the vcr cover get a philip scrdrv. put tape in. and play. theres an AC head just to the right of the drumhead. jiggle it around gently. u may have to adjust those 3 screws (precison) to put it back in proper adjustmant. also take the tapes u used in that vcr. open the top flap and inspect. are there marks? is there a line going the bottom portion of the tape. if so , it definitely is out of alignment.

Aug 14, 2009 | Philips Televison & Video

2 Answers

VCR tape playback not good


Check your "tracking" If the tape played fine in the old machine, then tracking is the answer, provided that the new machine records good.

Jun 27, 2008 | Philips Magnavox MWR20V6 DVD Recorder/VCR

1 Answer

Panasonic DMR-EZ47V Fuzzy horizontal line in VHS mode


Dirty heads or the recording was from a different brand VCR and the Panasonic cant get the right tracking. Try manual tracking just a little in either direction to you get the right one.

May 18, 2008 | Panasonic DMR-EZ47V DVD Recorder/VCR

1 Answer

Tracking


Does this happen on ALL tapes?

Depending on WHICH model VCR you have (old or new) SOME have a switch which will allow you to adjust tracking MANUALLY. When the switch is in the manual position, it won't track automatically. If some played with that switch, that could cause your problem.

ALSO, do you have a cleaning tape? If the control track head is dirty, it won't see the "control track" (which gives you VCR information to control the tracking.

Another possibility is one of the video heads (there's 2 or 4) is dirty, and without ENOUGH video signal coming off the heads, it's not possible to track properly.

Try running a cleaning tape through. If you've never done it, it might be time. Unless yu know about equipment I'd wouldn't suggest you open the machine and clean it yourself. Let me know how you make out.

Mar 16, 2008 | Sylvania 6260VF VCR

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