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

When playing a vhs tape the pics jump half way through watching. trying to record these old family tapes to dvd. is there a type of vcr i can buy to manually fix tracking or is there another way to solve the problem.


There are two reasons that might cause loss of tracking halfway into a video tape. The first means you can't really do a lot about it. To check it is this is simple. When you get to the point the video jumps, stop the VCR and eject the tape. The look at the tape itself by lifting the flap at the front (push the small catch on the right side). Examine the section of the tape. If you see any damage to the tape (it should look smooth and shine) then it will never track properly.
Another cause of the jumping is caused by the take up reel, getting sluggish. Sometimes these are run off a belt, that becomes slack, replacing it could solve the problem, or it could be something else in the mechanism that's causing it.
There is another solution, particularly if the tape wasn't recorded on the machine that is playing it back. I haved used loads of different VCR's and I found that the tracking has never been set up right on any! This means that only the VCR it was recorded on generally gives the most correct playback.
Having said that it is possible to get a VCR with really good tracking. I have found that Panansonic VCR's have the best tracking. I currently have a NV-HS900 which can track just about everything, but you will only get one seconed-hand now.

Apr 07, 2010 | Televison & Video

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

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