Wierd problem: I fast forwarded a tape to the end and it broke. OK, no big deal. But now I can't get the cassette out of the machine! I switch it on, it hums and whirs for a few seconds, ignoring commands to eject or rewind, and turns itself off again. I opened the cover, but can't find any way to get the cassette out manually (without the risk of breaking something). The broken tape is all around one wheel, and the other wheel just spins for a few seconds and then the machine turns itself off.
Oh, this is a GPX VRC 9929Y, but I'd guess any solution would be a general one.
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Re: cassette stuck in VCR
You are almost on the right track. did you look where your finger was? what happened was you did not allow the blocking a photo sensor which mimicked the clear part of the tape and this caused the eject to take place. What was happening in your case was the arm would come fully out and the sensor would sense no tape so the VCR shut off in a trouble condition to prevent damage from ocurrin.
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If you know how to do this open the latch on the cassette when it stops and look to see if something got spilled into or on the tape itself.
If the unit only shuts off with this tape the cassette is the issue.
If you open the door on the tape (little square button to release the door also look (happens if you use same tape a lot and fast scan with it) to see if the bottom edge of the tape has curved waves in it--should be perfectly flat with no ripples at bottom edge of the tape.
With care, it is possible to retrieve the tape.
VCR housings are held on only with a half-dozen screws and once those are removed, you will be able to see the transport.
If the tape itself was defective (it only takes a stretch of tape with finger oils on it) then you will see it wrapped around several things with the worst of it around the drum itself.
The transport, if its control electronics has died, can be operated by hand once you have the tape free and laying loose so that you can manually eject the tape.
If you have made it that far, you will have a cassette with a long loop of tape dangling out.
On the bottom of the cassette is a hole a little larger than a pencil in diameter and you have to use something like a pencil stuck in the hole to release the brake.
Once released, you can turn the takeup reel from underneath and wind the tape back into the cassette.
Unless the VCR is totally dead, I would take another cassette, one that isn't important to you, and see if that one will load while you watch the mechanism.
If it loads and can be ejected afterward, then the first cassette was at fault in the jam.
DON'T touch the surface of the video head unless you clean it throughly with a soft cloth and some window cleaner afterward.
The photo sensor that senses the tape end has blown or dry soldered.It is on the right side of the mechanical deck and senses the transparent end of the tape through the square hole in the video cassette.
When a VCR eats a tape, it can be cause by a couple things.
1. There is a rubber wheel called a "pincher wheel" that compresses the tape against the "capstan". The capstan is a shiny metal spindle connected to a motor. The pincher wheel can become worn and/or dirty (slick) from the oxide coating off of the tape. You can try cleaning the pincher wheel and capstan with alcohol or try using a re-grip solution on the pincher wheel. Last thing to do is replace the pincher wheel. Look to see that the pincher wheel is doing its job by pulling the tape through. The pincher wheel & capstan are not used during a fast forward or fast rewind, so if your tape is getting caught during the FF or RW and not Play, it's probably not related to capstan & pincher wheel.
2. There is a small tire wheel called an idler tire. This tire pivots between the sending and pickup reels of the player. Its also used during fast forward & rewind as well as play. If the tire is worn, the tape won't be wound up as fast on the take-up reel as the sending reel during play. This means more tape is coming out of the cassette than can be wound up on the takeup reel. You can try using a re-grip solution on the idler tire or replace it.
3. You didn't say if the unit played ok. There's also a brake pad that is designed to grab and stop the tape wheels from spinning when you hit stop. If those pads are worn, the wheels will not stop fast enough and the tape will continue to feed (spool) out of the cassette and not be taken up by the other wheel.
So when when you hit eject, the excess tape that should have been wound up tight in the cassette before the eject sequence, is getting caught inside the player.
Let me know if I can be of further assistance to you.
It may need to be cleaned. Mechanical problems are one of the big problems with VCRs they use alot of mechanical moving parts and play for so long they fail. Plastic parts dont help much either. The pinch roller takes up the slack and is usualy the part that fails first because it constantly runs along the tape and builds a coating on the rubber so it doesnt grip the tape and pull it back into the cassette. If its not pulling the tape back in then it hangs up inside and you cant get the tape out. Fastforward uses the reels to pull the tape not so much the roller.
Try and stop 2 times then fast forward then eject the tape. Try and eject the tape while its fastforwarding so it doesnt do anything else.
Sometimes machines will unload after its been in fastforwad a while then it will eject. You will hear a change in the sound when it unloads, you can hear the mechanical arms move the tape in and out of the cassette. Thats when you eject it. You cant really clean it till you get the tape out.
YOu can clean the pinch roller with fingernail polish or paint remover. It is a wheel inside it looks like a black tire. It pinches the tape against the capstan arm this is why it developes a film or a shine on the rubber making it slip.