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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I forget exactly how this goes but there are two posts on either side of the mechanism that read a light signal and a center pole that goes through the round hole on the cassette that gives the light signal (no tape-end of tape). Put a piece of tape on the two side posts and see if that changes anything. Be careful: the tape now knows where end of tape is - do not fast wind/rewind to the end! The loading motor may have failed or a rubber belt has slipped off or is too loose or broken.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
This is a problem with the process called 'tape loading' - pulling the tape loop out of the cassette and wrapping it around the spinning video drum, engaging the capstan and pinch roller and reel rotation.
Check all the belts above and below the deck. Belts can appear to
be firm but if they do not return immediately to their relaxed length when you stretch them 25%, they will need to be replaced.
With the cover off, observe the behavior when you hit play. (You may need to put a piece of cardboard over the cassette to block external light from interfering with the start/end tape sensors). Assuming this is a basic VCR (no instant start features), you should see:
1. The video head drum begins to spin.
2. the roller guides move smoothly on the tracks, wind the tape around the drum, and stop snuggly pressed against the 'V-stopper' at the end of the tracks.
3. The pinch roller moves into position and presses the tape against the capstan.
4. The tape begins to move and is wound up by the takeup reel.
5. The picture and sound appear on the TV.
With a 'rapid or quick start' (or it may be called something else) transport, the tape moves to a half-loaded position when the cassette is inserted.
This is at an intermediate position partially pulled out of the cassette but not wrapped around the drum. On VCRs with a real-time counter and/or index search capabilities, the tape will be in contact with the control head.
With an 'instant start' transport, the tape will fully load around the spinning drum when the cassette is inserted but the capstan will not engage and no tension will be applied to the tape until you press PLAY or REC. (After about 5 minutes, the drum will stop and it may unload to the half loaded or unloaded position.)
Note that for VCRs with a real-time counter and/or index search capabilities, the tape must be in contact with the control head (but not the video heads) for all relevant modes. These VCRs (which include many modern units) must therefore pull the tape at least partly out of the cassette.
In all cases, the completion of the sequence results in approximately the same mechanical configuration during PLAY.
Several likely possibilities when it shuts down:
1. Everything occurs as above, picture and sound appear for a few seconds, but then the VCR unloads the tape, ejects the cassette, goes into REW mode, stops, or shuts off. Two common causes:
The takeup reel does not turn and tape spills into the machine. This is sensed by the microcontroller which aborts record or play and attempts to save your valuable cassette. Most likely cause: old/dirty idler tire. As a test, turn the idler tire inside-out. The fresh surface will now work well enough to confirm this diagnosis and will continue working long enough for your replacement idler tire to arrive. See the section:
"General guide to VCR cleaning and rubber parts replacement".
The takeup reel is turning properly but