I have two AG-1980's. When I insert the video cassette, the tape threads, but unloads and ejects the cartridge right away. I have tried several different cassette's all do the same thing. I hate to have to give these to the e-waste service. Thanks for your help.
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When there's a problem with the drive mechanism of a VCR it will shut down to prevent damage. All operations of a VCR are controlled by a computer chip. This is told what mode the mechanism is in by a Mode Switch. If this is faulty it can cause the machine to play up. Sometimes a spray of Video 40 on the mode switch can restore operation. However it will not correct the problem if the mechanism has any damage on it.
If you haven't already done so, don't get overly forceful to avoid bending or breaking something.
Often the cassette carriage mechanism is gear driven, and by moving the gear one direction or the other will unload the tape. You may need to disassemble the machine further to gain access to the drive mechanisim.
Sometimes the carriage mech. can be entirely removed from the VCR by removing the attachment screws. Other times, these screws are made inaccessible by the tape itself. Look down on the right side of the carriage. If you do remove the carriage, mark the gear positioning first! as the gears must be positioned back exactly as they were from the manufacturer.
You might need to employ the services of a technician if things are complicated.
Is it only the Head cleaning cassette which keeps getting ejected, or is it happening with every tape you insert?
Was the Head Cleaning Tape a little tight in the Cassette compartment? Did you have to put some pressure to push it in or did it come out with difficulty? From your symptoms, it looks like there is a gear timing problem with the cassette loading compartment gears. It could also be due to some obstruction inside. try shaking the VCR, and if you are hearing some noise, Open cover and check for foreign objects.