When I open the tape "hatch" -- the internal mechanism does not automatically open up to receive the tape. I've tried it both with the power on and the power off. I'm borrowing this camera and was given a crash course on it today.
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This can be caused by several problems including a defective eject switch in the cameras internal circuitry, a bad motor or a faulty rotary mode switch and can usually be repaired fairly inexpensively. However, it's not really a user serviceable problem and should be repaired qualified service technician.
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It could be a couple of different issues. These things could help.
(1) Power OFF the camera, remove battery then replace the battery, power up the cam and try to eject tape again. Nothing? try...
(2) Gently press inward on the tape cover with both thumbs a few times. Then, while pressing gently inward with one hand, press the release/eject-tape function until you hear a click or release sound. Then, if it doesn't open automatically, gently "help" open the hatch.
If it remains stuck, after follwing these steps a few times it would be my guess that perhaps the camera has been dropped in a way that jammed the mechanism controlling the eject function.
TIPS that may prevent having eject problems: When loading tape, be sure to insert the tape correctly and slowly, makeing sure the tape is placed properly. Gently press on the specific location indicated to close the tape holder, and wait for the tape to "seat" properly before closing any other part of the tape cover or hatch mechanism. Taking a few extra seconds when loading the tape can save extended frustration later.
First guess is the camera has dirty heads. Suggestion is to run a head cleaner in your video camera. Regardless of the instructions on the head cleaner, I usually run the head-cleaner tape on "Play" for about 10 to 15 seconds, and then on "Record" another 10 to 15 seconds. Wait for 10 minutes before loading your playback tape. Try playing your tape again.
Also, check to be sure the tape is loaded properly and that the hatch closes securely and properly. A hastily loaded tape or an ill-fitting closure could cause the play function to stop. If this does not solve the issue, it may be something in the play switch or in the playback mechanism that requires repair services. If the problem continues, I would recommend calling the Panasonic Company and speak with Tech support or Video Camera Repair. They may be able to tell you and estimate of what it would cost for the repair.
I had a similar issue where the tape bay would not lock in and engage the motor mechanism to load the tape. I removed the battery from the unit and let it stand for approximately a minute then reinserted the battery. The tape drawer closed first without a tape then reopened with no issue. I then inserted a new tape with no issue. I guess it needed a hard reboot.
Just had this problem myself... called Sony. Here is what I did to fix this:
1. Turn off power 2. Open the LCD Display 3. Press "Reset" with paperclip/pen 4. Unplug ANY wires connected to the camcorder 5. Eject battery 6. Plug in DC charger 7. Power on 8. Attempt to eject tape 9. At this point, the metal tape holder comes out but refuses to open... slightly "close" the portion of the camcorder that has the button to eject the tape, and then open it fully again (you'll hear a click, this signals the device that the 'hatch' is open and to eject). 10. The metal door *should* pop out and allow you to withdraw the tape.
I've tried 4 different cassettes and about 2 seconds after hitting play, I get the error every time... my solution: Not going to try to play my tapes on the camcorder anymore... will find another player to play Hi8 MP cassettes. Unknown if able to record to tape as of yet.
Usually the drive mechanism is made up of rubber rollers, belt, etc. If these are worn out (in time), the drive mechanism will slide and will not be able to rotate the tape. If the cam cannot detect the movement ?n the tape then it will efect it.
Was having a similar problem but the tape would not even partially load. Spent several hours, over the course of several days trying to figure how to fix this and found the following solution to a similar problem on this site. I tried it as a last resort...it worked! Now I just need to figure out what to tell my wife when she asks me "how" I fixed the camera????
Here is what I did...I allowed the mechanism to close without a tape inserted (the only way it WOULD close), gave it a solid - but gentle - whack on the tape side of the camcorder with the palm of my hand...sort of like burping a baby. I said a little prayer to the saint of hopeless causes (St. Jude Thaddeus)...slid the open/eject button, opened the door, slid a tape in, gently pushed it down (where it says "push") and ...the mechanism closed!!!
Not sure if the "fix" will last but we'll see and report back if the problem crops up again.
Sounds like the carrage is out of time with the deck. Either that or the mode switch (the switch that senses the location of all the gears on the deck) is in need of an internal cleaning. When the contact pads on the mode switch get a little corroded it will confuse the microprocessor that controls loading and it will not know where the gears really are.