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The fault seems to be in the sensor and the mode switch of the loading system which is connected with the main controller processor and loading driver. This can be a failure of the tape end detector which is a IR - infra red- emitter which is placed in the center of the tape tray and MUST feed continuous signal to the END IR detectors placed at either ends. Also the tape seems to load with a false detection of the cassette within when the tray is closed for this reason of the failure along with a possible misplaced mode switch settings. This triggers to make the loading move without a reason and so can be due to failure of the the mode switch or unbalanced settings.You will need some experience to remove the tray unit, then check on the IR sensors and also check the settings of the loading drive and mode switch.
I have the same problem. The only solution I've found is to manually wind the tape forward about 15 seconds and it works fine again. The problem only occurs if I let the tape wind all the way to the beginning.
The way I can get a tape unjammed on my Sony camera is to remove the
battery, plug the camera into the AC charger that is plugged into the
wall outlet. Then power the camera on, wait a few seconds. Then unplug
the charger from the outlet, wait a few more seconds (camera still in
"on" position) and then plug it back in. I have used this method at
least 3 times to get the camera to release the tape and finally eject. However, the tape is usually pulled or stretched and I use a small flat head screwdriver to wind the tape back in, but expect that portion of the video to be ruined.
There is a fix for this which was posted for either the ZR 200 or 400. They call it the "Fonzie" fix. Just hit the camcorder with your fist on the side where the tape goes in (with the door closed). Hit it lightly once, try inserting the tape. Repeat this process with increasing force each time until this works.
Surprisingly, this worked for me. Obviously, there must be something loose for this type of solution to work. I actually had it working once, then it acted up again. I tried the same solution and it's working again. No problems for several days now.
I found a temporary solution for this problem. When the tray with the cassette tape comes out remove the battery so that the tray will not go inside again. Now on top of the tray it will be written as "PRESS" just adjucent to it you can see a spring connected to the tray just press the string down wards and the tray opens and you can replace the battery. Hope this can help.
Loading unit problem is a common mechanical problem in camcorders. To remedy the problem, trained tech need to disassemble the mechanical system around the loading and replace few broken gears (plastics) and adjust it. Repair cost may run close to half of the new camcorder. If you really got to repair this camera for some sentimental reason or for special needs otherwise better to invest the repair charge into a new camcorder.