Question about JVC HR-DVS3 Mini DV/S-VHS VCR

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Unable to switch from "Norm" audio track on old tapes

I've been trying to transfer some old tapes to my pc using the Firewire connector. Previously I've had no problems wiht this however the same tapes with transferred both video and audio fine previously will not output a clear audio signal now. It seems to be something to do with the unit automatically switching to "NORM" on the audio output and will not permit me to save HI-FI or L/R - it simply switches back to Norm when set to play. The audio signal is being output but at a very low volume with no clarity. I've tried other tapes which are more "up-to-date" and they work fine but have probably been recorded with a Hi-Fi recorder rather than the ones which I'm now having problems with. Also tried a head cleaner. It seems strange that the audio signal cannot be selected whilst the unit is playing. Thanks for any help!

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Re: Unable to switch from "Norm" audio track on old tapes

Hello, this problem is because of the nature of previously recorded signal. The recording made in an older way (mono) has a separate head and the solution for your problem can be to clean the head. This head has two functions, for control pulses and audio signal. If you need more info please advice. Arpi

Posted on Jul 15, 2007

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I have almost the same problem!  Did you ever figure out what happened?  Here's what I had posted yesterday:
Tech Friends - 
I recently got a non-sony tape stuck in my DSR-11 (bummer) and was forced to extricate it using the "my tape got stuck in the DSR - 11" article's method of removing the top cover and highest level of circuit board:

This worked for the tape removal, however, upon replacing the circuit board and cover, the deck no longer seems to be able to do anything with video or audio.  It still communicates with FCP via its firewire connection (ie FCP is able to control FF, rewind, play functions, etc), but it seems unable to read or write video.  Also, we use it as an A - D converter box between a Beta SP deck and thecomputer (actually, this is the deck's main function here).  Even when I switch it to the correct setting (video) and check to make sure that everything is plugged in correctly (trust me, I checked, it is), I get the "there is no video here" error message. 
Also, after trouble shooting the drive for a little while, I pressed the "reset" button the the rear.  I'm not sure if that matters one way or the other.  I don't think it does (that just resets the time code, right?) 
The question is, would this be a case of "fried firewire jack" such as it seems so many of us DSR - 11 owners have?  Could I have done any frying myself by not having myself properly grounded when opening the shell?  Is there anyone who knows the answer?  Help!  I can't digitize my video!
Comment by eltriunfo, posted on Sep 05, 2008 The Plot Thickens... 
Okay, I've checked all of the FCP settings and played with the deck more and it's only confused me more.  I can now get it to not only be controlled by the computer, but actually print audio and video to mini dv tape.  Also, I can record from my Beta SP deck to miniDV tape in the deck (connected through the "video" input on the rear of the unit).  In other words, the deck seems to function perfectly doing everything except for converting analogue to digital passively.  The way we always did it before was by keeping the input switch on the face of the unit on "video" and log and capturing in FCP with it as a noncontrolable ntsc device.  This makes me understand it less.  It means to me that it is not a broken switch, it's not a broken firewire port, everything works perfectly EXCEPT for using the unit as an A-D converter.  What the dill-yo?  If anyone in the world could offer any insight as to what could be causing this I would greatly appreciate it!

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1 Answer


Does this happen on ALL tapes?

Depending on WHICH model VCR you have (old or new) SOME have a switch which will allow you to adjust tracking MANUALLY. When the switch is in the manual position, it won't track automatically. If some played with that switch, that could cause your problem.

ALSO, do you have a cleaning tape? If the control track head is dirty, it won't see the "control track" (which gives you VCR information to control the tracking.

Another possibility is one of the video heads (there's 2 or 4) is dirty, and without ENOUGH video signal coming off the heads, it's not possible to track properly.

Try running a cleaning tape through. If you've never done it, it might be time. Unless yu know about equipment I'd wouldn't suggest you open the machine and clean it yourself. Let me know how you make out.

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Good luck. It can be very frustrating, but awesome when it all comes together and works right!!!


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