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VCR problem Problem is with the VCR. When I playback a tape the picture flickers up like the vertical hold is gone. I tried manually cleaning it and have also tried adjusting the tracking. Both did not improve it. What could the problem be?

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Re: VCR problem - VCRs

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Posted on Jun 08, 2011

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Re: VCR problem


It is likely the drive belt located on the underside of the carriage. Remove the top, then look for about 4 or 5 screws holding the carraige in place. Disconnect a couple ribbon cables and remove the whole carriage. Look under the carriage and you'll see the belt in question. It's probably slipping which causes the picture to roll. Occasionally you can get away with cleaning the belt with a rubber cleaner... more likely you'll need to replace the belt (which cleaning only delays).
I doubt very much if the alignment is off - that only usually happens if you've been poking around in there in force. While you have the top off give the thing a good clean. Ideally you'll demagnitize the heads and the audio/record heads. Just follow where the tape runs when in play mode and clean all the surfaces with a cue tip and alchohol. Rub clean when done to ensure all the residue is removed. When cleaning the head itself - be very careful. Rub the Qtip gently along the length of the pick-up head - DO NOT RUB UP AND DOWN, rub along. Rubbing up and down will break the ferrite head which will render the VCR trash.
Try not to touch the belt with your fingers as that will leave oils on the belt and speed the breakdown process.
Good luck!

Posted on Jan 04, 2009

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Re: VCR problem

The problem is most likely with the tape path guides being out of alignment or in need of cleaning.
It could be worn or dirty video heads/drum.
It could be a worn pinch roller.
It's in need of at least a professional cleaning, possibly a tape path alignment and possibly some rubber drive parts needing to be replaced.
My guess is a tape path cleaning/alignment along with a pinch roller replacement.

You may want to consider this an opportunity to move from tape to DVD. The home DVD recorders are very cheap now and will do the same thing your VCR does, only better.

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Posted on Oct 18, 2007

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The menu screen displays but it wont play tapes

Do the tapes play in the machine, but you don't get a picture. Or do they not even start to play?

If they play and you don't see a picture then you need to clean the VCR head. You can get a tape head cleaning tape for this.

If the VCR won't play a tape at all, please describe in more detail what happens when you insert a tape for playback and I or someone else at Fixya will help you further.

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Picture rolls on playback

Try cleaning the heads, but it seems like the heads may be faulty, you might need to replace the vcr, they don't cost much these days, the repair might cost more than a new vcr these days.

heres a cheap headcleaner, look for one at local shops, wallmart bestbuy and so on

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Panasonic are very good at having free PDF copies of user manuals. However if you just want to playback old tapes then all you need do is connect the vcr to a TV and press play. You might need to adjust the tracking using the controls on the remote. But the picture should play. If you see snow on the screen, but can hear sound, then the tape heads will need to be cleaned. You can get a VCR cleaning tape for that.

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1 Answer

Flicker on playback

Could be tracking, dirty / faulty heads, or mis-alligned guide rollers.

First,adjust the tracking on the player during playback. This is done by pressing P+ or P- on the remote control.

If this doesn't work, use a video head cleaner. This consists of a video cassette and fluid. Follow the instructions with the cleaner.

If this still doesn't help, and you are confident in opening up the VR550, you could cleaner the heads manually.

Disconnect from the mains.

Remove the screws from the back and sides of the VCR.
Gently ease the lid off the machine.
Locate the large silver coloured head drum towards the back of the machine. There are four small receptors around the side of the drum. These are the video heads.
Take a small piece of clean white paper about 1.5 inches square. (Copier paper)
Hold the paper square over 1 finger and rub each head in turn. Keep the head near the centre of the paper so as not to catch the heads with the edges of the paper.
Check the paper for dirt from the heads.
Reconnect the player and try a tape. If the problem is still there, try cleaning again.

If none of this works, insert a tape NOT recorded on this machine (Mis-alligned rollers affect recording as well as playback) and play. Locate the rollers which guide the tape around the mechanism. Particulary either side of the head drum.

The rollers have adjustments on the top, which can be turned to move the guide up and down slightly. This is a fiddly job, and over adjustment could cause the tape edge to be damaged.
Adjust the rollers to get a clear picture. It is mainly trial and error.

If all fails then the video is probably destined for the skip.

If you need a replacement, , will sell you a VR550 at a very good price.

Apr 09, 2008 | Philips VR550 VHS VCR

1 Answer

Poor playback

Because the cable signal is OK, this eliminates the tuner as your problem and leaves the power supply which is a common problem. It is a switch mode type which often have trouble maintaining control of its output voltages and produce trouble downstream in the video circuitry. Either the power supply is failing which can be wholesale replaced for about a $150, or something somewhere else is failing and loading down the supply causing it to overwork. Usually in this case, you can hear a whine noise if you listen close.

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VCR Play Back is OK, but Recording produces Blue Screen on playback

If the heads are TOO dirty, a head cleaner will not help. If you are cinfident enough to open up the recorder, then they can be cleaned manually.

Disconnect the VCR from the mains.

Remove the screews from the side and back (if applicable) of the lid.

Remove the lid.

Look at the large drum (set at a slight angle) If you gently rotate the drum you will see 2 or 4 small sensors set into the drum.

Tear of a clean piece of A4 paper about 1inch square.

Hold between thumb and first finger and rub the centre of the paper against each sensor in turn. Make sure the edge of the paper does not catch the sensor.

After each sensor check the paper for dirt (black marks) and change paper if need be.

Try a recording / playback.

Repeat if necessary.

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I suggest you get the Tape path cleaned up. Could be dirty video heads or a dirty Control Head. Use a good 'wet' type cleaning cassette.

Jul 03, 2007 | Sanyo VWM-950 VHS VCR

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This model is the W528 VCR, but my manual includes both models

Does it do this with other television sets? If so, then it indicates the problem resides in the VCR. Rolling as you describe suggests either the VCR isn't producing a clean enough vertical sync pulse in the video signal, or the TV circuitry isn't processing the pulse properly. First, try cleaning the heads (not just the video head, but also the audio/control head which is to the right of the rotating video head. If this doesn't fix the problem, an electronic problem is likely. Unless this is a high dollar unit, repair is not recommended, as VCRs of the last 10 years or so are essentially disposable. I've done some looking on the 'net regarding copy protection, and it doesn't look like this is an issue here.

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