Tape seems to be stuck to itself, I can't free it up
I have a video that was made in 1988 of my great uncle, and it is very important to me, he was telling history of the indians being shipped to a reservation, but the tape is stuck, I have a recorder to put it on a dvd, but it won't budge. I try to move it with my fingers, roll the tape, it isn't rewound all the way, but it won't move, would some sort of spray, wd 40 or such do any good, or would it finish it off?
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Re: tape seems to be stuck to itself, I can't free it up
I think you are refering to the tape itself in the VHS cassette and it not being stuck inside the Video itself!
So if you are... don't use the spray... video cassettes have a brake system inside them. It sometimes breaks. If you turn the cassette upside down so you can see the white reels, inbetween them near the bottom (where the side label goes) you will see a small hole. If you put a pen inside it should release the reels so you can turn them with your finger. If they don't turn it may be broken. In which case... Get hold of a blank tape, the same length as yours. Carefully remove the screws (5) on the bottom. See how it's put together. Once you understand how the tape moves etc. Take out the reels with the tape, then dismantle your video and put the reels with the old tape into the new holder. It should work as good as new.
PS try not to touch with fingers the tape.
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The solution to the problem comes from recognizing the type of transport the unit uses. This can be discovered by looking at the working side or by a person who has some experience working on these. Chances are there is a stuck flywheel assist mechanism and just because the belts are no broken or not turned to goo, that does not mean they are good. Also does the capstan motor turn? If it does not, there is no way the mechanism can right itself and that might mean a new capstan motor. Dual cassette decks were built for profit not for a long lasting unit- that is why the thrift shops should be full of them and why most of them will not work.
In order to maintain tape control and tension the reels always pull lightly in opposite directions during PLAY mode. The capstan moves the tape in the desired direction at a precise speed. If the capstan doesn't engage the tape BETWEEN itself and the pinch roller you'll get the reels battling over control of the tape. Check the tape routing.
please state the age of your devices. It can help a great lot in solving your problems. The lines that you get aren't continuous, are they? They appear to be going up and down, are different sizes and shift as the tape plays, yes? well, this is simple. You need to clean your recording head.
With care, it is possible to retrieve the tape.
VCR housings are held on only with a half-dozen screws and once those are removed, you will be able to see the transport.
If the tape itself was defective (it only takes a stretch of tape with finger oils on it) then you will see it wrapped around several things with the worst of it around the drum itself.
The transport, if its control electronics has died, can be operated by hand once you have the tape free and laying loose so that you can manually eject the tape.
If you have made it that far, you will have a cassette with a long loop of tape dangling out.
On the bottom of the cassette is a hole a little larger than a pencil in diameter and you have to use something like a pencil stuck in the hole to release the brake.
Once released, you can turn the takeup reel from underneath and wind the tape back into the cassette.
Unless the VCR is totally dead, I would take another cassette, one that isn't important to you, and see if that one will load while you watch the mechanism.
If it loads and can be ejected afterward, then the first cassette was at fault in the jam.
DON'T touch the surface of the video head unless you clean it throughly with a soft cloth and some window cleaner afterward.
With the set unplugged remove the back and extract the main board. You'll find a metal cover over the tape housing area that is easily removed by removing some screws holding it to the board area and manipulating some wired over it... You should then be able to see the tape and what's hanging it up. If you need to unwrap tape from the pinch roller or around the guides do so carefully. When it all looks free you can either manually crank the load motor assembly to eject the tape or put it back together enough to plug it in and press eject. If you do the later be VERY careful...