Question about Emerson EWR20V4 DVD Recorder/VCR

1 Answer

Tracking When I play a VCR the picture rolls. It does not do this on a vcr tape recorded on the actual unit. The tapes that are out of alignment work on other VCR's si it does not appear it is a tape problem. I have tried using the channel buttons to adjust the tracking and it does not help. I can tell the channel buttons are working because I can get it completely out of alignment to a totally fuzzy picture. This problem recently started.

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  • kuecker2 Dec 29, 2007

    I am sorry I haven't responded before. I tried cleaning the head, but it didn't work. As far as the other suggestions, way above my skill level.



    Thank you

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  • 6,966 Answers

Hi,

3 possible reasons:
1. Your video head needs cleaning;
2. The pinch roller is no longer making full contact with the entire tape width; or
3. Your capstan motor is running out of standard speed.

Corrective procedures would call for:
A. Clean the video head with a tape head cleaner;
B. Clean, re-align or replace the pinch roller; or
C. Re-calibrate the capstan speed. In some models, there are 2 adjusting trimpots for SP, LP and SLP speeds. This procedure would call for a special tachometer and/or an alignment tape. In the absence, you perhaps can try winging it (adjust till you are satisfied and no picture roll). To determine which are the trimpots, you need a service manual or at least a schematic/parts placement diagram. Further you need to be familiar with electronic components and circuitry as well as use of a DVM. of course this would involve running/diagnosing/adjusting with the case/cover open and the unit plug in to the mains and running. This would also call for extreme care working with live units.

Should you not be comfortable doing a DIY, perhaps your best option would be to seek the services of a qualified VCR technician.

Hope this be of help/idea. Pls post back how things turned out or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Posted on Dec 24, 2007

  • Louie  Role
    Louie Role Dec 29, 2007

    Hi again,

    Any development(s) with your VCR?

    Happy Holidays!

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1 Answer

My vcr plays commercially-recorded tapes fine, but tapes recorded on it or another VCR play with the sound distorted. The picture seems fine.


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How a VCR and Videotape Work and the Most Common Problems


A common complaint about videotape is that over time, playback becomes unstable and often deteriorates to the point that the tape becomes unplayable or that the tape works on one VCR, but not another. All of these problems can be traced to tape path alignment in the VCR and damage to the tape itself. I will address each issue separately.
First you need to understand a little about the tape media. When you record on VHS videotape, the recorder lays down three (four for stereo sound) magnetic tracks on the ½ inch wide tape. Analog audio is recorded along the top edge as a thin horizontal stripe (or parallel stripes for stereo) for the entire length of the recording. In the center of the tape, video is recorded as diagonal parallel stripes by two or four heads that rotate on a drum at 360 RPM. On the bottom edge (the most vulnerable place for damage to occur) there is another horizontal track that is critical to playback. It is the sync track and it's purpose is provide the VCR with the feedback it requires to maintain the tape speed within extremely tight parameters. If the tape does not move at a precise speed, the picture and sound can become unstable to the point that it will be unusable.
As you record, a fixed frequency sine wave is recorded on the sync track. If during recording, the tape speed increases or decreases, it will be reflected on the sync track. During playback, the VCR's circuitry senses the small millisecond-to-millisecond speed fluctuations of the tape movement over the heads and adjusts the speed so the tape speed always matches the speed at which it was recorded. If the sync track is ever damaged, your tape can become useless.
Unfortunately, videotape is a very delicate media. It is easily damaged and once damaged, it usually cannot be repaired. The most common failure is due to tape stretch. Videotape is not very elastic. Anything more then slight tension during use can stretch the tape to the point that it cannot rebound. If the sync track is stretched, the recorded frequency will change and the VCR will react accordingly by making incorrect speed corrections resulting in picture and sound disruptions. Your recorder has tensioning arms that control tape tension as it moves through the system. If the tension in the tape path is incorrectly adjusted, the tape will be damaged as it is recorded or played.
Improper storage is the other common cause of edge damage. If you lay your cassettes flat for prolonged periods, the weight of the tape above will press against the sync track and can damage it. Always store your tapes vertically. Extremes in temperature and humidity can cause stretch. Store tapes in a cool dry place. Also, periodically restack your tapes. To restack a tape, put it in your recorder and fast-forward it to the end and back to the beginning. That will redistribute the tension on the tape. After playing a tape, always restack it once or twice. I have a large collection; over 1,000 tapes. I cannot restack them all on a regular basis. But when I play them, I take that as an opportunity to restack them.
Now that you understand some basics about the media, I will now turn you attention to your VCR. As I hope you are starting to understand, proper playback requires precise alignment of many moving elements. The two broad categories are tape path alignment and head alignment. None of this is a do it yourself job. In addition to specialized electronic test equipment, VCR alignment requires specialized tools along with expensive custom made for the brand and model alignment jigs along with (again expensive) alignment tapes. The alignment tape is important beyond the obvious. In order for a tape recorded on one machine to play properly on another, the two machines must have matching alignment. VCR manufacturers record their own alignment tapes using precisely and frequently aligned recorders. The tapes are used to align a specified number of VCRs and then discarded because each time a tape is used it wares. Since there is a uniform standard for these tapes, a tape recorded on one brand of VCR should play on another. That is the theory.
Now for the real world; the consistent interchangeability we all wish for is hard to maintain. Consider this. The tolerances that must be maintained at every point in all of the processes relative to VCRs and tapes are very close to what is possible; little room for slight variations. Since the tolerance for one part of the process may accumulate with another part of the process either mathematically positively or negatively, it is often the case that each individual part of the chain is within tolerance, but the sum total is out of tolerance.
What in plane language does this all mean? Two alignment tapes made on the same machine will be different. Tapes from different manufactures will be different. The tape you local technician or factory service center uses will have inconsistencies. The net effect is that two seemingly properly aligned machines may not be able to properly play each other's tapes.
I do not mean to suggest that you should not have your VCR properly aligned and maintained by a professional. My point is that videotape is an old technology with flaws that could not fully be overcome in the time frame that it would have been profitable for manufacturers to do so. That is why we have moved on to digital technologies. My advice is to enjoy your videotapes while you can. They will not last forever. If you have important tapes, transfer them to digital media to protect your memories as soon as possible.

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1 Answer

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1 Answer

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1 Answer

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1 Answer

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Hey do the tapes play at all? sometimes some tapes recorded
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They don't make these S-VHS vcrs anymore but people still
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1 Answer

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It sounds like the tracking information is being lost for brief periods of time. Tracking is recorded at the lower edge of the tape, and if the tape is wrinkled or otherwise damaged in this area, playback will go out to lunch. A visual check of the tape would be in order. Have the heads been cleaned in these machines? This would be another area to check.... Also, there could be small differences in the tape path alignments, perhaps the control/audio head alignment is slightly different between the 2 machines.

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1 Answer

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clean the head of your vcr that will help also connections of the wires good luck.

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