I'm running an Akai AVR250 VCR, and have had no problems with it until recently when I placed a tape in the machine, only to have it time out after 10 seconds and go to standby with "Err" on the front display. When I hit the power button again, the display turns off for a few seconds, then returns to standby and after about 30 seconds, ejects the tape, again with "Err" displayed. I have tried using different tapes, and even turning the machine off.
Any help here would be greatly appreciated! it's driving me nuts!
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Do you have any small children who have access to the machine? Kids are notorious for posting coins, half eaten biscuits and bits of toys into the tape slot. 1st give the machine a light shake and see if it rattles, next remove it from any power source and remove the cover. You may find something obvious, if not, reconnect the power, being careful not to touch anything inside, and try to load a tape. Dirty heads WILL playback, but will NOT record. The standard for these machines is load spool to erase head, to video head, to soundhead, then between drive spindle and pinch roller and on to take up spool. Has the tape you are trying to record had the tab removed, if so (like a pre recorded tape) it will NOT record until you place a piece of tape securely over the tab hole.
The problem is caused by the idler assembly which controls play, record, rewind, and fast forward. If the take up reel stops, the vcr senses a problem and will stop the tape. The only other thing it can be is the drive belt, sometimes it will stretch and fall off or break. I suggest a tv technician or somebody that knows their way around a machine.
No! The best thing to use to clean it is Servisol Video 40. This can be got from your local electronics shop or online. This stuff leaves no residue and cleans much better. You can use the cotton buds with it too.
It's much better to clean every six months or so depending on use. As dirt and grime can cause problems to the heads if left on. If someone smokes where it lives it will need more cleaning as you will find out when you clean it first time!
I've been working for hours on this machine, cleaning and lubricating the mechanism and trying various adjustments to fix related problems. If I recall correctly the F11 error is due to tape mistracking, indicating damage to same. Someone posted a suggestion that the F08 error indicated a drum relay problem, requiring professional servicing; but it also comes up on my machine if the tape tension is too high and the mechanism cannot overcome it when loading the tape. I only realised this after finally tracking down pretty well all of the bearings needing lubrication; then adjustments to the tape tension could be detected. I've got to the stage that my AG-DV2700 will accept tapes that have been recorded on that machine; playing them instantly, after the usual auto tape tensioning where the tape is FF a few seconds and then RW a similar amount, if the safety shutter is enagaged; and merely accepting them in the normal fashion otherwise. Up until this point it would throw up the F08 error whatever tape was put in; if you switched the recorder back on instantly the tape would slow FF, ie not its usual whirlwind winding, and be available for use after auto rewind at the end. If a tape NOT recorded on it is put in it still stops with the F08 error. I would suggest that trouble with this recorder is likely due the loading mechanism becoming stiff. All you have to do is dismantle it - but there's lots of tricky bits and bobs in there to watch out for.
I had a similar problem with a Panasonic VCR. It would not eject the tape and gave an error code. I found that the door does not quite fully open, so that the top of the tape hits the door and cannot eject. If I turn off and then turn on the VCR the error code disappears. Then I press the eject button and simultaneously hold the door fully open with one finger until the tape starts to eject and clears the door.
Tape "eating" is usually caused by a no take-up condition, that is, the take-up spindle isn't being driven, and thus a certain amount of tape spools out inside the mechanism until the logic circuit senses an error condition and places the machine in an off or stop mode.
Cleaning the head shouldn't cause this, assuming you knew what you were doing, and nothing was broken or bent in the process.
Look down in between the spindles, and you will see an idler wheel which pivots between the spindles, depending if the mode is Rewind, Fast forward or play. This idler mechanism should pivot freely. If the grease is dried or sticky, or the idler is otherwise broken- gear teeth missing, etc. such must be corrected.
If the idler needs replacement, one might be available from the manufacturer, or a parts supplier such as MCM Electronics.
try recording on a blank tape and setting the tape speed to SP (standard play). you should also see options for (LP-long play) and SLP (super long play). I think your machine is stuck on SLP option. if no-go, look for a manual on the web.
First check how good / bad are your recordings.
Take a current / recent recording done after this problem cropped up, and play it back on another VCR - maybe a friend's.
If the recording plays back badly- showing the symptoms you described, then the problem is still dirty or worn out Video Heads.
If the Recording plays back perfectly on the friend's machine, but plays back badly on your machine, I still suggest that you try cleaning the Heads one more time, and if the problem is not resolved, it is time to trash the VCR.
One last question, you say that you have reset the channels. Are the reception channels' images clear?
I may be able to give some more suggestions, based on this response.