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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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!
You're describing what could be a loose or worn loading belt problem, most of the vcr mechanisms used in these combos use one to load the tape and thread it for it to play or record, that is why you have to keep puhing the tape untill the machine accepts the tape and you have to keep pressing play untill it starts the play function.
As with any VCR, there are rubber parts inside that have become slick. This is a simple repair for any shop. The mechanisms are Samsung ones if I remember correctly. Expect a parts cost between $20-$40. Add in the local labor rate for the total cost. This is worth the repair cost as any replacement would not last anywhere near as long. This is also a normal occurrance as rubber parts harden with age. I have repaired many of these over the years.
Have you tried different VHS tapes? If your VHS tape is too far rewound or at the very end your camcorder will display this problem. In a different VHS machine make sur the tape is rewound and then play the tape about a minute and then try it in the VCR.
If this doesn't work then there is a problem with the tape end sensors in your VCR.
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.
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.