I'm using an MD830 Panasonic on an ultrasound unit, and I keep getting an "End of Tape' message even when it's not at the end of the tape. I can start recording again, after I acknowledge the message, but as soon as I stop, the message comes back and I have to acknowledge it again. I have another MD830 that I can put in place of this that does not do that. Is there some kind of setup on the Panasonic that I'm missing?
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Possible fault with the failure of the servo system, the mechanism , front loading and forward loading or the failure of the drum servo/capstan servo.
You can remove the front panel and top panel and remove up the loading mechanism by unscrewing the mounting. carefully disconnect the cylinder head strips, the audio connections and remove. manually turn to unload off the tape. then check for belt failure or visible errors. Now set back use a dummy cap to cover the end sensor emitter at the centre and manually push the loading mechanism assisting . If there is no loading the capstan is faulty, if it loads and the drums does not work it is tthe cylinder servo.
You will need some knowledge of the circuits to proceed to the correct fault.
Before you try anything too elaborate, change all of the belts. There are a number of safety features built into this unit to prevent the tape from getting damaged. If one of the reel tables is not turning when it should, the unit will shutdown. There are a number of similar checks made continuously as the machine runs. If you have no experience with these units, bing it in for service. The parts should not be more than $5-$25 total. Add in the local labor charge for the total repair bill. Basically this unit should be cleaned and the alignment checked after the belts have been changed.
Most VCR's will auto-rewind the tape when it gets to the end of a tape. Most will leave the tape in the unit assuming you may wish to view it again once rewound. Does the tape eject properly when you press the eject button? What does the manula say about the eject function?