Question about RCA Televison & Video

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Mine is a drc358N. Itried to tape something, but it came out with blurry sound ans gray screemy fuzz...

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Hi the problem your having could be down to one of a couple of things.

first of all was the vcr working properly before you had this problem or has the vcr not been used for a while.

also have you tried playing a tape that you have not recorder yourself such as a film if you havent then give it a try and see what happens,

now here are the most likely cause of the problem you are having.

1. the tape you are using could have been used more times than it should and it could now be no longer any good to record on, so trying another tape would rule out this problem.

2. if a tape such as a film you bought from a shop plays perfect and the sound is perfect then this would indicate a problem with the tape your trying to record on or possibly a damaged recording head.

3. if all tapes on play back is bad then this points towards dirty head and cleaning it should solve the problem. Now to clean the head you have a couple of options, you could go out and buy a decent vcr head cleaning tape kit these you should be able to buy from most hardware stores, how ever these tend not to work most of the time and can cause the problem to get worse.
now the other option you have is to clean the head yourself, doing this will still not ensure it will work properly after as damage may have been caused to the head.

If you are ok with taking things apart and have basic skills for doing this then cleaning the head is something you can do yourself, if you are going to do this yourself then make sure you dont have the vcr plugged in whilst doing this as you can give yourself a nasty shock and cause harm to you and others around you.
Cleaning the head is no guarantee it will get it working as it was due to the fact that the head may need replacing.

The main reasons the head gets dirty or damaged is down to either dust if the vcr has been sitting for weeks without being used or if you have put a tape in that had been chewed up before or the tape may have had something sticky on it that has been transfered to the recording head.

Now below is a great guide for self cleaning of the head, but first of all let me explain about the head, once you have the vcr's outer case of you will notice the head its a big shiny wheel towards the back of the vcr where the tapes go in, now this head is what spins round as you rec or watch a tape so any dust or dirt or sticky stuff on here will cause the vcr not to play or rec properly or not at all, now when you look at the head it should be perfectly clean and shiny with no marks on it what so ever, apart for yours that is yours may have dust on it or a sticky patch,
now never touch the sides of the head that run along the tape with your fingers as you can and will damage it, when your cleaning the head you need to spin it slowly so you can hold the cleaning pad still and let the head turn and clean that way.
never rub the head with a cleaning bud as you will damage it, never move the cleaning pad or bud up and down whilst you are turning the head this will damage it beyond repair, when cleaning you hold the pad with the cleaning fluid on against the head flat so as your putting a small amount of pressure along the whole height of the pad from top to bottom no keep the cleaning pad still and then spin the head with your finger using the rim running along the top, doing this will ensure no damage is done, once you have done this you can spin it with your finger without the pad their to check for any sticky marks or dust or dirt, you need to get it perfectly clean so that their are no marks on it at all.


  1. Eject any tape from the VCR and unplug it from wall current.
  2. Unplug any other cables from VCR (Cable, Antenna, Audio/Video Cables, etc..).
  3. Place VCR on flat surface, such as a table covered with newspaper or cloth to protect table surface.
  4. With the appropriate screwdriver, remove VCR cover carefully.
  5. You will see a shiny round drum--this is the Head Drum. Take an isopropyl alcohol-dipped chamois tipped cleaning stick and place it on the Head Drum with light pressure.
  6. Manually rotate Head Drum with your free hand (it spins freely), keeping chamois stick stationary, allowing fluid to clean the drum (Never move the chamois stick in the vertical direction-you may snap off Head protrusions on the drum).
  7. With fresh chamois tips and alcohol, now clean the Stationary audio head, capstans, rollers, and gears. Check for dust. Do not get excessive fluid on any parts.
  8. Clean Belts and Pulleys using fresh chamois tips, once again, do not use excessive fluid.
  9. Clean dust off Circuit Boards using a mini-vacuum cleaner and/or compressed air (Use just enough force to remove the dust and dirt).
  10. Let machine site a few minutes after finishing above process.
  11. With the VCR still open, plug into wall and TV, turn on VCR and insert a recorded tape. (Do not touch any of the interior workings of the VCR or interior metal cabinet during this process).
  12. Press Play on VCR and confirm that everything is functioning correctly and picture and sound is restored.
  13. Repeat steps 1-10 if results are not satisfactory.
  14. Eject tape, Unplug VCR from wall, uplug all cables.
  15. Screw VCR cover back on and place back in original location with proper hookups.
  1. Do not perform the above procedure if your VCR is still covered by Warranty or Extended Service Plan. Take unit to authorized technician instead.
  2. Make sure you have all the proper screwdriver(s), chamois, cleaning solution, etc... before starting Step One of this process. DO NOT USE Q-TIPS.
  3. Your Guide is not responsible for any damage to your VCR involving any steps in this process. If you have doubts about your skill after opening the cabinet, do not go forward. For more extensive information, check the resources below.

let me know how you get on or if you need further assistance ok, if you follow the guide you should find your vcr will be back up and running as if it was new

Posted on May 05, 2010


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