Question about Panasonic PV-V4522 VHS VCR

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How do you defeat auto tracking in a Panasonic PVV4522 so to align tape path?

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Check user manual

Posted on Jul 15, 2010

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VCR tape loads and put tape around drum but then kicks tape out without returning the tape to the cartridge or playing. tape is then hung up inside the mechanism.


Dirty heads or rollers usually cause that or the tracking path has worn and the rollers are out of alignment. I would try a tape head cleaner first. Video / music stores or electronic stores usually sell them. You get a special tape to insert and cleaning solution.

Dec 13, 2015 | Televison & Video

7 Answers

VCR playback issues


I had a similar issue with a DVD player, in that it wouldn't play any commercial or rental DVD's, but it would play them if I burned a copy on my laptop. Turned out to be board inside the machine. I had to replace it.

Jun 18, 2008 | Philips Magnavox DVD/VCR Dual Player

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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.

on Jul 03, 2015 | Televison & Video

2 Answers

How to tune a vcr


I assume you are talking about the tracking control. Older VCRs had a control that allowed you to make adjustments within a narrow range by turning a knob and newer machines have auto-tracking. The adjustment allows very limited adjustment of electronic centering of the read heads over the recorded video track on the tape. The mechanical and electronic alignment of tape head tracking is a precision process that requires specialized alignment tools and a "standard" pre-recorded test tape. These tapes are very expensive and not as precise as one would hope. In addition, like all magnetic tapes, they stretch and must be replaced. The theory is that if multiple VCRs are aligned on the these standard alignment tapes, all machines will then track and reproduce material alike. Unfortunately, there are so many standard tapes in the world with so much variation that things do not always work well. If you cannot get your machine to play a tape recorded on another machine to track correctly, you could take it to a repair man and have him align it, but it is no guarantee it will track all the time on all tapes. That is why the world has moved on to digital recording.

Jan 11, 2015 | Televison & Video

1 Answer

Which components is responsible for the auto tracking in the sony vcr, model slv d380p


Auto tracking, or 'digital tracking' as it is sometimes known, is generally governed by the CTL (the linear control track head), located toward the right-hand side of the main head cylinder drum, along with a combination of the guide posts/rollers, the capstan speed as the tape travels in the deck, and of course the drum balance since this rotates the fastest. Usually this is pre-aligned to factory standard, but as parts wear down, the alignment changes - hence your 'tracking query'.

Presuming you have a video picture from your tapes on the TV screen, you can bet the tracking is controlled electro-mechanically (as above). One of the first parts on the mech to wear out is the rubber pinch roller - when it becomes glazed or shiny, tapes can be chewed and/or the 'control track' drifts during playback - more so than when recording.

Nevertheless, it is usually a simple workshop repair involving inexpensive part replacement/alignment on the mechanism including a new pinch roller and cleaning of the entire tape path. The only 'cost' would be labour on top of the parts. The option here is that you can submit your unit to a workshop/service centre for a quote on repair/parts costs first, then decide if you want the tracking fixed - up to you. I hope you have no other really serious issue with this combo unit - SONY is a premium brand - trusted and reliable. I assume the DVD section works fine.

Remember; bad tracking is not always a mechnical mis-alignment - it can also be the quality/age/condition of the tapes a person uses as well, even if that person doesn't 'thrash' tapes on a daily basis. From memory, the SLV-D380P is one of SONY's better DVD/VCR combos.

Mar 03, 2011 | Sony SLV-D380P DVD Player/VCR

1 Answer

Auto tracking makes no differance.pic.covered by sound bars,black border at top of tape.vcr had stood for 3 months ununsed.on inital play,snapped tape,removed cover to extract tape. new tape kept ejecting...


Sounds like the guideposts need realignment to center the tracking or something got bent in the tape jam removal, check the tape path!. Also could try a take apart cleaning of the head with a piece of paper and some alcohol.

Mar 13, 2010 | Panasonic PV-V4522 VHS VCR

1 Answer

Video noise at bottom of screen, possibly tracking line?


Guide error or just guide cleaning. You have to get an alignment tape from Panasonic. Then you have study the tape path and know wich guides move and roll and which don't. Then you should demagnatise them all. Then a head cleaning is in order.
then you put the tape in and watch the playback it can be either the main entrance guide or more likely the exit guide these are found right and left sides at the top of the drum threaded up. Sometimes these guides come loose over time this is a job for an experienced tech and if you don't know what you are doing you'll never get the deck in proper alignment.

Jan 26, 2008 | Panasonic PV-V4611 VHS VCR

1 Answer

Video Tape picture shakes horizontally


needs tape path alignment or cleaning done

Jan 15, 2008 | Philips DVDR3320 DVD Recorder/VCR

1 Answer

Vcr tape problem


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.

Apr 28, 2007 | Panasonic AG-1980 S-VHS VCR

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