The usual thing happened... tape stopped playing, machine turned off, turned machine back on and it ejected tape with some of it hanging out. Normally I just push tape back in and it corrects itself, but this time it just hung. I couldn't get the machine to release the tape (stuck in down (play) position), so I removed the lid, the front panel and the top bracket. Then I cut the protection piece off the tape cartridge and slid the tape out from the mechanism and thru the front (where I had removed the panel).
I put the machine back together, except for the lid (which I never screw back on anyway). I plugged it in and it went thru the load/unload movements twice. Then I put a tape in and the spindles did not move to grab the tape. It just spun as in fast forward and the take-up reel could not keep up with the feed reel. Note: When I put the tape in I heard a loud noise and suspect something snapped, probably a nylon piece. I uplugged it right away, but it was too late. I need a schematic to figure out what has broken and if it can be fixed.
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When a VCR encounters a mechanical problem, the electronics will stop playback and shut it down. I suspect that fault has developed in the mechanism and that the tape becomes jammed. The only way to find out it to take off the top cover and watch what happens when the video tape is played.
Well two things have to happen to make tape move in a cassette deck. One is the Capstan shaft has to rotate and that is usually a belt link to a motor through a pulley. The second thing is you must have take-up torque. If the tape moves but the take-up reel does not pull it onto the take-up reel then you either have a eaten tape or the deck will shut off. in your complaint it could be any of these items- maybe a bad Idler from the reel motor or the capstan belt is old and stretched.
I can honestly say I have been quite happy with it and its performed pretty well with very few problems and is still going today.
First of all congratulations on getting so many years of heavy use (2002 - 2012) on your JVC VCR.
I have a HR-S3911U and a HR-S5912U from the same era and my 3911 has seen a million miles and both my units are still going strong. I did experience a similar problem with my HR-S3911U but instead of the eject function my problem was with a sticking guide-pin. I did a have similar ejection problem with one of my 1985 Super Beta Hi Fi machines. Really it sounds like the exact problem as you describe. What I did was I opened up the unit and watched carefully - it was just a sticking moving part. My JVC guide-pin problem was just sticking as well - after a gentle push into place the guide pin has not stuck since. I don't suggest using any grease unless you really have to. I suggest you open the unit - if you have a video camera video tape the ejecting and play back in slow mo to see if you can catch the problem. Sounds like a sticking moving part which can be common on any VCR.
..couple times its had issues with dirty heads as i would get a message appear on screen.
I'm very surprised that in the past you had "dirty heads" messages pop up on screen as I have never seen that message on my JVC machines and I do use them a lot and very rarely clean the heads. Proper tape storage is very important. Trying not to use the same tape over and over again also helps keeping the tape path reasonably clean.
I think it could benefit from the heads being cleaned. I don't even really know what are the heads. Is it that big round drum? One thing I did notice is that when I load a tape, it straight away wraps the tape around that drum and the drum spins away and just idles there constantly rubbing on the tape before i have even pressed play. I have left tapes in there for days and days, so I assume this cant be good having that thing spinning away on the tape for such a long time?. I am not sure if this is normal or not but I wont be leaving tapes inserted in the VCR long periods now.
The heads are tiny little things inside the big round drum. I will show you if you post a picture of your unit with the cover off.
The tape staying wrapped around the drum with the drum spinning is normal but the drum should stop spinning five minutes after you load the tape as long as you don't touch play, rec ,ff or rewind. This is called a "long pause" (the tention is a little eased and is not rubbing hard as a normal pause would) and the long pause is there so the unit will immediately start playing or recording if you push play or rec within 5 minutes of loading the tape. If the drum does not stop after 5 minutes of sitting idle then your VCR has a malfunction and you should not leave tapes in the machine idling.
I am concerned about your heads clogging up - that is not normal unless you don't take proper care of your tapes - is there very high humidity in your area? That could cause problems.
Sorry I posted this in a hurry but will go into more detail later if need be.
When in play the tape is pulled out of the cassette & wrapped around a path that takes it across the heads using guide arms.When you press STOP/EJECT. the guide arms move back leaving the tape slack, at the same time a clutch device engages the take up spool & rotates to turn the spool in the cassette & wind the slack tape back into the cassette. When the arms are fully retracted a selector switch has moved into position to activate a motor which turns the mechanism to bring the cassette housing back up to the start position & relaeses the tape. If there is still tape catching the mechanism when you try to eject or some of the tape not fully back inside the cassette, this is most likely because the take up spool is not turning quickly enough to take up the slack tape.
does ur vcr have a idler wheel or gears (between both spindles?) if its an idler wheel, with rubber band it commonly can go bad. their a pain. unfortunately there may not be a replacemant part. if nopt, inspect the belt for cracks or glazing. it needs friction to spin the spindle to take up the tape being played. or if ejecting, to wind the tape back in the cassete. take off the cover of vcr and watch. if the right side wheel of tape is not turning while playing, theres ur problem. the tape is instead floating every whichway. another possibility could be a belt on the right spindle. if any bands need replacing, use an ordinary rubber band ,. should work just as good
I think what you are referring to is the pinch roller. This roller sits at the right side of the mechanism, and in play mode, presses the tape up against the capstan shaft. These pull the tape through the machine at a precise regulated speed. If the roller isn't being engaged or the capstan isn't turning, then these conditions need to be corrected. Does the capstan turn freely? How about the noted roller? Perhaps lubricant has dried/hardened/gotten sticky...
There is electronic circuitry for the capstan motor (a direct drive type motor integrated on the underneath side. Something could be awry with this circuitry.
There is a drive clutch mechanism which could also be defective. This drive clutch assembly sits in between & swivels between the supply and takeup spindle, depending on whether VCR is in Play/FFWD or REW. In the Play/FFWD, it is engaging the right spindle (takeup) and in REW the left spindle (supply). If this is what you are describing, perhaps this clutch unit needs replacement or the grease at its pivot is hardened/sticky.
Most VCRs of the last 10+ years don't use a rubber tired drive (very common on late '80s VCRs), rather a gear toothed drive.
Beyond a simple mechanical problem, repair might not be economical feasible. Most VCRs of the last 10+ years are poor quality, disposable, unlike the machines of the '80s and early '90s, which were built like tanks comparitively speaking.