The tape is not loading properly. It is making a grinding sound and on the rare occasions that it does fit it properly, I still end up with an error message which prevents me from operating the camcorder
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Usually when a device (or any device for that matter) spits a tape out, it usually means the tape isn't sitting properly inside. There could by some obstruction preventing the tape from going in properly. Check to see the tape is in it's regular form...it hasn't changed shape dramatically. Make sure no foreign objects (sticker...lint) are on the surface of the tape (on all sides) and inside the camcorder. Maybe the tape isn't being inserted properly (try inserting at proper angle) and do it gently. If it still doesn't work, it could be that the tape has malfunctioned or in the worst case scenerio, the camcorder loading mechanism has malfunctioned (meaning it needs to be serviced).
It could be a couple of different issues. These things could help.
(1) Power OFF the camera, remove battery then replace the battery, power up the cam and try to eject tape again. Nothing? try...
(2) Gently press inward on the tape cover with both thumbs a few times. Then, while pressing gently inward with one hand, press the release/eject-tape function until you hear a click or release sound. Then, if it doesn't open automatically, gently "help" open the hatch.
If it remains stuck, after follwing these steps a few times it would be my guess that perhaps the camera has been dropped in a way that jammed the mechanism controlling the eject function.
TIPS that may prevent having eject problems: When loading tape, be sure to insert the tape correctly and slowly, makeing sure the tape is placed properly. Gently press on the specific location indicated to close the tape holder, and wait for the tape to "seat" properly before closing any other part of the tape cover or hatch mechanism. Taking a few extra seconds when loading the tape can save extended frustration later.
First guess is the camera has dirty heads. Suggestion is to run a head cleaner in your video camera. Regardless of the instructions on the head cleaner, I usually run the head-cleaner tape on "Play" for about 10 to 15 seconds, and then on "Record" another 10 to 15 seconds. Wait for 10 minutes before loading your playback tape. Try playing your tape again.
Also, check to be sure the tape is loaded properly and that the hatch closes securely and properly. A hastily loaded tape or an ill-fitting closure could cause the play function to stop. If this does not solve the issue, it may be something in the play switch or in the playback mechanism that requires repair services. If the problem continues, I would recommend calling the Panasonic Company and speak with Tech support or Video Camera Repair. They may be able to tell you and estimate of what it would cost for the repair.
I had this problem with one of these otherwise very cool cams that I
inherited. Something was rubbing on the case of the cassette
making a usually faint but audible grinding noise. It is hard to
see unless you push the tiny lever on the side of the cassette and flip
up the plastic flap that protects the tape. There was a small
visible gray grind mark on the center of the case. Now when I buy
a new tape I flip open the cassette and carefully scrape away enough
plastic on the center of the cassette where it rubs (you can run it a
bit and it will grind and show you where) so there is clearance.
Make sure the power is on this unit and you are pluged into a good source of power. The disk tray needs power to lower. A lot of tapes get loose in there case and need to be fast forwarded and then rewound completely in order to help spool them properly in their case. And what you are experiencing sounds a lot like this. It is also possible that you need to buy a head cleaning unit for your elura and run it in the camera for 10 secs and then try again. (Did you try this with a New tape? or just used ones?) We bought a small tape rewinding unit for around 39 dollars that helps us to rewind the mini DV tapes without adding wear and tear on our camera and it seems to help with the issue of loose tapes in the camera getting rejected as they won't wrap around the tape head as nice.
Have you all tried using a new battery? It happened to me before where I would try and load the tape and the motor just hung and wouldn't allow the tape to fully go in. I tried to recharge the battery to see if that was the problem and even left it plugged in but camcorder appeared to still be weak. I think went to Wolf's camera and asked if I may if a bigger batter would feel weird with my current camcorder (I just said that so I could see if I could borrow a new battery and see if it would fix the problem). When I installed the new battery, it loaded the tape with no problems.
According to Sony support, you should follow these next steps:
1. Ensure the batteries are fully charged or the AC power adapter is connected.
2. Remove any media (tape, Memory Stick®, DVD, etc.) from the camcorder.
3. Properly reinsert the media.
4. Ensure the media compartment is properly closed.
5. If the problem continues, try inserting different media.
In addition according to your post it is very likely that you busted the tape mechanism. In this case only a certified technician can help you.
I hope you work it out
There are no such adapters that would allow 8mm, Hi8 and Mini DV tapes to be played in a VHS VCR. Only the old VHS-C tapes can fit and play in an adapter.
There are several reasons why 8mm (or Hi8 and miniDV tapes) cannot be physically played in a VHS VCR:
1. 8mm (Hi8, miniDV) is a different format with different technical characteristics than VHS. These formats were never developed with the intention to be mechanically compatible with current VHS technology.
2. 8mm/Hi8 tapes are 8mm wide (miniDV is 6mm wide), while VHS tape is 1/2" wide, making it impossible for a VHS video head to read the taped information correctly.
3. 8mm/Hi8/miniDV tapes are recorded and played at different speeds than VHS, so even if the tapes could physically fit into a standard VHS VCR, the VCR still couldn't play back the tapes at their correct speeds.
4. 8mm/Hi8/minDV audio is recorded differently than VHS. 8mm/Hi8 audio is recorded in AFM HiFi mode, while miniDV audio is recording in 12-Bit or 16-Bit PCM digital audio format. So, even if the video could be played back in a VHS VCR, the audio could not be read properly.
5. 8mm/Hi8 video is of higher resolution than VHS and is recorded in a different bandwidth length (miniDV video is recorded digitally), so once again, a standard VCR still could not read the information correctly, even if the tape could fit into a VCR.