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Best thing to do here is open unit and have a look--likely the tape is bound up on a post or something--usual cause is the mechanism that rewinds/plays the tape is not working right----when eject is hit it rewinds and puts the tape back into the cassette.
This unit is old enough to have about 5 belts and a rubber drive wheel any of which if broken or bad will do this.
They used to sell a belt pack by model number with the drive idler--pretty easy to replace IF you can find the parts.
It means the unit has either a bad belt or belts or a bad drive wheel--if the tape goes in the unit opens the cassette and feeds the tape out--if broken or loose belt it will not make it fully out against the video heads and will spit tape out.
Used to be by model number belt packs with a idler included to replace all at one time.
Use or hours does not matter as if the unit sits a long time or is rarely used the belts and idler (rubber) will degrade and cause problems.
I'm afraid that this is one that only you can do, or somebody you know. Repair shops probably would say throw it away, or buy a new one.
VHS tapes are not to hard to fix though. All you need is a small screwdriver, some non-yellowing sellotape and a new or old VHS tape.
The old or new tape will show you how they work/fit together if you have never opened one up, which is perhaps obvious you haven't!
Right here is what to do. On the underside of the tape you will find several screws. Remove all of them. Once done lay the cassette bottom side down on a table. The top part should lift off from the bottom part, if there is a label on the back of the cassette this will keep it together, so you may have to break/cutt the label to remove the top section. If you haven't seen the inside of VHS before do the same thing to another cassette now. OK now you will have to work out where the tape has snapped. If the tape has departed from one of the reels, where the clear (leader) tape attaches you can re-attach it using your good cassette as a guide.
If the tape has broken in the black section, then cut a piece of sellotape the same thickness of the video tape. Trim the two broken halfs of video tape so they are nice and square to each other. I would remove any badly damage area of the tape, to prevent any break. It won't play anyway. You then (using the sellotape) join the two tapes together. Put the sellotape on the back of the video tape and make certain there is no sticky part exposed. Try and avoid contact with your fingers to the front of the tape, though there's no chance of that near the join. Re-assemble the cassette.
I would not recomend this method, unless it's a tape that has unique content on it - such as a family video. Even then I would recomend the tape is transfered to DVD as soon as you have repaired it and never used again.
Try removing the top cover & have a look to see what happens when you put the tape in & press play/rewind etc. Is the take up spool (right hand spool) turning properly or is there slack tape not being taken into the cassette? Are the heads spinning ? I think your problem is more likely to do with the tape not travelling smoothly around the tape path. Possibly the clutch gears need cleaned or the soft brakes may not be dis-engaging properly.
Remove the top cover & have a look at the deck mechanism. If there have been children in the house there may be an object lying inside obstructing the tape. If this is clear, watch carefully to see if the tape drops down into the deck mechanism, possibly the tape flap is not being raised or one of the guide arms on the deck maybe damaged or broken which stops the cassette from dropping into the mechanism. If the cassette drops down ok, does the tape then start to be pulled out of the cassette by the guide arms?
The "crackling" sound you describe sounds suspiciously like mis-tracking. That is: The result of the Hi-Fi heads (which are on the rotating video headwheel or drum) not exactly following the recorded tracks. Have you tried adjusting the tracking slightly? The reason this happens is that the Hi-Fi tracks are MUCH narrower than the thinnest video track (used for 6 hours per T120 tape). Tape stretches and shrinks as it ages. Video recorders wear with normal use in such a way that the tracking changes.
The problem is often worse with tapes recorded at the SLP (6 hour) speed because the servo cannot correct errors as fast when the tape is moving slowly (on some machines only). Tape quality also counts...and manufacturers change their formulations without public notice. All these things can lead to "archived" tapes being lost. Solution: Use the best quality tape you can afford, not the cheapest; record at the highest possible speed. Store the tape carefully. Never use a cheap "rewinder" because they can over-tighten the tape causing wrinkles, stretches, and
other kinds of damage.
This is a problem with the process called 'tape loading' - pulling the tape loop out of the cassette and wrapping it around the spinning video drum, engaging the capstan and pinch roller and reel rotation.
If you're NOT still under warrantee you should at least open the VCR and Check all the belts above and below the deck. Belts can appear to be firm but if they do not return immediately to their relaxed length when you stretch them 25%, they will need to be replaced.
With the cover off, observe the behavior when you hit play. (You may need to put a piece of cardboard over the cassette to block external light from interfering with the start/end tape sensors). Assuming this is a basic VCR (no instant start features), you should see:
1. The video head drum begins to spin.
2. the roller guides move smoothly on the tracks, wind the tape around the drum, and stop snuggly pressed against the 'V-stopper' at the end of the tracks.
3. The pinch roller moves into position and presses the tape against the capstan.
4. The tape begins to move and is wound up by the takeup reel.
5. The picture and sound appear on the TV.
With a 'rapid or quick start' (or it may be called something else) transport, the tape moves to a half-loaded position when the cassette is inserted.
This is at an intermediate position partially pulled out of the cassette but not wrapped around the drum. On VCRs with a real-time counter and/or index search capabilities, the tape will be in contact with the control head.
With an 'instant start' transport, the tape will fully load around the spinning drum when the cassette is inserted but the capstan will not engage and no tension will be applied to the tape until you press PLAY or REC. (After about 5 minutes, the drum will stop and it may unload to the half loaded or unloaded position.)
Note that for VCRs with a real-time counter and/or index search capabilities, the tape must be in contact with the control head (but not the video heads) for all relevant modes. These VCRs (which include many modern units) must therefore pull the tape at least partly out of the cassette.
In all cases, the completion of the sequence results in approximately the same mechanical configuration during PLAY.