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  #81  
Old 04-12-2017, 12:06 PM
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Tandbergguy Tandbergguy is offline
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Location: Victoria, British Columbia
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Hey Jeepwalker,

Oh my God, but after your last missive I feel like Methuselah’s father. Of course the question that begs asking is why someone of your extreme youth is messing around with dinosaur technology like a VCR?

Onward. If I lived in or near Vancouver I fully expect that you are right, I could find several shops to take my “beloved” (and it is) VCR. Unfortunately I live on Vancouver Island which is a provincial place.

When my father-in-law wanted his VCR repaired (that means “Jeff you do it, I don’t want to deal with this….”) and I had my own problems with my JVC I researched on-line for VCR repair shops and it was slim pickings.

The one shop that said they could fix “anything” is a curious place, lots of guys running around in their early twenties and they don’t “touch” VCR’s. That work is reserved for one guy who accepts only work that interests him.

I was allowed back into the inner sanctum which didn’t have a “lived in look,” nope, more like the “no survivor’s look.” The place resembled an electronics factory AFTER an explosion. Did I paint a picture for you?

OK, the head honcho decided he liked me well enough to repair my VCR, but he refused to touch the “Chinese junk” that was my father-in-law’s. This is where my VCR was labeled worn out.

I took this guru my Walkman and although he got it to play, it has no FF or reverse. I then foolishly took him my Tandberg reel-to-reel, which he managed to repair the pre-amp, but it can not record and has other issues.

You get the idea, this was a no win situation.

Continuing, so why don’t I just go to Vancouver? You ask that so I know you have never been here. OK, so I decide to go to Vancouver, I need to head over to the ferry terminal in Sidney and get in line for the next boat. You HAVE to be there a half an hour early, but that doesn’t mean you get on the ferry, just the “Chance” of getting on the ferry.

So I miss the ferry, say that was the 10:00 boat. Well then I get to sit in my car until the 12:00 boat shows up. Then it is 1˝ hour ferry ride and about an hour to get into the city from the Tsawwassen terminal. So I get into Tsawwassen at 1:30 and can be downtown by 2:30.

None the less I have done this, several times. I found the McIntosh dealer near Vancouver and they so mangled my B&O Beogram 8000 that it was un-repairable and the job they did on my amplifier was so terrible that the factory offered to repair it and my pre-amp. (Did a magnificent job too and gratis.)

So why not try other shops? I did. I needed my amplifier rebuilt on my Seeburg jukebox (which outside of humans, is my real love of my life.) The amp got badly damaged in shipment and was repaired with a sledgehammer. No really, I am not kidding. Once repaired I again took the ferry (yep, the first boat was full….) and the shop owner, a sadistic SOB just tormented the crap out of me…… because he could and is the only jukebox repair place in BC. After keeping me needlessly in the shop he said, “Oh man, you are never going to make the ferry. You are going to have to spend the night.” He snickered at me. I gave him a nasty look and said, “Yea, watch!” The shop was in a very BAD neighborhood and I literally ran (felt like it was for my life) with that 65 pound tube amplifier. (If you are interested, I did make the ferry, no joke, I was the last car on.

Because of all the above I ship my stuff to a shop in Georgia that is very good. But the amp I sent for repair on January 10th arrived here YESTERDAY! And it was damaged in shipment. The on/off switch doesn’t work, none of the control sliders work either and all the lights on the left side are out. That mean I gotta open it up and figure out what is wrong.

Anyway, two useful things I take out of this exchange, first you told me exactly how to clean heads and that IS the way I will do it…. a second time to get it right. Second, if all else fails I haven’t looked in Vancouver for a VCR shop and if I find one that is good, I am willing to take the time and the expense ($140 round trip) to take the deck over and then again to pick it up.

Lastly, I attempted to email Pacific Stereo but their site stated if there was no field to click on it is because they are over their limit for the month. In the past I have had very, VERY bad experiences with shops that were so busy that they didn’t need to “deal” with customers.

Jeff
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  #82  
Old 04-12-2017, 01:43 PM
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Tandbergguy Tandbergguy is offline
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Location: Victoria, British Columbia
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Hi Jeepwalker,

You “inspired” me to take another hard look at what is available. There are 3 repair shops for electronics in Victoria, One is inappropriate, the second is the shop with the man-cave from hell and as my previous missive was already too long, so I left out that the tech, whom I like regardless of actual skill level, is now so ill, that he no longer is able to work.) The third is a sales showroom only, no repairs.

Now I remember all too vividly why I was so depressed about local repairs in the first place.

OK, there is still Vancouver, a city of 2.5 million people; surely they must have a bunch of shops. The highest rated shop VCR Handyman does home electrical and plumbing repairs. I don’t know what VCR stands for, but it isn’t Video Cassette Recorder.

I tried the other four and came up empty. Yep, I had actually tried this previously and clearly didn’t want to remember.

But there is still Seattle, right? Admittedly I haven’t tried everyone in the Emerald City (I used to live there) however recently I was referred to a “fantastic” shop who does “spectacular” repairs. So I called there and the one man operation (I hate these) was a man about three days younger than God! This guy could literally be MY father; in fact I am sure he is older than Dad.

Anyway, the poor soul was obviously partially senile and never once wanted to talk about my McIntosh MI-3 oscilloscope but instead tried to sell me one “he just happened to know about.” The guy refused to call me, I had to call him, and I did twice until I figured out he wasn’t dealing with a full deck.

However going to Seattle for a VCR repair is kind of hard to get overly enthusiastic about as that is an international trip and I don’t know how much YOU know about the boarder guards at the ports, but let me tell you they are not going to be all that open minded about a guy carrying a heavy electronic device that he says he wants fixed and can’t get it fixed in Canada.

I am a very friend kind of a guy, so I usually do well in those situations, but just get one wrong guy in a bad mood and I could be held up for hours.

I mention all this stuff in such detail because I feel you don’t think I have made much of an effort to get my new VCR repaired.

Back to Seattle, the Clipper doe not take cars, so that means I’d land on foot downtown, so if the shop wasn’t close to the ferry terminal (I know it well) then I have to find a taxi. My enthusiasm is dropping like a brick.

The Coho does take cars BUT it goes to Port Angeles which is on the Olympic Peninsula and HOURS from Seattle. Scenic for sure, but that ain’t gonna work.

So I am right back to the BC ferries into Tsawwassen only instead of heading north to Vancouver, I head south to the Peace Boarder at Blaine, Washington. I know the guards there well and I assure you, there is not a single one who has the slightest sense of humour. “Purpose of visit?” “I want to have my VCR repaired.” With that alone I see myself spending the night.

Boarders and electronics do not go well together. The first tangential turntable I imported suffered an “event” as Customs Canada suspected my phonograph was a bomb. (I ain’t making this up.) I saved the shipping box with all the yellow tape on it and the two notations “SUSPECTED BOMB” on the side, because I didn’t think anyone would believe such a wild story, yet it happened. The box was shredded and my Beogram 4002 nearly destroyed, but I got it working again.

All the above is why I try wherever possible to do the work myself. It takes me 5 times the time to do what a trained professional could do, but it is safer and cheaper.

Jeff
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Tandberg 9000X, Bang & Olufsen Beocord 8004, Bang & Olufsen Beocord 9000, AKAI 8-Track CR-81D, Sony WM-D6C
  #83  
Old 04-12-2017, 05:07 PM
Jeepwalker Jeepwalker is offline
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Well, ok ...I'm glad you reached out to those places. I guess you HAVE done the work. I stand corrected. I was under the assumption you lived in Vancouver (sorry). Definitely sounds like a pain to get around sometimes, but I hear Victoria Island is beautiful.

If you check out Youtube, there are a lot of pretty good videos on VCR troubleshooting, and some really good electronic repair videos if you are inclined to learn more. It sounds like you have some desire anyway. The head is probably just dirty enough and a good cleaning will do the trick, hopefully.

FWIW, this guy's been around a long time:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/REPAIR-servi...BDHHAG74rI0fcQ

Last edited by Jeepwalker; 04-12-2017 at 05:18 PM.
  #84  
Old 04-12-2017, 07:33 PM
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Tandbergguy Tandbergguy is offline
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[QUOTE=Jeepwalker;672910]Well, ok ...I'm glad you reached out to those places. I guess you HAVE done the work. I stand corrected.

Hi Jeepwalker,

It is certainly not a case of being “corrected,” just a misunderstanding I felt the need to correct. Thank you for being so open and receptive.

Want to learn more? You bet I do. I will spend some time checking out YouTube for the videos.

I also checked out the shop you mentioned, impressive, especially if you have Sony equipment, but no surprise to me, states, will not ship to Canada. I run into this a LOT.

This VCR I recently acquired is an amazing machine and I very much expect that the low usage the seller claimed was legitimate.

You clearly know more about VCR’s than I do, however I really looked at the head and it looked pristine. However I believe you are right, the head is just dirty enough to affect the picture/sound quality.

The only “flaw in the slaw” with this idea is I have had 4 VCR’s over the years since 1976 and they played and played beautifully with only a very poor cleaning. You may not remember those cleaning cassettes which I imagine were terrible.

This JVC S10000U is the “ultimate” deck from JVC and I honestly don’t see why it can’t perform as all its predecessors did. I cleaned the VCR heads with a cassette cleaner when I thought it was about time, NOT because the picture quality was poor.

Still, you showed my how to clean the heads, using a fine cloth, and going only in the direction of the tape movement, & never vertically. (I AM paying attention.)

The VCR won’t take all that long to clean, but I just received my rebuilt B&O Beomaster 1600 and it is more or a frustrating priority for me. Virtually none of the sliders which control volume, bass, treble, balance, and FM tuning work. The on/off switch is non-functional, so I have to unplug it, and ALL the lights on the left side went out. I really need to find out why. I have zero doubt that my trusted ship near Atlanta did a first rate job, so something(s) happened in shipment, which was protracted over customs issues.

This is more information that you need, but I also have a B&O Beocord 8004 cassette recorder which had a ball bearing wedged in the drive unit. I just learned that this ball bearing (which I kept, of course) goes under the tape position retainer, and that is why when you press PLAY the tape pops out intermittently. Very annoying!

I also have on my waiting to-do list to tackle the cassette portion of my gorgeous B&O Beocenter 9000. I was having trouble with the reversing feature and changed the belt. Thought I had it licked. Nope, still issues, so now I need to take the cassette recorder out and lubricate it. Why I didn’t think to do that when I changed the belt, I will never know….. it takes over an hour to get the cassette mechanism out and almost as long to put it back.

Thank you for all the information provided, with just a bit of time, I will put it all to good use.

Oh and lastly, yes indeed Victoria is a beautiful place, mountainous, lush/green, and lots to see. The obvious downside is to live here is to be trapped, as the ferry is an all day adventure for a return trip. I can see the US from here, but it might as well be a million miles away depending on the ferry system.

If ever you visit Victoria, for God’s sake take the BC ferries rather than the Washington State ferries. BC ferries have beautiful large vessels while the Washington State ferry uses ships half the size dating back to the seventies and they could use a good coat of paint!

Jeff




F
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  #85  
Old 04-12-2017, 07:52 PM
Jeepwalker Jeepwalker is offline
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Hey, I saw this on your local Craigslist. Maybe you went there but:
https://vancouver.craigslist.ca/van/cps/6072953389.html

Couple more:
http://pro.jvc.com/prof/support/index.jsp
http://www.tv-forums.com/forum/TV_Eq...air_Forum_F36/

Any repair center that would be considered competent on VCRs MUST have scopes and signal generating equipment like this and know how to use them. If you went into a shop and only saw multi-meters and a few other meters, it's not a shop I would let work on my VCR. Again, maybe yours doesn't need a whole lot, but now that we're on the topic. Below is a type of device you might find a couple of (similar) at a TV/VCR shop. Course you don't necessarily need them to perform a good cleaning, but part of restoring to factory quality, would at least require a way to measure the output signal and match it up to factory specs.
http://www.tradeport.on.ca/dat/products/666.jpg

Last edited by Jeepwalker; 04-12-2017 at 07:59 PM.
  #86  
Old 04-12-2017, 09:19 PM
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Tandbergguy Tandbergguy is offline
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Hey Jeepwalker,

I watched 6 videos on YouTube and OMG, they point in all directions, some with less than stellar advice. I take my vintage electronic “treasures” very seriously and have little respect for those who don’t, but still offer (poor) advice.

In case anyone missed this do NOT put alcohol on the rubber parts as it dries them out. Most of the videos I saw cleaned the rubber bits like the metal, not good.

Moving on, I still learned a lot.

For instance I don’t think I cleaned the audio head…. how stupid of me, but whatever. I can correct this.

I also see how to clean the head, as you told me, in the direction of play.

As for the cleaning medium, I have a Selvyt cloth that I loath to use to clean, a souvenir from my days as a jeweller, but it is probably as good as it gets to clean the heads as it is lint FREE.

I also learned (again) as my man-cave tech told me to polish the work after cleaning, to make sure there is no residue from the alcohol.

Last and potentially most importantly, I made NO effort to clean those black square “indents” on the head, and apparently that is where the head really reads the tape. I can see I have work to do. Thank you Jeepwalker!

I may even give a good lock at my JVC S8000U recorder, the one my man-cave tech said was worn out. I am not in any way convinced that he really knew how to clean the heads. That said, there maybe more wrong there, as it plays fine at the start, but the pictures gets worse the longer it plays.

This is not an establish fact, but I now believe, with your help I may restore this JVC S10000U recorder to its full potential.

If you have never seen one of these incredible units, try Googling it for images, you may be impressed. (I was)

Jeff
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  #87  
Old 04-12-2017, 10:17 PM
Jeepwalker Jeepwalker is offline
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I did (before), looks like a very nice machine. I've seen them before on Ebay. I've owned many different styles of VCRs over the years, really like the JVC's and Sony's. There are some good and in-depth electronics and VCR videos ...or at least there used to be. I don't know about denatured alchohol, I've always used Isopropol. It's cheap at just about any store. I'd buy those head cleaning sticks in my prior link. I'd refrain from using other products, personally. Main thing is you don't want anything, like a fiber or something loose on the rag to 'catch' on the video head.

Just for giggles, why don't you put your 10000 unit to the side for a little while and practice on a couple of your older VCRs, maybe go get one at Goodwill or whatever thrift store you have ...for like $5. Learn to walk before you try to run too fast. Don't start with your most expensive and most beloved unit ...just in case.

Good luck.
  #88  
Old 04-13-2017, 12:01 AM
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Tandbergguy Tandbergguy is offline
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Hi Jeepwalker,

How about your first name since we have gotten to know each other rather well.

In practice, head cleaning sticks are a really GOOD idea. You got me, I will send for them now.

Like I said and I REALLY meant it, I take my custodianship of vintage products seriously from my Seeburg M100B to my iconic B&O Beogram 4000, the single product that put B&O on the map retail speaking.

Jeff
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  #89  
Old 04-13-2017, 12:15 AM
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Tandbergguy Tandbergguy is offline
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Hey Jeepwalker,

US$3.95 with Global shipping cost me around CN$30, but out of sheer respect for you AND my new JVC S10000U, I ordered them.

Now waiting for them to arrive gives me every excuse to work on my other projects: B&O Beomaster 1600, B&O Beocord 8004, and B&O Beocenter 9000.

My ultimate plan is to try those brushes on my JVC S8000U recorder. Although my man-cave tech said my unit was worn out I kind of doubt it so I’d like to give it a shot. How could it hurt?

Mother of Jefferson Davis, this is about to become interesting.

Jeff
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  #90  
Old 04-13-2017, 08:22 AM
Jeepwalker Jeepwalker is offline
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Wow, why was it $30? Don't any sellers offer free shipping to Canada?

Couple other tools you might consider:
It might be a little early to let you in on this little VCR secret tool, but here it is. This is for ONLY heads where you have serious deposits that you can't get out any other way ..and you're using a jewelers magnifying glass and you can actually see the deposits (once you get a sense of what a clean head should look like, and what really serious deposits look like). After applying a lot of isopropal and soaking, a few gentle and strategically applied flicks with a fiberglass pen often dislodge a piece that won't come off any other way. This is something you practice on cheap VCRs with. Never use it on the drum because the fiberglass WILL scratch the finely machined aluminum drum and can disrupt the air-bearing affect. It also works well on cleaning tape path parts too. I'm sure some youtube videos will show this.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-5-Jewele...8AAOSw3mpXJtg1

Here is a cheap ESR meter.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cased-12864-...cAAOSw4YdY0zUC
You might not need one now, but this is a phenomonaly inexpensive device that allows ya to test electrolytic capacitors in-circuit for ESR values, and a whole lot more. As equipment (capacitors) age and capacitors begin to dry up and lose their filtering ability, an ESR meter lets you quickly determine if they are out of spec or not. You can youtube how to use an ESR meter. It's a MAJOR problem with older electronic components be it an amp, tape deck, VCR or whatever. It's good to have a way to measure quick w/o having to de-solder anything. Heck, I fixed an HVAC controller last fall at one of my places: Unit went down ...couldn't find a quick replacement controller, so my daughter and I popped it apart, did the checks, ID'd the weak capacitors, put in the replacements (that I had onhand) and had it fixed in no time. Right now it's probably getting way ahead of things, but if you have just one weak capacitor on a switch mode power supply, or any of your equpment, it can goof up the downstream power and cause all kinds of wonky behavior even if the item generally works (but seems erratic). Look for dim displays. Read up on capacitors, diodes etc, and how to use an ESR meter ...Always DISCHARGE a capacitor first with a screwdriver, resistor or lightbulb discharge tool. One of the worst shocks I've ever gotten was from a 400v switch mode power supply capacitor and I still remember it today (and I've been shocked a lot of times in my day, but THAT was the worst).

Ive got a more expensive ESR meter, one of the ole famous ones that all the guys used to use ...but I also bought this kit ..I can't remember why actually, but it seems to work great, provides accurate ESR values like my other meter, plus does a whole lot more. I bought the unit that was $2 cheaper w/o the lexan case and it's a PITA to use (get this one instead for $2 more!). I don't think it comes with test leads (the ones I got with mine were short and extremely crappy anyway), so you may want to buy these, and cut one end off to put into the connector (I actually have this test lead kit and it was a good buy):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Electronic-T...0AAOSw2xRYZyC5

Buy some of these too, you'll be glad you did, they're really handy for looping around capacitors or other leads:http://www.ebay.com/itm/10Pcs-Multim...gAAOSw~OVWyZTs
If you needed some capacitors, you can buy a grab bag assortment of like 1000 of common sizes off ebay (from China) for cheap. They're good to have on hand for testing ..then you'd probably want to get some audio-grade quality if you found some that required a higher grade capacitor. But the cheap ones are good to have onhand. If you have old equipment, you're going to run into crapped-out capacitors. http://www.ebay.com/itm/125pcs-25-Va...oAAOSw44BYYLO3

A sharpend wooded dowel (like a sharp wood stick ..like a pencil) is a great instrument for poking around a circuit board, zeroing in on bad solder joints. Cost's nothing, an old-school trick I learned from some old electronics guys. But don't use a pencil, they conduct electricity and could burn out something (been there!). Oh, and some rubber revitalizer is a necessary part of a cassette deck/VCR tool kit. A bottle lasts a lifetime unless ya spill it: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rawn-10008-R...EAAOSwa-dWoa~r. Actually using your eyes, nose, ears and touch (and some know how) good electronics techs can spot many problems w/o even needing any instruments. I've been fortunate to pick up some things from a couple good ole wizards.

Now you have plenty of things to get started. That VCR book I mentioned is extremely good. Has a very good introductory section on basic electronic circuits, testing and troubleshooting that is almost a mini text in and of itself. Really good all-around book. A person who can perform VCR repair can repair just about anything electronic since they are way more complex than most other pieces of audio equipment. Your high-end JVC shouldn't be used as a learning center. That's one deck you DON'T want to screw up. Get some el-cheapos and work on them, especially the older ones that have a lot of circuits...preferrably NOT one with a switch mode power supply. They can be a pain to de-bug and if the SMPS is the problem, you can't effectively debug other parts of the VCR (if it isn't getting 'clean' power), so get some old VCRs from the early 90's with the big transformers. Plus, those are a lot more fun to work on anyway IMO. Ahhh, nothing beats the buzzing sound of a finely tuned VCR!

Hey, a GROUND WRIST STRAP is a good idea too. Read up on how to work on electronics safely, now (not later), ...BEFORE you start poking around. You don't want to die or damage your equipment. Not kidding.

Last edited by Jeepwalker; 04-13-2017 at 08:58 AM.
  #91  
Old 04-13-2017, 07:53 PM
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Tandbergguy Tandbergguy is offline
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Smile

Hey Jeepwalker,

Now it is my turn to say WOW, what fantastic information. I will take it all in. Thank you for the considerable effort in providing same. You probably guessed I have a good Fluke multi-meter, but I prefer the mechanicals, not the electronics. I re-capped a pair of speakers, but that is involved as I want to get with electronics.

When I purchased the tape head cleaning sticks (for like of a better description) the “standard” shipping to Canada and the selling cost came to CN$30. However when I paid PayPal the total cost came to CN$10.58. Don’t ask me why, cause I don’t know.

I am totally torqued to get the head REALLY clean to see what difference it makes. And yes sir, I will use my jeweller’s loupe.

If successful you gotta know I am going to try cleaning my JVC S8000U which is also a handsome recorder, but one my local tech said was “worn out.” Maybe true, but if I can get my new VCR playing well, I sure as hell am going to try to “save” the old one too.

I love old cars and analogies so if the S8000U is a Cadillac Fleetwood the S10000U is a Bentley Continental R drophead coupe. And I want to restore both, the VCR’s not the cars.

Thanks for everything!

Jeff
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  #92  
Old 04-14-2017, 03:22 PM
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Tandbergguy Tandbergguy is offline
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Hi Jeepwalker,

I misspoke on the total price….. just too stupid to realize that the PayPal form has two parts, and I missed the second. The first price is the unit price plus US shipping. The second is an additional charge for international.

The total, the REAL total is CN$28.64, or about US$20.60.

I am sure this doesn’t make a difference to you, but I like to get things right….. where I can!

Jeff
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  #93  
Old 04-18-2017, 07:01 PM
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Tandbergguy Tandbergguy is offline
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Well guys,

The S-VHS to HDMI converter arrived today and you will never guess what they did. No, you won’t. Nice packaging and all, but the A/C adapter they shipped has a round plug, whereas the converter has a square plug. Ooops, what a careless mistake.

I emailed the company in China asking for the correct A/C adapter, so we’ll see if they send one.

Then and only then did I discover I don’t have a HDMI to HDMI cable, but at least I can find that locally. Now it is my turn to say oops.

Jeff
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  #94  
Old 04-19-2017, 07:53 PM
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Tandbergguy Tandbergguy is offline
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Hey Jeepwalker,

Well the Chinese sent the wrong A/C adaptor but it just so happens that my ancient Microsoft Smartphone used the same 5v adapter so I purchased a Rocketfish HDMI cable with 24K gold plated contacts and silver solder and hooked the package up.

The adapter has two modes: 720p and 1080p, and that makes a difference! A DIFFERENCE!

With the S-VHS cable to the converter the picture improves considerably. Even more so the sound, for whatever reason.

The white garbage at the bottom of the screen is all but eliminated and the overall picture quality is good, if a bit fuzzy. You would never mistake it for DVD. Pause, however, is really, really good.

With the converter and the S-VHS cable the difference between standard VHS and S-VHS has disappeared, both look very similar.

One thing I belatedly noticed is my new VCR generates a color bar picture when the tape is stopped and it is absolutely DVD quality. This is not the tape of course, but it says very good things about the electronics.

Now all I am waiting for are the tape head cleaning brushes you recommended to arrive, then really CLEAN the heads properly, as per your video head cleaning examples on YouTube. I learned we have to polish the heads after cleaning to remove any residue with a lint-free cloth like a Selvyt cloth.

Thank you for ALL your help; let’s just see how this works out.

Jeff
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  #95  
Old 04-20-2017, 08:45 AM
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Velktron Velktron is offline
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If just changing the video/audio A/D stage (because that's all what using an external converter did, in your case) caused such a difference, that's more telling of a problem or severe quality issue with the analog inputs on your TV set, if anything.
  #96  
Old 04-20-2017, 01:34 PM
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Tandbergguy Tandbergguy is offline
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Hi Velktron,

I am not technically savvy enough to comment on why simply going from standard RCA plugs/wires to an S-VHS cable would make such a difference, but it does.

The Sony Television is relatively new (3 years old or less) so I doubt it is an issue with the outlets. I am not saying that it isn’t, because I have no way of knowing that, but I doubt it as a layperson.

I am especially interested in cleaning the heads properly with my new brushes which are currently in Kentucky, but should arrive here shortly.

Jeepwalker had me watch half dozen YouTube videos on VHS head cleaning which were enlightening.

If I understand it correctly the “main” reading on the head is done at the two small black rectangular slots on the bottom and opposite one another. I assume the rest of the polished chrome looking part does something, but IF I got this right and I am not sure I have, I ignored those two slots when I incorrectly cleaned the head with a Q-tip.

I now know to turn the head in the direction of play (counter-clockwise) and wipe in that direction, never back and forth or up and down. I will also use my jeweller’s loupe to make certain all is clean especially those pesky little rectangular slots.

Once cleaned I learned from the videos to wipe the head completely dry with a lint-free cloth to remove any residue left from the alcohol.

Lastly, and off subject (sort of) may I assume (I am asking) that cleaning audio cassette heads is less demanding than cleaning VCR heads? If this assumption is wrong, do you need to clean only in one direction like video heads?

I have 5 cassette recorders and they are used considerably more than the VCR, so I should be cleaning them correctly.

You guys have really been a LOT of help and I genuinely thank you!

Jeff
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Tandberg 9000X, Bang & Olufsen Beocord 8004, Bang & Olufsen Beocord 9000, AKAI 8-Track CR-81D, Sony WM-D6C
  #97  
Old 04-20-2017, 04:01 PM
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steerpike steerpike is offline
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Take a look at this photo of a VHS upper head drum, separated from the lower stationary part, and turned upsidedown:

The heads are those 4 items attached to the drum by screws. Note how the tips of the pole pieces protrude outside the circumference of the drum, just a fraction of a millimetre. It is those tips that need to be cleaned - when the drum is fully assembled, they look like they are inside a 'hole' or slot. The slot is not the head itself.

They are a very hard material, but very brittle. They are thin and flat, that is why they will break if you rub them "up and down". But "side to side", along the circumference of the drum, they are quite strong.

The reason to avoid cotton or other fibre-based cloths is that the fibres get caught in the heads, and are difficult to remove.

Simple machines have only two heads, positioned on opposite sides of the drum. Stereo machines have 4 heads, as in the photo, or 6 heads, but two are spaced so closely it looks superficially like 4 heads only exist. And editing machines may have up to 8 heads.

Audio cassette heads are much more robust - they are not easily damaged by rubbing in any direction (unless you use a metal tool, so don't do that).
In principle the cleaning process is the same - just get the tape oxide off the heads along with any other grime. Video heads are just much smaller and more fragile.
  #98  
Old 04-21-2017, 04:00 AM
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Velktron Velktron is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tandbergguy View Post
Hi Velktron,

I am not technically savvy enough to comment on why simply going from standard RCA plugs/wires to an S-VHS cable would make such a difference, but it does.
So, if you use the RCA wires, even with the new converter, you still get noticeable quality problems? Just to rule out the obvious here...have you tried different RCA cables?
  #99  
Old 04-21-2017, 09:31 AM
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Tandbergguy Tandbergguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steerpike View Post


Take a look at this photo of a VHS upper head drum, separated from the lower stationary part, and turned upsidedown:

The heads are those 4 items attached to the drum by screws. Note how the tips of the pole pieces protrude outside the circumference of the drum, just a fraction of a millimetre. It is those tips that need to be cleaned - when the drum is fully assembled, they look like they are inside a 'hole' or slot. The slot is not the head itself.

They are a very hard material, but very brittle. They are thin and flat, that is why they will break if you rub them "up and down". But "side to side", along the circumference of the drum, they are quite strong.

The reason to avoid cotton or other fibre-based cloths is that the fibres get caught in the heads, and are difficult to remove.

Simple machines have only two heads, positioned on opposite sides of the drum. Stereo machines have 4 heads, as in the photo, or 6 heads, but two are spaced so closely it looks superficially like 4 heads only exist. And editing machines may have up to 8 heads.

Audio cassette heads are much more robust - they are not easily damaged by rubbing in any direction (unless you use a metal tool, so don't do that).
In principle the cleaning process is the same - just get the tape oxide off the heads along with any other grime. Video heads are just much smaller and more fragile.
Hi Steerpike,

You confirmed but greatly enhanced my understanding of the term heads. Thank you, now I really have it. You photo vividly shows the exact nature of a VRC head.

I am thoroughly embarrassed to tell you this, but until 3 weeks ago I thought the VRC head WAS the bright chrome-looking wheel, rather than the heads being contained within this head enabler.

That said THANK YOU for truly enlightening me. All education is good, and this lesson was needed.

I have a rather special VCR in my JVC S10000U that easily could have been compromised by a misguided effort to clean the chrome wheel.

I also appreciate the information on audio cassette heads. I figured that they were a lot tougher than VCR heads, good to have this confirmed as well.

Thanks guys for ALL the help!

Jeff
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  #100  
Old 04-21-2017, 09:40 AM
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Tandbergguy Tandbergguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velktron View Post
So, if you use the RCA wires, even with the new converter, you still get noticeable quality problems? Just to rule out the obvious here...have you tried different RCA cables?
Hi Velktron,

I am using the RCA cables only for audio feed; the video is now fully S-VHS cable. That would be the red and the white plugs. The yellow video plug is now unused, replaced by the S-VHS plug.

Now that I really understand about the heads and how to clean them properly, what remains is for the new cleaning sticks to arrive and I will see what a proper cleaning does for the performance.

The S-VHS connection definitely improved the video which (I believe) allowed for a better overall adjustment which positively affected the sound quality. I am guessing (not knowing) that in order to get the best picture prior to the S-VHS cable, the adjustment adversely affected the sound quality.

Whatever the case, the new “improved” picture quality, while definitely better is nothing to brag about, as it is quite fuzzy. Viewable certainly, but not crisp.

I am hoping the head cleaning will add a new dimension to the picture quality.

Jeff
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Tandberg 9000X, Bang & Olufsen Beocord 8004, Bang & Olufsen Beocord 9000, AKAI 8-Track CR-81D, Sony WM-D6C
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