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lordsmurf 09-12-2020 11:26 AM

How to re-spool stuck tape in AG-1980P?
1 Attachment(s)
Short: Yesterday, our AG-1980 tried to eat a tape. Today, another tape is stuck. Help!


Yesterday was playing a tape, testing for proc amp (etc) settings. After about 5 minutes, it started to make odd noises. STOP, EJECT, look at tape. It had a few edge crinkles, so that must be it, right? Anyway, I was done with the settings, ready to capture now. Reinsert tape, hit REW, but the noises were louder! So again STOP, EJECT. This time, tape was caught in the gate. Which, of course, was bad. A couple of crinkle spots were now on the tape, and the video was damaged in those spots. Used the JVC for that tape, and it was fine.

It was fine for the next two tapes in AG1980.

This morning, I put a tape in, played it for a few seconds to view it and test settings. Then I hit REW. And it rewound. Then I was called away, got sidetracked. The capture system, VCR, and TBC was on for hours for no reason. Oops.

So now back, I started the capture card recording, and hit PLAY on the VCR. It made funny tape-eating noises, then shut off, error code F05 on LCD. Opened the unit, and tape was loose in the transport.

Attachment 12393

TGrant has a great guide for removing stuck tapes from the AG-1980P:

But how do I suck that tape back into the reels before manually ejecting the tape? I don't want to damage this tape as well.

hodgey 09-12-2020 01:27 PM

Did you try to turn the capstan flywheel? It's the big metal wheel on the underside which should be accessible with the bottom plate off and in addition to turning the capstan it is also responsible for driving the spools via a belt and some gears (like nearly all mechs). Depending on what mode it was in when it was turned off, it may connect with and turn the left or right spool and thus reel the tape in when turned in one direction. You may have to help move the tape over some of the guides manually. If the mechanism is in a part of the loading cycle where the idler wheels do not connect to the spools you may have to turn the mechanism a bit one way or the other until it's in a spot where it's possible as described on the tgrant website.

deter 09-12-2020 01:31 PM

I personally would cut the tape with scissors and try to move the tape out by hand or hitting the eject button. Than I would nail polish the tape back together.

Quasipal 09-12-2020 01:39 PM

I'd pop out the mechanism with the tape in place and manually work the spools and mode plate. Done quite a few like that where customers got tapes stuck. Also easier is to cut out a bit of the clear tape window from above and manually turn the spool.

lordsmurf 09-12-2020 01:40 PM


Originally Posted by hodgey (Post 71434)
Did you try to turn the capstan flywheel? It's the big metal wheel on the underside

That did it. :hot:

Now to manually eject it. (A task for tomorrow. I'm so tired right now, need a long nap, been farting with this for hours now, ruined/wasted my day. My health is still declining, I'm frustrated by how stuff like this can affect me so easily.)

In fact, so tired that when you wrote "capstan flywheel" I was momentarily confused.
Then had a big laugh at reading "big metal wheel". Confusion passed. :laugh:

Do you think this is this a sign that the motor is going out? (And incurring another costly AG1980 repair. :()


Originally Posted by deter (Post 71435)
I personally would cut the tape with scissors and try to move the tape out by hand or hitting the eject button. Than I would nail polish the tape back together.

That seems drastic, and definitely would have ruined the tape. :unsure:

deter 09-12-2020 01:49 PM

This happened to me back in Jan. But my tape was tangled. Was watching Red Dawn and the VCR ate the tape. Cut it, lost like 1 second of video and than tested out the machine and it was fine. I really doubt the motor is bad.

Personally over the years had to do tape transplants were I move the reels over to another tape. This has helped with some playback issues.

dpalomaki 09-12-2020 04:22 PM

1 Attachment(s)
From the K-mechanism manual. It maybe possible to eject the cassette using a 4.5v battery as well as by manually turning the worm gear. If the gear is not turning when the motor runs it maybe the cracked nylon fitting on the shaft that is discussed in another post.

deter 09-12-2020 09:38 PM


That is really creative and crazy to be honest.

I did an entire write up on videohelp in real time years ago with actual videos pulling tapes out that were stuck or half loaded and fixing the loading bay. (Using hand pressure and putting the frame back in to alignment). I may have done a video were I ripped the entire loading bay out of a betamax machine and would load the tapes manually. Than used weights to hold the tape in place.

You can pull these tapes out with actually no power to the unit. Sometimes hitting the eject button will trigger a gear and you can use your hands to pop it out.

It is kind of hard for me to explain things on how to do some of this stuff cause I make it up as I go. For example over the shutdown I dropped my I-Phone and smashed it to pieces. Nobody would repair it. Plus everything was closed so I purchased another I-Phone lost all my contacts and hated the new phone.

One day at like 2 in the morning I said I am going to build an I-Phone, the hardest part honestly is the screws they are so tiny. Basically having no clue what I was doing, except for understanding replaceable parts. About 3 hours later I had my old I-Phone back with all my contacts and old voice mails.

dpalomaki 09-16-2020 07:18 PM

lordsmurf: Did you ultimately determine the cause of the problem and the fix?

lordsmurf 11-19-2020 11:32 PM


Originally Posted by dpalomaki (Post 71535)
lordsmurf: Did you ultimately determine the cause of the problem and the fix?

I was so disgusted with the deck, and Panasonic in general, that I need time away from it. I've had multiple issues with AG-1980 decks this year, and I could easily see myself picking up the VCR, opening the door, and throwing it down the concrete walk. After 2 months away, I felt it was time to re-attempt this.

In our last episode, the tape got sucked back in by turning the large metal capstan flywheel.

Today, I plugged it back in. And the tape went in-out-in-out a few times, then ended with error F05. Tape was again pulled into the transport. Great. :(

I re-sucked the tape back in, and then did the tedious job of turning the worm gear. Unfortunately, I don't have a 4.5V battery to make it automatic.

Got the tape out.

Then put in one of my test fodder tapes. I play, FF, REW, play-FF, play-REW, stop, eject. Each task, over and over. I found a problem.

I found 3 issues:

(1) When the tape is play-REW, it doesn't make contact with the head, and has lots of slack. :unsure:

(2) If you play, stop, then REW for a minute worth of video, then immediately play again, same slack problem presents.

Again, when this tape was "eaten", I hit play, watched a minute or two, then stopped. I was previewing the footage, make sure it tracked fine, no timing issues, audio fine, sharpness setting good, didn't need any proc amp settings, etc. Rewind back to beginning. -- Then got sidetracked. --- Started the capture. And then some seconds later, the deck stopped.

So when I played, REW a short distance, then tape had slacked. When played, the slack didn't tighten in the transport, but instead got caught on something (or nothing?), error F05.

(3) When you longer REW, stop, then play, the tape slacks up between the audio head and the rollers to the right side. At least once, the slack got scary long, 2+ inches worth, before the deck slurped it back (seriously, slurp sound). There is consistently slack here when a tape is more than 50% play, but not seen much under 50% played.

What is causing this?

It may be fine if I baby it, but potential tape-eater decks make me nervous. Fixing is preferred.

latreche34 11-20-2020 12:32 AM

It would be nice to take some videos with the top cover out when these problems are happening and drop them on youtube for easy access, Without looking at what's happening it could be anything from the mode switch to tape tension, broken gears ...etc. Slack in front of the pinch roller means capstan motor issue, slack after the pinch roller means take up real gear/clutch is bad.

dpalomaki 11-20-2020 08:49 AM


...I don't have a 4.5V battery ...
FWIW: I improvised one by taking a 4-battery (e.g., C- or D-cell) holder I had lying around and installing a piece of dowel rod wrapped in AL foil in place of the 4th battery.

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