Quantcast Dirty VCR heads? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
11-10-2020, 07:44 PM
Glitchy Windows 3.1 Glitchy Windows 3.1 is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 47
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Hello,

I recently got a problem with what I assume is dirty VCR heads. My reasoning behind it is that I decided to rewind a VHS tape to the very beginning. Luckily I had the cover of the VCR open just to see inside and what I saw inside the VHS tape was some brown liquid that was present. (do not have a picture) And it appeared that this brown liquid was only on the beginning part of the tape.

Now I am pretty sure that this brown liquid is not water because no mold was present in the tape but I do feel that this brown liquid was also on the tape itself (the readable portion. As I decided to check the VCR head drum and saw that it had some brown spots and it was apparent when I cleaned it using the copy paper and alcohol method. Furthermore, I cleaned the drum and heads twice and it still shows a shaky / glitched video signal.

I will be sending two clips of footage I captured and as a heads up, these tapes weren't damaged as they were clean and showed a good quality prior to the heads being possibly dirty.

Lastly, I am not 100% sure that this is because the heads are dirt, but I did see some brown spots on the drum. And like I said before, I cleaned it twice and nothing happened which could be from not cleaning it correctly. But if it could possibly something else please do tell. (Both videos are attached to this post)


Attached Files
File Type: mp4 VCR heads dirty (maybe).mp4 (1.44 MB, 11 downloads)
File Type: mp4 tim and eric.mp4 (12.91 MB, 7 downloads)
Reply With Quote
Someday, 12:01 PM
admin's Avatar
Ads / Sponsors
 
Join Date: ∞
Posts: 42
Thanks: ∞
Thanked 42 Times in 42 Posts
  #2  
11-11-2020, 03:48 AM
lordsmurf's Avatar
lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
Site Staff | Video
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,918
Thanked 2,170 Times in 1,870 Posts
That is a timing issue.
It is unusual, but dirty heads can cause it. So can damaged heads.

Liquid in the deck is a really bad sign. But liquid from a tape?

Normally such an issue is simple lack of TBC, often combined with a cheap crappy capture card (Easycaps, etc).

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
Reply With Quote
  #3  
11-11-2020, 02:03 PM
Glitchy Windows 3.1 Glitchy Windows 3.1 is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 47
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
That is a timing issue.
It is unusual, but dirty heads can cause it. So can damaged heads.
Yes, it could be a timing issue like you said but what is interesting is that this issue happened after the fact I spotted that "brown liquid" inside the cassette and im assuming on the tape itself. Because like I said when I was inspecting the head drum it had tiny brown spots and were apperent when I cleaned it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Liquid in the deck is a really bad sign. But liquid from a tape?
Yeah I am not sure how this liquid got into the cassette and only appears to be in the beginning portion of the tape as I have used this blank tape to record stuff but I have used the middle section of the tape. Hence why I did not have a problem until I decided to rewind the tape to the very beginning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Normally such an issue is simple lack of TBC, often combined with a cheap crappy capture card (Easycaps, etc).
Now going back to your first quote, is it possible to fix the heads if they are damaged? Now I know you are not certain why this problem is present and is there a way I can find out if its because the heads are dirty or damaged. Now going back to this quote, I have not had a problem capturing footage before I decided to rewind the tape and seeing this "brown liquid." And I know it would be better to have a TBC but it was not at the time and it did work before the fact. Now as for capture card I am using a pinnacle 510 PLUS USB (Pinnacle 510 8230-10028-61). And that capture card is working as I did capture footage before the whole brown liquid incident.

Bottom line is: Is there a way to fix the VCR or at the very least a way to figure out or troubleshoot in order to find what specifically is going on that is causing this. As buying a TBC or new VCR is not possible as of right now
Reply With Quote
  #4  
11-11-2020, 02:24 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 2,305
Thanked 396 Times in 365 Posts
Brown liquid is most likely an oxide tape shed, This tape should be immediately discarded before it gums up your video heads.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
11-11-2020, 05:53 PM
Glitchy Windows 3.1 Glitchy Windows 3.1 is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 47
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
Brown liquid is most likely an oxide tape shed, This tape should be immediately discarded before it gums up your video heads.
Will do, but what about my VCR? Can I still fix it
Reply With Quote
  #6  
11-11-2020, 05:54 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Norway
Posts: 1,400
Thanked 383 Times in 324 Posts
That looks more like something is interfering with the drum or tape speed, dirty heads cause the signal to be weak, not wavy. Maybe some of the "brown stuff" got stuck on a tape guide, capstan or pinch roller or something, or maybe the error is caused by something else entirely.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
11-12-2020, 07:00 PM
Glitchy Windows 3.1 Glitchy Windows 3.1 is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 47
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
That looks more like something is interfering with the drum or tape speed, dirty heads cause the signal to be weak, not wavy. Maybe some of the "brown stuff" got stuck on a tape guide, capstan or pinch roller or something, or maybe the error is caused by something else entirely.
There a way I can know for sure what is going on with the VCR?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
11-13-2020, 12:31 AM
lordsmurf's Avatar
lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
Site Staff | Video
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,918
Thanked 2,170 Times in 1,870 Posts
Going back to my timing comment, that exact sample could be many things. It's generally the sign of a bad capture card choking on bad video. Or lack of TBC. Or both. The issue here may be what is causing the bad video. I'm not convinced the timing issues themselves are from clogged heads, but rather a chain reaction.

What is the workflow in use here?

I've never seen oxide shed that results in liquid or even a goo. It's always been shards of debris.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
Reply With Quote
  #9  
11-13-2020, 07:44 AM
Glitchy Windows 3.1 Glitchy Windows 3.1 is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 47
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Going back to my timing comment, that exact sample could be many things. It's generally the sign of a bad capture card choking on bad video. Or lack of TBC. Or both. The issue here may be what is causing the bad video. I'm not convinced the timing issues themselves are from clogged heads, but rather a chain reaction.
That is interesting considering the fact it was working before hand using the same equipment I am using before and after the timing issue became present.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
What is the workflow in use here?
Like I said the capture card is a pinnacle 510 PLUS USB or to be more specific the Pinnacle 510 8230-10028-61.

The VCR is a Toshiba SD-V296 which I assume is just your generic consumer based VCR with no TBC.

Now im going to assume you will reply with the card having a fault with it or that the problem is the VCR does not have a TBC. But could that really be the case considering it was working before with the same equipment. I dont have a video of the capture with me but I do have a screenshot of it working (see attachment "Working capture").


Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
I've never seen oxide shed that results in liquid or even a goo. It's always been shards of debris.
Like I said I have no idea what it is but im going to assume it mixed with water or the moisture in the air and that liquid is only apperent at the beginning of the tape only


Attached Images
File Type: jpg Working capture.jpg (37.5 KB, 2 downloads)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
11-13-2020, 07:51 AM
lordsmurf's Avatar
lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
Site Staff | Video
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,918
Thanked 2,170 Times in 1,870 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glitchy Windows 3.1 View Post
That is interesting considering the fact it was working before hand using the same equipment
I'd forgotten that bit. Then it must be the heads.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
Reply With Quote
  #11  
11-13-2020, 08:33 AM
hodgey hodgey is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Norway
Posts: 1,400
Thanked 383 Times in 324 Posts
Yeah there will always be some wiggling and instability due to VHS being an analog format. A (line)-TBC's job is to compensate for that, but mechanical or electronic problems during playback or recording can make it much worse. I am a bir sceptical of it being the heads themselves (unless they literally came loose or something) as that will normally cause a noisy or streaky image instead as they can't read the signal off the tape as well.

I would try to clean all the tape guides with alcohol (it's usually fine to use cotton buds for the stuff that's not the video head drum.), and also the pinch roller (not actually sure what's the best method here.) and see if it helps. It seems to be a late-model VCR with the very cost-reduced and simple funai mechanism though, which are not the most sturdy mechanisms out there, so I suppose it's not impossible something could have gotten bent or damaged in there from the dodgy tape.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
11-13-2020, 09:16 AM
Glitchy Windows 3.1 Glitchy Windows 3.1 is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 47
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
Yeah there will always be some wiggling and instability due to VHS being an analog format. A (line)-TBC's job is to compensate for that, but mechanical or electronic problems during playback or recording can make it much worse. I am a bir sceptical of it being the heads themselves (unless they literally came loose or something) as that will normally cause a noisy or streaky image instead as they can't read the signal off the tape as well.

I would try to clean all the tape guides with alcohol (it's usually fine to use cotton buds for the stuff that's not the video head drum.), and also the pinch roller (not actually sure what's the best method here.) and see if it helps. It seems to be a late-model VCR with the very cost-reduced and simple funai mechanism though, which are not the most sturdy mechanisms out there, so I suppose it's not impossible something could have gotten bent or damaged in there from the dodgy tape.
I did that yesterday with the capstan, pinch-wheel, and tape guides and the problem is still present so it is most likely the heads but ill do it and clean it again.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
11-14-2020, 01:41 PM
Glitchy Windows 3.1 Glitchy Windows 3.1 is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 47
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
IMPORTANT UPDATE

So if you do not want my explanation on how I fix this problem just know I had VCR input unchecked and I checked it which fixed the problem (see attachment "Fixed")

So I decided to connect my VCR to a Television that has a Composite/Component input. When I connected it and inserted a VHS tape I saw that it was working perfectly I quickly realized that this was not a head problem nor a problem with the tape guides.

Now I began thinking to myself if the VCR was not the problem then it must be the card that was causing the problem. But then I recalled that earlier I was digitizing miniDV tapes and did not see a problem with capturing it. So I thought it had to do something with the composite inputs of the capture card itself. But before I did that I decided to check the capture cards settings in virtualdub.

When I was searching on the settings it turns out VCR input was unchecked which when checked fixed the problem of the footage shaking and causing tracking problems. Hopefully, this helps others if they have the same problem.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg Fixed.jpg (60.8 KB, 4 downloads)

Last edited by Glitchy Windows 3.1; 11-14-2020 at 01:42 PM. Reason: To clrify my message
Reply With Quote
Reply




Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can dirty heads damage the tape? evilt1000 Capture, Record, Transfer 2 04-08-2020 01:28 PM
Bad tape or dirty heads? ragu0012 Capture, Record, Transfer 6 05-26-2019 07:53 AM
Dirty Hi8 heads? Best and safest way to clean? kyle2000 Capture, Record, Transfer 1 02-09-2019 11:04 AM
Digital 8mm dirty heads; Use a cleaning tape? reddragon81088 Video Hardware Repair 13 07-27-2017 07:28 PM
VHS maintenance/cleaning - What problems do dirty heads cause? cyber-junkie Video Hardware Repair 5 02-12-2010 04:31 PM

Thread Tools



 
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:17 AM