Quantcast AG-1980 VCR cassette door won't open - How to fix? - digitalFAQ Forum
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  #1  
06-12-2012, 04:21 PM
RonFree RonFree is offline
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Hi folks,

I'm a newbie here who just bought a Panasonic AG-1980 on eBay that was guaranteed fully functional. Well, it arrived packaged really well but the first essential step to functioning is a bust. The cassette door is locked (stuck, jammed, blocked?)! I don't don't want to force it too much but it is seriously inhibited on the right upper corner. Is there a sensor switch there or something that has malfunctioned? I need to decide whether to send it back (at a cost of $15+) or to try to get it fix. Is it something minor or major? Please give me your 2 worth!

Thanks a bunch!
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  #2  
06-13-2012, 07:18 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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There's a few things that can control this, including rubber bands, gears and motors.

I don't have the ability to open up my AG-1980 units right now, but that's what you'll want to look for. One good trick is to open up another VCR, and watch the various mechanisms that move around while a tape is inserted. All VCRs are essentially operating the same, in terms of the mechanical components. In fact, I believe other members at this forum have had this issue before, and discussed it -- possibly even with some photos attached to the posts. So you may want to search the forum for those past posts.

It is very possible that the unit functioned perfectly before it was mailed. VCRs can be damaged during shipping if jostled too much.

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  #3  
06-14-2012, 02:46 PM
RonFree RonFree is offline
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Thank you for your response lordsmurf.

Thanks to Frank Findley the tech at StudioSoundElectronics.com I got the jammed door problem fixed. The front panel had been installed wrong leaving a plastic tab blocking inward opening of the door. A slight rearrangement of the panel took care of it.

Next problem: Now the VCR will accept the cassette tape but it does not stay in the machine and, within about 3 seconds, it ejects the cassette and shuts off automatically. It seems like it is loading up properly and ready to play, but then ejects.

Any ideas about what is causing this malfunction?
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  #4  
06-14-2012, 04:49 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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at this point i would contact the seller and ask for a refund. it obviously isnt fully functional.
you shouldn't have to repair something you bought advertised as working.
i make it a point to always call out ebay sellers for false advertising or poor packing. and always get a full or partial refund.
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  #5  
06-16-2012, 02:51 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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It again comes back to rubber bands, gears, or other manual issues, as it was the first time. If this were a JVC deck, there'd even be a chance that one of the electronics was fried. For Panasonic, it could be some bad caps.

I think the eBay seller is full of BS. This problem definitely didn't happen in transit. I'd insist on at least a $150 refund, in order to have it repaired. Or the seller can refund 100% of it, and pay for the return shipping, since it was broken goods.

Some eBay sellers write "fully functional" when they see lights on a device when it's been plugged in. Most never test the actual functionality of the hardware, and few have any clue how to test it anyway. How hard is it to connect the VCR to a TV, insert a tape, press PLAY, and see what happens? Yet almost none of them do it, outside of real videographers selling their spare gear.

Since the front panel was installed wrong, it's obvious that the seller is/was an idiot.
Please do post the name of that seller here, so others know to avoid him/her/them. That's simply quite ridiculous.

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  #6  
06-19-2012, 11:54 AM
RonFree RonFree is offline
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Thanks for all the feed back. You are right. The unit was obviously not fully check out. As I read back over the ad it didn’t even say that it was. It just said that it powered up and that it was “guaranteed” to be fully functional. However, the seller was very gracious by not only giving a full refund including shipping but offered to send me a paid shipping label for the return. Since the unit was still malfunctioning and may not be worth repairing, I countered by suggesting that it would save us both stress, time, and money, if I just kept it. She agreed and promptly refunded the complete transaction through PayPal. The company is GC Surplus.

Perhaps the biggest lesson to be learned is to stay away from mass by-outs (when you cannot physically checkout the product) and stick with individual sellers who have actually used the item. This particularly applies to high-tech equipment with loads moving parts and caps, etc.

I have generally done well with eBay transactions.
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  #7  
06-19-2012, 12:02 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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well.. now with the full refund you can send the broken unit to Jots and have it gone through.
that way you will know the unit is 100%
and better than any used unit you will get on ebay
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  #8  
06-19-2012, 12:19 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Given the description here, I don't know that it can be repaired. In fact, there's no telling how damaged it may be.

Ron, I'll buy it for parts. I need some functional spare AG-1980P parts. I'd be willing to pay for shipping only, for starters. If the parts I need still function, I'd send over another $50 for you. And then I'd personally help you find a working VCR to meet your needs. As an alternative to $50, I could service (clean/test/examine) the VCR that I help you pick out. Send it here, then I'll send it to you.

Based on the descriptions so far, I almost have a feeling this was somebody else's "parts only" unit. I know this because I have a bad habit of not properly reattaching the front bezels/displays, because it takes too much effort. I'm not using the VCR anyway, so who cares if everything is plugged in properly? That's very common for parts-only computers, video gear, etc. Those are our "door stops".

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  #9  
06-20-2012, 12:41 PM
RonFree RonFree is offline
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For now I am going to hold on to it. When I get some time I'm going to try cleaning the mode switch. Thanks for the offer and I will keep it in mind.
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