Quantcast JVC HR-S9600U playback issue on many (but not all) tapes? - digitalFAQ Forum
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  #1  
02-14-2015, 02:18 PM
flokofcgulls flokofcgulls is offline
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Hey folks, I have an issue I've been troubleshooting for a couple months now. I've come to the conclusion that it can't be resolved, but my lack of a reasonable explanation for it is driving me nuts, so I'm hoping someone here might be able to explain why this problem is occurring.

I have a JVC HR-S9600U that I purchased used about six months ago. It was indicated that it had only been used a handful of times, and had been in storage ever since. When I received it, I did a basic head cleaning on it and tested it with three different tapes, and had no issues.

Eventually I started running into tapes that will just not play correctly, and they all show the same symptoms. First the timer on the front of the unit will stop incrementing, even though the tape is still playing. Then, the picture will start getting snowy like the tracking is off, and go out completely to a blue screen, and then come back in a few seconds later. The amount of time the tape plays between this happening seems to vary, but on average it happens every 10-20 seconds.

This problem happens on both SP and EP tapes, commercial releases and TV recordings. They symptoms are similar to what you'd see with Macrovision, but I'm certain it can't be that because of two reasons: TV recordings can't be copy protected, and my lower-end JVC HR-5900U will play all of these tapes with no problems in the same setup.

I would be inclined to think that the 9600 is faulty in some way, but I don't think it is. When I started having issues, I tracked down a reputable VCR repair expert that serviced the unit for me. He said internally it was in great shape parts-wise, just needed a deep cleaning, and also there was some oxidation on the capstans that he removed. I can select certain tapes that I know will work on it, and they play absolutely perfect with no issues at all.

So with that being the case, I would be inclined to think that the tapes were the problem...but, my lower-end 5900 VCR will play all of these tapes with no problems, although they don't look quite as good without the TBC/NR feature in the 9600.

So my troubleshooting suggests that it can't be the tapes, and it can't be the VCR...but it has to be one or the other? I've ruled out everything I could possibly think of, such as EMI/wireless interference, bad cables/connectors, etc. At this point I'm totally baffled.

Can anyone explain this? Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
02-17-2015, 07:31 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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How did you do the head cleaning? The wrong method can severely damage heads.

Gravity majorly affects head alignment. All VCRs need periodic realignment. A 'tracking issue" is often, in actuality, an alignment problem.

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02-18-2015, 04:20 PM
flokofcgulls flokofcgulls is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
How did you do the head cleaning? The wrong method can severely damage heads.

Gravity majorly affects head alignment. All VCRs need periodic realignment. A 'tracking issue" is often, in actuality, an alignment problem.
After doing some research, I ended up following the guide found here. I took special care with the read/write heads as noted on page 4, making sure to apply the paper horizontally, and not moving it vertically while rotating the drum.

I'm confident I did not damage the heads while cleaning, because the unit still works great on some tapes. If the heads were damaged, I would expect the unit to not play any tapes correctly, do you agree?

As for the alignment, I just double-checked my work order I received back from the technician that serviced it for me, and he did perform an alignment. As with the head cleaning, if there were an alignment problem I would expect all tapes to have issues, not just particular ones.
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