Quantcast Hardware maintenance before capture? - digitalFAQ Forum
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10-28-2020, 12:10 PM
Cortez Cortez is offline
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Hello guys,
before starting to capture i organized my gears on a shelf like this:

Firstly they have more distance from the carpet and have more room around them (not that crowded). I planned it as a workstation. Sit next to it and start capturing.

Before i start to working i would like to maintain my gears. I don't need lower quality at the end because of some hardware issues so i would like to get rid of them.

I have already cleaned the surface but i also need to clean them inside. I noticed especially by the VCR's miniDV player when i bought it and first tested it the video and the audio was good. Nowdays the video is glitching and the sound is actually beeps. It doesn't have any effects only dust. I don't think other gears have moving parts or magnetic head just circuit boards so compressed air would be enough. Remove the cover and blow air from proper distance?

Cleaning VCR is more complicated. I get a lot of information from the topics. No cleaning cassetts, no Q-Tips, no cotton swabs. Q-Tips and cotton swabs looks familiar to me: plastic stick with a cotton ball at the end. You suggested foam or chamois instead. Google told me that chamois is some kind of leather? Also mentioned the cleaning liquid (isopropyl alcohol). I don't know how or where can i get it. Denatured alcohol would be fine? I already used it for cleaning my bike carburetor.

Also need to lubricate the moving parts?

When i bought the VCR the seller said that he just sent it to service. Maybe i should do the same but i am affraid that the technician ruin it like i did without these informations.


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  #2  
10-30-2020, 06:19 PM
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You're allowed to stack some items. The VCR tends to get hot, but not really the DVD recorders or TBC (externally, that is). So a few items could be condensed onto upper shelves.

For video color correction, even just mere observation, you don't want the plane skewed. Straight on viewing of the monitor -- and yes, even for IPS, even the best IPS.

Start with compressed air in the VCR, but do not let the liquid spew out.

I've noticed the quality of foam and chamois to have degraded significantly since the 2000s and 2010s. Therefore, I've adopted the plain paper method myself. I want to write a good guide on it, but the guide at the TGrant site will have to suffice for now. It's not exactly what I'd do, but it is close enough. IPA is best (91%+), not denatured.

Lube is not part of cleaning. For now, don't attempt it.

JVC MiniDV deck playback is very flawed, almost all decks have failed by now. Don't use it. It will more likely eat a tape than play it.

Sellers lie, service techs are idiots. Without details, just pretend it's had zero maintenance (because it probably has not).

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11-18-2020, 02:02 PM
Cortez Cortez is offline
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I found a video on YT about cleaning. He must be a forum member also because got the same information as i did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2UaOCZwbEc
  • Chamois swabs
  • No cotton buds
  • Videotap head cleaner or isopropyl alcohol
  • Swab stand still or moving slowly up while he rotates the head with his another hand
I also found a lot of videos marked with "professional" in the title and the video begins with spraying cleaning fluid all over the circuit board and using cotton swabs.

Is this cleaning video accurate or risky in some aspects?
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  #4  
11-18-2020, 02:22 PM
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I've not had time to write my guide yet.

For now, do this: https://www.tgrantphoto.com/sales/in...ken-video-head
Scroll down that page to Clean Video Heads.

Why did I change? Because the quality of chamois and foam swabs has gotten worse in the past few years. Too many snags on heads, and even one is too many. So paper from now on.

Note that I'm not fond of paper. It's still fiber, can leave dust. But at least it does not snag.

If you're really protective of your gear, then there are some (now expensive) dSLR sensor swabs that I use. I had a huge stash that I bought 10+ years ago, and am now down to my last box. Only use the Photographic Solutions brand.
For example: https://amzn.to/2KoVZGt

But paper is fine, I do that too.

How I disagree/differ from TGrant instructions:

Compressed air is fine. But never let it spew liquid, aka never turn the can sideways or upside-down. It's often required to clean the interior of the VCR with canned air.

For non-head path cleaning, foam swabs work great.

Chamois used to be fine. If you have old-stock chamois or foam, that you know is fine (ie, you've done this before, for years, using the same supplies), then your swabs are fine. If you're buying new swabs, even supposed NOS, assume it's junk.

I must emphasize: gentle pressure. Don't be a hamfisted brute, but equally don't be a wuss.

It never takes 10-20 pieces of paper. Maybe 3-4 at most.

Isopropyl alcohol dries almost instantly. 30 minutes is silly, 5-10 is more accurate (and even that's being overprotective).

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Yesterday, 04:27 PM
Cortez Cortez is offline
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While waiting for the guide to be written i translated TGrant's instructions.

They says i can test the video heads just by FF scan the tape. If the picture become "snowy" i have to clean. Well i sent the picture to my smart tv like JVC HR-DVS2 - S-Video - Panasonic DMR EH-65 - HDMI - smart tv. I don't see any "snowy" image. Maybe i should connect my VCR directly to an analog tv and check it again? I could send my video also to my digitizer PC. In VirtualDub when i entered the capture section and set the Video Source from tuner to svideo i see the picture on the screen. The picture was cropped and dislocated, but i get it in black and white once again. On the tv it was colored. I have to do some adjustments.
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