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10-23-2012, 06:06 AM
RetroTy RetroTy is offline
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Hi all,

Does anyone have some advice on what I should be doing with a tracking issue my Panasonic Ag-1980 has?

Recently the VCR has had tracking issues with 99% of my pre-recorded tapes. Even tapes it has played perfectly crisp in the past now have issues. The issue is that no matter how perfect the picture is within every 15-30 seconds the tracking comes up on the bottom third of the screen for a few seconds and then perfect picture and the cycle repeats constantly.

I've cleaned the tape path/heads with 99% isopropyl alcohol & chamwois swabs, which did not make a difference and I'm constantly fiddling with the tracking buttons when the tracking occurs but does not keep the tracking cycle from stopping.

Has anyone else had this issue with the AG-1980 and any advice on how to go about the situation?



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10-23-2012, 07:16 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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do you know the history of the unit?
the heads could simply be worn out.
one of the problems with AG-1980's is many where super heavily used by the studios/schools that originally bought them. they are also NOTORIOUS for bad caps.
almost all AG-1980's you find nowadays will need to be serviced.
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10-23-2012, 08:54 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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I want to start with something off-topic... RetroTy.com = nice job.

I took a gander at a dozen or so clips. I like that frame. I may have to borrow that idea for my own Youtube commercials project. I've been collecting commercials for about 2-3 years now as digital files, restoring them as perfect as possible. So far, I've only uploaded 2-3 of them to Youtube. I'll shift into full gear next year.

Your video is fairly well done, but I hear some audio issues that could be addressed in most of them. Definitely hang around here, and learn to work some magic with Audacity and Sound Forge (especially using the exclusive digitalFAQ.com Sound Forge filters download). Remove some hiss, some buzz, some fuzz, and then unmuffle the mono sound to sound more natural.

Where'd you get all of these? Your own tape recordings?

Getting back to the VCR...

This is probably just an alignment issue. I doubt heads or caps would cause such serious tracking-like problems. If it was a sudden change, not gradual, then there a chance that one of the guide posts slipped or something broke along the path. I don't work with non-JVC alignments too often, but this is what happens when a JVC deck goes too far out of spec.

Either get it professionally serviced (Jots, Southern Advantage, etc), or attempt a DIY job. Honestly, for alignment, I'd just get it serviced. There are special tools, kits and training that is needed for a proper alignment.

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10-26-2012, 05:50 AM
RetroTy RetroTy is offline
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Thank you both for the fast feedback regarding this issue!

LordSmurf, thanks for the nice words and the challenge to touch up my audio. I deliberately have been leaving the audio untouched out of fear that any noise removal I was doing was damaging the quality in the long run. I'll look into your SoundForge guide and try out the presets as something to do while I get my Panasonic serviced.

All the videos on RetroTy are from my own recordings & tapes. I wish I learned about this site a whole lot sooner, who knows how much farther I'd be along in terms of creating better quality in my videos. Where can we find your YouTube channel/link? I'm already looking forward to the upcoming year to see what you're putting out!

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