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07-02-2012, 11:26 PM
Hackerpcs Hackerpcs is offline
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What do you think is the best way to clean my VCR's heads? Is something like this
good or may cause problems to the VCR?
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Someday, 12:01 PM
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07-19-2012, 07:13 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Never use head cleaner tapes.

Those are only good at two things:
  1. Scratching/damaging the heads
  2. Moving the dirt around, not actually cleaning anything.
Also never use Q-tips (cotton swabs). Use chamois swabs, or even more modern sensor swabs made for cameras.

About.com (now defunct site) made a decent step-by-step guide:
WARNING: Make sure you have all the proper screwdriver(s), chamois, cleaning solution, etc... before starting this process. DO NOT USE Q-TIPS.
  1. Eject any tape from the VCR and unplug it from wall current.
  2. Unplug any other cables from VCR (Cable, Antenna, Audio/Video Cables, etc..).
  3. Place VCR on flat surface, such as a table covered with newspaper or cloth to protect table surface.
  4. With the appropriate screwdriver, remove VCR cover carefully.
  5. You will see a shiny round drum--this is the Head Drum. Take an isopropyl alcohol-dipped chamois tipped cleaning stick and place it on the Head Drum with light pressure.
  6. Manually rotate Head Drum with your free hand (it spins freely), keeping chamois stick stationary, allowing fluid to clean the drum (Never move the chamois stick in the vertical direction-you may snap off Head protrusions on the drum).
  7. With fresh chamois tips and alcohol, now clean the Stationary audio head, capstans, rollers, and gears. Check for dust. Do not get excessive fluid on any parts.
  8. Clean Belts and Pulleys using fresh chamois tips, once again, do not use excessive fluid.
  9. Clean dust off Circuit Boards using a mini-vacuum cleaner and/or compressed air (Use just enough force to remove the dust and dirt).
  10. Let machine site a few minutes after finishing above process.
  11. With the VCR still open, plug into wall and TV, turn on VCR and insert a recorded tape. (Do not touch any of the interior workings of the VCR or interior metal cabinet during this process).
  12. Press Play on VCR and confirm that everything is functioning correctly and picture and sound is restored.
  13. Repeat steps 1-10 if results are not satisfactory.
  14. Eject tape, Unplug VCR from wall, uplug all cables.
  15. Screw VCR cover back on and place back in original location with proper hookups.

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07-19-2012, 09:45 AM
juhok juhok is offline
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Be very careful with compressed air. One misdirected spray of air and you have lubricants all over the wrong places. If following this guide, I might add vinyl/etc gloves for obvious reasons. Upper drum and capstan area is the most important and gets dirty quickest. I've done this a lot and still occasionally f- something up due to not paying attention or shaky hands. Be very careful and if it's an expensive piece of gear, consider paying a few bucks for a professional service.
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