#1  
03-19-2020, 09:25 PM
lojelo5 lojelo5 is offline
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Hi guys

Would these swabs be ok to use to clean the heads.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...8PSR7LLF&psc=1
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  #2  
03-20-2020, 06:51 AM
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Yes. I use those.

Also use 91%+ isopropyl alcohol.

Remember to be gentle, don't use force, gently glide the swab against the head to remove debris.

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  #3  
03-20-2020, 01:24 PM
lojelo5 lojelo5 is offline
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Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Yes. I use those.

Also use 91%+ isopropyl alcohol.

Remember to be gentle, don't use force, gently glide the swab against the head to remove debris.
Nice one, thought I would get this 100 pack, some of the double ended ones were the same price but you only got 15 swabs.

I have some 99% isopropanol is that ok?

Thanks for your advise lordsmurf
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  #4  
03-20-2020, 02:06 PM
josem84 josem84 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lojelo5 View Post
Hi guys

Would these swabs be ok to use to clean the heads.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...8PSR7LLF&psc=1
Don't buy those swabs. Those are not like the regular chamois swabs seen in other marketplaces. You will notice it once you have them with you. You can damage your heads permanently. Use a piece of printing paper and 99% IPA. Safest way to clean your heads.
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  #5  
03-20-2020, 02:40 PM
lojelo5 lojelo5 is offline
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Reading the comments about these particular swabs I probably won't buy these ones. I would never use any kind of printing paper on a vcr head.
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  #6  
03-20-2020, 02:46 PM
josem84 josem84 is offline
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Originally Posted by lojelo5 View Post
Reading the comments about these particular swabs I probably won't buy these ones. I would never use any kind of printing paper on a vcr head.
That's the safest way to clean the video heads, and the most effective one. Ask any repair technician. In fact, that's how it was done by all Sony, Panasonic... repair technicians back in the day, and still today. The exception to this is when you're dealing with metal type tapes where the paper trick is not as effective as with other type of tapes.
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  #7  
03-20-2020, 03:11 PM
lojelo5 lojelo5 is offline
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So this forum actually advises you not to use any kind of paper on vcr heads and your saying it's ok!

http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/home...html#post11353

I personally myself would never use paper it's too hard.
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  #8  
03-20-2020, 03:19 PM
josem84 josem84 is offline
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Originally Posted by lojelo5 View Post
So this forum actually advises you not to use any kind of paper on vcr heads and your saying it's ok!

http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/home...html#post11353

I personally myself would never use paper it's too hard.
Do whatever you want... you're free to follow my advice or not. This forum is not suggesting against the use of printing paper to clean heads, they share another method which consist of using chamois swabs which is ok too, but they should be the right ones, not any swab like the ones you linked. And no, paper is not hard on the heads, not at all. I don't know where you get all that information but it's all wrong. Again, if in doubt ask any repair technician about the method used in their repair shops... you will be surprised.
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  #9  
03-20-2020, 03:29 PM
lojelo5 lojelo5 is offline
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Sorry if I'm coming across as not listening, don't get me wrong mate I am taking your advice in. Just the forum has always advised never to use paper in any kind of form. I will buy better quality charmois swabs though these look a bit better

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...Fs4rGKunFkYyPU
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  #10  
03-20-2020, 03:40 PM
josem84 josem84 is offline
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Originally Posted by lojelo5 View Post
Sorry if I'm coming across as not listening, don't get me wrong mate I am taking your advice in. Just the forum has always advised never to use paper in any kind of form. I will buy better quality charmois swabs though these look a bit better

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...Fs4rGKunFkYyPU
My advise is coming from a very good friend of mine, which is a retired Sony repair technician. He's the one who services all my video gear. He gave me these tips many many years ago. Most pros use this method because it's the safest and most gentle on the heads.

Here you have some pros using this exact same method...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Jma...&frags=pl%2Cwn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csdx...&frags=pl%2Cwn
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  #11  
03-20-2020, 04:37 PM
lojelo5 lojelo5 is offline
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I have watched videos by those 2 loads of times some good tutorials. I will give it ago mate with paper I was just worried using it on the head drum. I take it using something like blotting paper would be a no go, it's a good absorbent but would it break when turning the head drum?
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  #12  
03-20-2020, 04:55 PM
josem84 josem84 is offline
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Originally Posted by lojelo5 View Post
I have watched videos by those 2 loads of times some good tutorials. I will give it ago mate with paper I was just worried using it on the head drum. I take it using something like blotting paper would be a no go, it's a good absorbent but would it break when turning the head drum?
Don't use blotting paper, that will ruin your heads. Use just a clean piece of paper soaked in 99% IPA. The paper needs to be soaked in IPA... 99% IPA will evaporate almost instantly, in a matter of seconds. You can use paper too to clean the upper drum portion by pressing the piece of paper against the upper drum while turning it counterclockwise. Use a cotton swab to clean the lower drum.

Last edited by josem84; 03-20-2020 at 05:11 PM.
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  #13  
03-20-2020, 05:09 PM
lojelo5 lojelo5 is offline
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Yeah thought it would be a bad idea.
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  #14  
03-20-2020, 07:02 PM
hodgey hodgey is online now
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I've used these specifically (there are some cheaper double-side similar ones.)
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  #15  
03-21-2020, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josem84 View Post
My advise is coming from a very good friend of mine, which is a retired Sony repair technician. He's the one who services all my video gear. He gave me these tips many many years ago. Most pros use this method because it's the safest and most gentle on the heads.
Here you have some pros using this exact same method...
Don't use blotting paper, that will ruin your heads. Use just a clean piece of paper soaked in 99% IPA. The paper needs to be soaked in IPA... 99% IPA will evaporate almost instantly, in a matter of seconds. You can use paper too to clean the upper drum portion by pressing the piece of paper against the upper drum while turning it counterclockwise. Use a cotton swab to clean the lower drum.
Paper is fibrous. You're essentially rubbing it with tiny coarse tree bark. Terrible idea.

I've seen so-called pros that still use Q-tips. The term "pro" doesn't sway me at all. Pro/professional is sometimes just a misused label. At the root, it means "doing something for money", but for others it extends to ethics and methodology. You must learn to discriminate the two, not all pros are equal.

In terms of delicacy, heads are not much different from a dSLR sensor. And no sane photographer would rub paper on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by josem84 View Post
Don't buy those swabs. Those are not like the regular chamois swabs
Those are foam swabs, non-fiber, specifically made for delicate optical applications. Those are fine. I use those, and have refurb'd at least 100 VCRs in recent years.

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  #16  
03-21-2020, 10:40 AM
lojelo5 lojelo5 is offline
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I Couldn't find the post where you mentioned using paper was a terrible idea so thank you for clarifying this for me lordsmurf.
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  #17  
03-21-2020, 12:29 PM
josem84 josem84 is offline
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Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Paper is fibrous. You're essentially rubbing it with tiny coarse tree bark. Terrible idea.

I've seen so-called pros that still use Q-tips. The term "pro" doesn't sway me at all. Pro/professional is sometimes just a misused label. At the root, it means "doing something for money", but for others it extends to ethics and methodology. You must learn to discriminate the two, not all pros are equal.

In terms of delicacy, heads are not much different from a dSLR sensor. And no sane photographer would rub paper on it.


Those are foam swabs, non-fiber, specifically made for delicate optical applications. Those are fine. I use those, and have refurb'd at least 100 VCRs in recent years.
Those swabs you said you used in the first place are not designed to be used for cleaning video heads. I know that because I've bought them for other application and the material is different of that found on other chamois swabs found on other sites. If you use those swabs you're pretty much asking for trouble. The web style design of the material used with these will get caught on the heads and fuck them up permanently. I hope the OP doesn't follow your advice and buy them because he will 100% sure trash his pricey VCR.

The swabs linked by hodgey are perfectly fine for this task. Those are good.

Your "so called pros" are official technicians who have worked for brands like Sony, Panasonic... for more than 30 years. If I had to choose between the advice given by some Internet dude and the advice coming from any of them... guess what would be my choice. I've seen people damaging the heads permanently by failing to hold the grip with those swabs. You always want to have the last word on everything and you sometimes fail miserably. Much like when someone in the video field tries to explain the concepts of networking to a networking engineer. By the way... cleaning mode switches, getting the timing right, replacing gears, lubing mechanisms, re-capping... is not what I would call a professional refurbishment job. Anyone can do that. I have "refurbished" many VCR's too but I wouldn't call myself a repair technician...

Having said that... I'm out. Good luck to all of you.
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  #18  
03-21-2020, 12:52 PM
lojelo5 lojelo5 is offline
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Hi josem84

I have taken all advice in and believe me I won't be buying the ones I posted in the 1st link but I posted another link with the same kind of swabs as hodgey posted.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/MG-Chemical...ustrial&sr=1-1

These will be the ones I will be buying when they are back in stock.
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  #19  
03-21-2020, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josem84 View Post
Those swabs you said you
The web style design of the material used with these will get caught on the heads and fuck them up permanently.
Then something must be wrong with those swabs from Amazon, because mine are fine. No snagging. Either that, or something has changed in past years, and the newer versions simply look the same? It's been years since I bought my (now gone) 100 pack, also from Amazon. I mostly used dSLR sensor swabs anyway, had a massive stockpile from over a decade ago. (Thanks to self-cleaning sensors, it's rarely needed these days. Apparently I overbought a lifetime supply!) I see it says to be open-cell, and that one closeup photo is different from the others, looks rough. On 2nd closer inspection, I probably agree with you.

There are also these: https://www.amazon.com/Read-Right-Cl.../dp/B00A6ZC09I
Mine looked like that, but with green stalks.

I may buy a pack of both it and the MG chamois. I'm out of cleaning supplies now.

Quote:
The swabs linked by hodgey are perfectly fine for this task. Those are good.
Chamois works.
dSLR swabs work.

Quote:
some Internet dude
Isn't everybody an "internet dude" these days? Who's actually not online?

Quote:
Much like when someone in the video field tries to explain the concepts of networking to a networking engineer.
This comment amuses me. Do you have any idea how much of Broadcast Engineering magazine is dedicated to networking? That's actually why I unsubscribed several years ago. It became less about video hardware/software, and more about multicast networking. Ugh. I actually know more about networking than I'll ever need to use. I sat through seminars where I really could have used a pillow. It's both interesting and supremely boring at the same time.

Quote:
cleaning mode switches, getting the timing right, replacing gears, lubing mechanisms, re-capping... is not what I would call a professional refurbishment job. Anyone can do that. I have "refurbished" many VCR's too but I wouldn't call myself a repair technician...
Refurb isn't repair, and what you describe is only part of a refurb process. Not all refurbs are equal either, and really vary based on what the deck needs to be as like-new as possible. It's actually getting ugly out there these days, far less refurb candidates than even a few years ago, too many decks are ruined irreparably. Ironically by following bad Youtube advice, and overcleaning and miscleaning heads.

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