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  1. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Location: Oregon, USA
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    I was playing a tape today in one of my JVC VCRs and I noticed that it started to exhibit dropouts and then shortly thereafter it stopped and jammed in the player. I took off the cover of the VCR and got the tape out of there -- there was no apparent damage or splicing to the tape that I could see. I rewound the tape back into the shell and fast-forwarded the tape. Once the machine attempted to rewind the tape, it would seemingly slip (the drum that turns when rewinding would stop for a second and then resume spinning) and would eventually stop. I tried fast forwarding/rewinding the tape in two other VCRs to the same result -- each deck could rewind the tape for a little bit, but then would eventually stop. I could repeat this process several times and eventually get it rewound all the way I'm sure, but I wanted to get a handle on what could be wrong with this specific tape. This does not appear to be a problem with any of the VHS decks, as I had no trouble rewinding or playing back any other tapes subsequent to this incident.

    There isn't any apparent damage to the shell of the tape - could the tape somehow be sticking together due to humidity and what not?
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  2. Smack the broad side of the tape against a flat, slightly padded surface several times. That will smooth out the uneven winding on the reals.
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  3. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
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    The tape could be sticky, yes, absolutely. I get about one of these per year. Better clean your VCR now.
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
    FAQs: Best Blank DiscsBest TBCsBest VCRs for captureRestore VHS
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Location: Oregon, USA
    Search Comp PM
    Well that was sure fun :P Maybe I need to smack it harder!

    It still doesn't want to work. I opened up another VCR and dropped the tape in and attempted a rewind. After a few moments of rewinding, it just stops and I can see it pulling it tighter and tighter along the tape path and video drum and emitting a high frequency whine kind of noise. Fast-forwarding is resulting in the same now.

    Any other ideas? I am doing a conversion of this tape for someone else. They gave me about 16 tapes from 1982 till about 1997. This is the first one of the 11 I've completed to have this problem (the tape is from about 1992). It played fine for maybe the first hour of the tape before I started seeing the dropouts and ever since then it's been no fun!
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Location: Oregon, USA
    Search Comp PM
    I will ask him if there is any chance anything was ever spilled on it or anything. I went ahead and cleaned my video heads as well -- luckily I don't seem to have any equipment damage from it.
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  6. Member themaster1's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2006
    Location: France
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    Maybe the mechanism inside the tape itself is broken, not in good shape at the very least. Can't hurt to replace it with a brand new one imo.
    The reel must be well tighten and not loose.
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  7. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Location: Oregon, USA
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    I tried putting it into another shell, just for kicks, using the new shells parts and just transferring the reels. Same problem unfortunately.
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  8. Rewind by hand?
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  9. I would also suggest getting an el-chepo vcr player to test this sticky tape with, just to be safe.

    -vhelp 5171

    VHELP's - Sample Clips [last: 12.29.06],
    my YouTube videos
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  10. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Location: Oregon, USA
    Search Comp PM
    How long would it take a pro to rewind a tape by hand from end to end by hand? I tried just doing a little bit and I didn't get very far after a few minutes... I think he's on his own with this one!

    Yup, tried running it through one of my older VHS decks, but it won't play either, I can see a picture for just a moment and then it goes to all static and the high pitched squealing begins and the tape stops. It just seems odd that there is no apparent residue or anything on the tape that would indicate why it's sticking. Then again who knows where during it's life cycle that it might have been damaged. These are old home movies and I doubt he has even viewed the tape since it was recorded.
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  11. Member johns0's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2002
    Location: canada
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    What i did for sticky stapes is go to the section and clean with isopropyl alcohol,depending on the length just clean a section very carefully and let dry and rewind the cleaned part and go to next section,when done reassemble and try and play it.

    I have fixed over a thousand vhs and beta tapes and have had to fix all kinds of problems with tapes including this type.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  12. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Location: Oregon, USA
    Search Comp PM
    Thanks Johns0 -- If I am able to get to a sticky section I will try that, but as it is the tape cannot go more then a few seconds at a time in either direction without it stopping and stretching the tape.

    I was able to fast-forward it quite a ways past the original point where it started to have drop-outs and it would probably take me several hours rewinding it by hand at this point to get back to where the problem first occurred. It seems to be a problem with the whole tape reel at this point, although it might be caused by one particular section of the tape.
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  13. Member dphirschler's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2001
    Location: Kennesaw, GA - USA
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    Consider re-casing the tape. Find a brand new tape and transfer the guts to the new case. Maybe there is something wrong with the tape's mechanism. Hopefully the spools are still good...


    Darryl
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  14. Many childhood years ago I recall rewinding audio cassette tapes with a #2 pencil by taking two tapes and feeding the bad cashing's tape into a new casing and while laying carefully each of the two tapes end-to-end and then with the #2 pencil turning it. I've done a few like this in my days and even upgraded it by rigging up an motor from another toy and jamming the gear (they had tiny teeth for catching/gripping) into the end of an errasor from the #2 pencil and holding (balanced) and connect a 1.5volt or more and lettign it rip. It wasn't so bad and turned out well in the end. And once I had the new casing full, I would seal it and give it a re-rewind it worked well on a few back in the day.

    Course, with vhs tapes the casing and assembly are a bit tougher to work with and doubt a small toy motor will do. Instread, you could get a cordless drill--variable speed would work best--the weight of the tapes or pushed up against a wall or something should definately help keep things steady while you turn tapes pully. You could rig something up with the tapes similar to the above. Aftwards, you cn re-rewind the tape for good measure.

    -vhelp 5173

    VHELP's - Sample Clips [last: 12.29.06],
    my YouTube videos
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  15. Member dphirschler's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2001
    Location: Kennesaw, GA - USA
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    My guess is the little gear that moves from left to right, basically engaging one spool or the other, has gotten stuck or damaged. Recasing it should fix it. It's just the spools you want. Pick up the spools of tape and put it in the new case, snake the tape through all the mechanism of the new case, screw it shut. No need to manually wind the tape more than a foot or so. That ought to do it... if my guess is right.


    Darryl
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  16. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Location: Oregon, USA
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    Yup, I tried that (moving just the spools into a new shell but using all the new guts of the shell) and it still stubbornly behaves in the same way!

    I liked the idea of rigging up a power drill to do the manual dirty work mentioned above... luckily I talked to my friend and he says that Christmas 1990 isn't so important to him ("watching people open presents? Zzzzzz") so I think I will give it a pass, but I appreciate the help. I will have to remember the "whack the tape on the broadside" trick for later though as I've had tapes with similar problems, though none quite as unforgiving as this little bugger!
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