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  1. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2005
    Location: United States
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    I have a couple of 1980P decks (definitely my favorite decks after my Sanyo) that I've been very happy with. Both are still working and giving me a fairly clean picture, but as time passes I can sense the increased fidgity-ness. (Is that a word?) And I suspect the people out there who could breathe fresh life into them are all but extinct...

    I would not mind sending each in for a refresher - belts, caps, etc. - but am wondering if anyone knows people who do work on these units and do a good job at that. I had gotten a couple of PMs on this topic maybe a year or 18 months ago, but the names I received told me they have retired.

    Bob
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
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    You can try to PM the guy who started this thread, but he last logged in in December.
    http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/349818-Panasonic-AG-1980-%28Restoration-Repair%29

    If I remember correctly, our member orsetto talked recently (within 2 weeks) on getting VCR repairs and I think it was for this model. Whatever model he mentioned, he said that the repairs don't always last because the machines were built using really crappy substandard parts and you could pay many hundreds of dollars for a repair only to have the VCR die within months anyway.
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
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    P.S. I did a quick search and I can't find a recent orsetto post about the 1980P so it may have been a different model he talked about. You might contact him via PM about getting your repaired as he may know a little about who can do it.
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  4. Member vorp's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2013
    Location: USA
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    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    If I remember correctly, our member orsetto talked recently (within 2 weeks) on getting VCR repairs and I think it was for this model. Whatever model he mentioned, he said that the repairs don't always last because the machines were built using really crappy substandard parts and you could pay many hundreds of dollars for a repair only to have the VCR die within months anyway.
    orsetto was answering one of my questions, describing in great detail the repair process of the AG-1980. (I don't know if that's the same as the AG-1980P.) Here's the post:

    http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/361721-VHS-to-DVD-Why-aren-t-there-any-capture-card...=1#post2296530
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  5. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2006
    Location: Toronto Canada
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    Good thread going on in the previous link, but offer my input as to a direct answer.

    Originally Posted by swiego
    I have a couple of 1980P decks (definitely my favorite decks after my Sanyo) that I've been very happy with. Both are still working and giving me a fairly clean picture, but as time passes I can sense the increased fidgity-ness. (Is that a word?) And I suspect the people out there who could breathe fresh life into them are all but extinct...
    Almost anything can be a word if you put quotes around it.

    But as for the "fidgity-ness", what are you referring to? My 1980 has "moods". On any given day, it can decide to output fading or changing colors, herringbone patterns, higher-than-(whatever is) "normal" noise levels, and the like - different results even on the same tape. However, much of it can be cured by software. I've even fixed dropout patterns in some cases.

    I know this sucks, and it's always better at the capture level to correct such errors, but it is indeed 2014, and I have given up shopping around for a new 1980 when I'm almost done anyway. (I still have the JVC as well.)

    The good news is, even though the machines are declining, along with VCRs in general, and the tech for them, the software, and computer processing has evolved.

    Originally Posted by swiego
    I would not mind sending each in for a refresher - belts, caps, etc. - but am wondering if anyone knows people who do work on these units and do a good job at that. I had gotten a couple of PMs on this topic maybe a year or 18 months ago, but the names I received told me they have retired.
    As was mentioned, such refreshers won't last long anyway.

    In fact, that is the reason why. The 1980 was designed to be serviced regularly, kind of like automotive servicing/tuneups/etc. Any such work for the 1980, if available reliably today, would need to be done every so often regardless.

    Since such servicing by "qualified mechanics" is unavailable in reasonable supply (quality and quantity) many 1980s today have issues - mostly due to "neglect" (although not intentional among most of us here).
    Last edited by PuzZLeR; 18th Feb 2014 at 10:19.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  6. Member orsetto's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2007
    Location: NYC
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    As I have posted in similar threads, I don't feel the AG1980 or AG1980P or AG5710 (identical triplets) are a viable repair investment any longer. The cost is prohibitive, the results unpredictable, and durability of the repairs disappointing. These particular VCRs had a glorious moment, but their moment has long since passed, and they are now best remembered fondly as legends. No one in 2014 will be able to replicate the performance of these models exactly as discussed in VH threads of 2003-2007.

    But, logic flies out the window in the face of perceived personal need coupled with a capacious bank account. If you have the money to burn, and don't mind rolling the dice, there are certainly worse pursuits you can risk disposable income on. There are still a few AG1980 repair specialists who can do a decent restoration job. The two most well known are VH member Deter and the established service center JOTS Electronics in McAllen, TX. Deter takes on repairs as a private arrangement, PM him for details as he tends to drift in and out of the VH universe for months at a time. JOTS comes highly recommended by perfectionist VH contributors like LordSmurf. There was a shakeup at JOTS last year wherin some of their VCR techs departed, but LordSmurf has recently indicated those techs were hired back as private contractors who still work on models like the AG1980. Be prepared to pay more for repairs than you did to purchase the AG1980 itself: both private techs and commercial services charge upwards of $300 and fees can easily top $500. Add minimum $50 for two-way shipping of this large clumsy VCR and you're talking significant outlay for a repair that will almost certainly need to be repeated if you keep the 1980 for more than a year.

    You can also buy "pre-restored" new-old-stock units from places like the Southern Advantage Company. Prices are very high, $899 minimum, and SAC has a worrisome reputation (50% of buyers are thrilled, 50% say the units they received are crap). Again, your money is your money: if you can afford to take such chances, that is your business. But to anyone on a tight budget who can't afford mistakes, I'd recommend pretending you never heard of the AG1980. If you own one that is failing, sell it on eBay for scrap while there are still some people willing to pay $200 for it. Use the money to buy a Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U, a JVC SR-V101 or JVC D-VHS. None of these give the exact same performance of a "perfect" AG1980, but there is no longer any such thing as a "perfect" AG1980 and even back when they were perfect they had to be supplemented with one of these other VCRs anyway (the AG1980 has massive trouble with many tapes that play fine on these other VCRs, but not so much vice versa).
    Last edited by orsetto; 18th Feb 2014 at 14:15.
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  7. Fixing capacitors really isn't that difficult, its just tedious work given the number you have to replace. You can save a bunch just by disassembling the VCR and sending out individual boards to be recapped.
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
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    Originally Posted by NJRoadfan View Post
    Fixing capacitors really isn't that difficult,
    While this is true, you're oversimplifying things. orsetto has posted lengthy, helpful posts on this subject many times and basically repair of these units goes beyond replacing a few crummy capacitors and then calling it permanently fixed. If I remember correctly this unit used a lot of substandard parts well beyond just cheap capacitors and there's basically so much that can go wrong with the model that it's just not worth the cost and trouble to repair unless you have money to burn. As he has pointed out many times, many people have received back fully repaired and functioning units only to have them die perhaps 6 months later. The golden age of capturing VHS tapes is long gone but we continue to get new members who have only now decided to start doing it and they are often looking at old guides that recommended models like the AG-1980P, so they decided that they simply MUST get one of those, whatever the cost. In my opinion at this point we're basically in "take what you can get" mode for VHS capture and newbies would be better served to just get their tapes copied as quickly as they can with still functioning VCRs instead of worrying that they can't get DVD quality if they don't get an AG-1980P.
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