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  1. Member
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    I want it! But $800??? Not saying it's a particularly ridiculous price, but still painful.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/JVC-SR-W5U-VHS-S-VHS-playback-VCR-/140510382570?pt=VCRs&hash=item20b71249ea
    Last edited by jbd5010; 8th Feb 2011 at 23:53.
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  2. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    "Buy It Now" prices are typically high-balled to skim the market, and actually offer a convenience, for that minority buyer who will value time and need to higher priority than saving some money - such folk wants a guarantee instead of waiting for and/or chance losing this in a regular auction.

    Yes it is a ridiculous price and not for everybody, but it has its purpose.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  3. BuskerAlley.com zoobie's Avatar
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    be patient and try to find an auction that ends in the middle of the week (tues-thurs)
    I've found that much less people are available to bid then versus the weekend when everyone's on
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  4. Member
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    I'd love to have one of these machines, but I'm not into spending nearly that much for a VCR... my SR-V10U, AG-1980, AG-1970, and Quasar VHQ-960 are serving me well. I'd more realistically like to get my hands on a HR-S9800U/9911U or other 9xxx before I'd go nuts spending a ton on a W-VHS.

    I was posting it more because I think there are some people on here who *would* drop several hundred for one of these, and it's a rare occurrence to see one pop up for sale
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  5. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    If you have the V10U you likely won't need a 9XXX series model for much difference, unless it's newer. All it really offers is some extra RAM, which is useless for VHS if you have a full-frame TBC.

    I would spend the extra cash on an AV Toolbox or DataVideo TBC if you don't have one.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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    Thanks Puzzler. I recently got a NovaTrol2... you might've seen my "how do I use this" post... I figured out getting the right channel set, and I can see the proc amp working when I make adjustments. But, I'm pretty sure I don't have the TBC set correctly. Using the AG-1980 TBC makes a noticable difference (not drastic), but with the 1980TBC off, the NovaTrol appears to make no difference at all TBC-wise.
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  7. Member
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    Originally Posted by zoobie View Post
    be patient and try to find an auction that ends in the middle of the week (tues-thurs)
    I've found that much less people are available to bid then versus the weekend when everyone's on
    ^ This is a great observation. I'm going to make all of my auctions end on Sunday mid-late afternoon!
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    All mine used to end Sunday night before 11PM for maximum effect. That is before bedtime for Eastern Timers and after supper for Western Time zones. Worked great for almost 10 years....
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  9. Member
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    The SR-W5 sold late yesterday for the full $800.
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    I kind of doubt the "bought new" on this unit. It is missing the side panels, so it was most likely in a rack. The bunch of scratches he describes makes me think it was in a high working environment. The heads should be cleaned by a w-vhs cleaning tape the the unit originally came with. Notice that he doesn't mention having it. Or the power cord. Or the remote. And how do the heads need cleaning from "being in storage"?

    I have bought two of these machines on ebay. One I overpaid for. It was also in a working environment. On the second one, I had learned from my mistakes... I found one in the original box, in the original plastic, with the original manual, all cords it came with and the original W-VHS head cleaning tape. The only thing that wasn't original was the remote. While shipping was high, the auction ended around $300. So there are deals out there. You just have to be patient.
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  11. Banned
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    can someone explain what is so special about this vcr (that's what it is, right?) that warrants an $800 asking price for a used model? and how much would a new one cost?
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  12. I wish I read this thread before purchasing the item! Everything Kenneth M says seems to be true. It arrived yesterday in a Toshiba VHS/DVD recorder combo box with absolutely nothing but the unit. It's supposed to be bought new, barely used and stored away, but there's no remote, W-VHS head cleaning tape, hell there wasn't even a power chord! I'm thinking he just pulled it off a rack, or bought it from someone who did, and charged me a premium because I can't prove otherwise. It's certainly hard to imagine someone paid $5000 give or take for a unit and hid it in the closet w/o a single thing that came in the box.

    He claims w-vhs head cleaning tapes didn't come with the unit and any normal VHS cleaning tape will clean it perfectly, ignores the lack of remote, and says he must have forgot the connection and power cords (in other words, if he has to he'll come up with a couple generic $2 wires to shut me up).

    I'm not sure how much the unit has been used, or what I should do now, but the fact the 1st tape I'm trying to convert is being all kinds of temperamental despite being a master I don't recall being a problem tape isn't exactly giving me a warm and fuzzy feeling about my purchase. The reason I was willing to pay so much is I waste so much time babysitting my Panasonic AG-1980 (the one I have now has a problem where the Hi-Fi audio will indiscriminately start to flicking off for a second)!

    Is this a machine I'm going to want to use w/ the TBC on almost all the time (the Mitsubishi HS-HD200U seems this way because the DNR is combined w/ it) or generally only if the tape isn't playing stable (the AG-1980 seems this way as it'll add jitter to some tapes that are fine w/o it, particularly commercial masters)?
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  13. Member
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    JLG/JLG,

    My heart hurts for you, man. But bear in mind I spent $1300.00 on a unit like yours, except I got a remote. I haven't even tried it yet. I've already decided to retire it to the living room without even trying it. Haha...

    What I'd suggest is, if you're serious about owning a W5U, is get a yahoo Japan auction connection. auctions.yahoo.co.jp/ If you know anyone in Japan, it's a start. If not, you have a few choices. 1) Visit some forums and pick up on people that might be willing to help you out that live in Japan. 2) Contact Nicolas Santini who runs this site: http://home.q03.itscom.net/nsa/JvcHR-W5.htm He's a good guy. I've done with business with him in the past. He's active on ebay, laserdisc database, known as "n$a" on avs forum, but a word of caution... He is SLOW. It takes him forever to respond to emails, etc. Note: You cannot register on yahoo Japan auctions, they will not ship directly outside of Japan. You have to make a contact there, in Japan, first.

    Here's an example of some auctions right now: http://auctions.search.yahoo.co.jp/search?p=Victor+W5&auccat=&aq=-1&oq=&ei=UTF-8&slide...ab_ex=commerce

    There's one right now that includes the remote, W-VHS head cleaning tape, etc...

    Remember to search "Victor W5" in the auction site. Victor is the Japanese brand of JVC. It's the "V" in "JVC". The really good unit I got was from Japan.

    You do need a step-up converter because while the plugs are the same, the voltage is 10v less. So you might do some damage if you don't use a step-up converter.

    Anyway, besides the high shipping cost, I can't recommend this method more. Finding an unmolested SR-W5U here in the States just ain't gonna happen.

    Best of luck.
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    Those are some great links. I'd definitely pay $300 for one of these, I'll have to keep an eye out. I'm gonna have to run the Yahoo Japanese site through google's page translator....
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  15. Keep in mind that Japan got a lot of cool stuff that we didn't get. If I had to import a VCR, it would be one of the many neato Betamax models we never got, or one of those SVHS decks that can directly accept VHS-C tapes without an adapter.
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    Oh geez, that sucks. It sounds like you got totally hosed!

    I have a few of these SR-W5U decks -- one of them with a lot of issues as well -- can you specifically describe the problems it's exhibiting? The others work great, but I bought one of them from a member on here that I trusted and the other I got lucky on. The going rate seems around $500 these days, $800.00 is WAY too much for one of these decks missing the sides and with no return policy. It goes without saying that Rule #1 for these decks is never buy one without a return policy.

    The two big things to check when you get one are the audio connections -- make sure you're getting audio from the L and R channels (they are connected directly to the board and can easily be separated with one quick tug on some snug fitting cables). There are like a zillion boards in it too -- all of which can be displaced during shipping. How was it packed? It's a very heavy deck and needs a lot of support, especially given that the boards can easily come out of place. It might have got messed up during the shipping.

    The standard JVC remote will work great with it (LP20303-012) and actually will give you access to the Time Scan fast-forward (which the original remote will not, as I recall).

    For the deck I had that was a mess, JVC quoted me for around $700 for repairs IIRC, but were unable to find parts for it.

    Don't use a regular cleaning tape in it -- it specifically mentions in the manual (or on the cleaning tape) not to use anything but the tape they provide.

    The BIG benefit of the deck IMO is that it manages hi-fi audio better than any other deck I've tried. Rarely do you have to deal with the intermittent hi-fi audio noise that plagues the other JVC decks I've tried (not sure about Panasonics). I've had some issues with the linear audio playback on two of my decks though, although it may be power related, perhaps KennethM can share his experiences with that.

    Regarding the TBC, you can generally leave it on for most tapes, as it's more stable and has better performance than the other decks I've used, but it's still not perfect -- you're still going to get the little jumps that occur with these types of decks when the TBC is engaged. As usual, it really depends on your tapes, I have some where you'll get just a few displaced frames over several hours and on others, it's more frequent.

    If you have a lot of commercial masters, this is the deck to use. Whether or not it's appropriate for your other tapes depends solely on your tapes -- it is a sharper (and thus nosier) picture than most other JVC decks, so if your tapes have a lot of noise, another deck may work better for masking it.

    I am guessing this person bought the deck (without a return policy) and realized it wasn't in good working shape, stuck it in the basement for awhile and tried to pass it off on you. What is the serial # on the unit BTW? It may be irrelevant, but it is also missing the inspection sticker.
    Last edited by robjv1; 16th Feb 2011 at 22:49.
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  17. Member
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    Originally Posted by deadrats View Post
    can someone explain what is so special about this vcr (that's what it is, right?) that warrants an $800 asking price for a used model? and how much would a new one cost?
    If you get a good one, they are hard to beat. Excellent picture quality (especially on master tapes), can almost perfectly track any tape, hi-fi audio without the scratchiness, lots of nice front panel controls (the little adjustable Y/C color registration switch comes in handy), built like a tank, and it can take a beating (unless you throw it). In a nutshell, they improve upon what I felt are the flaws of the other JVC decks without too many new drawbacks.

    I think they are somewhat overrated in the sense that their rarity has added too much to their legend. They are hard as hell to find and they have their quirks like any other VCR, but in terms of raw performance it's hard to top.

    One of these days I (or maybe someone else) will get around to doing some video clip comparisons (just for fun) between the SR-W5U and my other decks.
    Last edited by robjv1; 16th Feb 2011 at 22:52.
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  18. It was playing the tape fantastically for 15 minutes then it started putting some waving and jittering in for the next 75 min... and my heart sank when I saw that. I can deal w/ machines being a bit finicky at the start, but once they are working to satisfaction I need to know they are going to keep working. Taking the TBC off and tracking helped some but didn't cure the problem. I think after some of the old in out I got it to give me a clean dub w/o the TBC and the next tape I did w/o trying TBC at all seemed to be okay the little when I had it on, but I'm in the process of watching them through to be sure.

    The serial # is 14210015

    What is the difference between the W5U cleaning tape and a regular VHS cleaning tape? I'm guessing from the manual I downloaded that it has something to do with the W5U one being dry and the others use a solution?

    More importantly, is there anywhere I can pick up a new or even used W5U cleaning tape?

    Are there any important functions you need the remote for, or is it merely a convenience and you can control everything from the front panel?

    Does the noise reduction switch only work w/ W-VHS tapes (which I don't have)?

    I'm surprised there is no sharpness adjustment (unless I'm missing something).
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    Originally Posted by JLG/JLG View Post
    It was playing the tape fantastically for 15 minutes then it started putting some waving and jittering in for the next 75 min... and my heart sank when I saw that. I can deal w/ machines being a bit finicky at the start, but once they are working to satisfaction I need to know they are going to keep working. Taking the TBC off and tracking helped some but didn't cure the problem. I think after some of the old in out I got it to give me a clean dub w/o the TBC and the next tape I did w/o trying TBC at all seemed to be okay the little when I had it on, but I'm in the process of watching them through to be sure.

    The serial # is 14210015

    What is the difference between the W5U cleaning tape and a regular VHS cleaning tape? I'm guessing from the manual I downloaded that it has something to do with the W5U one being dry and the others use a solution?

    More importantly, is there anywhere I can pick up a new or even used W5U cleaning tape?

    Are there any important functions you need the remote for, or is it merely a convenience and you can control everything from the front panel?

    Does the noise reduction switch only work w/ W-VHS tapes (which I don't have)?

    I'm surprised there is no sharpness adjustment (unless I'm missing something).
    Would it be possible to get a clip of when it becomes a problem?

    The way you describe it, it sounds like one of the boards is loose. Try taking the case off and look for some black pieces of foam. Where those pieces are positioned, try putting a LITTLE bit of downward pressure on the cards below when the problem starts and see if it goes away. There should be two boards, connected by a cable in the back end of the deck. Mine was the same story though (weird picture issues that went away or were greatly decreased once TBC was off or a little pressure was applied). Orsetto gave me this tip in another thread -- it's possible for these daughter cards to get knocked out of place or the solder joints to get cracked during shipping, especially if they didn't pack it well. The real danger of these decks is that they are PACKED to the gills with stuff, it's not your ordinary looking VCR on the inside. I just don't think they are meant to be shipped without extreme care.

    The manual states not to use any cleaning tape other than the WVHS tape provided -- it's on page 6. I'm not really sure why -- it is also a dry tape. I can't seem to find one online but I recall JVC listing it on their repair / parts inquiry at one point. This is the closet think I could find in the SR-W5U secition, might be worth a shot -- http://www.jvcservice.com/Service/JPartInq.asp?PgReq=DspDta&PrtNbr=PQ46419-1-2 I've never had any issues with just cleaning it myself though. The model number listed on the two cleaning tapes I have are WCD-5U. They are a creamy gray color and have several labels.

    There is one feature (not fully accessible on the front panel or with original remote) that is accessible with the JVC LP20303-012 remote I listed. The original remote only allow two FF/REW speeds during playback, but the "Time Scan Variable Speed Playback" functions common to other JVC SVHS decks work as well on this deck with the remote I listed, giving you six levels of REW/FF. The fastest available speed is not accessible with the original remote. It is handy if you need to quickly preview a tape. Note that it IS accessible with the jog/shuttle knob on the front panel during playback, but you have to hold it in that position, where with the remote you can just hit it once and it'll continually FF in that speed.

    Yes, the NR switch is specifically for WVHS tapes. There is no user adjustable sharpness control. The Y/C timing color phase correction switch is handy though, if you have tapes where the color registration is off. Make sure it's set to center as a default.
    Last edited by robjv1; 17th Feb 2011 at 17:49.
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  20. I once sold an item on Ebay, the buyer manhandled it incorrectly, blamed the machine, Ebay made me take it back an drefund the buyer, so a no returns policy does not mean you cannot return it if you pay PAYPAL, look into it.
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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  21. This is why I insisted that the seller double box the last VCR I bought on ebay. I flat out told them that if the item came damaged due to improper/poor shipping that I would be returning it. Yes, double boxing costs a little more, but your chances of damages during transit are greatly reduced. Also, it might be a good idea to open it up and clean it by hand, the tapes only do so much.
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  22. Member
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    Indeed! Just for comparisons sake, the mostly plastic JVC SR-V101US weighs about 6lbs (2.7kg), the mostly metal JVC HR-7600U and HR-S9911U decks weigh in at about 10.5lbs (4.8kg), but the SR-W5U weighs 20lbs (9.1kg). Plus the density of the electronics in there are higher than the other decks, so shipping it carefully would seem extremely important.
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  23. Member
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    By the way -- for those interested, I found this in the JVC SR-W5U Technical Manual (not the regular user/instruction manual) and here is what it says regarding the hi-fi audio and how it suppresses the "crackling" noise often present in these tapes. It's all Greek to me, with pages and pages of circuit diagrams and pin function tables.


    2.1.6 Dynamic distortion canceler
    Dedicated audio capacitor eliminates noise interference from other circuits.

    Due to the effects of distortion which occurs from the nonlinearity of hi-fi audio magnetic recording and playback systems, hi-fi audio chroma beats are generated during video playback. By electrically creating the distortion generated during hi-fi audio recording, superimposing with recording signals, and offsetting them during recording and playback, the hi-fi chroma crosstalk is reduced.
    And also if you are wondering why the TBC button is labeled "629 TBC"

    4.2.2 New 629 digital TBC

    The TBC (Time Base Collector) is a system which eliminates screen distortions and reproduces stable images by compensating time axis deviation (jitter) of scanning lines which occurs due to the tape running system. This unit mounts a 629 digital TBC. As the 629 digital TBC performs time axis compensation of the color signal (629 kHz) and luminance signal which have been converted to low bands, changes in hue which occur secondarily due to jitters are decreased. Compared to the conventional TBC, it demonstrates higher effects for high band jitters. In this system, using the advantages of the built-in type TBC in the VCR, the TBC is placed in front and at the back of the color signal demodulation system and time axis compensation is performed in the low band color signal stage to realize elimination of phase deviation caused by jitters. This method offers the merit of having no image deterioration caused by encoding and decoding which could not be avoided in the conventional TBC processing color signals using color difference signals.
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  24. Originally Posted by robjv1 View Post
    Indeed! Just for comparisons sake, the mostly plastic JVC SR-V101US weighs about 6lbs (2.7kg), the mostly metal JVC HR-7600U and HR-S9911U decks weigh in at about 10.5lbs (4.8kg), but the SR-W5U weighs 20lbs (9.1kg). Plus the density of the electronics in there are higher than the other decks, so shipping it carefully would seem extremely important.
    The Sony SL-HF860D Betamax I bought tips the scale at 20lbs. Here is a good link for how to properly ship a VCR (along with horror story photos): http://www.mrbetamax.com/Packing.htm
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  25. >The way you describe it, it sounds like one of the boards is loose.

    My setup didn’t really allow me to check it while it was playing, but I gave it a manual cleaning and attempted to check that all the boards were in properly. The ones you mentioned seemed solid, but there was a small one to the left of the tape that might have been a little loose.

    >Yes, the NR switch is specifically for WVHS tapes. There is no user adjustable sharpness control. The Y/C timing color phase correction switch is handy though, if you have tapes where the color registration is off. Make sure it's set to center as a default.

    I’m surprised there are so few adjustable options on such a high end machine. Assuming it’s working right, I should just be able to watch the 1st few minutes w/ the TBC on and if it isn’t jittery let it go, if it is, restart w/o it.

    What is the default setting for the TBC? Is it always on when you put a new tape in, always off, or whatever it was set for last? It would have been nice if there was a TBC indicator light that showed the entire time instead of just disappearing a few seconds after you pushed the button.
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  26. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by robjv1 View Post
    in the JVC SR-W5U Technical Manual (not the regular user/instruction manual)
    Just as a note...

    Anybody wanting it, can find it here: User Manuals and Service Manuals for VCRs
    a.k.a. http://www.digitalFAQ.com/forum/showthread.php/user-manuals-and-2668.html

    A number of us have been archiving manuals there.
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  27. Member
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    Originally Posted by JLG/JLG View Post
    What is the default setting for the TBC? Is it always on when you put a new tape in, always off, or whatever it was set for last? It would have been nice if there was a TBC indicator light that showed the entire time instead of just disappearing a few seconds after you pushed the button.
    Yes, the default setting for the TBC at tape insert is always on. Doesn't matter if you power down or not IIRC.

    Yeah, it would be nice if there were some more adjustable controls. I guess that's the one drawback of it being intended primarily as a WVHS deck, with a secondary property of being a great SVHS/VHS playback deck.

    Oh one other bonus I forgot to mention, in case you didn't realize -- the TBC in the JVC SR-W5U is a full-frame TBC and will defeat Macrovision as long as you don't feed it into a picky DVD recorder. It's VERY nice not having to use a secondary TBC / Macrovision defeater.
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  28. Member
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Originally Posted by robjv1 View Post
    in the JVC SR-W5U Technical Manual (not the regular user/instruction manual)
    Just as a note...

    Anybody wanting it, can find it here: User Manuals and Service Manuals for VCRs
    a.k.a. http://www.digitalFAQ.com/forum/showthread.php/user-manuals-and-2668.html

    A number of us have been archiving manuals there.
    Ah yes! That reminds me, I have a couple more for ya
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    What was the name of that book...oh yes, "Make Friends and Influence People" by Norman Vincent Peale. I never read it though. Got enough tech savvy friends in Japan that I could always order in anything I wanted from that country. The only thing that ever stopped me was the cost. Some of these "what the market will bear" prices are just fantastic. But if you want it bad enough...

    Thanks for the Digital FAQ links for service manuals. Now that I am getting into the "repair it yourself" phase I may need them. I could have got all my friend's manuals when he decided to end his shop last year but he binned them before I could get them. Too bad that. I do know several other tech friends with shops so I can see what they have for manuals and maybe photostat or scan them. I just need to find the time...
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