I've been using my Panasonic AG-1980 without issue for months, after initially getting some chroma interference/barber poling issues fixed at a repair shop (blown capacitors).
Just the other day though, it mysteriously decided to play only static for one of my tapes. Concerned, I checked to see if the tape worked on another VCR...and it did. I tried another tape with the AG-1980, and it too played static at first, until it decided to show a picture (an extremely dark picture).
Thinking it might be head gunk, I let the machine cool down and cleaned the heads. Afterwards, it worked perfectly with both tapes I had trouble with.
Now, today...it's back to playing static again (or a green screen). A moment ago I thought, "Unless something is dirtying up the heads at an incredible rate, it must be something else." I've never used manual tracking before, but I just tried hitting the -/+ Tracking buttons dozens of times each, and it made no difference. The only way I can get it to show even a partial picture is by using the shuttle ring to rewind/fast forward.
Soooo...any ideas about what's wrong with it?
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I never knew that blown capacitors could cause complete static though, and I was expecting the issue to be more with the heads or tracking...but blown capacitors would at least explain the suddenness of the issue, and they're a lot cheaper to fix than the heads (and if it's the same cause as last time, I could probably negotiate a cheap repair). In the meantime, more opinions are definitely welcome.
Last edited by Mini-Me; 24th May 2011 at 19:15.
Keep in mind it's a guess - but I had a Hi8 camera with blown capacitors and all it played back was static. Fortunately, the shop swapped it out for a working model. The guy you're working with may give you a break seeing as you've just invested $200 and now this happens.
I cleaned the heads again, and now it's working once more. WTF? Could this be coincidence, or is something really making the heads unusably dirty this quickly?
Thanks for the personal experience by the way. If it doesn't turn out to be dirty heads, I'm hoping it's capacitors again (like it was with you).
I should mention, when I cleaned the heads a second time, my chamois DID come away dirty. It seems as though dirty heads really are causing the problem. Does anyone know what might cause heads to get dirty in a single day since the last cleaning though? Usually they should be good to go for months to years, right?