VideoHelp Forum

Try DVDFab and download streaming video, copy, convert or make Blu-rays,DVDs! Download free trial !
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 15 of 15
Thread
  1. I had to clean my vcr head drum the other night (actually gave the whole vcr a clean inc rollers and audio, etc). I use chamois Swabs with isopropyl alcohol. The problem is that instead of moving the drum in a counterclockwise motion, I moved it in a clockwise motion. The dirt that still came off the head from a previous transfer was staggering (old ex rental ). At any rate the next transfer I was going to do played and worked fine as it should ( which it did not do prior to the cleaning)

    This made me wonder, does the head spin direction if using the chamois method really matter? I will pay more attention and keep with counterclockwise spin, but overall had me curious. Any thoughts on this?
    Last edited by mazinz; 9th Nov 2015 at 23:41. Reason: isopropyl not denatured
    want to see some true 3d clips, custom figures, some hardcore music and other crap?? Check out my youtube page www.youtube.com/mazinz2
    Quote Quote  
  2. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Deep in the Heart of Texas
    Search PM
    It would make sense that a gap travelling past the surface of the tape would act somewhat like a plane (woodworking tool). And the trailing edge of the gap ought to pick up and retain more debris than the leading edge.
    So it would also make sense to reverse the direction while cleaning, so that it can loosen and "pull out" the accumulated debris. Because it's not just wiping & polishing the surface - there's a lot more going on on a microscopic level.
    (yet another reason why cleaning tapes are not recommended)

    Scott
    Quote Quote  
  3. Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    It would make sense that a gap travelling past the surface of the tape would act somewhat like a plane (woodworking tool). And the trailing edge of the gap ought to pick up and retain more debris than the leading edge.
    So it would also make sense to reverse the direction while cleaning, so that it can loosen and "pull out" the accumulated debris. Because it's not just wiping & polishing the surface - there's a lot more going on on a microscopic level.
    (yet another reason why cleaning tapes are not recommended)

    Scott
    And that makes sense and probably why I was able to clean out a lot of debris going in that direction. I am sure everyone at some point has spun that drum one way or the other. I can understand if it had a resistance going in the other direction or something with the design of it, but I don't think it has. Was never sure if it was just one of those mythos that it should only be cleaned in one direction and not the other (after all i do not want to end up doing anything that would otherwise harm the machine), but from this point on I may do clockwise first to loosen and remove and then final it with counterclockwise to get everything else.

    Thanks again-
    want to see some true 3d clips, custom figures, some hardcore music and other crap?? Check out my youtube page www.youtube.com/mazinz2
    Quote Quote  
  4. Best way to clean head drum is use a stripe of the soft and clean paper wetted with pure isopropyl alcohol.
    http://columbiaisa.50webs.com/vcr_cleaning.htm
    Quote Quote  
  5. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Deep in the Heart of Texas
    Search PM
    Only if the paper in question can be guaranteed to not release its fibers (rare). And only when the alcohol truly is pure, unlike the 70% that was mentioned in the article.

    Scott
    Quote Quote  
  6. Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    Only if the paper in question can be guaranteed to not release its fibers (rare). And only when the alcohol truly is pure, unlike the 70% that was mentioned in the article.
    Wow, you are right:
    "Using a piece of clean typing paper soaked in 70% isopropyl alcohol by lightly pressing against video drum while turning the top portion with your other hand."
    That advice is incompetent. The 30% water will corrode the heads. Completely unacceptable advice.

    I have never been a fan of the paper "trick." The chamois swabs are expensive, but they are the right tool for the job.
    Quote Quote  
  7. There is special paper to clean optics (lint free, soft - no risk to scratch), usually IPA is over 99% - not sure about US but in Europe usually 99.9%.
    Denatured alcohol can be more dangerous than 70% IPA (denatured alcohol usually have water plus intentionally added impurities to denature alcohol).
    I believe that chamois swabs are not easily available in Europe...
    Quote Quote  
  8. Originally Posted by pandy View Post
    Denatured alcohol can be more dangerous than 70% IPA (denatured alcohol usually have water plus intentionally added impurities to denature alcohol).
    You are correct that denatured alcohol has additives. They are put there to discourage drinking something that is poisonous. I think you mean "dangerous" in the sense that these additives could do more damage to VCR heads than the water in rubbing alcohol (isopropyl with water added). I agree that they could, although I'm not sure which is worse, the additives in denatured alcohol, or the water in rubbing alcohol.

    The first reason why denatured alcohol might not be very good for cleaning heads is what you already mentioned: the additives might do harm to the heads. The other reason is that the actual alcohol in denatured alcohol can be something other than isopropyl (e.g., ethyl alcohol). I am not certain whether other alcohols will be as unreactive (if that is a word) as is isopropyl alcohol. Isopropyl can be used on many different materials without harming them (although you should always try to test if you're not sure). I don't know if the same is true for ethyl alcohol.

    So, I still strongly recommend against using anything other than pure isopropyl (99% pure, or better): denatured is bad because of the additives, and 70% isopropyl is probably even worse because of the corrosive qualities of the water contained in that solution.
    Quote Quote  
  9. I should have corrected sooner that I am using IPA isopropyl alcohol from chemtronics, not denatured like I mentioned in the first post (which has now been corrected). Bought it at Mcm.
    http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/20-1355
    want to see some true 3d clips, custom figures, some hardcore music and other crap?? Check out my youtube page www.youtube.com/mazinz2
    Quote Quote  
  10. Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    Originally Posted by pandy View Post
    Denatured alcohol can be more dangerous than 70% IPA (denatured alcohol usually have water plus intentionally added impurities to denature alcohol).
    You are correct that denatured alcohol has additives. They are put there to discourage drinking something that is poisonous. I think you mean "dangerous" in the sense that these additives could do more damage to VCR heads than the water in rubbing alcohol (isopropyl with water added). I agree that they could, although I'm not sure which is worse, the additives in denatured alcohol, or the water in rubbing alcohol.

    The first reason why denatured alcohol might not be very good for cleaning heads is what you already mentioned: the additives might do harm to the heads. The other reason is that the actual alcohol in denatured alcohol can be something other than isopropyl (e.g., ethyl alcohol). I am not certain whether other alcohols will be as unreactive (if that is a word) as is isopropyl alcohol. Isopropyl can be used on many different materials without harming them (although you should always try to test if you're not sure). I don't know if the same is true for ethyl alcohol.

    So, I still strongly recommend against using anything other than pure isopropyl (99% pure, or better): denatured is bad because of the additives, and 70% isopropyl is probably even worse because of the corrosive qualities of the water contained in that solution.
    Problem with ethyl alcohol is water - ethanol in normal conditions form mixture with water at 96% and it is extremely difficult to remove this water. Add-ons used to produce denatured alcohol usually leave some dry remains, side to this ethyl alcohol is simply more expensive as usually government taxing ethanol higher due potential possibility to be consumed by humans.
    And yes - IPA is widely used in industry as one of common solvents.

    Going back to paper - regular laser printer paper is dust free (and glass powder free - very important as powdered glass is used in paper industry as filler - glass powder will work as fine sand paper - sometimes can be useful but usually not) however i always recommend paper dedicated to clean optics - for example http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/510286-REG/Tiffen_EK1546027T_1_Lens_Cleaning_Tissue_50.html .
    Quote Quote  
  11. Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Finland
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by pandy View Post
    I believe that chamois swabs are not easily available in Europe...
    At least my local electronics shop here in Finland sells Chemtronics chamois swabs. And in any case that is hardly a problem during the age of internet commerce
    Quote Quote  
  12. Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    San Francisco, California
    Search PM
    Here in California, I buy 99% isopropanol at Safeway!
    Quote Quote  
  13. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto Canada
    Search Comp PM
    You can use a cleaning tape, but these things only work on certain VCRs from my experience, and very ineffective on others.

    However, the two best ways are actually:

    1) Opening it up and cleaning it yourself with pure alcohol and swabs. There are many guides on YouTube on this (but never understood the one about using a business card for the drum).

    2) Playing a brand new tape into the machine for a good 30-60 minutes. (You can have more than one cleaning this way.)

    Originally Posted by johnmeyer
    You are correct that denatured alcohol has additives. They are put there to discourage drinking something that is poisonous.
    It won't discourage Canadians during the winters here.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
    Quote Quote  
  14. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
    Search Comp PM
    I like to shave against the grain.
    Same concept.
    Quote Quote  
  15. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    US
    Search Comp PM
    60 or 120 grit sand paper?
    Quote Quote  



Similar Threads