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  1. Member
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    I am a Newbie to this, so I don't know where to post this, but this is as good of a place as any.
    I was trying to rewind a VHS tape in a VCR and it sounded kind of noisy so I have tried to eject the tape out of the VCR and the tape strip got caught on something in the VCR so I tried to pull the tape strip out of it and think I pulled a little hard on the tape but not too hard to get it out. Now when I play any VHS tape I see that it's all static on the TV. The VCR worked fine before this happened. Did I pull the tape strip to hard? Is this an easy/simple fix? If I use any VHS tape in the VCR with the full static problem (i.e. play, rewind, fast-forward, etc.) will my tape be erased? I really don't want to have a repair person come look at it or buy another VCR.
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    You may have clogged video heads. You can try a cleaning cassette, although manual cleaning is recommended and not difficult (search the archive for instructions and follow them carefully). Clean the rest of the transport while you're at it. If that doesn't work, you may have yanked something out of alignment and the deck needs repair.

    Next time a tape gets stuck, take off the cover and see if you can gently work it out of the mechanism. I will always cut a tape and lose a few seconds of video rather than risk damaging irreplaceable VCR parts.
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  3. To clean the heads there is the digitalfaq approved method, 99% isopropanol and DSLR sensor swabs/chamois swabs.
    http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-capture/4330-how-clean-vcr.html

    Avoid cotton swabs
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/371233-Isopropyl-appears-to-have-ruined-my-Hi8-camcorder
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    That guide is pretty good, although I would not recommend cleaning gears with alcohol. You risk removing the oil and/or grease that lubricates them. If the grease is very dirty, it must be replaced, not removed.
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  5. Member hech54's Avatar
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    You should have cut the tape then removed the VCR's cover and carefully removed (not PULLED) the tape in the machine.
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    I did not think I have pulled on the tape too hard, just a little bit, I really don't want to cut the tape from the VCR in order to lose a few seconds of tape, and I have another question. Is 70% Isopropyl Alcohol good enough to clean it or do I need a much higher percentage? I don't think I have DSLR sensor swabs/chamois swabs, is there an alternative to this? I know now that Q-tips are not very good nor any other cotton swabs, but that is I think what I have.
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  7. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    Nope,use 99% Isopropyl Alcohol,use chamois for cleaning heads and q-tips for cleaning the control head and tape guides,
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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    Originally Posted by Rand251 View Post
    Is 70% Isopropyl Alcohol good enough to clean it or do I need a much higher percentage? I don't think I have DSLR sensor swabs/chamois swabs, is there an alternative to this? I know now that Q-tips are not very good nor any other cotton swabs, but that is I think what I have.
    The problem is that the other 30% is water, which could rust your heads. I get 99% isopropanol at Safeway. Cotton swabs are okay for other parts, as long as you don't leave lint in the machine. However, do not use cotton swabs on the video heads! They will catch, leaving a ton of lint and potentially damaging the heads. And once you break a video head, your deck is a doorstop. I buy chamois-tipped swabs on Amazon.
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  9. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    I do NOT recommend cutting the tape unless other options have failed (as then you have not only a glitch/loss, but you have a splice point which could further gunk up the machine, even using proper splicing tape properly).

    95% of caught tapes can be manually backed out, though you have to remove the top/case and release the brakes so the gears will work freely.

    Scott
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    Brakes? All you have to do is turn the tape load motor shaft by hand and the parts will retract in slow motion. Sometimes the tape gets pulled completely back into the cassette, at which point it can be ejected as usual. Otherwise, you then turn the cassette load motor shaft (sometimes it's the same motor) to perform eject in slow motion, carefully keeping the tape loop from getting snagged. The cassette door will still snap shut onto it, but that usually results in a slight and bearable crease.
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  11. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    I would recommend on splicing the tape since it has been creased and most likely has grease on it,it will clog the heads easily if not repaired.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  12. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    I do NOT recommend cutting the tape unless other options have failed
    I agree......IF the tape was important. So far the OP has only shown interest/concern with the machine.
    Last edited by hech54; 29th Mar 2016 at 00:27.
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  13. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    A bit of an introduction on how a VHS VCR works: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VHS
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    Well I really don't feel like buying something that I will probably use only once, and if I need to use them in a few years some of it might expire. I know now not to pull even a little hard if the VHS tape get stuck in the VCR and I was stupid and in a panic to take the tape out of the VCR. If there is/are any other alternative method(s) to fix it other than what is suggested I will use them if I have them, if not then I guess I either have to buy the suggested stuff, have a professional repair person look at it, or buy another VCR that works.
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  15. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    A common suggestion around here for cleaning a VCR head, is just to play a clean tape on the machine for 30-60 minutes. The theory being that anything stuck on the head will be rubbed off. No alcohol needed.

    Preferably a clean tape you don't care about, such as a blank one.
    Last edited by KarMa; 29th Mar 2016 at 15:23.
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    Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    A common suggestion around here for cleaning a VCR head, is just to play a clean tape on the machine for 30-60 minutes. The theory being that anything stuck on the head will be rubbed off. No alcohol needed.

    Preferably a clean tape you don't care about, such as a blank one.
    I don't think I have a clean tape or blank tape, just tape that has content on it. I am not sure if I would get a cleaning tape or a blank tape, even though what I said before that "I don't want to buy something that I will probably use once, maybe twice (i.e cleaning tape).", so I don't know what to do at this point.
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  17. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    No alternative: do the work - $ (or pay somebody else to do it for you - $$), or live with the mess.

    BTW, the "new tape scrub" trick only works with some types of clogging, not all. And "cleaning tape" can easily do more harm than good (contain fibers). The only sure way is to use lintless swabs & 99% alcohol manually (and you'll need to know where/how to apply it).

    Scott
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    There's a service tech on youtube that uses plain paper and alcohol. I've used lint free cloth without problems.
    The technique is to hold the swab/cloth/paper still against the head using moderate/light pressure and rotate the head
    counter clockwise. See this video at about the 8 minute mark.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JmarrPNs3w
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    If I do decide to clean the VCR with 99% Alcohol and the required swabs where exactly do I need to clean? I have done some research on these terms you are using and I am lost as to what these look like (I am a novice with VCR terms). I have included a photo of the VCR. It is a Sansui Model No. VCR4512. Click image for larger version

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    If there is a misalignment in the VCR, then I have another photo that might be helpful to explain this problem. Click image for larger version

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    I hope that these images will help better explain my problem.
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  20. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Wow that is a "Plain Jane" model huh?

    Clean the face of the drum, all of those metal spindles, the rubber and plastic roller(s), and the "head" with the ribbon cable attached to it.
    That's it. Not brain surgery.
    "Alignment" is NOT something you are going to fix/adjust on your own.
    If none of this works, head to Ebay, find a reputable seller and pick up a Panasonic player.
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  21. Member
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    Originally Posted by Rand251 View Post
    If I do decide to clean the VCR with 99% Alcohol and the required swabs where exactly do I need to clean?
    Insert a tape with the cover off and press PLAY. (If it doesn't work normally you may need to lower the room lights.) Take a picture showing how the tape is threaded through the machine. Then eject the tape, turn off the power, unplug the deck from the wall, and clean everything that the tape touched. You can use swabs everywhere EXCEPT the rotating drum.
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