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  1. Recently I purchased a Panasonic NV FS 200 deck.
    It's comparable to AG-1980P:
    http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-restore/1567-vcr-buying-guide.html

    But it does not work as I expected.
    About 90% of my recordings have very bad picture.
    The tapes may not be perfect but the picture is just fine on my own, old Sanyo deck (VHS, no TBS, composite).
    I'm attaching samples for comparison.

    It looks like it's very fragile and very prone to even smallest tape's defects / imperfections.

    What do you think? Is this fixable? Did anyone have similar experience?

    PS. I cleaned the head. it didn't help
    Image Attached Files
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  2. Member
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    Probably bad tape wrap around the video drum. Repair requires specialized tools, test tape, and oscilloscope.
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    One simple thing you can do is see if the entrance and exit roller guides are going all the way to their stops. They travel on little sleds along tracks stretching from the cassette out to the drum. Sometimes there is gunk that keeps them from traveling all the way.

    Also, the height of these guides is crucial to video tracking, but you usually have to take things apart to adjust them.
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  4. Thanks for the tips.
    I opened the deck and looks fine to me (but I'm new to it and may have missed something).
    I could take a recording of the mechanism and upload it here if that helps.

    Also contacted several repair shops here in poland and they say the heads is broken or exhausted.
    That's weird cause some cassettes have very good vision.
    Really confused..
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    Yeah, a lot of shops will just say "heads" because that's the most expensive thing it could be.
    While you have it open, clean the rest of the tape path with swabs/buds and alcohol. How is the pinch roller? It should be a smooth, somewhat soft, perfect cylinder. Are your bad tapes all the same make/model? They could be dragging in the mechanism.
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  6. Pinch roller - you mean the black, plastic cylinder? yes, there was some dirt on it, removed it but it didn't change much.

    I took a short video, maybe you can catch something
    https://vimeo.com/282809593
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  7. As far as tapes: all kind of models. No pattern here.
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    The pinch roller is rubber, not plastic. It should not be hard like plastic.
    Improper tape tension can be caused by lots of things. I think your VCR needs pro repair.
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  9. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Got your PM.

    If this VCR was sourced from eBay, and it has issues, I'm not at all surprised. eBay has turned into a video dumping ground, where at least 2/3rd of all VCRs are broken, and the 1/3rd claiming to be fine/working/tested are actually also broken in some way. At very least, they're almost all in serious disrepair and had zero maintenance in years past. I hate that I'm sounding as curmudgeonly as orsetto these days, but his tirades are getting to be accurate. Just return it, find another.

    It could be heads ... or maybe not.
    It could be many things. But what is clear is this: it's not working correctly.

    Panasonics are often nice VCRs, when working correctly, but they have probably the toughest repair and maintenance routine. I won't even touch mine, and just pay a reputable shop or repairman. I can do JVCs, and many others -- just not these.

    I'd be wary of giving it any tapes, for fear that it's damaging them. That happens, too.
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    Yes, Lordsmurf is right. The FS200 was the most complex and full featured VCR for sale in 1992/1993 from Panasonic. Full of PCB's, and with lots of mechanics to shuttle the tape. So more to go wrong in 25 years.

    Now I can't say for sure but you may just have a very dirty tape path. I see that the head cleaning roller is missing - did you remove that? Just that if it is missing, it means someone has been tinkering. It may have just been used and is now worn out, or just need a DEEP cleaning - which involves getting a bit brutal sometimes to dislodge the baked on deposits.

    Did you send it back or are you having it fixed?
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  11. Is the TBC on Panasonic on? From the OP samples it seems that ag1980 TBC is having problem. I had something similar on some bad tapes (probably recorded on not aligned VCR), the "scrambling" was the same, it reminds me of early Sat Tv analog encryption. Turning TBC off stopped the garbage (two tapes) at least in my case. Probably with this kind of tapes TBC (in ag1980) is having problems, using DVD recorders TBC (es10/15) pass trough,its not getting the same effect (probably because its outside)
    Try recording the same tape without TBC on

    Seeing the Panasonic sample again I am almost sure that it is the TBC in the VCR
    Last edited by mammo1789; 16th Aug 2018 at 17:50.
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  12. Thanks for your responses.

    @Quasipal:
    yes, I'm having it repaired. I should know something more next week. I will let you guys know.
    I see that the head cleaning roller is missing
    that's very interesting. no, I did not remove it. where it should be located?

    something like this?
    https://sites.google.com/site/columbiaisav/vcr_inside_030.jpg


    @mammo1789: Tried to switch TBC back and forth. It did not change anything. could that mean the TBC is broken?
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    Originally Posted by mike_23 View Post
    I see that the head cleaning roller is missing
    that's very interesting. no, I did not remove it. where it should be located?
    Usually on a lever that swings toward the drum in stop mode. It was not a bad idea, but these rollers were made of a soft sponge rubber that does not survive this many years. They are all falling apart inside the machines now, making a mess instead of cleaning anything. It's likely the remains of your roller have already been extricated.
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  14. Just received the VCR.
    Verdict: heads is broken.

    I do not quite buy it.

    just did a NEW recording on an old tape with a very BAD picture.
    and the result is great. the picture of the new recording is perfect.

    Something does not make sense to me.
    If the heads is broken, the new recoudring should be broken too. right?
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    Does this device record in SP and EP ?
    Did you try a test recording at both speeds?
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    Originally Posted by mike_23 View Post
    Just received the VCR.
    Verdict: heads is broken.

    I do not quite buy it.

    just did a NEW recording on an old tape with a very BAD picture.
    and the result is great. the picture of the new recording is perfect.
    Yeah, you got a diagnosis which is shorthand for "I dunno, I don't want to work on it."

    The result you are now getting means the deck is out of standard alignment. Tapes recorded on other machines, in good alignment, don't play well. But if you make a recording on this deck, then of course it looks fine because the machine is aligned to itself.
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  17. just tested in SP and LP modes (there's no EP)
    in LP the picture is very good
    while in SP it's trash (same as my old recording mostly also in SP but recorded on other VCR)

    I guess it indeed indicates the head is partially broken, right?
    or is it "out of standard alignment"?
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    Okay, new info indicates that you possibly have a problem with the LP heads. Do SP recordings from other machines look good?
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    Most (many ?) VCR's use different heads for the SP and the other speeds.
    Assuming that's true for this model, you can see what that implies
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  20. LP recordings from other VCR is fine,
    but SP is the same trash.

    ok, now we know the SP part of the heads is broken..

    thanks for your help guys.
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  21. Are any quality VCRs made any more-I mean these VCR's must be 25 years old?, and electronics get brittle etc with age, holy moly guys.
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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  22. Originally Posted by victoriabears View Post
    Are any quality VCRs made any more-I mean these VCR's must be 25 years old?, and electronics get brittle etc with age, holy moly guys.
    The last model year for new VCRs was 2016, according to Amazon:

    Amazon VCRs

    If you have $1,279 lying around, you can get this Aiwa model:

    Aiwa HV-MX100 Hi-Fi Multi-System VCR

    I have no idea whatsoever whether it is any good or not, but it is listed as the "top rated" VCR.
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  23. No the Awai is nothing special only its multi system capabilities and the panasonic is better if thats what you want.
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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  24. This would be a better bet-had good luck with Sharp VCR's when converting to digital https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E3DH97M/ref=s9_acsd_zgift_hd_bw_biuz_cr_x__w?pf_r...pf_rd_i=172669
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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    Originally Posted by victoriabears View Post
    No the Awai is nothing special only its multi system capabilities and the panasonic is better if thats what you want.
    Unless it has broken heads.
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  26. just found this post:
    https://www.tgrantphoto.com/sales/index.php/content/a-broken-video-head

    and there's a picture: broken vs good heads:
    https://www.tgrantphoto.com/sales/squirrelcart/themes/TGPsales/images/broken_and_good_head.jpg

    didn't realize you can physically see if heads is broken.
    anyways, I'm attaching pictures of my heads, just to confirm it's broken (or not)..
    or maybe it's "just" caps that need to be replaced??

    Image
    [Attachment 46677 - Click to enlarge]
    Image
    [Attachment 46678 - Click to enlarge]
    Last edited by mike_23; 4th Sep 2018 at 02:16.
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