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  1. Yeah. My Digital8 camcorder got dropped about 1-2 feet onto carpet. I don't seem to see any defeats, as I managed to record some footage and play it back with no problems. But I'm afraid there could be unknown damage. I shook it and there's no loose parts. The only issue I have is when I turn on Super Nightshot, there's a lot of judder and low FPS. Normal Nightshot doesn't have this. What should I try and do?

    Edit: The Super NS judder is normal

    Here are some pics of some "supposed defects":


    Ghosting effects:
    Image
    [Attachment 47907 - Click to enlarge]


    Strange "flash" that happens for 1 frame when I hit record.
    Image
    [Attachment 47908 - Click to enlarge]
    Last edited by Vitality; 25th Jan 2019 at 21:37.
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  2. Oh no, WE DO Have a problem.

    My Digital8 camcorder is NOT playing ANY TAPES, it's just a blue screen with the play logo. I've tried cleaning the video drum with a ear swab and 70% isopropyl alcohol. I can record, but not playback. I'm so upset right now, I'm calling Sony.
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  3. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Sounds like the guide posts have been put out of alignment when compared to their previous alignment. Which is why you can record new tapes but not play older ones. Unlike many VHS VCRs, Video8 was never designed to have the posts realigned so it can be hard to get it the way it was before. Something I have never done or tried to do.

    I'm calling Sony.
    I can't imagine them doing anything other than slowly hangup on you. They have not made a new machine in a decade so they are not under much obligation to care.
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  4. Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    Sounds like the guide posts have been put out of alignment when compared to their previous alignment. Which is why you can record new tapes but not play older ones. Unlike many VHS VCRs, Video8 was never designed to have the posts realigned so it can be hard to get it the way it was before. Something I have never done or tried to do.

    I'm calling Sony.
    I can't imagine them doing anything other than slowly hangup on you. They have not made a new machine in a decade so they are not under much obligation to care.
    But I can't play the new tapes back, however. I tried an older tape that was recorded on a Hi8 camera, and it didn't play. It didn't even detect it was a Hi8 cassette.
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  5. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Are you plugging in your camcorder while doing all this? I have a Sony Digital8 camera myself, to view Video8 tapes, and I've encountered things similar to what you describe. It mostly had to do with my starting the camera up with a low battery and trying to get it to play, to only find it won't and just get blue screen. Whenever messing with my camera I either leave it plugged in for 10 minutes and then proceed to leave it plugged in while working with it or simply don't even have the battery in the machine and working with the AC power only.
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  6. Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    Are you plugging in your camcorder while doing all this? I have a Sony Digital8 camera myself, to view Video8 tapes, and I've encountered things similar to what you describe. It mostly had to do with my starting the camera up with a low battery and trying to get it to play, to only find it won't and just get blue screen. Whenever messing with my camera I either leave it plugged in for 10 minutes and then proceed to leave it plugged in while working with it or simply don't even have the battery in the machine and working with the AC power only.
    It has a full charge.
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  7. Sorry for your loss.
    I've worked at Sony developing and fixing consumer products.

    About the playback signal and blue screen it means the drum can't get a clear signal from the tape, the cause can be misalignment of the drum itself or any part of the "machacon". Mechacon or the mechanical deck need to replaced, sometimes the mechanical deck frame also, it all depends on the drum signal readings. The picture bellow show some of the proceedings and what to look for.


    Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    Unlike many VHS VCRs, Video8 was never designed to have the posts realigned so it can be hard to get it the way it was before. Something I have never done or tried to do.
    They can be aligned, but you need proper tools and correct information to do it, along with a special alignment tape. This tape is not sold in the market, this is Sony "internal use only" material.


    I was one of the guys responsible to develop and record this tapes at Sony with a special device. I have developed my digital version of this tape some time ago.



    At this pages you can see the alignment procedure for "O" Type mecha(you can see the Oメカ at the top left page), "O Mecha" or "meka" are the ones used by Video 8, Digital8, etc.


    Once you set the camera in service mode for infinite playback using the RM-95 to do the alignment with the alignment tape inside (page 0, address 01, data 01 / page D, address 10, data 02 + PAUSE), then as you can see on the right, you can procedure with the proper alignment, this includes normal playback and fast forward/rewind to check the signal stability. At the image you can see the correct waveform for fast forward/rewind signal at the bottom right, the bottom signal is bad and the top one is good.

    Some of the tape guides are glued because they come aligned from the manufactor, other are locked by small screws at the back of the tape guides. When alignment is needed, all the "TG's"(Tape guides) need to be replaced, adjusted and glued back with a special red glue.
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  8. Originally Posted by amaipaipai View Post
    Sorry for your loss.
    I've worked at Sony developing and fixing consumer products.

    About the playback signal and blue screen it means the drum can't get a clear signal from the tape, the cause can be misalignment of the drum itself or any part of the "machacon". Mechacon or the mechanical deck need to replaced, sometimes the mechanical deck frame also, it all depends on the drum signal readings. The picture bellow
    Should I try cleaning the drum with a cleaning cassette? It keeps flashing "CLEANING CASSETTE"
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  9. Originally Posted by Vitality View Post
    Should I try cleaning the drum with a cleaning cassette? It keeps flashing "CLEANING CASSETTE"
    Originally Posted by amaipaipai View Post
    About the playback signal and blue screen it means the drum can't get a clear signal from the tape
    That is why you are getting that, the drum can't read the tape properly. And the drum can't read the tape properly because the mechanical deck or the drum it self got damaged, you need to send it over to some Sony service center or some repair center in your area so the people there can evaluate what is wrong with it. From what I know, Sony doesn't do this anymore.

    The technician need to do something like this to your camera.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXvZ1No5azc

    A person like that can evaluate if your mechanical deck need repair or replacement, they guy in the video looks like he knows what he is doing, my only complain is that he doesn't uses gloves and looks like he doesn't work in a ESD Protected Area (EPA) to handle this type of equipment.

    Try to talk to them, ask for a free estimate.
    https://www.myksvc.com/
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  10. Originally Posted by amaipaipai View Post
    Originally Posted by Vitality View Post
    Should I try cleaning the drum with a cleaning cassette? It keeps flashing "CLEANING CASSETTE"
    Originally Posted by amaipaipai View Post
    About the playback signal and blue screen it means the drum can't get a clear signal from the tape
    That is why you are getting that, the drum can't read the tape properly. And the drum can't read the tape properly because the mechanical deck or the drum it self got damaged, you need to send it over to some Sony service center or some repair center in your area so the people there can evaluate what is wrong with it. From what I know, Sony doesn't do this anymore.

    The technician need to do something like this to your camera.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXvZ1No5azc

    A person like that can evaluate if your mechanical deck need repair or replacement, they guy in the video looks like he knows what he is doing, my only complain is that he doesn't uses gloves and looks like he doesn't work in a ESD Protected Area (EPA) to handle this type of equipment.

    Try to talk to them, ask for a free estimate.
    https://www.myksvc.com/
    Image
    [Attachment 47916 - Click to enlarge]

    Image
    [Attachment 47919 - Click to enlarge]

    Image
    [Attachment 47918 - Click to enlarge]


    Here are some high-quality (24.2MP) photos of the head drum. I'm not a pro at photos so IDK how much detail there is and if it's useful. Would the repair cost less than $160? Because I can get a new Digital8 camcorder for that price. Also, I managed to record and playback a tape after it dropped, it was like a few hours later it started with the blue screen.
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  11. I'm really sorry for you, I don't know how much a service like this might cost to you, I don't live in America.

    I can't evaluate this kind of damage from the internet, this is not how repair works. I need to take your camera apart and with an oscilloscope mesure the main signals, then I can understand if the drum is OK, if the TG's are in the correct place or not, etc, etc. The symptoms you describe sound like the tape guides are loose or lost alignment, hard to tell but if you keep trying to play a tape with the deck in this condition, you can make a possible simple solution to a really expensive one, stop playing any tape on it, send it to a service center.

    You see that small metal spheres on the top of the drum?
    Those are to keep your drum in balance, as you dropped, you might have lost one or more, this is why I'm telling you, there is nothing you can do to fix this and playing tapes on it can make things worse.

    Send it over to a service center that works specific with this types of cameras or brand.
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  12. Originally Posted by amaipaipai View Post
    I'm really sorry for you, I don't know how much a service like this might cost to you, I don't live in America.

    I can't evaluate this kind of damage from the internet, this is not how repair works. I need to take your camera apart and with an oscilloscope mesure the main signals, then I can understand if the drum is OK, if the TG's are in the correct place or not, etc, etc. The symptoms you describe sound like the tape guides are loose or lost alignment, hard to tell but if you keep trying to play a tape with the deck in this condition, you can make a possible simple solution to a really expensive one, stop playing any tape on it, send it to a service center.

    You see that small metal spheres on the top of the drum?
    Those are to keep your drum in balance, as you dropped, you might have lost one or more, this is why I'm telling you, there is nothing you can do to fix this and playing tapes on it can make things worse.

    Send it over to a service center that works specific with this types of cameras or brand.
    So don't touch it and just send it to that place you mentioned? Ok
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  13. Originally Posted by amaipaipai View Post
    I'm really sorry for you, I don't know how much a service like this might cost to you, I don't live in America.

    I can't evaluate this kind of damage from the internet, this is not how repair works. I need to take your camera apart and with an oscilloscope mesure the main signals, then I can understand if the drum is OK, if the TG's are in the correct place or not, etc, etc. The symptoms you describe sound like the tape guides are loose or lost alignment, hard to tell but if you keep trying to play a tape with the deck in this condition, you can make a possible simple solution to a really expensive one, stop playing any tape on it, send it to a service center.

    You see that small metal spheres on the top of the drum?
    Those are to keep your drum in balance, as you dropped, you might have lost one or more, this is why I'm telling you, there is nothing you can do to fix this and playing tapes on it can make things worse.

    Send it over to a service center that works specific with this types of cameras or brand.
    Now I'm getting a signal from the tape. Sometimes it shows the "lines", so not perfect, but the audio is fine.
    Last edited by Vitality; 27th Jan 2019 at 17:28.
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  14. You need to send it over to be serviced by a professional.
    End of story.
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  15. Originally Posted by amaipaipai View Post
    You need to send it over to be serviced by a professional.
    End of story.
    I think I got it working! I ran a normal Hi8/Digital8 "mix tape" (it has analog and digital signals on it) for about 1-2 hours. Eventually the picture starting coming, and now it's clear. I haven't seen any glitching, no "blue screen" issues. The audio is fine quality and it will play analog tapes too. There's no glitching/etc.
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  16. Member
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    My hypothesis is that dropping the cam jarred loose some gunk which made its way to the video heads. Running a tape for 2 hours polished off the gunk. This frequently works with scanning heads. Wouldn't be a bad idea to clean the transport, though. There may be more debris waiting in the wings.

    Another possibility is that during the long play, some guide that was knocked out of position reseated itself. If that's the case, it may go out again.
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  17. In my experience I've seen that and it happen exactly as JVRaines said, one of the guides are loose and it just got in to position and it may go out again.

    What need to be done was already explained, I'm removing my subscription from this topic because the OP wants to figure things up by it self.
    Good luck.
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