JVC made two different designs of DD systems as far as I know, One is used in lower end VCR's and uses a tiny belt and pulley to drive the pulse wheel against a sensor and a worm gear shaft to drive the gears, See picture:
The other system uses worm gear motor to drive both the gears and the sensor wheel:
This fix applies to both systems as there is a lot of similarities between the two.
Note: This MOD will only disable the DD system it will not eliminate it, therefore it is reversible if at a later date a replacement of the broken gears with good ones to be carried out, however gear alignment maybe required and there is no procedure in the service manual for such alignment. If the gears are cracked and slipped few teeth, chances are the alignment has already been lost. In any case proceed at your own risk.
The procedure assumes that you already know how to disassemble/assemble VCR parts, it will not go into details on how to perform the basic tasks around electronic equipment.
This procedure does not require removing the mechanism from the VCR if you wish to detach the head assembly from the mechanism mounted by 3 screws, technically no tape transport alignment is needed for doing so, the chassis plate has tapered nipples that mesh with holes on the bottom of the video drum assembly giving a unique position when the drum assembly is fastened back to the chassis.
After a lot of tests and online search I found out that DD feature engages only in the following modes: Fast forward search, fast reverse search, reverse playback, Pause, forward frame by frame, reverse frame by frame. It is not activated during normal playback/recording of the tape in any speed of any color format (SP, LP, EP .... PAL, NTSC ...). During playback/recording the video drum is resting in its neutral position in a manner that it will be explained later on in the procedure.
Before we start let’s go through a brief description of the DD drum parts and how they work:
The DD drum assembly consists of 4 main components:
1-The video drum assembly (rotor, stator, rotary transformer, do not take this assembly a part, transport alignment will be required if you do so).
4- DD gears and electronics
1- The video drum is clamped to the chassis plate by two spring loaded screws, 2 guide pins and 4 resting points, as long as it is not disturbed it is in its neutral position just like a normal VCR without the DD system. It can only be moved by one side set of gears (gear reduction assembly), when moved it changes the helical angle of the video pickup heads:
2- The intermediate plate a.k.a lead ring or tape guide ring is sandwiched between the video drum and the chassis plate and it has two springs sitting between the chassis plate and itself and two guide pins, if it is not disturbed it is clamped to the video drum by 4 resting points and that is its neutral position, it can only be moved by the opposite side set of gears (gear reduction assembly). When moved it changes the tape angle (this is a complicated geometrical matter, just to give you an idea, tilting the head alone will screw up the tape to drum and P guides contact, the tape itself has to be tilted in a way to keep that contact with the drum perfect, Pretty clever design from JVC engineers):
3- The chassis plate a.k.a drum base is a mounting plate for the whole assembly, it makes replacing the head easy without re-aligning the tape transport:
4- The DD gears and electronics, it uses a set of gears reduction system and a worm gear on each side, a pulse wheel/sensor and a circuit board to communicate with the main processor. The motor spins the worm shaft, the shaft spins 2 large gears on each side, each gear spins a series of other gears until the final gear whose shaft is screwed into the bottom of the chassis plate. One of the two final gears if driven its shaft pushes the drum away from the chassis plate, the other final gear if driven it pushes the intermediate plate away from the drum itself and vice versa (I know it's confusing).
The combination of movement of both the video drum and tape guide ring (lead ring, intermediate plate) in either direction makes the DD heads follow the tracks correctly by changing the position and reading the RF signal from the heads until the maximum signal has been detected. A pulse wheel and sensor is used to precisely track the movement in both direction and compare the readings to the position of the head and lock on the strongest signal.
Now that we know how the DD system works, how do we lock it to the neutral position? The answer is pretty simple, Keep the drum assembly undisturbed, but how do we achieve that?
- First, we have to break the transmission of movement from the DD motor to the gears then to the drum assembly by physically removing a minimum of one gear from each side. One gear from one side to clear the video drum and one gear from the opposite side to clear the intermediate plate.
- Second, we have to keep the electronics of the DD system alive to avoid VCR shutdowns and trick it into thinking that everything is working fine, We must keep the motor connected to the system and the sensor has to read pulses, any one of the above conditions is not met the VCR will shut-down.
To get started make sure you disconnect the VCR from the mains, remove the necessary hardware to get to the chassis, Remove the chassis (or video drum assembly if mechanism stays in) put on a soft pad and put the VCR away from the work area if not needed.
After removing the mechanism from the VCR (Head assembly from the mechanism if mechanism stays in) carefully flip it upside down on the soft pad to access the back side of the head assembly, Remove the DD electronic system screws (4 or 3 depends on the type), Carefully lift up the gear assembly and put it aside for now.
If you look at the bottom side of the drum you will see two spring loaded screws, mark their position and go ahead and tighten them down clockwise for 1/2 to 3/4 of turn, what that does is increase the clamping force on the video drum while in its neutral position for better adherence, this tension is very important if you decide to put the DD system back in service, that’s why you have to mark the screws' position:
On the lower end models DD system, you can remove any gear or all of them since the pulse wheel is driven by a belt (make sure the belt is not loose):
On the higher end models, you can only remove the large white gear and a small black gear on the opposite side if the drums is still attached to the mechanism:
If the drum assembly to be removed from the chassis then you can remove the tiny black gears and leave the big gears on, the big black gear has to stay on because it drives the pulse wheel. Back off the other two drum and lead ring black gears so they don't interfere with their neutral resting position:
After done put everything back together and test operation, during modes where DD should engage you will hear motor spinning but nothing happens, Noise bars in the picture will be noticed during those modes which is normal and it does not affect playback or recording.
I applied this MOD on a higher end model and I played a tape that I tested few years ago when the DD system was fully operational, here is a sample of the same tape with the MOD applied:
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Last edited by dellsam34; 18th Sep 2019 at 14:25.
Picture links fixed.
Last edited by dellsam34; 7th Jun 2019 at 02:57.
Hell of a post, I don't understand why it hasn't gotten more attention. Also, thank you for posting this here, The dFAQ version keeps ending in page errors for me.
This is utterly beyond my current capabilities or comprehension (I don't even have a DD VCR), but assuming it works it seems to make HR-S9*00U decks worth having again after all, no? They continue to be highly rated in the dFAQ VCRs guide, but Lordsmurf has more recently emphasized that he no longer recommends them due to this "un-repairable" issue. For those of us not so adept at this type of work, I wonder if it's something Tom Grant or someone else would offer as a professional service?
On the other hand, does this essentially negate the advantages of these decks in the first place (such that it's a valuable fix for those who already have one, but not for those of us looking to buy)?
Thanks for your interest, not so many people repair VCR's nowadays that's why it was buried in the ashes.
My useless decks are just waiting on better 3D printing tech. I may know of a method now, and somebody who could do it, but I currently have no way to convince him to do it. He's overbooked on projects, something I understand. So for now, still a waiting game.
DD system was a great feature back then when VCR's were the main entertainment piece in the living room, So having to pause, rewind and fast forward movies or home video with crystal clear picture with no noise bars is priceless. Not so much now, most people use a VCR to convert tapes to digital, even the ones who do play a tape once in a while are not interested in high quality pause, rewind or fast forward.
So there is no reason now to repair the DD system when you can just disable it, and no 3D printer can produce high quality high strength plastic gears at that size at least not the few thousands of dollars ones even the Polyjet ones.
davideck wrote this years ago:
I should also mention that the Dynamic Drum System that many JVC VCRs have ...allow them to playback almost any tape. This system dynamically tilts the scanner to optimize the tracking in a way that other VCRs can't.
Great post! Made it sticky!