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  1. Member
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    Hi All

    I'm new here and really looking for some help with an old JVC S-VHS unit i picked up. BR-S611E

    The unit appears fully functional and in relatively good shape. It will load a cassette, FF, REW and it appears to PLAY as well, however no image appears on screen. If I press pause i get an image. Or if i on-screen FF or REW i get an image, but when i resume playing there is no image. Screen will go almost white then disappear and i get a blue screen.

    Pretty sure its not dirty heads or the control track. Any ideas where else to start?

    many thanks
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  2. Member hech54's Avatar
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    How are you getting out of that thing?......internet pics show BNC connectors and pinned threaded connections.
    Also hundreds of buttons and switches.....check the settings?
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    Thanks - I'm going BNC to RCA via line out 1. I've tried the other 2 BNC outs as well, all give same result.

    Yes the switches were my first thought/hope - I've played with all the switches and nothing changes.
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  4. Originally Posted by Hambo2000 View Post
    If I press pause i get an image. Or if i on-screen FF or REW i get an image, but when i resume playing there is no image. Screen will go almost white then disappear and i get a blue screen.
    This specific behavior pattern is the traditional telltale sign you've got trouble with your video heads. They're either hopelessly clogged, or damaged in some way (worn down, or disoriented by clumsy amateur cleaning attempts). The heads may need to be cleaned with proper chamois swabs and head cleaning solution, if the problem persists after that the heads may be mechanically damaged. This is not usually economically practical to repair unless you somehow discover a cache of leftover spare parts cheap (and a tech who knows how to service pro decks like this).

    If you can see images during pause and FF/REW, it is unlikely you have any switches set incorrectly (assuming there is a switch that would redirect or mute the outputs, they would be muted at all times including pause and FF/REW). The 611 is a beastly studio-spec professional deck not originally intended primarily to play consumer-recorded tapes. There can be a mismatch in head width/video track specs: some examples of 611 do great with this, others mistrack and add noise. Depends on the tapes and particular example of 611. If your tapes are at the extreme "consumer" spec of the range, and this 611 has dirty or misaligned heads, the combo will be especially prone to issues.

    FWIW, there has been a steady trickle of available 611 decks over the past few years, most commonly the 611E (PAL) variant: it was a fairly recent unit well-regarded in pro environments, so has been among the last studio-spec decks to be dumped onto the random used-vcr marketplace. The majority of threads I've seen from recent buyers complain of various "refusal to play, no picture" problems stemming form a variety of electronic or head breakdowns (PSU, video circuits, board failures). This was a $4000 (US) vcr not all that long ago: the pro shops that own them are unlikely to discard them for pennies on the dollar unless they have repair issues uneconomical to address. When fully operational, they do have stunning playback performance with compatible tapes, but my impression is they aren't commonly available at bargain prices in flawless operating condition. Owners seem to still be holding on to the good examples (for now).
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  5. Before you get into cleaning heads, just try adjusting the tracking manually. If you don't know how to do this, consult the manual. In many decks you do it by pressing the channel up or down buttons on the VCR itself while the tape is playing.
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  6. Member
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    Thanks for getting back to me on this.

    Orsetto, thanks for your informative feedback. The unit is a PAL deck. At least i have a place to start. I'll try to see if i can find a damaged head. Tho wouldn't a damaged head not yield any picture at all? [no idea, just asking ] To me [completely inexperienced in this area mind you] it feels like the fields are all out of whack. Its like trying to play an NTSC tape on PAL unit or vice versa.

    John, the tracking is a manual knob on the left side. I've turned that to no avail.

    I have tried to clean the heads but i'll give it another go. [and with the chamois head cleaning sticks not a tape ]
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  7. Originally Posted by Hambo2000 View Post
    Tho wouldn't a damaged head not yield any picture at all? [no idea, just asking ]
    "Damage" is a catch-all word covering a wide range of possibilities, from literally physically broken heads to heads moved out of proper position by overly-aggressive cleaning to to simple wear to faulty connection between heads and circuits further down the line. Etc.

    A really stubborn clog can (ironically) result in symptoms similar to heads that have been knocked out of position by clumsy cleaning. You get no picture in normal play modes, but sometimes during trick play like fwd/rev speed search or pause/slow the out-of-whack head position lines up with the trick-speed tracking to allow some degree of image output. The same can happen if the problem is caused by failure in the tracking adjustment circuit, or failing belt (common stress point in the 611/811 decks).

    Long shot, but: IIRC, the 611 and 811 employ a dedicated proprietary JVC 7-pin connector for SVHS signal output. If the tapes you're trying to play are SVHS, its possible that is why you're not getting anything useful from the BNC connectors.

    Side note, the 611/811 are the type of decks where the TBC was on an optional add-in circuit board, turned on/off by a switch on the rear panel. If you don't see a card in the card cage area when the cover is off, you probably don't have the TBC feature. Like other similar JVC and Panasonic broadcast decks, without their internal TBC card the 611/811 become somewhat less attractive as source decks for digitizing projects.
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    can you tell from this image if it has TBC?
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  9. My apologies, I mis-spoke. Looking thru my archives I misinterpreted a photo of the 611 with its default cards removed for servicing: at first glance this gave the impression of other similar JVC and Panasonic broadcast decks with optional TBC/DNR cards (that are often removed and sold separately when the decks are decommissioned). Your pic shows a complete 611/811 with its standard circuit boards in place and intact.

    The 611/811 are unusual in that JVC chose an external TBC/DNR configuration for these models. It is still an optional add-on, there is a switch on their rear panel to route the TBC/DNR thru them, but all the circuitry and controls are housed in a separate box (the SA-T411 unit). The noise reduction performance of this box is reputedly stellar, but it seems very hard to source second hand.
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  10. Member
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    No problem at all. I'll look into the heads situation tomorrow and see if i can determine anything..

    I was going to ask do you know what the blue dials are for? [circled] Could one of them be responsible for no image?
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  11. Originally Posted by Hambo2000 View Post
    I was going to ask do you know what the blue dials are for? [circled] Could one of them be responsible for no image?
    Possibly, but I wouldn't mess with these unless you have the service manual handy for reference. That board is marked "servo" which would control one or more aspects of the video heads/transport sync. I haven't seen so many trim pots crammed onto one board since I opened up a vintage I. DEN external TBC box awhile back: you should probably not fool around with them unless/until you lays hands on a service manual that explains what each pot does (and how to adjust it). If they are in fact affecting your playback problem, they may need to be adjusted in a specific sequence instead of individually at random.
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