It is great to have another person who can work on these decks! The rate is not crazy for the amount of work involved.
I do want to say that it is better to let your work stand on its own and not try to put down others. Tom Grant is also a top notch tech who can cover a lot of ground including rejuvenating the display, refinishing the cover etc. and who has overhauled three of my decks with excellent results. The one thing he does not do is provide a post service performance and calibration report (Iíve asked) and if you do, that would set you apart!
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Last edited by swiego; 2nd Nov 2020 at 00:01.
Good to know another person is around doing repairs. For what it's worth, I purchased a TGrant refurb earlier this year and it's been a great deck so far, and their responses to some questions have been professional. No idea on the other critiques.
At this point, i'm concerned with the future of hardware repair, with so little amount of people with the knowledge on repairing old video equipment. I've mentioned this to lordsmurf in the past, but i'd be willing to pay for DOCUMENTATION! I'd ante up for repair guides, tips and tricks, step by step processes, tutorials, etc. I've asked smurf about guides on TBC testing methodology, etc etc.
Obviously I understand that this knowledge is a commodity, and people probably don't want to be putting tricks of the trade out onto the internet, but I fear within a generation we're not going to have the time earned information on repairing this stuff from old school professionals available anywhere.
Just some thoughts.
Do you know if there's anyone in the EU region that fixes NF-FS200 decks (the regional equivalent of the AG1980).
I really love my NV-FS200, and will be pretty upset the day it starts acting up
I'd be happy to pay a decent amount of money getting it revised/recapped by an expert.
These are priceless units.
Hi Deter, I sent you a PM today - based off an older thread. I hoe pyou get it and reply, I'd like to send you an 1980. or two. $500 sounds reasonable to me.
brysta559, got your message and replied back, I am still open for business, actually this year have done a lot more repair jobs than normal.
I have created a topic over at digitalfaq about a Panasonic nv-fs200 I have just received but only just noticed your repair service topic so thought I would be cheeky and ask you in here about this issue.
Have a look at this video please
This happens soon as I insert a tape, it does sometimes stop but starts up again if I lift the machine and tilt it slightly it will stop!! any idea on what this issue is?
Thanks for any help, if it's another dud it will be going back to the seller.
That machine sounds terrible.
The motor sounds terrible. I rebuild all the boards inside these types of units. In some cases you need an extra unit to put a unit together if a specific part is broken. It is not like you have a store selling parts to a nv-fs200. It is hard for me to tell what is wrong, I have no idea when you are pressing play or ff or rewind. I did a post years ago fixing these kinds of issues in real time using JVC decks. The metal frame on these types are a lot stronger so that is not usually bent or out of a alignment. I could fix this, I just don't have any power converters to run a PAL unit. If you are outside the United States their is no reason to ever ship this to me.
Glad you're still doing repairs.
Just picked up two AG1980s. One owner decks, look to be in nice shape. Haven't tested them yet but hoping they operate as good as they look. But will likely be sending one or both your way for refurb anyway at some point.
Not a problem Deter, thanks for replying all advice is appreciated.
Deter just repaired my ag1980. It had washed out colors and the sound was just ever so slightly metallic sounding.
Now it looks and sounds perfect. Hoping to get plenty of use out of this thing now!
Deter I sent you a PM about a AG-1980P
Because of this thread and referrals was able to repair about 35 units over the last year, that is really good numbers and now a lot of people have really good working AG-1980's. The bad news is I am basically out of spare part machines cause some of these units were banged up pretty good and parts were needed. Right now am basically all caught up on repairs and have no machines in line. If you are looking for repairs and quicker than normal turn around right now is a good time to get your AG-1980's in to my shop.
Recently got back the first AG-1980 I've sent to Deter for repairs and the picture looks good but I've got no audio. Multiple known-good tapes checked before and after trying them in the 1980, no audio indicated on the built-in display and no output on any jacks regardless of chosen settings.
Any suggestions on what I should try?
1st and only unit. Look dude I am not playing this game, you have my email you come direct to me with a problem. If you have no audio than send it back. The audio worked fine when it left my shop. I have two extra audio boards sitting around not that hard to swap them out.
Yes, I've only sent you one unit so far. I mentioned it was the first in case you ship these back set up a certain way I wouldn't know about yet (but which your other customers would know).
You are the same guy who refused to pay his bill over shipping. It took you 3 weeks to pay the invoice. I knew you were going to be a pain that is why I over packed the box and made sure it was super duper bubble wrapped so you can't complain about shipping damage or whatever nonsense you would make up.
This is not Walmart or Target so I don't have to put up with BS. It costs me about $300 a machine out of pocket to repair. I do these repairs for people in these forums because I learned the skills and their is really no place else to go.
Your machine was rebuild in the past and it was an absolute mess and disaster. The jog wheel was even broken.
If your machine really has no audio, I'll fix it for free.
You call up FedEx tell them you want to return to sender cause of shipping damage.
I know everything I did to your unit and if I get it back and it was sabotaged I am sending it back as is.
I will also pay to return your unit back to you so you just have to get it here.
Deter repaired my 1980 and it is soo much better. I appreciate you man, thanks! I'm going to send another!
Is there anything I could try in order to get audio working, before shipping this unit again? I'm guessing you [like TGP] put stickers on units you repair so you can immediately tell if anyone has worked on them since you did ó I have not opened the VCR up but I could do so and take some pictures if it would help anyone here diagnose. Maybe it's something simple, like a loose connection somewhere?
I fully understand Deter's position. You absolutely, positively should NOT have posted publicly. Work it out privately with him.
If you really wanted to get some help with a no-audio problem, and get that help in this forum, what you SHOULD have done was simply ask your question without any reference whatsoever to Deter. That would have been perfectly cool. However, by posting in the manner that you did, it made it clear to everyone that you wanted to "shame" him publicly. If that was what you were trying to do, then shame on you, and if it wasn't, then it appears that you have absolutely no savoir faire.
Deter, I feel your pain. Don't give up on doing these repairs for other people (yes. Tig, your behavior might affect other people).
Things to try:
1. Press the "Audio Out" button several times while playing on the off chance your tapes don't have a HiFi track.
2. Check if the "Audio Dub" indicator is on and then try pressing that button a few times while playing (use a test tape to do this, since it might erase the audio).
3. Try hooking up an audio source to the audio inputs and see if the display shows audio. That will help determine if the entire audio circuitry is "down" or whether the problem is just getting audio from the tape.
4. Make sure the VCR/TV button is set to VCR. Even though I have a Panasonic cousin of your machine, I can't remember off the top of my head whether this would cause a problem.
5. Cycle the "Search Sound" switch. The manual says "No sound may be heard during playback of SLP recordings ..." Again, this is a long shot because if you read the rest of what the manual says, it probably doesn't apply, but try it anyway.
6. In a similar vein, try the HiFi/Normal switch.
johnmeyer beat me to it: I was about to suggest the same troubleshooting of all the audio switches. With the caveat none were likely to solve the issue of no sound on playback: most of these settings auto-default to whatever sound track is available on the tape. So if you aren't getting any activity whatsoever on the front panel bar graph, no sound at all from the outputs, no sound at headphone jack: the audio card or supporting connections may have been jarred loose during return shipping to you. This can happen despite the most careful cushioned packaging, as indeed Deter did for you: you'd be horrified if you saw how random packages get thrown around like volleyballs by shipping staff when moved from truck to truck. We're at the mercy of blind luck with those guys/gals.
Since Deter has offered to make the unit whole again regardless, I'd recommend taking him up on it ASAP and file with Fedex while he still has spare parts in stock. Having torn apart and re-assembled several AG-1980s myself this year, I can assure you it is not something you want to DIY unless you're very certain of what you're doing. The AG-1980 is constructed like an anti-matter-based Rubik's Cube, challenging even for experienced tinkerers to dig into and service. It was internally designed upside down and inside out compared to nearly every other Panasonic VCR: getting access to loose wires or components is much MUCH more involved than simply removing the top cover. The entire damned AG-1980 has to be pulled apart like a Lego model before you can even see the audio section. Nerve shredding (and finger shredding) abounds.
Last edited by orsetto; 13th Sep 2021 at 16:00.
Thank you guys, much appreciated. No luck unfortunately. Not sure if its relevant but the audio dub indicator doesn't turn on, no matter what I do. I tried hooking up a vinyl player to the RCA inputs on front and back and still no movement on the meters, or audio on the outputs.
Is it worth it for me to open it up and see if there are any obviously loose connections? I've opened it before to take some high-resolution photos but I'm certainly not qualified to repair these things, and I don't want to opening it up to be misconstrued as sabotage/tampering so if it's better to leave it alone, I'll just leave it closed.
Edit: just saw your latest orsetto, I'll leave it alone and ship it back to Deter, thanks!
If the audio board was not connected the s-video port wouldn't work either so you wouldn't get a picture. That is why this is 100% fishy to me.
What is you audio hooked up to? An Amp? Do you have it set to the correct ports? If an amp is the amp set to the correct output for playback? I know the Pioneer amps the older ones can be a pain. I use a Yamaha receiver.
Try another set of RCA cables
Try both ports as shown in this picture
Than set the audio meter up on the front panel. Than hook like a CD player or DVD player up and try to run the Audio through the unit and see if you hear noise.
What I can say about this unit someone worked on just the Y/C card before but other than that this machine was an absolute train wreck and a giant mess. The loading was all screwed up, the jog wheel and it had a lot of internal damage. When I ran the unit the audio was fine. Whatever the case I will fix it but try these things first.
[Attachment 60708 - Click to enlarge]
[Attachment 60709 - Click to enlarge]
Last edited by Deter; 13th Sep 2021 at 23:14.
johnmeyer, When I joined this site back in 07 basically knew nothing about any of this, than I met Lord Smurf and he really helped me in my early stages to learn the basics so I would ask him millions of questions on VideoHelp and his website, The Digital FAQ. Than also some of the members over here would teach and train me in these forums.
But for 3 to 5 years all I did was train in the black arts of VHS restoration and got super involved even learning how to repair the machines themselves. The goal was to get the highest possible quality out of a recording.
I only offered this service publicly here in the last year but every year for like the last 9 years members here and at Lord Smurf's site would send me messages to repair stuff. I thought it was a nice service to give back to the community. This is not a business I have a real job.
This guy Tig's and another guy both refused to pay the bills it took them both 3 weeks. Tig's was complaining how he doesn't want to pay for the shipping. This had never happened before. I was out over $600 that I put in to the units and that doesn't include my time and effort. So yeah you are correct this was his public shaming moment to get at me for not giving him free shipping. If I screw something up, I will go back and try to fix it.
Granted I did have this guy this year that thought that I could somehow fix VHS overscan lines and damaged tapes, which was insane. I could not reason with him, he sent me the tape he was having problems with and I got the same errors as he did. But he still complained that the tape errors were worse on his machine than mine. I couldn't win. (These were bootleg foreign VHS films)
Twice I had FedEx damage the units and I had to go back and fix a unit were they broke the front panel and loading bay, that was a nightmare cause FedEx also bent the metal frame and guess what they refused to pay for the shipping damage.
I am not going to quit, but to be honest since 2014-2015, I don't personally do much work if any with full VHS restoration so I rarely even post in these forums.
Correct me if I'm wrong: doesn't the HiFi REC Level Control only apply to recording to tapes? I did try it at 5 (which I assume is unity gain?) as well as 10 anyway with no effect.
Thanks for all your hard work and for presenting possible solutions here. If there are no other suggestions I'll send it back to get the audio fixed some time this week.
1. Since the Internet came into our lives, people have become accustomed to "free." This is reinforced, in this country at least, by the steady increase in personal subsidies from governments at all levels.
2. Shipping costs have skyrocketed. Yes, we have inflation, and it is unfortunately likely to get quite bad, like the late 1970s, but shipping inflation predated all of this. It costs almost 10x to ship these units as it did twenty years ago.
I just had my Panasonic PV-S4990 (a very close "prosumer" cousin to the AG-1980) repaired this spring by an ex-Panasonic engineer who lives in Florida and round trip was about $150 (I'm in CA).
I mention that repair because initially, when he first evaluated the unit, he wasn't going to do it, because the audio board needed to be recapped, and a lot of those are SMD. I know this feeling, since I too repair electronics. You look at it and say, "this is going to take hours, maybe days, and is fraught with the very real possibility that I will permanently break it in the process of fixing it. Do I want to undertake this effort?"
Fortunately, the guy doing my work woke up the next day after telling me he couldn't do it, must have had an extra vitamin pill, and changed his mind. Once he found out that I was a fellow engineer and that I also do repairs, he shared quite a few pictures, like this one of the repaired HiFi board:
[Attachment 60722 - Click to enlarge]
I've got a desoldering station, so I could do the caps on the main board, but those SMDs on the daughter board? Foregetaboutit! I can see why he was not looking forward to that. Also, I think this board is buried, and takes a lot of disassembly to get it out.
So, I feel your pain, but do remember that most of your customers are happy, grateful, and pleased as punch (an old Hubert Humphrey phrase for the really old people reading this).
[BTW, my Panny VCR is now better than when it was new. My repair guy said its picture is as good as the AG-1980, and given the sophistication of the electronics in the unit, I believe that to be true.]
Last edited by johnmeyer; 14th Sep 2021 at 11:39. Reason: grammar
Officially yes, it only affects the recording level for the HiFi tracks when recording a tape (the linear track has its own separate ALC circuit).
Practically, the level controls are useful for several other "off-book" purposes. They will boost or cut the audio level of all input sources passing thru to the outputs, at least on my examples, making the 1980 a handy external "audio level adjuster" when patched between a source VCR playing a low-volume tape and a capture device (like a dvd recorder) with no incoming manual level control. Why use such a kluge? Because a 1980 with properly functioning audio board boosts or cuts level much more cleanly/transparently than the typical muffled noisy budget Behringer etc mixer. Anyway, the point is the sliders and level meters should appear to operate regardless of whether you are engaged in record mode or not, or with no tape loaded at all.