I have a player that makes a grinding/clicking noise when a tape is loaded and when it's ejected as well as rewind/fast forward. It doesn't seem to effect the picture, but I'm concerned it may be damaging a tape and/or the machine. Does this sound like an issue that I need to take to my local shop? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Just look for shiny, bare metal on the joints of the loading mechanism(the metal cage that goes around the tape).
This is a fairly common aging issue with Panasonic pro and semi-pro VCRs. You'll find it easier to locate repair advice if you phrase a web search using a more popular model that people still widely use and discuss, such as "Panasonic AG-1980 squeals during FF/REW".
The culprit is usually misalignment of the drive wheels, wear on the idlers/belts, drag from a faulty loading worm gear, etc. Any of which unfortunately requires tedious complete removal of the tape transport from the unit and fairly deep disassembly. If you've done such work before, find a service manual and have at it, if not then leave it be and consider alternative VCRs. Panasonic pro transports are not the easiest things to get at and service, also parts are long unavailable.
Your specific model AG-7350 adds another layer of complication: its a known pit of despair from a design perspective. Many, many electronic failure points, some of which can affect the transport to simulate (or worsen) mechanical problems. Not an easy deck to troubleshoot or repair.
Last edited by orsetto; 10th Jan 2021 at 10:54.
I got my 7350 back today! My tech said (paraphrasing) there's an arm that cleans the tape and the felt disintegrated, thus leaving a bare arm that's causing the gears to grind. In the interest of saving time- and I'm unsure how much the player benefits from it- he went ahead and removed the arm. It's performing as it was before, just without the grinding noise. Hopefully this provides me plenty more use before another issue arises.
Best possible outcome: glad to hear it! Now you can finish those tapes that would only play properly in this VCR!
Interesting the culprit was the head cleaning arm: that hasn't come up in repair threads before as a squealing source with Panasonic. Usually squealing stems from worn reel brakes or other more deeply buried transport elements. Head cleaning arms are typically more independent, coming in contact with the spinning head drum for just a fraction of a second (even if the pad has turned to goo or dust). For it to cause any noticeable sound, it would have to keep pressing on the drum during the entire loading process or other transport movements. That isn't typical for most VCRs: the 7350 must have some sort of position sensor that tells it when to retract the arm. With the pad deteriorated, perhaps the arm blows right past the sensor (so it never triggers retraction). Most cleaning arms I've seen are cammed or spring-loaded to just quickly touch the head drum then retract.
Speaking of "retraction", the same correction I made to my post in your other related thread applies here too: apologies for confusing your 7350 with a later lookalike Panasonic thats identical in appearance (8xxx series I think). Those models include elaborate proc amp and TBC features tied into the menu buttons under the counter display, which are prone to all manner of difficult deterioration issues. Your 7350 omits these features, and the complex servicing problems that arise with them. As owner of the fraternal (infernal?) Panasonic twins, AG1980/AG5710, I should have caught my error sooner.
Last edited by orsetto; 14th Jan 2021 at 02:49.
There are a lot of things that could be the problem. The easy ones would be firstly the RF interferance. Some VCR's are very sensitive and should be used only with the cover on. Also a proper ground is needed. The second one would be that the luminance noise also is related to the heads. If one of the heads is going bad or dirty could cause this.
Maybe you can also find your answer here: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vcr-repair/9541-panasonic-ag7350-noise.html.