And haven't used them in several years.
Maybe that's the problem? Maybe there's dry rot in the rubber parts (belts, pinch rollers, etc.)? If it's the rubber parts, they're easily (and cheaply) replaceable and can be ordered online.
Maybe the decks also need greasing?
I think sitting totally unused for years can do damage to electronics. I say this because I had an excellent-condition CED player that worked great the last time I used it. About 10 years later (2011 or 2012), I tried to fire it up and heard an awful screeching sound when the pickup arm was moving the stylus into playback position, a sound I'd never heard before. I suspect it's a lubrication issue due to sitting unused for a decade.
That reminds me, a few of my "spare" VHS decks haven't had a tape in them in at least a year or two. I'd probably better fish them out of the closet and at least run a tape through them. Then, I'd probably best put one or two of them on the market. They're probably worth more to another videophile like myself than a new DVD/VCR combo unit, as most of those are pieces of junk (in my experience). One of my spares is even one of those worldwide NTSC/PAL units with built-in converter!
Edited by AndyMcKinney, May 09 2013 - 11:57 AM.