Cleaning my VCR's video heads...

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Matt C, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. Matt C

    Matt C Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    I have an older VCR (Panasonic PV-9668) which desperately needs to have the heads cleaned. This model has the "DynAmorphous Metal Heads," and I was wondering if the standard liquid-type head cleaning tapes, such as those found at Wal-Mart were appropriate and/or safe for this type of head. If not, how would you suggest going about cleaning them?

    Also, I have no idea what "DynAmorphous" heads mean; can anyone give me some insight?

    -Matt C
     
  2. Dick Boneske

    Dick Boneske Stunt Coordinator

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    You can try one of the head cleaning tapes if you want, but in my experience, removal of the cover and the use of isopropyl alcohol works the best. I have never had a head cleaning tape do the job. A cotton swab can be used to apply the alcohol and clean the heads. Be careful not to get strands of cotton caught on the edges of the hole in the drum the heads are mounted on. One thing I've found through the years is that it pays to leave off the VCR cover and try playback through a monitor as you often have to go back and do a more thorough job or remove one of the little strands of cotton referred to above.

    I don't know what "Dynamorphous" means, but it's probably Panasonic's name for whatever magnetic ferrous material they use--it's probably the same as the other brands. No one is going to guarantee a safe solvent, but repair shops use isopropyl alcohol.

    Good Luck.
     
  3. Matt C

    Matt C Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the info Dick. I haven't had too much luck with cleaning tapes on past VCRs either, but I somehow didn't realize that I could just pop the cover and use rubbing alcohol. But hey, if that's what the repair shops use, that's what I'll do as well. I guess that will be my "project" for after work tomorrow.

    Thanks,
    Matt C
     
  4. Dick Boneske

    Dick Boneske Stunt Coordinator

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    Matt,

    Use isoproplyl alcohol as rubbing or denatured alcohol has a non-volatile ingredient that leaves a film. Don't use lacquer thinner or mineral spirits. Isopropyl should be available at a drug store if you ask.
     
  5. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I've heard that you shouldn't use a cotton swab on video heads, instead you should use something like a rubber chamois, like you would use on a car. One of my VCRs is 18 years old and has only been to a shop for a cleaning one time, I have a Scotch magnetic cleaning tape that has cleared up a few minor problems that have come up since then. It hasn't been used very much in the past few years of course.
     
  6. Matt C

    Matt C Stunt Coordinator

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    Dick,

    Thanks for the heads-up on "rubbing" alcohol vs isopropyl, I'll make sure the right type is used for the cleaning [​IMG]

    Jesse, should I actually be using a rubber chamois, or the cotton imitation type? Just curious.

    -Matt
     

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