View Full Version : VHS VCR 15-year average reliability data (1978-1993)...


waltchan
05-04-2012, 01:46 AM
1980s VHS VCR 15-year average reliability curve, with data provided by Consumer Reports magazine (ranked in order).

Based on nearly 2,500,000 responses total to our 1983 to 1993 Annual Questionnaires, readers were asked about any repairs to VCRs bought new between 1978 and 1993. Data have been standardized to eliminate differences among brands due solely to age and how much the VCRs were used.

FEWER-REPAIRS
<<<<<

01 -- Panasonic/Quasar/Canon/GE/Magnavox/JCPenny/RCA/Sylvania (most-reliable)
02 -- Toshiba/GE/ProScan/RCA
03 -- Funai/Symphonic/Multitech/Shintom/TEAC/XR-1000
04 -- Sanyo/Sears
05 -- JVC/Kenwood/Zenith
06 -- Orion/Emerson/Broksonic/Sansui/TMK
07 -- Sony
08 -- Mitsubishi/MGA/Electrohome
09 -- Sharp/Montgomery Ward
10 -- Hitachi/RCA/GE/Sears
11 -- Samsung/GE/RCA
12 -- NEC/Marantz/Yamaha
13 -- GoldStar/LXI/JCPenny/Totevision/Zenith
14 -- Daewoo/Capehart/Daytron
15 -- Fisher (least-reliable)

>>>>>
MORE-REPAIRS
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waltchan
05-04-2012, 01:50 AM
Panasonic was the most-reliable brand, while Fisher was the least-reliable brand. Toshiba was the most-reliable brand with linear power supply inside, while Funai/Symphonic was the most-reliable brand with geared idler wheel system (no rubber tire).

dieseljeep
05-04-2012, 12:07 PM
Panasonic was the most-reliable brand, while Fisher was the least-reliable brand.

At one time that was true. Fisher was made by Sanyo. The Sanyo VHS units seemed more reliable. I never thought much of their Beta units.

Ed in Tx
05-04-2012, 12:43 PM
..but those Fishers #14 on the list were usually very simple repairs, 99% of the time was the squealing loading belt 143-2-7504-00600 or 01000. Still have the part numbers memorized did so many of them. Likewise the older pre-'83 or so Panasonics (Quasar/Magnavox/GE//RCA/Sylvania) with the XAMV0019 sensor bulb that when burned out would disable the machine.. not so reliable actually. Ah the memories.

N2IXK
05-04-2012, 01:21 PM
I replaced a LOT of idlers on Fisher decks, too. Particularly this guy:

http://www.smcelectronics.com/VCR13.JPG

The Hitachi/RCA idler (RCA #164113--isn't it scary how some of these numbers stick with you even 25 years later?) was another "fast mover", but at least it was designed in such a way that it could be swapped out in seconds with no tools. One shop I worked at had a tech who had small enough hands that he could reach in through the front-load door and swap those idlers out without even taking the cover off...:D

waltchan
05-04-2012, 01:40 PM
I regularly collect, restore, and resell vintage VHS VCRs made from the 1980s, and the most-reliable idler wheel system came from Funai/Symphonic VCRs (I'm not kidding, man).

waltchan
05-04-2012, 02:41 PM
I need someone's opinion with Sharp/Montgomery Ward VCR on reliability? Do you find them reliable, and what were the problems you saw?

A tech guy, who is also my friend, used to work on VCRs before and regularly sells VCR parts at studiosoundelectronics.com. He is upset at me for placing Sharp at #9 in the list.

Electronic M
05-04-2012, 03:47 PM
At one time that was true. Fisher was made by Sanyo. The Sanyo VHS units seemed more reliable. I never thought much of their Beta units.

I've got a pair of identical front load Sanyo Beta decks (plain Jane units with no desirable features) which are probably early front loaders given their bulky size, and they are the ONLY beta decks I have that work well without me ever having had to open them up.

Back when I was a kid in the mid-late 90's my folks got me a Sharp new VHS deck for my birthday, and that has been one of the most reliable decks trouble free decks I've owned (or seen). I still have it and occasionally use it. I seem to recall that thing has survived falls that other decks I've had would have died from(some did!).

waltchan
05-06-2012, 12:26 AM
I need someone's opinion with Sharp/Montgomery Ward VCR on reliability? Do you find them reliable, and what were the problems you saw? In several issues published by Consumer Reports between 1982 and 1986, responders voted Sharp as the "least-reliable, most frequently-repaired" VHS brand.

A tech guy, who is also my friend, used to repair VCRs before and currently sells VCR parts at studiosoundelectronics.com. He is upset at me for placing Sharp at #9 in the list. :sigh:

Ed in Tx
05-06-2012, 07:48 AM
Those CR lists are why I dropped my subscription many years ago. I could always think of exceptions to their lists.

About all I recall about Sharps was replacing idler clutch assemblies, idler arms, capstan motors, pinch rollers, and some upper head drums mostly because of loose head height set-screws, they had a bad run of those. On recordings one head would partially erase what the first head had just laid down on the tape making for poor record quality on EP especially, playback of head A might be strong, head B very weak when looking at the RF envelope. Remember the Sharp upper drums that were solid brass?

waltchan
05-06-2012, 02:03 PM
Remember the Sharp upper drums that were solid brass?
Is this the one with a brass-color video head that Sharp used from 1979 to 1981 model years? Initially, I thought it was really cool-looking at first, and I thought it was a durable design due to heavier-weight. But, later I realized I repeatedly had to clean the video head every 3 months, since it gets dirty very fast, so I ditched the unit. This one was a 1981 Sharp VC-8500 model.

I also used to own a 1979 Sharp VC-6800 model, which was the very first front-loading VHS VCR ever made, but later re-sold it for $300. It uses the same brass-color video head, but it requires a pulley motor to turn the video head. A flat rubber belt was placed on top of the video head, connected to a pulley motor. A strange design, indeed.

Right now, I have a 1981 Sharp XA-900 portable VCR unit, which sits in my storage due to snowy picture on playback. Probably the brass-color video head problem again. Overall, I do find the 1979-1981 Sharp VCRs quite troublesome, just as Consumer Reports clearly pointed out.

Reliability began to improve starting with the 1982 models when Sharp decided to switch to chrome-color video head. Sharp VCR reliability improved to average beginning with the late-80s/early-90s chassis with three belts, and accelerated quickly beginning with the mid-90s, one-belt chassis. By the time year 2000 has reached, Sharp, successfully, ended becoming the 2nd most-reliable VCR brand after Panasonic.

Of all the VCR makes out there since the last 30 years, Sharp was definitely the most improved brand, with every new chassis that came out were always more better and more reliable than the previous one.

Ed in Tx
05-06-2012, 02:35 PM
Later I recall Sharp had some sort of specially treated diamond-hardened surface or somesuch of the upper drum they touted. Those old ones were solid brass I was talking about. The mass served as a flywheel too. Take one off and it's heavy unlike the usual aluminum alloy. And that belt drive arrangement. Oddly the "Inventor" of VHS, JVC, used a belt drive head drum on their first home VCR, the HR-3300, but that belt was on the bottom of the deck. One thing about Matsushita (parent company of JVC) they always used a DD cylinder from their first PV-1000.

waltchan
05-06-2012, 04:09 PM
Later I recall Sharp had some sort of specially treated diamond-hardened surface or somesuch of the upper drum they touted.
I've seen a 8-head Sharp VCR before with the "Titanium-coated feature" that was released in the early-90s. Maybe this video head is identical.

On the Toshiba, how reliable were they, and what kind of problems you saw that came in for service? Toshiba was 2nd most-reliable, while Sharp was 9th most-reliable, which looks very significant to me.

Of all the fifty 80s vintage VHS VCRs I have in my collection, personally, I find Toshiba and Funai/Symphonic to be the most-reliable, cheapest to fix, and aging the best as they get older. I don't really care for Panasonic much, despite it being the most-reliable, due to the switching power supply it used, and they often have serious electronic-aging issues when they get old.
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Ed in Tx
05-06-2012, 05:12 PM
..."Titanium-coated feature"..That's it.

We saw our share of Toshibas. I remember a few Betas from the late '70s-early '80s. VHS mostly rubber drive parts. The later line early-mid-'90s that included M-752 I think it was, tended to get a cracked capstan motor pulley to the reel drive, many came in with that pulley loose spinning around, or some the belt would just break and/or get soft and fall off, and of course no reel drive eats tapes. RCA decided to sell Toshiba-made VCRs at that time with that same mechanism so we saw a lot of those too. Another common fail was the die-cast loading arm that went from under the cam gear and operated the FL mechanism. Many of those came in with that cast arm broken, from operator getting a tape jammed. There was also one certain electrolytic in the SMPS that would fail and PS would not start up after a power failure. Another Toshiba model would not tune to certain HRC cable channels, would just hunt back-and-forth across the channel not lock. We got in over 50 of those all in warranty to add a capacitor to the tuner circuit to change a timing issue and make it work.

Agree about the Panasonics and their offspring, capacitors especially not aging well. I gambled and lost when I bought an AG-1830 new in 1989 for roughly $1000, even bought a spare head drum, but every capacitor in that thing must be bad. It started showing symptoms after maybe 5-6 years.

There were a few Panasonics and Quasars in the early '80s that had a big ol' power transformer in 'em before they started getting SMPS. Some of those had remarkably durable rubber parts too, that didn't seem to deteriorate like newer rubber.

My current VCR that's always hooked up ready to go is a JVC HR-S5900. Simple, reliable, not a whole lot to break in one, plays all my S-VHS tapes I made starting in '89 with the AG-1830 Panasonic on.

waltchan
05-07-2012, 12:16 AM
We saw our share of Toshibas. I remember a few Betas from the late '70s-early '80s. VHS mostly rubber drive parts. The later line early-mid-'90s that included M-752 I think it was, tended to get a cracked capstan motor pulley to the reel drive, many came in with that pulley loose spinning around, or some the belt would just break and/or get soft and fall off, and of course no reel drive eats tapes. RCA decided to sell Toshiba-made VCRs at that time with that same mechanism so we saw a lot of those too. Another common fail was the die-cast loading arm that went from under the cam gear and operated the FL mechanism. Many of those came in with that cast arm broken, from operator getting a tape jammed. There was also one certain electrolytic in the SMPS that would fail and PS would not start up after a power failure. Another Toshiba model would not tune to certain HRC cable channels, would just hunt back-and-forth across the channel not lock. We got in over 50 of those all in warranty to add a capacitor to the tuner circuit to change a timing issue and make it work.
Ahhh, yes, this was the mid-90s Toshiba chassis, which was a joint-venture with Thomson/RCA. Studio Sound Electronics, the largest online DIY VCR parts store, called this the MBK-48 chassis, and the owner also agrees this was a junky, unreliable VCR. Frankly, I'm never interested in this chassis.

What about the mid-to-late-1980s Toshibas with linear power supply inside? No major problems, right, besides rubber parts? I assume it's reliable overall, and the #2 most-reliable rating must be valid after all. :)

Agree about the Panasonics and their offspring, capacitors especially not aging well. I gambled and lost when I bought an AG-1830 new in 1989 for roughly $1000, even bought a spare head drum, but every capacitor in that thing must be bad. It started showing symptoms after maybe 5-6 years.
The most common caps failed in the Panasonics are the surface-mount caps located on the video and Hi-Fi audio board, and I've seen this in many Panasonic units made after 1988, whether it's a simple, no-frill 2-head mono or 6-head Hi-Fi S-VHS unit. Video that turns black, no color, and distorted video, or distorted or no Hi-Fi audio sound are all caused by the surface-mount caps placed on bottom of the hybrid IC board. Repairs are always costly, and they will eventually fail again shortly in the future, due to poor design. They overheated most of the time due to poor ventilation, so the surface-mount caps dried up faster than normal.

My local technician is always not happy fixing this for me. Every time I sent him a Panasonic board to fix, he had to unsoldered 55 joints total, then 10 joints for all the surface-mount caps, and then re-soldered 55 joints again when finished. Total: 120 solder joints, and I only paid him $40 total, and the tech quoted me a wrong price in the end and told me I got a great deal. Re-soldering all 55 joints were the most difficult to do for him, as the tiny solder joints could make contact with each other easily and blow out the power supply if not soldered right.

Tech told me to stay away from Panasonic units made after 1988 (aka. G-Chassis decks) if I plan to keep vintage VCRs running for another 50 years in the future.

There were a few Panasonics and Quasars in the early '80s that had a big ol' power transformer in 'em before they started getting SMPS. Some of those had remarkably durable rubber parts too, that didn't seem to deteriorate like newer rubber.
All the Panasonic/Quasar VCRs made before 1983 used the big ol' linear power transformer. The AG models used this until 1987. The last, linear-powered Panasonic VCRs were the 1986 AG-1810, 1986 AG-1950, and 1986 Canon VR-HF720.

Ed in Tx
05-07-2012, 08:05 AM
Ahhh, yes, this was the mid-90s Toshiba chassis, which was a joint-venture with Thomson/RCA. Studio Sound Electronics, the largest online DIY VCR parts store, called this the MBK-48 chassis, and the owner also agrees this was a junky, unreliable VCR. Frankly, I'm never interested in this chassis.Yep those were pretty bad. They really cut back on the mechanism, tape guides and rollers. Had a good picture though. I remember the 19u head switch some had on the front panel. Every one of those Tosh-RCAs I got in if it had been used at all had little piles of tape oxide beneath the tape guides because it was impossible to get the tape to run smoothly without some wrinkling and skewing between the drum exit guide and the AC head guide.

What about the mid-to-late-1980s Toshibas with linear power supply inside? No major problems, right, besides rubber parts? I assume it's reliable overall, and the #2 most-reliable rating must be valid after all. :)

Rubber parts, reel drive clutch, stuff like that about all I remember.

Kind of surprised Mitsubishi ranked in the middle. I probably fixed as many if not more Mitsubishis than any others. Made lots of money off their loose entry and exit tape guide rollers..:D

Zenith26kc20
05-07-2012, 11:34 AM
Mitsubishi with glue eating up the circuit traces! We repaired plenty of them!
Funai with bad LED's for the sensors!
Never dull!

waltchan
05-07-2012, 11:42 AM
Kind of surprised Mitsubishi ranked in the middle. I probably fixed as many if not more Mitsubishis than any others. Made lots of money off their loose entry and exit tape guide rollers..:D
It's probably because Mitsubishi was the 2nd largest VHS VCR producer in Japan after Matsushita (Panasonic) during the late-1980s, so tons of units were sold under several brand names, so more units appeared in service centers. I also see more late-1980s Mitsubishi selling on eBay than others, and not all units had been serviced one-time before.

I also find Mitsubishi somewhat troublesome, but Mitsubishi had slightly better electronics that aged better than Panasonic (assuming the glue was removed), since Mitsubishi didn't put in any surface-mount caps.

waltchan
05-07-2012, 11:46 AM
Funai with bad LED's for the sensors!
These Funai LED problems were really common for the mid-to-late 1990s units, or plastic disposable VCRs. The vintage Funai VCRs from the 1980s had no problems.

Jeffhs
05-07-2012, 01:38 PM
My Panasonic PV-4022 VCR has been working flawlessly since I purchased it new in 2002. Since getting a DVD player (now have a Blu-ray), however, the Panasonic VCR doesn't get much use except for occasionally viewing old VHS tapes (and I mean old; many if not most of the VHS cassettes in my collection, except four about a half-dozen professionally recorded ones, have old TV shows and movies on them, and the tapes are now close to if not over twenty years old -- they still work like new).

Panasonic VCRs, TVs, etc. have a reputation for longevity, at least the older ones did. One ad for Panasonic from several years ago (which I saw online -- it may still be on Panasonic's website) states, "How about that TV or VCR that just won't die? Probably a Panasonic."

However, I don't know if today's Panasonic video gear, TVs, etc. can be expected to last as long without repairs as the earlier, older units did. My Panny VCR is ten years old and still works, as I stated above, although the auto clock set does not work since the DTV transition. I find that odd and puzzling, as I can still get my area's PBS channels as NTSC analog on my cable. Perhaps Cleveland's PBS station, for whatever reason, dropped the extended-data (XDS) signal that operates the auto clock set feature in Panny, et al. VCRs. :scratch2:

NJRoadfan
05-07-2012, 05:33 PM
The most common caps failed in the Panasonics are the surface-mount caps located on the video and Hi-Fi audio board, and I've seen this in many Panasonic units made after 1988, whether it's a simple, no-frill 2-head mono or 6-head Hi-Fi S-VHS unit. Video that turns black, no color, and distorted video, or distorted or no Hi-Fi audio sound are all caused by the surface-mount caps placed on bottom of the hybrid IC board. Repairs are always costly, and they will eventually fail again shortly in the future, due to poor design. They overheated most of the time due to poor ventilation, so the surface-mount caps dried up faster than normal.

This is the problem that plagues the last of the line Panasonic AG-1980 (built 1996 to 2001, K-chassis). Does replacing the caps with higher temp rated electrolytic or even tantalum caps solve the issues? Its only a matter of time until my 1980 starts acting up, and I'm not looking forward to taking that beast apart. :yikes: Its already got a dim VFD.

As for the later SVHS JVCs (1998-2004), they seem to be reliable although they all seem to be cursed with poor Hi-Fi and EP tape tracking. The DVHS units don't seem to suffer from these problems thankfully. The only problem deck is the HM-DH30000U. Like most JVC products of that era, it suffers from faulty caps from the factory.

For pro equipment, I'd stick with Panny over JVC. In high school TV class, thats all they used and we beat the living crap out of it. Just try killing a pair of AG-6500s with the AG-A750 editor. They had a nice A-B roll setup with 2xAG-DS545s, an AG-DS555, a AG-A850 editor, and a WJ-MX50 mixer. Don't know how that held up, but it seemed just as solid as the 80s gear.

holmesuser01
05-07-2012, 06:47 PM
I replaced a LOT of idlers on Fisher decks, too. Particularly this guy:

http://www.smcelectronics.com/VCR13.JPG

The Hitachi/RCA idler (RCA #164113--isn't it scary how some of these numbers stick with you even 25 years later?) was another "fast mover", but at least it was designed in such a way that it could be swapped out in seconds with no tools. One shop I worked at had a tech who had small enough hands that he could reach in through the front-load door and swap those idlers out without even taking the cover off...:D

I stocked these parts for years. Also, belt kits for them.

Those were the days.

leadlike
05-08-2012, 01:03 AM
Sad to see RCA so low on the list. My Dad bought at least 2 Selectavision VCRs circa 1984, and we used them for over 15 years, throwing them out in still-working condition.

It isn't the age they had on them that is so impressive, but rather the miles. Dad dubbed videos (legally selling/trading public domain stuff) and we had a library of 5-7 thousand VHS tapes-most of them having run through those two decks! The only problem we ever had on them was a lightning strike took out both displays, and we used them for years without the display.

That ended in about 1990 when we casually mentioned them to a guy who repaired VCRs, and his eyes got all wide and he said he could get a pair of repair kits for cheap and just snap them right in! Good to his word, we had "like new" VCRs a few days later, and it became my first VHS deck, my brother getting the other.

waltchan
05-08-2012, 01:09 AM
My Panasonic PV-4022 VCR has been working flawlessly since I purchased it new in 2002. Since getting a DVD player (now have a Blu-ray), however, the Panasonic VCR doesn't get much use except for occasionally viewing old VHS tapes (and I mean old; many if not most of the VHS cassettes in my collection, except four about a half-dozen professionally recorded ones, have old TV shows and movies on them, and the tapes are now close to if not over twenty years old -- they still work like new).
It's possible for some newer, modern VCRs made after 2000 that lasts just as long as the ones made 15 years before. Newer, modern VCRs have eliminated a loading belt (except Funai) and are more simple-designed. They are also more energy-efficient than before, so the power supply will run cooler, and the caps will be harder to dry up.

Panasonic VCRs, TVs, etc. have a reputation for longevity, at least the older ones did. One ad for Panasonic from several years ago (which I saw online -- it may still be on Panasonic's website) states, "How about that TV or VCR that just won't die? Probably a Panasonic."
Really true, although I am always skeptical with Panasonic's construction material quality. Back in 1984 when Panasonic decided to use a switching power supply, the weight of the unit reduced by about 30-40% overall from last year's 1983 models, due to a lighter-weight power supply. A switching power supply, generally, cost less to produce than a linear power supply, and they fail more often.

Panasonic got even worse and really cut-corners in production quality beginning with the 1988 models (G-chassis decks and AG Pro-Line models), and they failed to realize they would have reliability problems in the long-run. Panasonic's goal was to shrink all their VCR models to make them really compact-looking and lightweight. But they came at a huge cost. To make them smaller, lighter, and more compact, Panasonic was forced to put in a bunch of surface-mount caps placed on the video board and audio board, which usually had short-lifespan. Panasonic also used the smallest-looking, regular-caps they could find, again, they had shorter-lifespan than the larger, regular-sized caps. Most of the small caps were NOT Hi-Temp rated, and failures typically showed up quick after 5-6 years. They overheated most of the time, due to poor ventilation and tight-space, so the caps dried up faster than average time. It's possible to have a G-chassis Panasonic deck with hundreds of caps reading all bad (I've seen one before).

Construction quality has improved after 2000, and worries of electronic-aging issues have become less of a concern, due to improved ventilation and newer Panasonic products becoming more energy-efficient with cooler-running power supply. Today, Panasonic has built more products that weight heavier and bigger than many other brands.

However, I don't know if today's Panasonic video gear, TVs, etc. can be expected to last as long without repairs as the earlier, older units did. My Panny VCR is ten years old and still works, as I stated above, although the auto clock set does not work since the DTV transition. I find that odd and puzzling, as I can still get my area's PBS channels as NTSC analog on my cable. Perhaps Cleveland's PBS station, for whatever reason, dropped the extended-data (XDS) signal that operates the auto clock set feature in Panny, et al. VCRs. :scratch2:
The new Panasonic products are just as reliable, if not even better, than the ones made several years ago. Some, proven and reliable new Panasonic products today with mostly positive reviews and minimal problems reported are the LCD/LED TV, car stereo, cordless phone, fax machine, copier, printer, rice cooker, beard shaver, air conditioner, and microwave oven. Plasma TV, DVD recorder, Blu-Ray player, and DVD player are all so-so, and I wouldn't consider them to be ultra-reliable.
.

waltchan
05-08-2012, 01:27 AM
This is the problem that plagues the last of the line Panasonic AG-1980 (built 1996 to 2001, K-chassis). Does replacing the caps with higher temp rated electrolytic or even tantalum caps solve the issues? Its only a matter of time until my 1980 starts acting up, and I'm not looking forward to taking that beast apart. :yikes: Its already got a dim VFD.
Any caps that are higher-temp rated are always better and longer lasting than the standard ones. Assuming the Panasonic AG-1980 you have has no picture, you will need to replace all the surface-mount caps placed on the hybrid IC board.

Tony75
05-08-2012, 07:08 AM
My experience with Panasonic machines likewise is quite mixed, the early ones with the D-Deck (branded National here) with linear power supplies were very solid and will last forever just with rubber changes. G decks had one motor to do all the loading, reel and capstan driving, this put a lot of strain on the clutch, genuine part replacement was the only cure. Of course the switching power supplies were not that reliable. The later K deck was interesting as it upped the motor count (i think) making the clutch far more reliable. What I really noticed about these was the engineering. They were very reliable and well performing until something went wrong, then basically everything went wrong at the same time or shortly after the last thing was fixed, good quality control really. What it did mean that though, coupled with Panasonic's exorbitant parts prices these machines were almost always an economic write off. I refuse to repair any now apart from the D decks.
Have to agree that the old Funai (mostly badged Teac) here from late 80's were very solid. They went unbelievably downhill in the 90s of course. These older Funais are showing lots of issues now with dried grease but they can be brought back to life, just not economically.
JVC has often been a mixed bag, but my machine, an HR-J200 bought in the mid 90's just keeps going and going and gets a lot of use.
One brand that we get a lot of here that does not make the list is Akai, up until the late 90's they made their own machines. The early ones are quite amazing, some are quite cantankerous too. The later units for this time frame (up to 1993) seem to be holding up well generally without too many catastrophic failures.
Been experimenting with an old Daewoo from the late 80s for a few years now, very solid and surprisingly reliable, like the Panasonics it has a very solid cast alloy chassis. A far cry from some of their later decks, such as ones badged NEC in the early 90s. They did lift their game for their last chassis design, but it did chew through belts.

Ed in Tx
05-08-2012, 08:41 AM
..
One brand that we get a lot of here that does not make the list is Akai...
Ah yes I remember working on those Akai portable VCRs and cameras from the early '80s. We were an authorized service center for Akai. Model 7350 seems to ring a bell. Was stereo too! I think one of the first stereo VCRs. Linear stereo though, split the narrow mono track into two really narrow stereo not very good audio tracks. Like the Panasonic PV-6000 portable I had for a while. I recall an Akai VCR that was a rebadged JVC (top-loader JVC HR-7300?) about the same time frame.

Ed in Tx
05-08-2012, 08:51 AM
I stocked these parts for years. Also, belt kits for them.

Those were the days.And the idler pulley ass'y too. Many of those.

holmesuser01
05-08-2012, 09:02 AM
And the idler pulley ass'y too. Many of those.

I could go to the shed and find a few of these if I look for a minute...

Speaking of Akai VCR's...

I had one for a time that had a built in audio amplifier with speaker connections. I used it for a tweeter set-up on my TV for years. It got retired (haw haw) after the idler tire died, and I had nothing on hand to replace it. By then, Akai didnt want to know me for parts.

Speaking of Fisher VCR's:thumbsdn: I had a Fisher FVH-840 unit that ran for over 10 years, with a yearly replacement of the idler and clutches and belts. It ate a friends cherished tape once, and my friend has never let me forget it.

I bought this Fisher because it was Hi-Fi, and also had linear stereo, too. A local radio station came through the AFM circuitry loud and clear during the day, and was silent when they powered down at night. When I moved back to NC, there were no issues.

Bought an FVH-950 to replace the other Fisher. It lasted 1 year and 5 months before it simply died. I was hating Fisher at that point, so I bought a Sony with a flying erase head. It's still here today, with minor repairs.

waltchan
05-08-2012, 09:34 AM
Ah yes I remember working on those Akai portable VCRs and cameras from the early '80s. We were an authorized service center for Akai. Model 7350 seems to ring a bell. Was stereo too! I think one of the first stereo VCRs. Linear stereo though, split the narrow mono track into two really narrow stereo not very good audio tracks. Like the Panasonic PV-6000 portable I had for a while. I recall an Akai VCR that was a rebadged JVC (top-loader JVC HR-7300?) about the same time frame.
I wonder where Akai's reliability rating should be ranked at? Consumer Reports had no data for Akai VCRs.

Ed in Tx
05-08-2012, 09:39 AM
I could go to the shed and find a few of these if I look for a minute...

Speaking of Akai VCR's...

I had one for a time that had a built in audio amplifier with speaker connections. I used it for a tweeter set-up on my TV for years. It got retired (haw haw) after the idler tire died, and I had nothing on hand to replace it. By then, Akai didnt want to know me for parts. I remember seeing one or two of those come in the shop. Heavy beasts due to the power transformer for the audio amplifier section. Just add speakers and you had stereo!

Speaking of Fisher VCR's:thumbsdn: I had a Fisher FVH-840...
I bought this Fisher because it was Hi-Fi, and also had linear stereo, too. .. I bought and still have a Mitsubishi HS-430U that 's hi-fi and linear stereo for all those old stereo tapes I made on the two linear stereo Panasonics I went through before hi-fi came out. Years ago I de-glued all the boards in the Mitsubishi. It even had glue around the drum stator board. They sure didn't want any parts falling out!


http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p72/tblazed/mit-hs430u-2.jpg

Ed in Tx
05-08-2012, 09:56 AM
I wonder where Akai's reliability rating should be ranked at? Consumer Reports had no data for Akai VCRs.Probably not enough sold to show up on the survey. I'd almost bet there were more Mitsubishis rebadged with "Video Concepts" name on front sold than Akai was in the US.

waltchan
05-08-2012, 10:10 AM
Have to agree that the old Funai (mostly badged Teac) here from late 80's were very solid. They went unbelievably downhill in the 90s of course. These older Funais are showing lots of issues now with dried grease but they can be brought back to life, just not economically.
I find Funai's oldest VHS machine (MBK-94) made in the mid-1980s to be the most-reliable. The older the Funai, the better it is. Funai's original and first chassis, or MBK-94 that studiosoundelectronics.com called, was the best there. Funai switched to a flat-loading belt chassis (MBK-66), which is still mostly the same-design, but required more belt-changing.

List of all the Funai VHS chassis produced in history:

MBK-94 (1984-1986): http://www.studiosoundelectronics.com/mbk-94.htm

MBK-66 (1986-1988): http://www.studiosoundelectronics.com/mbk-66.htm

MBK-83 (1988-1992): http://www.studiosoundelectronics.com/mbk-83.htm

MBK-67 (1992-2000): http://www.studiosoundelectronics.com/mbk-67.htm

(2000-present): Available at Wal-Mart right now

Funai had always used a geared idler-wheel system, and having one in 1984-1986 was unheard of at that time. It was a huge improvement in reliability versus the ones with rubber-tire.
.

waltchan
05-09-2012, 04:09 PM
I bought and still have a Mitsubishi HS-430U that 's hi-fi and linear stereo for all those old stereo tapes I made on the two linear stereo Panasonics I went through before hi-fi came out. Years ago I de-glued all the boards in the Mitsubishi. It even had glue around the drum stator board. They sure didn't want any parts falling out!
Did you buy it new in 1985, and was the HS-430UR considered as a reliable model? Other techs have told me to to stay away from it.

Ed in Tx
05-09-2012, 04:35 PM
Did you buy it new in 1985, and was the HS-430UR considered as a reliable model? Other techs have told me to to stay away from it. Yep bought it brand-new at the old Videoland on Preston Rd in Dallas, for $899 + tax. Very unreliable. I would only own one if I could fix it. Did not know that at the time though. I flat wore out the service manual fixing those for customers. I kept the service manual for it. Many things can and did go wrong: Tape path alignment, regulator IC , glue on the boards, idler arm ass'y, mode encoder switch, flip-down control panel ground wires, lamps that illuminated the tape well that could be left on all the time which made it run hot, just off the top of my head!

waltchan
05-09-2012, 07:57 PM
Very unreliable. I would only own one if I could fix it. Did not know that at the time though. I flat wore out the service manual fixing those for customers. I kept the service manual for it. Many things can and did go wrong: Tape path alignment, regulator IC , glue on the boards, idler arm ass'y, mode encoder switch, flip-down control panel ground wires, lamps that illuminated the tape well that could be left on all the time which made it run hot, just off the top of my head!
Thanks for the write-up. As far as I know, the early-1980s Mitsubishi had been extremely troublesome. I used own a 1982 HS-304UR, Mitsubishi's first front-loader, and it had a horizontal streak line in playback, and the right-reel motor didn't work. I also owned a HS-430UR, like you have right now, and the transport mechanism would get stuck trying to wrap it to video head. Put in some greese, and it worked okay now. Fortunately, I had a lucky buyer wanted to buy the HS-430UR from me for $700 shipped.

Do you still have your Panasonic AG-1830, and did you try to repair it? Is it still running today?
.

Ed in Tx
05-09-2012, 08:17 PM
...I had a lucky buyer wanted to buy the HS-430UR from me for $700 shipped. hmmm.. :scratch2:

Do you still have your Panasonic AG-1830, and did you try to repair it? Is it still running today? Yes, still have, and no it is not working. Looked into it. Very modular construction and packed tight, boards loaded with miniature electrolytics not SMD and boards, tops of capacitors adj pots etc all covered with hot glue looks like. Too much trouble since I have other units that work fine. Was very disappointed with that AG-1830 that it had a variation of the G chassis and a SMPS. For some reason when I ordered it new from an outfit in NY I thought it would have a linear PS and the older mechanism similar to AG-1800. Had a beautiful rec-pb picture when it was new. I had just gotten a C-band satellite receiver and had excellent picture and audio quality, and needed S-VHS after seeing that.

Ed in Tx
05-09-2012, 08:26 PM
I used own a 1982 HS-304UR, Mitsubishi's first front-loader, and it had a horizontal streak line in playback...
Worked on many of those and the linear stereo 4 head HS-330UR model too.

waltchan
05-10-2012, 12:08 AM
hmmm.. :scratch2:
Yes, assuming your Mitsubishi HS-430UR is in mint, rarely-used, like-new condition, PLUS original box, remote, manual, and packaging, it does sell for $700 shipped on eBay easily. That's what I had. I originally paid only $65 shipped for it.

Yes, still have, and no it is not working. Looked into it. Very modular construction and packed tight, boards loaded with miniature electrolytics not SMD and boards, tops of capacitors adj pots etc all covered with hot glue looks like. Too much trouble since I have other units that work fine. Was very disappointed with that AG-1830 that it had a variation of the G chassis and a SMPS.
What went wrong with the Panasonic AG-1830? Describe the problem, and maybe I can help you troubleshoot it faster.

I also currently own a 1987 Canon VR-HF800, a clone-model of Panasonic AG-1820, and previous-year model of AG-1830, and it has served me well so far. While it does have the G-chassis mechanism and switching power supply (already rebuilt), and it's not S-VHS, it does NOT use any surface-mount caps or miniature electrolytics on the video/audio board, so electronics still work good today for the most part. Only the S-VHS units have them. In my opinion, the S-VHS feature by Panasonic, which was a lousy-design by them in the first place, decreased the reliability of the VCR by more than 60%, versus the one without S-VHS.

For some reason when I ordered it new from an outfit in NY I thought it would have a linear PS and the older mechanism similar to AG-1800. Had a beautiful rec-pb picture when it was new. I had just gotten a C-band satellite receiver and had excellent picture and audio quality, and needed S-VHS after seeing that.
Surprise, huh. Panasonic was well-known to cut corners in production easily, because making their VCRs smaller and lighter was their top priority. There was a Panasonic PV-4863 with 4-head Hi-Fi that looked just as small as the $30 Magnavox DVD player selling at Wal-Mart right now. It only had power, stop/eject, and channel buttons at the front. The REW, FF, and REC buttons were omitted. It does run really hot, unfortunately.

The AG-1800 and AG-1810 were probably the best VCRs ever made by Panasonic. Is your AG-1800 still running fine today?

Ed in Tx
05-10-2012, 07:44 AM
Yes, assuming your Mitsubishi HS-430UR is in mint, rarely-used, like-new condition, PLUS original box, remote, manual, and packaging, it does sell for $700 shipped on eBay easily. That's what I had. I originally paid only $65 shipped for it. And it didn't come back to haunt you? YOU are Lucky!


What went wrong with the Panasonic AG-1830? Describe the problem, and maybe I can help you troubleshoot it faster. Dark distorted picture, either E-E or tape playback, distorted hi-fi audio, as I recall. Been over 10 years since I had it hooked up. Have several other decks that work fine, JVC HR-S5900, Mitsubishi HS-U795 both S-VHS serve my purposes. I had accumulated 3 more AG-1830s ("no fixes" from customers) but the numbskulls at the shop threw them away rather than calling be to come get them as I had asked them to do. Oh well. Also had stashed an AG-1960, and couple of Mit HS-430s for parts, all tossed in a dumpster. And a pair of mint HR-S7000s JVCs first S-VHS VCRs. A customer brought them in but didn't want to spend more than a head cleaning charge, so they got abandoned. All gone to the landfill.


Is your AG-1800 still running fine today?

Never had one of those myself. Did work on a few and the Canon version too. I kept the service manual for the AG-1800 for some reason. Maybe in anticipation of acquiring one some day. Last thing I need is more VCRs!

holmesuser01
05-10-2012, 07:51 AM
You guys should start a new topic on the Mitsubishi and Panasonic VCR... I've had a bunch of them recently that were a mess that I picked up at the thrifts.

I've got several Sony VHS machines that all had the same problem: There's an arm that physically pulls the tape out of the cassette and moves it in place at the capstan and pinch roller. The pivot bearing gums up. Once it's freed up, the machine works fine. Most of the time, I have to remove the pivot from its shaft to get oil in it.

One of these models is a SLV-900HF with a flying erase head that I paid $2 for at the thrift. I've got 9 machines like this... Each one cost a fortune when new. I have less than $30 in all of them. Remotes included with most of them!!!

Ed in Tx
05-10-2012, 08:09 AM
I've got several Sony VHS machines that all had the same problem: There's an arm that physically pulls the tape out of the cassette and moves it in place at the capstan and pinch roller. The pivot bearing gums up. Once it's freed up, the machine works fine. Most of the time, I have to remove the pivot from its shaft to get oil in it.

Did many of those. Easy fix! After you put it back together you need to run a tape, look down at the A/C head guides with a flashlight, run the tape forward and rev search and fine-adjust that arm height with the nut to make sure there's no tape wrinkling at the top or bottom edges.

Another common failure on those decks is the plastic take-up arm gear on the bottom of the deck will crack, split in two, and then the tape won't load around the drum. I think the last one of those I did was on a SLV-R1000. Definitely a worthwhile investment for that customer.

holmesuser01
05-10-2012, 08:13 AM
Right. I should have mentioned the re-adjustment.

Thanks for the heads-up on the cracked gear. I never noticed that.

I just aquired yet another machine like the ones I mentioned earlier. This one looks brand new, and has the remote. What cha want to bet that the pivot arm is stuck?

Have a good day. I'm off to work, now!

waltchan
05-10-2012, 10:36 AM
Dark distorted picture, either E-E or tape playback, distorted hi-fi audio, as I recall. Been over 10 years since I had it hooked up.
A dark, distorted picture and distorted Hi-Fi audio are ALWAYS the surface-mount caps located at the bottom of the hybrid IC board, like I mentioned earlier. If you look at the video board with all the sticky glue on top, there's a green-color, small hybrid IC board soldered on top of the S-VHS video process board. If you look underneath the hybrid IC green board, you will see maybe 10-15 surface-mount caps. All need to be replaced.

Same thing as for the Hi-Fi audio board. There are about 15-30 surface-mount caps to check and replace on the green hybrid IC boards, two of them, all soldered onto the audio board.

This is a very time-consuming repair job, no easy work, but fixable. Yep, this problem is one of Panasonic's electronic aging issue, mostly found in S-VHS units. Without the S-VHS feature, like the AG-1820, you could have saved 50 surface-mount caps from going bad.

waltchan
05-12-2012, 11:38 AM
One thing to note, the hybrid IC boards were already discontinued, and repairing is now the only option.

waltchan
05-12-2012, 11:41 AM
I e-mailed Studio Sound Electronics, the largest online VCR part-store, on his opinion on 1980s to 1993 VHS VCR reliability, and he sent me this:

FEWER REPAIRS
<<<<<

01 -- Toshiba/RCA/GE/ProScan (most-reliable)
02 -- Shintom/Multitech/Toshiba
03 -- Funai/Symphonic/Multitech/TEAC/XR-1000
04 -- Panasonic/Quasar/Canon/GE/Magnavox/JCPenny/RCA/Sylvania
05 -- Sanyo/Sears
06 -- NEC/Marantz/Yamaha
07 -- Sharp/Montgomery Ward/Signature 2000
08 -- JVC/Zenith/Kenwood
09 -- Orion/Emerson/Broksonic/Sansui/TMK
10 -- Samsung/RCA/GE/Toshiba
11 -- Sony
12 -- Hitachi/RCA/GE/ProScan/Sears
13 -- Mitsubishi/MGA/Video Concepts
14 -- GoldStar/Zenith/LXI/JCPenny/Totevision/
15 -- Daewoo/Capehart/Daytron
16 -- Fisher (least-reliable)

>>>>>
MORE REPAIRS

Toshiba/RCA/GE/ProScan were the most-reliable, while Fisher was the least-reliable. Would all of you (as techs) find this (his rankings) more preferable and accurate?
.

waltchan
05-16-2012, 11:41 AM
1994-2005 VHS VCR reliability rankings:

FEWER REPAIRS
<<<<<

01 -- Sanyo (most-reliable)
02 -- Shintom/Toshiba/Sony
03 -- Fisher
04 -- Hitachi
05 -- Orion/Emerson/Broksonic/Sansui
06 -- Mitsubishi
07 -- Sharp/Admiral
08 -- Samsung/RCA/GE/Samtron/Toshiba
09 -- Panasonic/Quasar/GE/Memorex/RCA
10 -- Funai/Symphonic/Hitachi/Philips-Magnavox/Sylvania
11 -- Toshiba/RCA/GE/ProScan
12 -- JVC/Marantz/Philips-Magnavox
13 -- Sony
14 -- GoldStar/JCPenny/LXI/Allegro/Zenith
15 -- Daewoo/Audiovox/Emerson/Fisher/GE/RCA/Sanyo (least-reliable)

>>>>>
MORE REPAIRS

Sanyo was the most-reliable, while Daewoo/Audiovox/Emerson/Fisher/GE/RCA/Sanyo were the least-reliable. Would all of you (as techs) find this (his rankings) more preferable and accurate?
.

waltchan
05-16-2012, 02:03 PM
I'm servicing a 1988 Panasonic PV-S4880 right now. It needs a power supply caps rebuild, capstan-motor circuit caps rebuild, and video board surface-mount caps rebuild (photo #1).

Surprisingly, the Hi-Fi audio board use no surface-mount caps.

Ed in TX, this is what the video board looks like in the PV-S4880 with the surface-mount caps (photo #2). Your AG-1830 looks pretty much similar.

holmesuser01
05-16-2012, 05:41 PM
1994-2005 VHS VCR reliability rankings:

FEWER REPAIRS
<<<<<

01 -- Sanyo/Fisher (most-reliable)
02 -- Shintom/Toshiba/Sony
03 -- Hitachi
04 -- Orion/Emerson/Broksonic/Sansui
05 -- Mitsubishi
06 -- Sharp/Admiral
07 -- Samsung/RCA/GE/Samtron/Toshiba
08 -- Panasonic/Quasar/GE/Memorex/RCA
09 -- Funai/Symphonic/Hitachi/Philips-Magnavox/Sylvania
10 -- Toshiba/RCA/GE/ProScan
11 -- JVC/Marantz/Philips-Magnavox
12 -- Sony
13 -- GoldStar/JCPenny/LXI/Allegro/Zenith
14 -- Daewoo/Audiovox/Emerson/Fisher/GE/RCA/Sanyo (least-reliable)

>>>>>
MORE REPAIRS

Sanyo/Fisher were the most-reliable, while Daewoo/Audiovox/Emerson/Fisher/GE/RCA/Sanyo were the least-reliable. Would all of you (as techs) find this (his rankings) more preferable and accurate?
.

This is a fairly good listing.

Sony would be above Funai on my list.

Hmm. Sanyo at both ends of the list. Interesting...

ChrisW6ATV
05-16-2012, 09:09 PM
Walt, I did a bunch of VCR repairs in the 1990s, for friends, but I never kept track of brands enough to remember now which ones I repaired the most. Two big exceptions to that, though: I never repaired any Panasonics or their clones despite seeing plenty of them, and I repaired every Fisher I ever saw, sometimes more than once.

lnx64
05-17-2012, 10:18 AM
I had to repair a Panasonic of mine, but it was mainly rubber parts that failed. This was a couple of years ago and it was an early 80's model.

I use a JVC digital VHS deck now, but I don't trust it lasting forever. It's loading mech kinda sucks.

Tony75
05-18-2012, 08:12 AM
That later list from 94 to 05 should have a few caveats. It is easy to see that many brands appear more than once, often at different ends of the spectrum. Mostly this will be due to a brand swapping suppliers of mechanism in this time, eg Sony did make their own but by 05 sourced their mechanism from Samsung, don't know which mechanism they rate as the better or worse (sometimes I have trouble working this out myself). And in the time before the Samsung mechanism Sony had a couple of different mechanisms of their own of varying complexity.
Philips went from Sharp to JVC to Funai in this time.
Keen eyes will spot that Funai drops significantly down this list, reading the wikipedia article says that about 1993 they dropped Shintom as their mechanism supplier and starter making their own (which is my opinion were diabolical, much worse than their pretty poor most recent mechanism) As you can see, Shintom stays high on the list.
Sanyo is a bit interesting here, did not like their own mechanisms much of this period, then they swapped to Daewoo and things got a little better I thought. The early Daewoo decks of this period are hard to keep going nw though.
JVC were a really mixed bag in this period too, with some good mechs and some not so good

Ed in Tx
05-19-2012, 08:52 PM
Ed in TX, this is what the video board looks like in the PV-S4880 with the surface-mount caps (photo #2). Your AG-1830 looks pretty much similar.

Actually not much similarity. Much more use of modules soldered perpendicular to the top main board.


http://www.videokarma.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=174448&stc=1&d=1337478584

waltchan
05-20-2012, 08:41 PM
Actually not much similarity. Much more use of modules soldered perpendicular to the top main board.


http://www.videokarma.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=174448&stc=1&d=1337478584

Dark distorted picture, either E-E or tape playback, distorted hi-fi audio, as I recall.
The problem would be caps related at the S-VHS Pack C.B.A., Luminence and Chrominance C.B.A., Input Luminence/Chrominace Separator C.B.A., Audio Pack C.B.A., and Hi-Fi Audio Pack C.B.A. All five boards require checking and testing. There should be a hybrid IC with surface-mount caps (hidden underneath) hanging sideways mounted on the S-VHS Pack C.B.A. (two boards mounted sideways). All the surface-mount caps in it need to be changed.

After that, (you're not finished yet, despite the tired work), you also will need to check all the caps in the switching power supply, just in case, before you put the top cover back on.

Panasonic S-VHS units often can get really, really severe electronic issues, with repair costs easily exceeding up to 500% of the product replacement cost. :yes:
.

Ed in Tx
05-20-2012, 09:16 PM
...After that, (you're not finished yet), you also will need to check all the caps in the switching power supply...And then you'd only be about half way through it!

If I was going to go to the trouble to re-cap a VCR I would probably do one or both of my HR-S5800-HR-S6700 pair from JVC. Only difference between them is cosmetic. Those are/were really nice machines in their day. But on some of those modules hifi audio in particular SMD caps fail leak and take out tiny circuit traces with them.

NJRoadfan
05-20-2012, 11:54 PM
Panasonic S-VHS units often can get really, really severe electronic issues, with repair costs easily exceeding up to 500% of the product replacement cost. :yes:
.

Tell me where one can buy a brand new AG-1980.... that 500% figure is moot when the deck isn't made anymore.

Panasonic sure knows how to pack a deck with boards though (AG-1980 diagram below). They are nice enough to not even show the 3000 screws holding that mess together (not to mention the many capacitors that go bad).

http://www.videokarma.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=174463&stc=1&d=1337575944

waltchan
05-21-2012, 05:21 PM
that 500% figure is moot when the deck isn't made anymore.
Many times, repair cost more than buying one on eBay.

NJRoadfan
05-21-2012, 08:53 PM
Many times, repair cost more than buying one on eBay.

Unfortunately ebay units are a crapshot at best. These VCRs are 10-15 years old now, and many of them beat up and never serviced. Chances are whatever you buy will have bad caps anyway.

waltchan
05-28-2012, 01:32 PM
I may be (but not sure) interested in purchasing a second new-in-box vintage JVC VCR. Except for the 1982 HR-7650U that I already purchased, which one is likely the next best:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_nkw=jvc+vhs+new&_sacat=0&_odkw=&item=280882322489&_osacat=0&_ssn=sahand0&afsrc=1

Seller has 10 different vintage JVC VCR models. The next, closest good one may be the 1983 HR-D225U. I believe in the concept that the older the manufacturing year, the more reliable it will be. Can anyone verify?

There are three different mid-80s JVC chassis I can pick. Which one is the most reliable to you?

1982-1984: No picture available

1984-1986: http://www.studiosoundelectronics.com/mbk-41.htm

1986-1989: http://www.studiosoundelectronics.com/mbk-42.htm

1989-1994: http://www.studiosoundelectronics.com/mbk-45.htm

Ed in Tx
05-28-2012, 01:41 PM
Personally I'd go for the HR-D830. Yes they can have their problems, but they are all fairly easy fixes.

waltchan
05-28-2012, 01:48 PM
Personally I'd go for the HR-D830. Yes they can have their problems, but they are all fairly easy fixes.
I hope you're kidding me. :no: I'm looking for the most reliable one, not the most easy-to-fix one. This model is NOT recommended by a tech in Studio Sound Electronics.

Ed in Tx
05-28-2012, 02:43 PM
HR-D225 - :scratch2:
Some of the problems I've seen:

Broken gears #12, 13, 14 on the side of the "cassette housing" or FL ass'y.
IC201 FL drive burned out
IC1, IC2 photo-interruptors on the reel sensor board
Photo-transistors #31 on the FL ass'y
Cassette lid opener lever #47
Door opener gear #23 not fully opening the door after wear and fatigue, jams on eject
R and L front-load "insert" switches
Rec safety leaf switch
Tape UL, AL position leaf switches
Reel idler ass'y
Reel clutch
Head-switching relay RY1 on the head connection board
More belts too since it is DC motor-belt-flywheel capstan.

waltchan
05-29-2012, 12:04 AM
HR-D225 - :scratch2:
Some of the problems I've seen:

Broken gears #12, 13, 14 on the side of the "cassette housing" or FL ass'y.
IC201 FL drive burned out
IC1, IC2 photo-interruptors on the reel sensor board
Photo-transistors #31 on the FL ass'y
Cassette lid opener lever #47
Door opener gear #23 not fully opening the door after wear and fatigue, jams on eject
R and L front-load "insert" switches
Rec safety leaf switch
Tape UL, AL position leaf switches
Reel idler ass'y
Reel clutch
Head-switching relay RY1 on the head connection board
More belts too since it is DC motor-belt-flywheel capstan.
Yikes... So, would you rate the HR-D225U less-reliable than the HR-7650U? I may consider getting another HR-7650U as a backup if there isn't any one better.

What about the HR-D750U and HR-D180U? Are they better than HR-D225U?

Tony75
05-29-2012, 06:42 AM
I'm with Ed on the 830, i personally find that chassis of JVC quite reliable and very easy to work on. Actually they got easier to work on than the 830 in the later models, same mechanism, just mounted in the middle without a heap of circuitry on top of the mechanism to remove first.
My first VCR was a HRJ200, which uses this mechanism, it has been given a [B]lot[B] of use and has only given trouble once. Despite being a mono machine it is very very easy to program quickly for timeshifting, hence the lot of use.

Ed in Tx
05-29-2012, 08:10 AM
What about the HR-D750U and HR-D180U? Are they better than HR-D225U?They don't have as many hard to obtain parts as the older ones like the 225. 225 was made in 1983-84. 750-180 probably 1986-87 time frame.And I recall those do have linear power supplies and transformers. Rarely if ever a PS problem. My main issue with the 225 is not that it was so unreliable, it's the unique parts that did fail were not your general off the shelf components. We saw many of those and probably most of the things that fail in them. I could probably keep a HR-D830 going with less concern for some oddball gear or lever failing. A capacitor fail in the SMPS.. replace it! No biggie. A FL side gear snap off on a 225, forget it, unless someone has some old obsolete parts still in stock.

Here ya go.. HR-3300 VCR, the first VHS VCR, I think. Something worth collecting! :D But if you find one be sure it has the optional RT-3300 timer installed!

http://www.videokarma.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=174592&stc=1&d=1338296828

Was also sold by Mitsubishi as the HS-100U.

waltchan
05-29-2012, 12:42 PM
My main issue with the 225 is not that it was so unreliable, it's the unique parts that did fail were not your general off the shelf components. We saw many of those and probably most of the things that fail in them.
So, the HR-7650U was indeed a more-reliable model than the HR-D225U that you exactly described. Thanks for the write-up, and I will be sure to avoid the HR-D225U. Of course, I would much rather prefer cleaning the rollers in the HR-7650U than changing broken gears in the HR-D225U.

They don't have as many hard to obtain parts as the older ones like the 225. 225 was made in 1983-84. 750-180 probably 1986-87 time frame.And I recall those do have linear power supplies and transformers. Rarely if ever a PS problem.
That's good news so far. Please list of all problems you saw in the HR-D750U, HR-D180U, and HR-D237U, and do you or not classify them as reliable? Why are they not #1 in your list, when they're supposed to be? Why the HR-D830U instead?

Ed in Tx
05-29-2012, 01:04 PM
That's good news so far. Please list of all problems you saw in the HR-D750U, HR-D180U, and HR-D237U, and do you or not classify them as reliable? Why are they not #1 in your list, when they're supposed to be? Why the HR-D830U instead?


If I recall (don't have the old service manual for those as reference like I do for the 225..) intermittent mode encoder switch can cause slack tape hanging out of cassette upon eject, intermittent ground on the bottom deck terminal board, power it on, squeals and shuts off (fixed with a star washer under one of the screws to ensure good grounding) slipping reel idler, loose entry and exit guides causing tape path error and mistracking, stuff like that.

waltchan
05-30-2012, 11:45 AM
If I recall (don't have the old service manual for those as reference like I do for the 225..) intermittent mode encoder switch can cause slack tape hanging out of cassette upon eject, intermittent ground on the bottom deck terminal board, power it on, squeals and shuts off (fixed with a star washer under one of the screws to ensure good grounding) slipping reel idler, loose entry and exit guides causing tape path error and mistracking, stuff like that.
That doesn't sound too bad. Looks somewhat reliable to me for the most part. :yes: Most important to me is it has a linear transformer power supply inside. I refuse to take one with a switching power supply, like the HR-D830U, because it ALWAYS cost me $30-$40 to rebuild, and I get sick of that already, along with my frustrations with Panasonic's serious electronic aging issues. I have a 1988 Panasonic PV-S4880 being tear apart right now with a locked-up capstan motor and video board needing new surface-mount caps.

In my repair experience, I found the 80s Toshiba and Funai/Shintom decks to be the most-reliable and longest-lasting, which I first suspected 5 years ago. And now, Studio Sound Electronics finally admitted and confirmed Toshiba, Shintom, and Funai being the top 3, most-reliable VCR brands, so that's great news for me.
.

waltchan
06-05-2012, 11:37 AM
If I recall (don't have the old service manual for those as reference like I do for the 225..) intermittent mode encoder switch can cause slack tape hanging out of cassette upon eject, intermittent ground on the bottom deck terminal board, power it on, squeals and shuts off (fixed with a star washer under one of the screws to ensure good grounding) slipping reel idler, loose entry and exit guides causing tape path error and mistracking, stuff like that.
Apparently, I can't get one of this, as the seller ran out-of-stock of the HR-D750U that I wanted in the first place. Now, I can choose the HR-7650U again, HR-D225U, or HR-VP700U only. These are the only models that interested me.

waltchan
08-10-2012, 01:04 AM
Personally I'd go for the HR-D830. Yes they can have their problems, but they are all fairly easy fixes.
Unfortunately, that's the wrong move, as someone on eBay bought a new in box JVC HR-D830U for $400 shipped, and it did NOT work out from the box. He even exchanged it, and the second unit was broken also and did the same thing. The problem he described was the partial snow, and it cannot digitally track any tapes. This is due to a bad surface-mount cap under the video head.

The buyer already left feedback to seller and wrote, "I got 2 bad Vcr's but the seller was honest and refund the money. A++

Item: http://www.ebay.com/itm/270978772532

Nice try...

Ed in Tx
08-10-2012, 08:14 AM
Unfortunately, that's the wrong move, as someone on eBay bought a new in box JVC HR-D830U for $400 shipped, and it did NOT work out from the box. He even exchanged it, and the second unit was broken also and did the same thing. The problem he described was the partial snow, and it cannot digitally track any tapes. This is due to a bad surface-mount cap under the video head.
Takes all of 10 minutes to fix that. And a 3.3uFd/25V SMD capacitor.
Or, possibly one of the brass guide posts fell out of the bottom of a tape guide base. That can cause that symptom too. Another easy fix.

SaraAB87
09-04-2012, 10:15 PM
I don't have much experience like most of the people here, but my Uncle had an Akai TV that broke, since I have only seen 2 CRT's actually bite the dust in my lifetime (the other was our old 80's unit) that is pretty significant. I don't have any experience with Akai VCR's but that is my experience with their TV's. Of course this is just one story from a consumer....

As far as VCR's I had a RCA that bit the dust last year, it started eating tapes, and I was mad because it ate something that I had recorded that I like. It was actually a good unit with a nice picture. I recycled the unit. VCR's are a dime a dozen, they are as low as 50 cents here at yard sales. Its easy to find one for a dollar if you are patient. I never pay more than $3 for VHS. Our family blew through probably 3-4 VHS from the late 80's until 2004 or so when we stopped using them extensively. Of course they are still in use though, I have plenty for spares!

Ed in Tx
09-07-2012, 08:14 AM
Added pictures of my mitsubishi HS-430U to post #31 (http://www.videokarma.org/showpost.php?p=3034679&postcount=31) since there can be some confusion with the newer "HS-U430".


http://www.videokarma.org/showpost.php?p=3034679&postcount=31

willbalsham
10-21-2012, 08:57 AM
Is there any way for you to share this data? The issue I am looking into is how repair rates improve over time as products become mature and manufacturing improves. So I would love historical time series data for repair rates for VCRs.

Ronald1973
12-22-2012, 03:46 PM
I would've figured on JC Penney ranking higher. I had a late 80's/early 90's model given to me right around Y2K and that thing was built like a Sherman tank. Heavy, hi-fi stereo, cable compatible and controls on the front of the unit if you did lose the remote. It went DOA one day for no reason and I foolishly tossed it. I'm now using an LG VCR/DVD combo that is obviously better than the Walmart stuff and it suits me for no more than I watch VHS anymore.

Ed in Tx
12-22-2012, 03:59 PM
At least some of those JCPenney VCRs were made by Matsushita Panasonic. They would come into the shop out of warranty, usually with worn out heads and other wearing parts from heavy usage. Many had switching mode power supplies which when one went dead was probably the final blow. By that time VCRs were being sold at grocery and drug stores cheaper than you could rebuild one, so out with the old, in with the new.

waltchan
12-22-2012, 04:57 PM
At least some of those JCPenney VCRs were made by Matsushita Panasonic. They would come into the shop out of warranty, usually with worn out heads and other wearing parts from heavy usage.
So, did you actually replace a lot of worn out video heads when the Panasonic VCRs were only 1 year old (eekkk...)?

Ed in Tx
12-22-2012, 05:42 PM
So, did you actually replace a lot of worn out video heads when the Panasonic VCRs were only 1 year old (eekkk...)?

Didn't say anything about time.. out of warranty, yes. I'd guess on a heavily used machine playing lots of Blockbuster tapes and time-shifting soap operas, maybe 3-5 years before record quality starts going downhill first from worn heads, or maybe first sign's a flutter in the hi-fi audio from worn hi-fi heads.

Ronald1973
12-23-2012, 02:53 PM
I've never been big into just sitting and watching tapes but I used it mainly for archival purposes of stuff I figured I'd never see again. Case in point is WMC in Memphis had the last live wrestling program in the nation. I recorded some of its last incarnation (Power Pro Wrestling) on tape and then when it died, Jerry Lawler, along with Jimmy Hart, Dave Brown and Lance Russell, hosted clips of classic matches entitled Memphis Classic Wrestling. I recorded 4 tapes of that but other than that, it sat dormant. Came in one day to use it and it was DOA. Quite a good machine and I hated to part with it but I knew it would be an arm and a leg to repair it IF I could find someone to do it even.

Visual
07-17-2013, 02:23 PM
1980s VHS VCR 15-year average reliability curve, with data provided by Consumer Reports magazine (ranked in order).

Based on nearly 2,500,000 responses total to our 1983 to 1993 Annual Questionnaires, readers were asked about any repairs to VCRs bought new between 1978 and 1993. Data have been standardized to eliminate differences among brands due solely to age and how much the VCRs were used.

FEWER-REPAIRS
<<<<<

01 -- Panasonic/Quasar/Canon/GE/Magnavox/JCPenny/RCA/Sylvania (most-reliable)
02 -- Toshiba/GE/ProScan/RCA
03 -- Funai/Symphonic/Multitech/Shintom/TEAC/XR-1000
04 -- Sanyo/Sears
05 -- JVC/Kenwood/Zenith
06 -- Orion/Emerson/Broksonic/Sansui/TMK
07 -- Sony/pioneer/aiwa
08 -- Mitsubishi/MGA/Electrohome
09 -- Sharp/Montgomery Ward
10 -- Hitachi/RCA/GE/Sears
11 -- Samsung/GE/RCA
12 -- NEC/Marantz/Yamaha
13 -- GoldStar/LXI/JCPenny/Totevision/Zenith
14 -- Daewoo/Capehart/Daytron
15 -- Fisher (least-reliable)

>>>>>
MORE-REPAIRS
.

i am TOO kurious to see ANY Yamaha vcr:yes::scratch2:
or http://www.remotes.com/remote_images/large/technics/eur51215.jpgTECHNICS vcr:sigh:http://www.instrukcia.ru/images/sm_harman-kardon_vcd-1000.jpg?osCsid=jdjsupqi0h6n1b4qjhpdu6aus4http://www.analogalley.com/osccart/images/harmanVCD1000.jpg
and sanyo+fisher ARE the same origin:yes::tresbon:

ALSO superDIGIFINE JVC VCR

Ed in Tx
07-17-2013, 04:35 PM
I can honestly say I have repaired every brand listed, except maybe Electrohome, substitute "Video Concepts" that were made by Mitsvbishi in it's place and that list would be 100%. Pretty accurate rating, but surprised all the pre-'83 Panasonic-Quasar-RCA top-loaders with burned out sensor bulbs and TU clutch-arm ass'ys that would shut off in mid-tape, Pana's first front-loaders that would literally burn out FL motors and melt the R side FL frame from the heat, and later G chassis + SMPS VCRs that had pretty high mechanical and electrical failures from a technician's viewpoint, didn't pull down their rating.