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  #1  
Old 12-14-2016, 09:18 PM
Captainclock Captainclock is offline
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Zenith Model VR 3220 4-Head Hi-Fi VCR having Video Issues

Hello everyone this past Sunday a friend of mine from church brought me a 1985 vintage Zenith 4-Head Hi-Fi VCR that he had bought brand new back in 1985 and he asked me if I could work on it for him and I said sure I'll take a look at it. Anyways it seems to have a bit of a video issue that looks similar to a tracking issue but its not and when you play a tape in it the video has a lot of lines and interference of some sort going across the screen when the movie is playing. The issue makes a professionally recorded commercial tape (like a Disney movie for instance) look as if it was recorded off of the TV using a really bad video feed or something.
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Old 12-15-2016, 01:24 AM
EdKozk2 EdKozk2 is offline
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Did you clean the heads? Are you using a newer Tape to play back? Some mid eighties tapes are really worn. Post a few pictures. Make sure vcr to Tv cables are good.
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:38 AM
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Yep sounds like dirty clogged heads, or worn out heads.
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Old 12-15-2016, 09:49 AM
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I was going to say dirty heads as well. Just get some small pieces of copy paper and wet them with alcohol. Use one hand to lightly hold the paper to the drum, right on the heads, and then spin the drum. Watch the sludge come out. You may have to do it several times.
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdKozk2 View Post
Did you clean the heads? Are you using a newer Tape to play back? Some mid eighties tapes are really worn. Post a few pictures. Make sure vcr to Tv cables are good.
I was using a tape from the late 1990s in fact it was the second Homeward Bound movie which is definitely late 1990s and I was also using the movie Rat Race which is from 2000 so its definitely not the tapes. And the video cables are fine.
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:23 PM
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I was thinking dirty heads as well but I wasn't sure because if it was that easy of a fix I could of just given the VCR back to my friend and told him he just needed to clean the heads on the VCR, but that's why I wanted a second opinion first.
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:40 PM
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Whatever you do, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE A HEAD CLEANING TAPE.
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:43 PM
Captainclock Captainclock is offline
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I cleaned the heads and they were actually spotless not a bit of tape crud to be found in the heads, and its still doing the same thing. I have some pictures posted below of what the VCR is doing (still shots as I am not sure how to post video in the replies like I saw in the thread concerning the one guy who was working on the Mitsubishi HS-U51 VCR.)
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File Type: jpg DSCN2883.jpg (73.4 KB, 18 views)
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:48 PM
Captainclock Captainclock is offline
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Originally Posted by TUD1 View Post
Whatever you do, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE A HEAD CLEANING TAPE.
Why not? Isn't that what they're designed for? Either way I already attempted a head clean using q-tips and rubbing alcohol and then printer paper and rubbing alcohol (as to your suggestion) but no go, its still acting up and like I said in my previous post below post I'm replying to right now, I posted pictures of what its doing.
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:48 PM
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Interesting. I've seen many a Panasonic made machine have a similar problem that was due to bad electrolytic caps in the power supply. But I've never seen a problem like this on a JVC. JVC machines of this era are usually tough as nails.

I used a head cleaning tape once back when I was just starting out in VCR's. The picture looked twice as bad as before. I've also heard many horror stories of heads being ruined by them. And I hope you didn't use Q-tips on the video heads, that will destroy them if they catch a strand of cotton. Q-tips are fine for the audio and erase heads. I only use copy paper on the video heads. It's the safest.
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Last edited by TUD1; 12-16-2016 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TUD1 View Post
Interesting. I've seen many a Panasonic made machine have a similar problem that was due to bad electrolytic caps in the power supply. But I've never seen a problem like this on a JVC. JVC machines of this era are usually tough as nails.
Interesting indeed, and speaking of power supplies, this VCR has a Linear Power Supply with a really large Power Transformer and 3 fuses or so backing it up, so I don't know if that makes any difference in determining what's going on with this machine or not, because when you mentioned Panasonics having this issue due to bad caps in the power supply it made me think back to the fact that most Panasonic/Quasar VCRs from this time period had switching power supplies which were usually transformerless which would be quite understandable why a switching power supply would have so many issues but a Linear Power supply with a 10# power transformer?
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:01 PM
Captainclock Captainclock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TUD1 View Post
Interesting. I've seen many a Panasonic made machine have a similar problem that was due to bad electrolytic caps in the power supply. But I've never seen a problem like this on a JVC. JVC machines of this era are usually tough as nails.

I used a head cleaning tape once back when I was just starting out in VCR's. The picture looked twice as bad as before. I've also heard many horror stories of heads being ruined by them. And I hope you didn't use Q-tips on the video heads, that will destroy them if they catch a strand of cotton. Q-tips are fine for the audio and erase heads. I only use copy paper on the video heads. It's the safest.
Yes I did use the q-tips on the video head drum, my bad, but I made sure there wasn't any cotton strands caught on the heads, but I did go back over the video drum with the printer paper and alcohol treatment if that's any consolation, Although when I did that I got rubbing alcohol all over the place because my bottle was almost empty and I was basically tipping the bottle on its head to get the alcohol out and it spilled all over the floor.
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:25 PM
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I've never worked on a JVC machine, so that's all the information I'm going to have. I've only worked on Panasonic's, Sharp's, Hitachi's, and NEC's.
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by TUD1 View Post
I've never worked on a JVC machine, so that's all the information I'm going to have. I've only worked on Panasonic's, Sharp's, Hitachi's, and NEC's.
OK, well at least we tried, maybe some of the other guys can chime in at some point.

I too have a lot of experience working on Panasonics, Quasars, and some of the other brands you've mentioned. I actually had a deal going on for a while where the AV Department at the High School I went to would give me some of their old broken down VCRs and TVs that they were replacing with new equipment and I would fix them up and give them away or sell them, I've even gotten some nice LCD Projectors that way as well. In fact my Current LCD Projector I got that I use to watch movies on in my basement which is an old Hitachi unit from 1997 with its original remote and everything was obtained that way and it works like a charm I was able to get it a spare bulb when I got my disability payout several years ago.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:38 AM
Captainclock Captainclock is offline
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Ed in TX, Care to chime in now that I have a picture posted of what the VCR is doing?
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