Precious VHS tapes not displaying picture

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by mizz4, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. mizz4

    mizz4
    Novice Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +0
    So i recently found my old vcr and a number of tapes. The vcr is in good working order and plays 90% of the vhs tapes i found. However a few of the tapes do not display the picture or any sound when inserted in the vcr including an old home Christmas video. The time on the player remains at 0:00:00 when these tapes are inside and are played, re-winded or fast forwarded. The tapes still play in the vcr from beginning to end so i know its not jammed or anything. I disassembled some of the tapes to see if they were wound too tight or if there was any dirt and even replaced the reels from the original vhs' to another working one but the tapes remained the same when i inserted it again with no picture of movement of the timer. Also 2 or 3 of the other tapes that were previously working fine suddenly stopped playing like the others and showed no picture and the timer no longer moved on the vcr. Not sure what to do and would be eternally gratfeul for a solution!
     
  2. Gavtech

    Gavtech
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    20,961
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +6,814
    Welcome to the forum.

    A clean of audio / control head and a replacement pinch roller will usually clear this problem.

    I'm afraid there is not a self help solution - unless you feel able to do some dismantling of the machine. It is sometimes possible to recondition the pinch roller.
     
  3. mizz4

    mizz4
    Novice Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thank you for the reply! Ill be honest i dont know where the audio/control head or the pinch roller is? If its not too much trouble could you specify please?

     
  4. Gavtech

    Gavtech
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    20,961
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +6,814
    Firstly - to explain why this problem occurs: The tape is being pulled vertically out of alignment. There is a small linear track recorded at the bottom of the tape ribbon which is read by a small static head immediately down stream from the pinch roller.
    The track contains synchronizing pulses to keep everything in correct speed order.

    If those pulses cannot be read, the machine will blank the audio or video. The pulses also provide the count to advance the display counter which is why the counter remains at zero - because they are absent.

    There can be a great many causes for this loss - Dirty control head , poorly recorded sync pulses, tape misalignment due to inappropriate back tension etc etc.... but the most common to explain the symptoms your machine has, is poor state of the pinch roller.

    The pinch roller is immediately downstream downstream of the main rotating video drum... and the control head immediately follows the pinch roller.

    Usually the pinch roller sub-assembly can be easily removed. If so it is possible to VERY carefully sand the whole surface back to an even roughness with fine abrasive paper kept in a careful curve to maintain the shape of the roller.
    Replacement of the roller would be better.

    If you decide to tackle such a thing- be very careful. You can easily do terminal damage to the machine.
    In particular stay away completely from the video head.

    Incidentally, which make / model is it?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
  5. mizz4

    mizz4
    Novice Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks for the clarification! My initial vcr is a Sanyo videoplus+ but I decided to disassemble my Other vcr (Philips Turbo Drive) which i thought was completely dead and did not work with any of my tapes. To my surprise after cleaning the vcr head It began to work! (though the picture is distorted somewhat and flickers every now and then) And one of the tapes that previously stopped working in my inital vcr began playing in the one i fixed. But after trying a few more tapes the vcr stopped working again. No picture or sound after almost an hour of working. Turned it off and on and it worked for a much shorter while then stopped again. Now im even more confused as to what to do and to whether it is the vhs tapes that have stopped working properly are able to be salvaged since only one of the worked in the vcr i just fixed?
     
  6. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    5,237
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,318
    Older tapes can also shed the oxide and lose their magnetic properties. Repeated playing will only make this worse. The heads also get gummed up with the loose oxide and this is why they will work for a while, then stop. Head cleaners can only do so much and repeated use will wear the head out as well.

    One old trick to improve tapes is to fast wind to the end of the tape, then rewind. This re-positions the tape on the spools and can help a lot.

    You really need to transfer the tapes onto a new media to ensure their long term stability. DVD-r is good for about 20 years or so with good storage, so maybe an online back up to a private Youtube channel as well?

    Worth investing in a capture card and picture stabiliser to assist with the capture. You can then watch the footage as much as you like without risking the tapes deteriorating any more.
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice