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Old 10th May 2021, 5:51 am   #43
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.
Posts: 13
Default Re: Cleaning video heads etc

Metho on a clean handkerchief, pulled tightly over the index finger. Pure Alcohol is better, with metho you must wait for it to evaporate or the drum can stick to the tape and make a terrible tangle. Same with pure alcohol, but it evaporates more quickly. Move the drum while holding the finger still, and turn it in the direction away from the finger. Then clean the lower drum trouble spots with the same covered finger, only, obviously this time you have to move the finger. The complete tape path must be cleaned, if it's a modern machine, you may find that the pinch roller is made from something other than rubber, which DISSOLVES in metho. You can clean it all day and still get a black finger. Also they go hard before they should. If you have an early roller that's OK, keep it in service. If the tape guides have nylon rollers, make sure they're free to turn. The audio/sync head is an important clean, the audio portion is at the top, I use a strip of kangaroo thonging, which is about 5mm wide, and work it like a shoeshine boy cleans a shoe with a rag, keeping it near the top of the head. The audio track is only something like 0.3mm wide so clean is essential. It doesn't need to be wet. If the machine is a 6-head type, because there are six heads on the spinning drum, the tape is slightly pushed away from the drum by each head that hits it, so the tape to head contact is never as good. This usually means that the performance drops off earlier with these machines. Clean the drive belts and the pulleys they run on. Re cleaning rollers, the foam rubber ones we used over here in recent times, were perished when we bought them into stock, so we had to stop using them and remove the cleaning assembly altogether. Creases in the tape is the main cause of dirty heads. Good tapes and you get a long time between problems.
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