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Old 21st Jul 2021, 6:34 pm   #1
Bryan123
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Default What is the worst VCR to work on?

Hi,

What IS the worst VCR to work on, Glyn?

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Old 21st Jul 2021, 6:47 pm   #2
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

Panasonic G deck Philips VR2023 ? or any VCR that has been in contact with WD40
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 7:46 pm   #3
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

The Amstrad double decker, faults on the bottom deck were hard to spot. Horrible things.
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 7:50 pm   #4
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

G deck or the Charlie for me…. Still have nightmares! ��
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 1:38 am   #5
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

A few weeks ago i was working on my Goldstar VCR using an Aiwa deck, i spent about two days trying to figure out how and why the deck was acting erratic and presenting different symptoms each time it was tested, after a closer look at the underneath of the board I discovered some sticky residue around the micro.... coca cola at somepoint had spilled from the counter above, trickled down onto the base shelf the machine was on and eventually ended up soaking the micro and effectivly killing it. Have since replaced the board with a new one and the deck works perfectly now
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 7:05 am   #6
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

Hi there.
My first impulse is to say, the one I am currently working on.

But seriously, leaving camcorders aside, I did have a terrible period learning to tame the
Sanyo, Tandy/Realistic, mechanism P88. This later became the P89, P90, P91, P92.

While we are speaking of bad machines to work on, does anyone remember the Samsung VB-370 VCR ? Its power supply would over-volt and destroy everything in sight before the power supply itself would die.
It would incinerate tracks, kill the capstan motor, kill the micro, the loading motor I.C. , and go on to burn tracks and components on the front panel board. Then you would have to rebuild the the power supply too.

Like the family with a Black Sheep, Samsung seem to have erased any knowledge of that model ever existing.
But I remember. And years of therapy have failed to eliminate the nightmares.

Now I only fix VCR's for fun.

Cheers.

Wayne.
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 7:37 am   #7
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

Quote:
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G deck or the Charlie for me…. Still have nightmares! ��
Odd how many engineers mention those two. Working at Philips I went on training courses for both of those and although the Charley was quirky, it was a breeze to fix with the right repair kit. Likewise the G deck that Philips used was slightly different to the Panasonic version (some gears from the Philips didn't work in the Pana) but again I could strip and rebuild one in about half an hour, possibly less with the number that I saw. Doubt I could do it that fast now. I actually did quite well with private repairs on both of those decks as others kept away from them......

What about the Philips Turbo deck? The main thing engineers got wrong with those was the main cam which could be different between models. You had to order the right kit for the particular model or you'd end up in a terrible mess with other gears sheared or a totally jammed deck.....

I still have a Philips VCR fitted with the G deck, rebuilt by me about 10 years ago. It worked when I last used it.....
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 7:59 am   #8
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

Panasonic G mech. Awful, complex re-build procedure after repair. I just couldn't do them so I handed them over to my second-in-command who was a dab-hand!
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 8:37 am   #9
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

For me the deck used in the Philips VR2020/21/22/23 was probably the worst due to its complexity of pulleys and threading drive cords etc.. Although the N1500 I believe was pretty bad too.

As for the G deck and Charlie deck, as I worked for a Philips ASD the sheer volume we saw made things easier. There were some versions of the the G deck that used a standard mode control motor, rather than using a clutch fed drive from the capstan motor, these hardlly ever failed. It was the felt pad on the underside of the capstan motor that went hard and then there was no 'slip to the clutch. The real test for all of this was to put the machine into FF visual search and then press eject!! If the clutch was OK the gears would stay in sequence, if not click click click then shutdown.

The Sanyo P88 took some getting used to, but wasn't that bad. As for the Samsung mentioned above, Samsung called it the Winner range of models!!!

Towards the end of VHS it was surprising how simplified decks had become and certainly easier to fix.

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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 8:37 am   #10
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

Charlie was my bench engineer for VCRs and, he'd do anything except the Charlie deck! I spent most of the day on my first with manual in hand, but then all became clear and I could rebuild them quite happily, though they still sounded like a tractor!
I got on quite well with the G-deck, but at the time didn't realise the Philips deck used different gears (post #7). I gave up on one, gave it back to the customer who took it to a Philips dealer who rebuilt it. A day later it clattered to death - he returned it and they broke the top board, then accused me of doing it! Luckily my customer would have none of it.
Oh yes, we remember the Samsung machine. It was ironically called the Winner deck!
To be honest, there weren't many machines we didn't get on with. The only ones that spring to mind are the Akai VS-22 with the complicated mod kit and the Mitsubishi HS-304 that you needed to dismantle the machine just to clean the heads. However those just took time.
The cheap and cheerful Orions (Matsui, Saisho and so on) were great - you could fix those in no time. A set of belts, a pinch roller, a transistor on the 820, the good old limit lever or a mode switch and two exploding spools on the very late ones and they were good to go.
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 8:45 am   #11
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Forgot the Fisher 615 horseshoe reel idler! In case you never saw one, you needed to split the upper and lower decks to replace it - a simple job to replace a high-wear part that on this deck took over an hour. We soon learnt to use only genuine ones or else it would clatter and chew tapes. The later versions had a cut-out in the deck enabling the repair to be done in ten minutes. We did have one in that someone had actually cut the sub-deck with a hacksaw.
My test of a repaired G-deck was to push the carriage in without a tape. There was a squeal, you held your breath, then if you'd done it right the tray popped out again. Then do the search-eject sequence. Well, better it happened in the workshop than the customer's living room!
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 9:49 am   #12
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IKC2E51R8 View Post
A few weeks ago i was working on my Goldstar VCR using an Aiwa deck
Did Aiwa ever make their own decks? I think they used Shintom or Funai decks or just bought in the complete VCRs from Funai.
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 10:44 am   #13
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

What was the Mitsubishi/Salora thing with the board over the mech... ? Tedious at best.

Another vote for the double decker with a fault on the bottom deck, explaining to a customer that it was and hour and a half's work to clean the heads never went down well...

I really didn't mind the G or the Charlie.
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 11:17 am   #14
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

The Mitsubishi was the HS-304. What were they thinking of?
If we got a double decker in we quoted to service both decks - mode switches, belts pinch rollers and so on. As you were effectively working blind it was best to get everything done in one hit as long as the customer accepted the estimate which was almost as much as for two VCRs! Despite this we saw quite a few - they were popular with lower end wedding video makers or dubious tape rental outlets.
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 12:59 pm   #15
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

Quote:
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I got on quite well with the G-deck, but at the time didn't realise the Philips deck used different gears (post #7).
I didn't know about it either until I tried to use a Philips cam in a Pana deck...well they looked the same and it sort of worked but I couldn't understand why the brake bar was bending......When I re-examined the cam and compared it to the original Pana cam after taking it all to bits again, the outer groove was at a very slightly different angle. I ordered the correct Panasonic cam and away it went.....
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 2:01 pm   #16
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IKC2E51R8 View Post
A few weeks ago i was working on my Goldstar VCR using an Aiwa deck
Did Aiwa ever make their own decks? I think they used Shintom or Funai decks or just bought in the complete VCRs from Funai.
Not 100% sure but through all the information i could find on my machine, its an Aiwa D27 Deck. The deck doesnt look like an Funai ive ever seen before, but apperantly a few machines used the D27 deck under different labels.
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 2:16 pm   #17
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

Iam not sure but D27 manufactured from orion. Also D27 used in Aiwa and Orion combo systems TV/VCR.
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 3:02 pm   #18
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Welsh Anorak View Post
The Mitsubishi was the HS-304. What were they thinking of?
If we got a double decker in we quoted to service both decks - mode switches, belts pinch rollers and so on. As you were effectively working blind it was best to get everything done in one hit as long as the customer accepted the estimate which was almost as much as for two VCRs! Despite this we saw quite a few - they were popular with lower end wedding video makers or dubious tape rental outlets.
I didn't do a huge amount of VCRs during my career as I had a full time video engineer who was brilliant but a little protective of his workshop and repairs.
I do remember that Mitsubushi though! When he went on holiday if I cleared most of the VCR repairs he would comment Oh it looks as if I'm not needed. If I left a few it would be It looks as if no one did anything while I was away! so I had to leave a few but not too many! We nicknamed the plastic c rap Philips (they gave a clue there didn't they!) "the Trainset" as it looked like a child's plastic toy with all those plastic gears! One day I came up to his workshop with a mug of tea and he said "Thomas didn't like the fat pinch roller, so he snapped him off" ! He always fixed them but he didn't like them much.
One huge Norwich based dealer we bought ex rentals from cleared the lot out they complained to Philips that the early models were so bad they were either credited for them or maybe they were replaced? Either way Philips didn't want the original ones back and I bought a van full very cheap!
Trev's face was a picture when he saw that lot come in!
Some dealers didn't like the 6462 much we often had those come in sent by other dealers for repair but we got on all right with them. Like TV sets i think it was a case of what you got used to.
The Amstrad Double decker was a pile of crap! Again Freemans sold loads to the average lorry driver and his wife we had a chap who copied a tape and then used that copy to produce more having sent the original tape back the copy of the copy on an Amstrad was almost unwatchable!
Some Amstrad stuff was OK though we had a LP machine recording all day 6 days a week from our security camera, it ran for years with only the occasional head clean.
We did loads of the exploding Samsung machines, they went off like something in a film by Stephan King! The display went very bright and then your girlfriend started choking... How they didn't cause a fire is anyone's guess!
Bring back the 3V22 !

Rich
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 3:09 pm   #19
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

Hi.

Yes the Panasonic G deck was complicated and not the easiest to service. Always thought it made lots of clonking when going through various modes. Some machines just got on with the loading cycle. Other Panasonics were good though, as were JVC mechanisms. The latter were in my view the best for servicing. I recall how easy to service the Ferguson 3V29 and 3V35 series were that used JVC decks. Spares were readily available and resonably priced.

I didn't dislike the Philips Charly deck. It did seem flimsy but can't recall any serious problems and always successfully serviced those decks. The electronics in the Philips machines was very reliable. You did get the occasional power supply problems in those machines that used a switch mode power supply though service kits were readily available and again easy to fix.

One deck I wasn't keen on was the one used in the Mitsubishi HS-337. Mitsubishi parts weren't the cheapest either.

I wasn't a great fan of the Hitachi VT8000 series, they seemed to suffer from a noisy drum motor not unlike later Hitachis that had a noisy capstan motor.

Some of the Amstrad machines that used to regularly edge damage the cassette tape due to a faulty clutch and pinch roller were not the best either.

I never felt comfortable working on Sony and Sanyo Betamax machines and generally only stuck with the VHS format.

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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 4:02 pm   #20
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Default Re: What is the worst VCR to work on?

Not having been in 'the trade' I haven't generally worked on the more mainstream VHS machines, but as a collector I found the smaller, second generation of Philips V2000 machines to be a nightmare. To reduce the size of the machines, Philips literally crammed the PCBs and mechanics in place all around the case. A bit like looking under the bonnet of a modern car. Getting at PCBs and assemblies was a major dismantling job, so more often than not you could not access components and operate the machine simultaneously. Perhaps Philips engineers knew what to do but I never worked it out. Pity, cos they were such lovely looking, dinky little machines and worked well - when the they worked. All the ones I owned were prone to intermittent faults. I'd get one working 'perfectly', leave the top off and use it for a few days, put the top cover on and it would fail . In latter years I rewound high quality VHS tape onto V2000 cassettes and the quality and performance was nothing short of stunning. The relatively slow writing speed of the v2000 system demanded very high quality tape to obtain best picture quality, but ironically such tape did not appear until many years later (2000s) when tape manufacturers strove to help VHS manufacturers get the best out of their machines. The best picture quality I ever saw (apart from S-VHS) was my Philips 1702 machines loaded with the later, high quality tape.
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