Author Topic: Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)  (Read 1883 times)

Offline Elmojo

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Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)
« on: February 25, 2021, 10:59:06 PM »
Hi all,

I'm new here, but this looks like it might be the place to get the help I need for this rather strange request.
I just bought a brand new (old stock) Phillips VCR for my in-laws, who insist they "need" to see John Wayne win the West again or something.  :o
Anyway, right out of the box, it's busted. I got a full refund on the sale, but I'm making an attempt to repair it before I toss it in the trash.
Does anyone here know anything about working on VCRs, or know of a place that I should ask for such help?
Just as a quick summary, it tries to load a tape, something binds, and it throws an error "3" on the front panel.

thanks in advance for any advice,

-E

Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Re: Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2021, 01:34:55 AM »
NOS with that behavior I would guess it needs a belt.   Have you Googled for the service manual?

Offline Elmojo

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Re: Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2021, 09:07:46 AM »
A belt was my first thought as well, but upon tearing it down and removing the deck, I see that all the belts look like new.
The issue seems to be that something is bound up in the loading mechanism. I just don't know enough about how these things work to know what to look for.  ???
Yes, I've done some googling for info on it, but the internet seems to have forgotten about VCRs in general, and this model hardly shows up at all. It appears to be one of the later models, just before they pretty much quite making VCRs altogether.

I didn't post a ton of details at first, in case this wasn't the right place to ask at all. If needed, I can include some photos and what I've done so far to troubleshoot.

Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Re: Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2021, 09:44:25 AM »
Photos may be helpful.

Offline Elmojo

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Re: Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2021, 10:53:40 AM »
Son of a...
I typed a detailed reply, and lost the whole thing when the system told me my attachment was too large! :(

Anyway....
Basically, I just said that when the unit is powered on, it spins the loader motor one direction, until it binds up and the belt slips. Then it spins the other direction until it binds again, then it throws the error code "3" and power down.
I think the issue is something with the loader mechanism (white spiral gear?) in the 3rd and 4th images, but I may be totally wrong.

Offline scorpio333

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Re: Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2021, 09:51:45 AM »

Anyway....
Basically, I just said that when the unit is powered on, it spins the loader motor one direction, until it binds up and the belt slips. Then it spins the other direction until it binds again, then it throws the error code "3" and power down.
I think the issue is something with the loader mechanism (white spiral gear?) in the 3rd and 4th images, but I may be totally wrong.

I've tried to fix a grand total of one VCR. Took way too long and ended up being unfixable because of no available parts.

With the unit unplugged...try to manually move the gears. Careful here, sometimes that engineering plastic will be tough as nails until you move it wrong and it snaps which equals game over. Just go slow. What you're looking for is a missing action or incorrect action before the belt slips. You might have to do this over and over paying attention to what moves what, when, where, why... Backwards engineering is my method.

Offline MacGeek

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Re: Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2021, 09:57:26 AM »
Is it eating tapes, or just shutting down?
Mac stuff, Sony HDR-F1HD AM/FM/HD tuner, Denon DRS 810 cassette, Denon CDR-W1500 CD recorder, Music Hall MMF-9 w/B&O MMC2, B & O 4002 w/B & O 20 CL, Revox A-77

Offline Elmojo

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Re: Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2021, 10:05:39 AM »
Thanks for the replies guys.
Scorpio: I've tried moving some stuff by hand, and it's pretty well locked up in both directions. I just can't seem to tell what's supposed to move when the loading motor spins.  ???
As noted above, it seems like something in that white geartrain (4th image posted earlier) isn't moving right, or isn't meshing properly or something. I just can't tell what's supposed to be happening, since the gearing is so high that I can't move it by hand.

MacGeek: Just shutting down. It runs the loading motor for a moment, but the loading mechanism itself seems to be jammed up, as it doesn't really ever try to pull in the tape.

Offline MacGeek

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Re: Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2021, 10:39:59 AM »
Unless you are willing to invest in a belt to see if that is the problem, the cost of which may exceed the value of the VCR and may not fix it, it might be worth trying one of my favorite last ditch efforts: the use of excessive force.  Assuming the small black pulley is on the motor shaft and the larger white pulley connects to the machines operating mechanism, find a way to force the white pulley to rotate further until something happens.

Of course, failure means a walk to the trash bin. A used VCR can be found for around $25.
Mac stuff, Sony HDR-F1HD AM/FM/HD tuner, Denon DRS 810 cassette, Denon CDR-W1500 CD recorder, Music Hall MMF-9 w/B&O MMC2, B & O 4002 w/B & O 20 CL, Revox A-77

Offline Elmojo

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Re: Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2021, 12:21:16 PM »
I'm fairly sure it's not a belt issue. The belts appear to be in pristine condition, and the tension seems correct.
I get that we're all just kinda guessing here. I'm in the same boat.
Does anyone know of a forum that might specialize in this type of old AV gear?
I'd hate to further break this 'brand new' machine, since I paid well over $100 for it, if there's any chance of actually repairing it.
If this one goes in the bin, I'll have to buy another one.
My in-laws aren't interested in used, so I'll have to try to find another new one, which as you can imagine isn't super easy any more.  ::)

Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Re: Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2021, 08:41:30 PM »

Does anyone know of a forum that might specialize in this type of old AV gear?



Try http://videokarma.org/

Offline Elmojo

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Re: Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2021, 09:30:15 PM »
Very cool, I'll ask there, thanks!

Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Re: Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2021, 12:56:34 PM »
Very cool, I'll ask there, thanks!

But don't be a stranger here.   Let us know how it works out.

Offline Elmojo

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Re: Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2021, 01:18:24 PM »
Thanks, I surely will!
I appreciate the warm welcome.
I hate for my first post to be pleading for help, but this kinda sprung up on me, and I needed to come up with some sort of solution for my in-laws.
-E

Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Re: Looking for VCR repair advice (yes, really)
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2021, 03:17:44 PM »
Over my head but I hope someone at VK can help you.