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When a VCR was a VCR


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#1 Transistorized

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 10:20 PM

My father's health has been deteriorating lately. A reminder to me that age takes its toll on us all...not just our loved electronics.

As a kid, I remember my father coming home from work and we would fire up the VCR to watch the shows that it was scheduled to record earlier that day.

As time went on it stopped recording shows during their scheduled events. A repair facility informed my father that a sensor failure wasn't worth the repair so it got sidelined and a lower end newer JVC took its place.

It sat for 20 years next to his TV unplugged and lifeless. As my dad's health deteriorates to where he just watches TV, I asked him if he minded me taking a look at it.

He gave it to me and I took it home later for a full evaluation. Now that I am older and able to resolve issues I dove into it. I plugged it in at their house and it had developed into a worse issue than what it was originally sidelined for. Now, it only powers up with no tape, slowly fast forwards then shuts down. Wont load a tape or anything....fairly lifeless.

Tore it down and found that the mode switch had come apart. Much like the volume sliders on the M70 (superduper would understand this) the fingers had broken off the plastic slider that tells the computer where the deck is in its operation. The MacGyver in me reattached the sliding metal "fingers" to the plastic base by heating up a staple from a staple gun and melting it down into the plastic where the original broken plastic support studs once were. I then glued the metal base of the finger sliders down onto those metal studs and whalla....it worked. The VCR came to life but the timer record feature still failed to work.

Ok. Now we need to find out what this problem from 1996 was resulting in its EOL service in our home. The repair facility said it was a failed sensor. I narrowed it down to the record tab sensor that detects whether the record tab is present on the VHS tape. All it was..was a leaf switch with a bad connection. A tiny mist of deoxit and my volt meter confirmed it was working A-OK....So much for the shop saying it wasn't worth fixing.

I have set it to come on and record the late night show and it works great. Something it hasn't done in 20 years.

I remember my dad buying this VCR in 1986 at Circuit City with my uncle who was tech savvy. He went to show him what model to get. I am happy to report that 33 years later it is still going with my help. This was a time when a VCR was a VCR.

My dad paid over 600 dollars for this and I am not going to let it die. Built like a tank and makes Hi-Fi 4-Head recordings that look good even today :-)

 

The below video was at their house in the guest room testing it our for the first time on a TV 



#2 goodman

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 03:47 AM

Many years ago I have Hi-Fi video recorder with audio level meter. PANASONIC HI-FI VHS NV-F70

I remember that its possible to make quality hi-fi recordings from Cd to VHS.  I had some VHS with audio albums.

Picture is from internet, not mine:

 

Attached File  PANASONIC HI-FI VHS NV-F70.jpg   59.47K   2 downloads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#3 Transistorized

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 07:49 AM

That's a nice looking unit.

VCRs are like our boomboxes. After the 80's they went cheap.

#4 Superduper

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 12:30 PM

 A tiny mist of deoxit and my volt meter confirmed it was working A-OK....So much for the shop saying it wasn't worth fixing.

 

Remember when I told you that back in the day, parts were replaced with OEM replacement parts only?  The prescribed repair is to replace components, not spray deoxit.  So if a switch is not functioning properly, you replaced it, you didn't squirt deoxit and call it fixed.  The reason is this:  I don't know if you noticed this or not but a connection cleaned merely by spraying deoxit never stays fixed for long.  It becomes a maintenance issue.  If a new switch was put in there, it will probably last another 3,4, 5 years?  But a sprayed one...  maybe 6 months, a year?  The problem always comes back.  This isn't the case if you were to disassembled the component and cleaned it which has the best chance of lasting repair.  And if you were a shop and offers a warranty, come backs is probably something that's always on the back of your mind.

 

But for us DIY'ers, this is a way for us to extend the life of our beloved gear.  Glad you got it working again.  This set clearly has sentimental value and I'm sure every time you play it, look at it, it will remind you of times gone by.  BTW, I have tons of old video tapes.  No longer have a VCR.  If you want them, they are yours!  Probably 50 pounds of them  :w00t:  :lol:



#5 Fatdog

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 01:38 PM

Great job, Ryan!  Have you shown your dad the VCR yet?

 

By the way, be sure and tell your dad that you love him every chance you get.  :yes: :smooch:



#6 Rimmer36

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 07:55 PM

great post, used to love a good vcr, now we just get a cheap boring cd player at best, they should have never killed analogue tv  :-)



#7 Hajidub

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 06:26 PM

I used to keep an older, quality Hi-fi VCR around for audio recordings (years ago). Older Hi-fi VCR sound incredible for audio, a fully working Betamax will compete and out perform most MoTL Reel to Reels. 



#8 JustCruisin

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 01:14 PM

Nice! I still use my VCR almost every day!

#9 Ghettoboom767

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 01:22 PM

Hu,Nice Panasonic! I have a Mitsubishi HS-U760 S-VHS unit I bought new around 91’ or so. Really loved it until the transport section won’t load right anymore,needs to be serviced and I’m not to good with those loading decks. Great looking unit!!😎📺

#10 Coast Steve

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 10:18 AM

That's a  nice story transistorized.  My dad gave me his old Fisher receiver he was about to sell in a yard sale, before I said I'll take it.

And I actually also bought a Mitsubishi U70 on e-bay about 4 years ago and she said everything was working....I tried it on a new TV and it was all in black and white only. So it sits upstairs in the attic.

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#11 Transistorized

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 07:23 PM

 

 A tiny mist of deoxit and my volt meter confirmed it was working A-OK....So much for the shop saying it wasn't worth fixing.

 

Remember when I told you that back in the day, parts were replaced with OEM replacement parts only?  The prescribed repair is to replace components, not spray deoxit.  So if a switch is not functioning properly, you replaced it, you didn't squirt deoxit and call it fixed.  The reason is this:  I don't know if you noticed this or not but a connection cleaned merely by spraying deoxit never stays fixed for long.  It becomes a maintenance issue.  If a new switch was put in there, it will probably last another 3,4, 5 years?  But a sprayed one...  maybe 6 months, a year?  The problem always comes back.  This isn't the case if you were to disassembled the component and cleaned it which has the best chance of lasting repair.  And if you were a shop and offers a warranty, come backs is probably something that's always on the back of your mind.

 

But for us DIY'ers, this is a way for us to extend the life of our beloved gear.  Glad you got it working again.  This set clearly has sentimental value and I'm sure every time you play it, look at it, it will remind you of times gone by.  BTW, I have tons of old video tapes.  No longer have a VCR.  If you want them, they are yours!  Probably 50 pounds of them  :w00t:  :lol:

 

Very true Norm. In my mind when I turn it on and use it I see myself sitting on the carpet in front of our 19" CRT watching Star-Trek, Married with Children, Cheers and sometimes my dad would stop by the video rental store on the way home from work and we would watch a movie. I can remember every detail like it was yesterday. You have to cherish the memories. Boomboxes are the same for me. An icon of memories. When a song comes on they're also tied to instant memories :-)

 

Great job, Ryan!  Have you shown your dad the VCR yet?

 

By the way, be sure and tell your dad that you love him every chance you get.  :yes: :smooch:

Yes sir. I keep reminding myself that his empty chair in the living room will be a futuristic sight. I plan to spend as much time as I can here on out. No regrets :-)

 

The mode switch repair took place at their house. I took it home afterward to evaluate the timer record issue and to make sure it would be reliable.

My dad sat there at the dining room table and watched me tear it down to the skeleton frame...all the while shaking his head when I not only found the issue...but watching my brainstormed idea of using a cigarette lighter and a few punched staples from a staple gun to correct the broken mode switch wiper support tabs. As it came to life my dad said "Son, you have found your calling in life. How did you know what was broken and where to look?" For which I replied, "not sure. I looked at the symptoms and traced it out in my head. It seemed as though the logic system didn't know what was going on, so the mode switch seemed like the first logical place to look. When I removed it to take a look at it for cleaning it fell apart in my hand".

I could tell he was happy to see it come to life but seemed more interested in watching his son diagnose and resolve the issue. I guess it's not every day you get to see someone fix a VCR with a lighter and a staple gun... :lol:

 

great post, used to love a good vcr, now we just get a cheap boring cd player at best, they should have never killed analogue tv  :-)

 

 

Hu,Nice Panasonic! I have a Mitsubishi HS-U760 S-VHS unit I bought new around 91’ or so. Really loved it until the transport section won’t load right anymore,needs to be serviced and I’m not to good with those loading decks. Great looking unit!!

 

 

That's a  nice story transistorized.  My dad gave me his old Fisher receiver he was about to sell in a yard sale, before I said I'll take it.

And I actually also bought a Mitsubishi U70 on e-bay about 4 years ago and she said everything was working....I tried it on a new TV and it was all in black and white only. So it sits upstairs in the attic.

 

Thanks everyone.



#12 bellarmine

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 11:26 PM

Nice fix it job Transistorized!  I've always liked to fiddle with VCRs as well.  Your dad got a good deck - HiFi Stereo in 1986 cost a pretty penny!  My dad bought a linear-stereo RCA deck around 1991, he told me first time he played Star Wars with headphones it sounded great!  Nice your dad was around to see you fix it, you're right about spending time with him too, something I will remember.  Back in 2011 I started refurbishing a 1956 Johnson 30HP outboard, sat for 35 years, and the original purchaser and his son were around to see me start the project - what a history!

 

My dad has used an SVHS Panasonic deck like Goodman has, an AG1970 - excellent top of the line deck.  I also acquired an SVHS Mitisubishi deck like Coast Steve has from a friend.  Seems like these have similar problems - my transport and electronics do everything they should do except display a picture!!  OSD works, transport works, but no picture or sound.  Maybe control head?  Anyway I digress - best wishes to you and your dad - Cheers! Bellarmine



#13 baddboybill

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 04:40 PM

Great job!!! Love to hear stories like this...

#14 Transistorized

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 07:39 PM

Great job!!! Love to hear stories like this...


Thanks baddboybill. I have enjoyed doing this for my Dad. I reinstalled the VCR back into the cabinet for my Dad to enjoy.

#15 JVC Floyd

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 07:49 PM

I like the old VCRs because these newer pos are so light it moves when you press the buttons , I had a top of the line JVC 4 head HiFi vhs but it was very complicated and it started fooking up so I tossed it out . it must have weighed 35 pounds or more , now o have a good old Sony HiFi vhs it has less features than the JVC but its still an awesome unit.