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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been searching for a bit and have failed to come up with an answer to this question.

I have a used Panasonic AG-1980 and was wondering if there was a way to "enable" the hours of use it has seen?

I have a service manual and it mentions this in the normal maintenance of the machine, but I have yet to find a way for the machine to display its hours of use.


I don't even know if it keeps track of this.


Jim


edit: also- I posted in this part of the forum because it seems all the VCR things are here....
 

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I don't think it tracks hours of use. I've had the AG1980 (and its twin the AG5710) for about seven years now, I've plowed thru countless service bulletins and tech sites to be sure I could keep them in good working order, and I've never seen a mention of usage hours being a displayable option. These units were designed for modular servicing in a pro/semi-pro environment: the front panel display can be switched to identify modules that have failed (or are about to fail), but there doesn't appear to be any way to display usage hours. These units have no on-screen display or menu systems, so they're limited to the dozen or so cryptic number code readouts on the front panel, triggered by a system fault or probing tool.


Other than satisfying our morbid curiosity, there isn't much to be gained by knowing the usage hours. For one thing, these VCRs are all older than Moses at this point. For another, they all fall into one of two usage categories: either they've been run into the ground by a wedding studio for years on end with no servicing ever, or they've been used in a proper production house that dutifully had them tuned up and replaced worn modules regularly. In the former case, knowing exactly how beat-to-death the VCR is wouldn't be terribly helpful (if its bad you'll know it), in the latter it wouldn't matter because various subsystems would have been replaced periodically, resetting the usage meter. The AG1980 was not attractive to to consumers: it was too ugly and had no gee-whiz convenience features to justify its stratospheric pricetag back in the day, so there are no "low miles" samples hiding anywhere. Even if you miraculously found one brand new in a sealed box, VCRs don't take kindly to sitting inactive for a long time: an AG1980 that logged a mere 10 hours of total use since 1989 is not necessarily in better condition than one thats logged 1000 hours. (The power supply is a notorious trouble spot that tends to fail more often on little-used units than workhorse units).


The most critical wear point is the upper video head cylinder, all the other mechanical parts are adjustable for wear or self-compensating. But since the AG1980 uses the near-indestructible DynaMorphous head material, it is very rare to hear of worn-out heads- you're more likely to encounter clogged heads, or heads damaged by a bungled cleaning attempt with Q-tips. The 1980 is reasonably bulletproof: it either works, or it doesn't. If yours is working, it will likely soldier on for years with no issues. If yours is acting up, have it overhauled once and you'll likely never need to service it again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, that is sort of what I figured.

Mine came out of a University. I have to go through it and give it a good cleaning/lube, but even as-is it is light years ahead of my other "go-to" machine (Sony SLV-ED115 Multi-System) that would play anything I threw at it.
 
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