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Leszek1,


You may want to put that cassette in the drawer. Those dry cleaning tapes are rather abrasive on the heads. I use a chamois swab and some head cleaning fluid to gently clean the heads after popping the top. Depending on use, I think once a month is enough.


Regards, Peter
 

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The JVC service manual recomends cleaning the tape path (heads, drum, pinch roller, etc) every 1000 hours. I've had some HD1000's go that long between cleanings, but for the JVC that seems a bit long. Unlike the HD1000, the JVC pinch roller contacts the magnetic-coated side of the tape, and bends the tape more sharply, so I'd expect to see more tape wear and residue build up. Maybe every 200 hours or so would be good.


I agree with Peter that cleaning should be done with chamois and head cleaning solution, rather than with dry tape. Be careful about the chamois swabs. Some are not really leather, but some kind of plastic foam, and they will leave a residue. I got a big piece of chamois from a automotive parts store, cut a 4" strip off, washed with dish detergent, rinsed in distilled water, and blotted dry. Works great.


The dry cleaning tape should only be used if the heads are glazed.
 

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I've always heard you should leave the heads alone UNLESS you see a visible degradation in the picture quality. In other words, the less cleaning the better. I'm not sure if the heads on the new JVC change that thinking.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Ross
I've always heard you should leave the heads alone UNLESS you see a visible degradation in the picture quality. In other words, the less cleaning the better. I'm not sure if the heads on the new JVC change that thinking.
Ken,

Your statement would be valid for the use of cleaning tapes, but not for hand cleaning.


I've spent a little time looking into this in an effort to understand why some members seem to have constant problems with pixels and dropouts in their DVHS recordings. I've used a Nikon stereo microscope to inspect heads after varying hours of use. There is definitely residue build-up that increases with time, and is affected by tape brand, back tension, and the overall condition of the cylinder and transport.


On a clean machine the cylinder does not touch the tape because the rapid spinning forms a boundary layer that acts like an air bearing. With use, tape residue begins to build up on the trailing edge of the heads (not over the gap). At this stage the residue can be easily cleaned off with head cleaning solution. If the heads are never cleaned, this build-up can start to affect the boundary layer separating the tape from the cylinder, and eventually the tapes start to leave residue on the cylinder at a point slightly ahead and above each head. Gradually the build-up extends until it forms an orange streak that circles the cylinder just above the heads.


A machine in the above condition would start producing lots of pixels and dropouts during playback, and might even make recordings that could not be read on other, good machines. Normal cleaning at this stage in nearly impossible because the build-up on the cylinder is so difficult to remove. About the only choice left is using an abrasive dry tape, or cleaning under a microscope.


More frequent hand cleaning will avoid these problems, and eliminate the need to use dry cleaning tapes which wear the heads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Can someone recommend a source for the chamois swabs and the head cleaning fluid?


Thank you,

Leszek
 

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If you're in So Calif Fry's Electronics has swabs and head cleaning solution made by MG Chemicals. The swabs are artificial suede, so they not as good as real chamois or deerskin. Panasonic.com sells swabs that are a little better, but are very expensive.


Don't use Radio Shack swabs or solution.


The best is, as I described in an earlier post, a piece of chamois from an auto store. After cleaning and drying as described, wet a corner with head cleaning solution and press gently at the juncture between the upper and lower cylinders, and turn the cylinder counter-clockwise slowly. You'll be able to feel each head as it passes under your finger. 3 or 4 revolutions and your done.


Three warnings:


1) Unplug the recorder. Interrupting the reel sensor led can start the loading cycle even if power is off.


2) Do not scrub the swab or chamois in a vertical direction, you could break a head. They're 0.007" thick and as brittle as a potato chip.


3) WAIT at least 10 minutes after cleaning to allow the heads to dry, before trying a tape.
 
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