Cleaning Video Heads  

 
crustytv
(@crustytv)
Vrat Founder Admin

Could I invite the thoughts of those that have trade experience of head cleaning. What would you use and what did you use. What technique, tips do you have to achieve a safe clean? Baring in mind mistakes cannot be made as no chance of ordering new heads from SEME, CES etc.

  • VCR cleaning pad with IPA
  • A4 Paper soaked in IPA
  • Others?

 

clean

 

This guy uses the soaked paper technique

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Posted : 05/02/2019 9:35 pm
Red_to_Black
(@red_to_black)
Noble Member Registered

A strip of Rizla packet  🙂 (shiny paper) with and without IPA/Meths.

I sometimes used to slide it (dry only!) between a running tape and the drum and let it work its way round with the tape.

"This is my multimeter. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. My multimeter is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my multimeter is useless. Without my multimeter, I am useless."

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Posted : 05/02/2019 9:40 pm crustytv liked
Nuvistor
(@nuvistor)
Famed Member Registered

The items available for me was what looked like a wide wooden lollipop stick with a piece of chamois leather stuck on one side near the end, the other item was IPA.

I would wet the chamois with IPA, hold the chamois gently against the head and slowly rotate the head to pass the ferrite over the wet leather. Never move the chamois stick when in touch with the ferrite.

I never lost a head that way.

 

Frank

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Posted : 05/02/2019 9:48 pm crustytv liked
sideband
(@sideband)
Famed Member Moderator
Posted by: Red_to_Black

A strip of Rizla packet  🙂 (shiny paper) with and without IPA/Meths.

Post-It notes work well. Fold one in half and apply IPA, hold flat against the head while it's spinning...see all the oxide come off.

 

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Posted : 05/02/2019 10:28 pm crustytv and Red_to_Black liked
crustytv
(@crustytv)
Vrat Founder Admin
Posted by: Nuvistor

The items available for me was what looked like a wide wooden lollipop stick with a piece of chamois leather stuck on one side near the end, the other item was IPA.

The black plastic angle sticks shown in the photo with chamois leather on their ends, are I guess later items to the wooden ones.

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Posted : 05/02/2019 10:54 pm
Jayceebee
(@jayceebee)
Prominent Member Registered

Ooh now this could be controversial, the thing is that everyone has their own preferred method of doing this. There was a similar discussion over on UKVRRR recently and some suggestions made me wince but I've found that VHS video heads are very forgiving, really the only thing that will definitely cause damage to the head tips is cleaning by vertical motion.

Now I'm not suggesting you try my methods because as you say Philips spares are extremely scarce whereas even now lots of VHS heads appear to be still available for basic machines, a different story for HiFi and SVHS models.

I have three methods, the first attempt is the usual small square of chamios leather moistened with IPA and placed on the gap between the lower and upper drum whilst rotating it in it's normal direction of travel. Place a dry part of the chamois in the same area and rotate the upper drum again, repeat wet and dry until no further dirt can be removed then clean the upper and lower surfaces.

If after trying this several times no improvement is seen the second method is to obtain a piece of backing paper from a sticky label. Using the waxy side in the same way as the chamois to lift any dirt from the tips. Next step is to run the machine without a tape and use the matt side of the paper against the rotating drum and heads.

If still no or poor output then my most brutal method is used. Get an old tape with a recording on it and set it to playback and place the back of your fingernail on the shiny surface of the tape at a point where the head tips can be felt, watch the screen and maintain light pressure until playback hopefully appears.

As I say probably controversial but the latter two have saved many an upper drum from the bin.

John.

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Posted : 05/02/2019 11:23 pm Red_to_Black and crustytv liked
Nuvistor
(@nuvistor)
Famed Member Registered

Not controversial, you start with the gentle method and only move to more aggressive methods if required. 

 

Frank

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Posted : 06/02/2019 9:08 pm
TVJON74
(@tvjon74)
Honorable Member Registered

We used to use a lint free cloth wrapped over a finger, place finger and cloth over the top of the bottle of IPA and invert the bottle to apply a bit of IPA to the cloth.

Then place finger/cloth against the head drum with light preassure while  rotating the head drum by hand.

I have also used paper and IIRC (not sure how to desribe it) woven/pressed paper stuff specifically for head cleaning, I think it probably came from CPC.

Other methods already described would be useed on stubborn heads.

Jon
BVWS Member

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Posted : 07/02/2019 5:21 pm
crustytv
(@crustytv)
Vrat Founder Admin

Thanks for all the tips guys, I ended up soaking strips of 'post-it' in IPA and then gently holding them against the drum. As you all stated, I could feel the 'blip' 'blip' of each head, as I gently rotated the head drum. It worked very well, muck was removed successfully, proof of which was improved video playback.

I also did this on the heads I believed to be fully worn,  on that I could not feel either of the heads passing by. I think this further supports along with the microscope photos, that they are almost if not already, completely worn away.

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Posted : 07/02/2019 8:16 pm Red_to_Black liked
Red_to_Black
(@red_to_black)
Noble Member Registered

Yes, after you have cleaned a few manually with paper or whatever you get a "feel" literally for what is expected, not fool proof by any stretch, but experience tends to show up definitely worn out ones, this is what I was sort of alluding to in this and the N1700 thread.

"This is my multimeter. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. My multimeter is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my multimeter is useless. Without my multimeter, I am useless."

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Posted : 07/02/2019 9:14 pm

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