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VCR Newbie wanting invo about vintage Ferguson 3V44 VCR

 
Red_Machine
(@red_machine)
New V-Ratter Registered

Hi all,

I'm someone who grew up with VHS and have been getting back into it recently.  I donated what was left of my original collection to charity back in 2016, I think, but last year I got the itch to start up with it again.  After going through a few different players that died, I recently got a Ferguson 3V44 that seems pretty much bomb-proof.  Unfortunately, there is little to no information about its specifications online, and I can't find a manual either, so I thought a place like this would be best to find some like-minded individuals to share it with.  It's hooked up to a late 80s Panasonic TU-CT41 TV, and I also have a late 90s Pioneer laserdisc player beside it.

DSC 0116
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Topic starter Posted : 17/10/2021 2:40 pm
crustytv
(@crustytv)
Vrat Founder Admin
Posted by: @red_machine

recently got a Ferguson 3V44 that seems pretty much bomb-proof.  Unfortunately, there is little to no information about its specifications

This is the extract from the Thorn engineer's Technical Service manual, (not user manual) detailing the VCRs specifications.

3v44
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Posted : 17/10/2021 2:55 pm
Red_Machine
(@red_machine)
New V-Ratter Registered

Ahh, so it's a 2-head unit.  I thought that given it has stereo output that it would be 4-head, it also has very good pause quality with almost no static.  I guess it's just a very high quality 2-head unit.

I've been wondering what remote control I could get for it.  I found an old Ferguson Videostar wired remote for the 3.5mm socket on the back (adapted from the 2.5mm plug on the remote), but it doesn't work.  I'm assuming I just need to find the right remote for it.  Can this unit play LP tapes or not?  There doesn't seem to be a way to switch between SP and LP modes, but I've seen much older VCRs with the ability to play/record in LP mode, so I thought maybe it just lacked the ability to record to them.  Also, I wanted to know what the lap function is and how I might be able to activate it, all I can seem to get is the clock or the counter to do anything, the lap mode display doesn't do anything when I play a tape, and when I press the "START" button it seems to switch to timer record mode instead.

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Topic starter Posted : 17/10/2021 3:09 pm
Jayceebee
(@jayceebee)
Noble V-Ratter Registered

Sorry, no stereo with this model just linear mono. The 3V44 is a very basic machine and doesn’t even have remote control although some Ferguson TVs had the ability to operate the VCR from the TV handset . It had a slide switch to give basic control, this was sent as serial data from the TV to the VCR via the 7 pin DIN connection. 

The remote jack on the rear was a simple connection to a rocker switch which activated pause only. The Lap function gave an indication on the display of lapsed recording time.

This range of  machines were good but could be fragile in some areas, reel drive, sticky grease and the optical mode sensor. Needed a little care when being serviced due to use of numerous CPs, small fuses which looked like transistors and would go open circuit at the slightest slip of a test probe. They often failed for no reason at all causing the most unusual symptoms to the uninitiated.

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Posted : 17/10/2021 5:13 pm
Red_Machine
(@red_machine)
New V-Ratter Registered

Ah well.  I'm not too bothered about the lack of features, all I need it to do is reliably play my tapes without eating them and it's doing that job well.  Picture quality is fine, and I didn't notice a difference between it and the newer VCR it replaced.  So I'm happy.  If anything goes wrong with it, I'll be sure to post here about it and ask for advice.

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Topic starter Posted : 17/10/2021 5:18 pm