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    Re: Guide To Cleaning The DVX100(a) Recording Head
    #21
    Moderator Barry_S's Avatar
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    The Radio Shack cleaning kit is probably fine--I know they sell chamois swabs and head cleaner. A DVD? I'm not sure it deserves it's own DVD, but a short video would be good. Maybe Jarred could put it in the extras section of his filter DVD .


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    Re: Guide To Cleaning The DVX100(a) Recording Head
    #22
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    Hi Barry etal:

    Just a quick note about Radio Shacks head cleaner. The only ones that I've seen have this for contents:
    Distilled water, & Isopropyl alcohol.

    Back in the days of audio recording we had to clean the heads (very large heads) every day before each recording session. We only used "Completely Denatured Alcohol) on the recording heads and rubber cleaner on the rubber rollers. Denatured alcohol can only be purchased at your local pharmacists as far as I know. It's very cheap and a bottle should last you a lifetime, unless you decide to consume the rest of it at cocktails.


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    Re: Guide To Cleaning The DVX100(a) Recording Head
    #23
    Senior Member Colione's Avatar
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    Barry,

    I cleaned the video heads and it worked for a day. Now i'm back to the lovely blue screen. I never found any chamois swabs or rubber cleaner at Radio shack, but i did find pure isoproponol. what I did to clean the heads was make a little tab/ball of cut of piece of charmois and tape it to the end of one of the red straws all spray cans come with. it looked like it worked well, and it did, but now it's back to ol' blue.

    So my point is .... i must not of cleaned it right. and that I'm going to do it again.

    sweet.

    Questions:
    1. It looks like the cylinder head turns counter clockwise, I just want to be sure that we are rotating it clockwise as clean it.

    2. I know isoproponol dries really fast, but should there be a certain period I should let my camera "rest" after it's bath? before I put it back to work?


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    Re: Guide To Cleaning The DVX100(a) Recording Head
    #24
    Moderator Barry_S's Avatar
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    I don't think it really matters which direction you rotate the cylinder--but it should only be in one direction. Isopropanol dries very quickly, so you should be fine after a minute or two. I don't know what you're using, but find some real synthetic chamois tape cleaning swabs. Like these:

    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=341-402


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    Re: Guide To Cleaning The DVX100(a) Recording Head
    #25
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    Barry,
    I was told by the head engineer at Panasonic Canada (at a dealer event) to never ever clean the heads on DV or DVCPRO with anything but a cleaning tape. He then went on to mention NOT to clean the heads for 10 consecutive seconds....but 5 seconds at a time. Press play for 5 seconds then stop...eject (cooldown) and then play another 5 seconds.
    He mentioned that due to the size of the heads, and the fact that they spin at 9000rpms that they absolutely cannot be cleaned in the same manner as Betacams.
    I would like to be clear that I am not questioning you (as you've always been a wealth of information). I am simply passing on first hand information I learned during a Panasonic Dealer Roadshow last fall.
    Maybe this is worth further investigation?
    BTW I've had some time with the SDX900 this week, and WOW...truly incredible color accuracy (thanks Ikegami) and amazing amount of control!
    FWIW,

    Brian Broz
    LLSR.com


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    Re: Guide To Cleaning The DVX100(a) Recording Head
    #26
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    Interesting information thanks for the tutorial. Was wondering though, if i in fact try this cleaning technique will this yield a switch of tapes? The situation is that the camera i am buying was used to run sony tapes (wet lube), only sonys nothing else. Will i be able to switch to panasonic mqs after this cleaning procedure or should i continue with the sony stock?
    Also any testimonials to confirm this method ? Any of you guys feel confident after cleaning?
    Barry, thank you for a great contribution.


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    Re: Guide To Cleaning The DVX100(a) Recording Head
    #27
    Moderator Barry_S's Avatar
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    Brian,

    That's interesting advice from the Panasonic Engineer, but I wonder if he wasn't just trying to discourage inexperienced users from inadvertently damaging the heads. Just as the DVX100 manual only recommends the use of the cleaning tape. The construction of DV recording heads and cylinders is the same basic technology as any other video recording head. The big difference is in the high degree of minaturization. Because of the tiny size, the heads are probably more delicate and susceptible to mechanical damage. Again, I strongly recommend that folks only perform procedures they feel comfortable with.

    I'd be very surprised if authorized service centers cleaned the heads with a tape--the single one I've spoken with doesn't use a cleaning tape to service the heads. I think the Panasonic engineer was giving you the best possible advice--not knowing your skill level he recommended using the safest method for cleaning the heads--light use of the cleaning tape. While the tape is abrasive, it is unlikely to cause a catastrophic head failure. The use of solvent and synthetic chamois cleaning swabs is the more gentle method, but only in skilled hands. If performed badly, there is a much higher potential for major head damage. BTW, I'd love to get my hands on an SDX900--what a beautiful camera.

    Warmstepvision--the question here is, how effectively can you clean the entire tape path before switching tapes? Unfortunately I can't advise you here except to say that you're much better off doing the most effective cleaning possible before switching tapes. I would probably have the tape mechanism professionally cleaned or stick with the Sony tapes.


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    Re: Guide To Cleaning The DVX100(a) Recording Head
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    Senior Member Colione's Avatar
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    Barry,

    I bought charmois cloth from london drugs, and I made things exactly like the ones you showed me.

    My camera plays excellently, but now frames keep dropping when I'm trying to import footage. While the cleaning method definitely did something (because it wasn't even playing before), it's still not perfect. I think this whole mix up is because I unknowingly did a shoot with PQ tapes, and now I'm back to using MQ. I might buy a cleaning tape, use it this once to clean it up perfect, and then stick with MQ's and hand cleaning. I think it'd be good to own a cleaning tape, cause if you're ever in the field and your camera goes wonky, and you absolutely gotta use it, it may come in handy. I just hope i don't get carried away with it.

    BTW: what else could be causing this dropped frame problem?
    Thx!


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    Re: Guide To Cleaning The DVX100(a) Recording Head
    #29
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    Just my 2 cents. I've been shooting for 20 some years and was told by some very good engineers that one of the best cleaning "swabs" for any kind of head is plain old typing paper saturated with denatured alcohol. Most of it does have some rag content, but it is burnished into the paper and presents no problem. You can actually feel the heads when using your finger to press gently down as you turn the head. The real problem with cleaning heads is the danger of catching the edge of the very thin deposited layer that actually transfers the signal to tape. This layer has a very strong bond in the direction of head spin, but is relatively weak at 90 degrees to the head spin direction. The big risk is catching the lip sideways and doing damage to the medium that is deposited on the heads. The trick is to place the paper swab over the head and press gently down only. Never rub the swab at all in any direction. Once you have put pressure on the swab and only then, can you turn the head drum so the heads pass under the swab. One of the major advantages of using low rag content typing paper is it's almost always available no matter where you find yourself. Just find a copy machine or a printer, and Bob's your uncle. I've been cleaning 3/4", betacam, vhs, and dvcam deck and camera heads with typing paper and alcohol for many, many years and never had any damage from said cleaning. YMMV.


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    Re: Guide To Cleaning The DVX100(a) Recording Head
    #30
    All about the Caption Terry_Lasater's Avatar
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    Hey, this thread looks familiar. ;) Congrats on piecing together a nice, comprehensive overview.
    Practice safe filmmaking; use a concept.


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