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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » The Afterlife   » Panasonic M-2 AU-650 VTR

   
Author Topic: Panasonic M-2 AU-650 VTR
Paul G. Thompson
The Weenie Man

Posts: 4718
From: Mount Vernon WA USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 05-30-2002 07:52 PM      Profile for Paul G. Thompson   Email Paul G. Thompson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As most of you know, I have one of these critters. I scrounged up three tapes, took them home, tried to record. A blinking display said "Low RF" and switched to another message "Servo Not Locked."

Record Inhibit light stays on, won't turn off. I think I am missing something the machine wants to see. I was using a digital color bar generator (video output) for test purposes and had it connected to Video line in. Also tried plugging it into the Ref Video input, but that didn't work, either.

Has anyone worked with these machines, and what am I doing wrong? Someone told me these machines make good wheel stops for the Boeing 747 aircraft.


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Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 882
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-30-2002 09:20 PM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"Low RF" or "servo not locked" on a tape that is known to have a recording on it would tend to indicate a head clog. If you cannot obtain an M2 style cleaning cassette, pop open the cover and GENTLY clean the headwheel and heads themselves (they are on the lower portion of the headwheel assembly spaced at about 90 degree intervals). DON'T use a cotton swab, whatever you do, they tend to shred and leave residue in the head gap. The best thing is a small piece of chamois with a commercial head cleaner, or freon, or trichloroflourothene.

As far as the record lockout, most broadcast style tape casettes have a sliding lockout tab on the bottom of them. Look for a bit of plastic that looks like it would slide up or down on the side bottoms of the tape, and make sure it's all the way down, then try to record again. Also, (shades of Josh and his 1" troubles), make sure you are feeding solid color black to the reference inputs.

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Steven Gorsky
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 146
From: Frederick, MD, USA
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 05-30-2002 10:25 PM      Profile for Steven Gorsky   Author's Homepage   Email Steven Gorsky   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul, I talked with my dad, he will try to borrow a manual, and I'll try to get it scanned in. As mentioned by Mark above, check the record tab - on MII tapes it is red plastic that slides into place, in the same location as a VHS tape. Also mentioned by Mark the heads may be dirty, or if it has a lot of hours on it - bad.

In regards to the reference input - color bars should be fine, but you can't use a regular TV station signal as a source (it must be a constant signal).

Steven Gorsky

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Paul G. Thompson
The Weenie Man

Posts: 4718
From: Mount Vernon WA USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 05-30-2002 11:17 PM      Profile for Paul G. Thompson   Email Paul G. Thompson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mark and Steve, I did check the tab on the cassette. The tabs are in the "unlocked" position. I did feed black burst into the reference video input, but that did not work.

Then one of my tapes went HS. On rewind, it hit the stop so hard the tape wheels jammed themselves in the cassette. Just for the heck of it, I borrowed a set of wheels from a S-VHS cassette (same size) and put them in the M-2 style cassette. I stuffed it in the machine, and I did have audio playback, but that was all. Then I rewound it and "Bam!" another busted tape when it hit the end. I could not eject it, so I had to manually bar it out with the loading motor. Then, I stuffed a good tape in, and it loaded, but the error "tape slack" came up. I ejected the tape, and now it will not accept any cassette. (Jeech)

I wonder if I broke a micro-switch....

Steve, if I could get a copy of that manual, I'll be very greatful. I'll be more than happy to pay the postage.

Josh has the mate to that dog, and if I find mine is a Boeing 747 wheel stop, I'll send all the good parts to Josh for his, and toss the remaining parts in the theatre dumpster. .

But since it is a challange, I want to try to get this dog working, so I can help Josh get his working. This is a new ballpark for us to play in. It's fun - and we are learning something.

As for Josh's BVH-1100, the Director of Engineering, Mr. Michael Goodman from KCPQ-TV in Seattle, was kind enough to loan me his personal manual of the BVH-1100 machine. He is going to provide us with an extender board needed to troubleshoot Josh's machine. Mr. Goodman indicated when he gets back form his home state Massachusetts (Boston, I believe) he is going to give us the technical support to get that beast of Josh's running. He may even come up with a time base corrector for us.


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Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 882
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-31-2002 08:00 AM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul:

I happened to read your original post again. You say that you are using a digital color bar generator for reference and video, and by that I take it you mean one with a 601 serial output. The thing is, an M2 is an analog machine, and unless you have some form of D to A conversion in between the generator and the deck, you are not helping yourself, as the deck has no internal way to transcode a digital signal to analog (and digital color black is not the same thing as analog color black). I'm afraid that your going to have to djinn up an old analog generator to feed this thing properly.

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Paul G. Thompson
The Weenie Man

Posts: 4718
From: Mount Vernon WA USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 05-31-2002 11:34 AM      Profile for Paul G. Thompson   Email Paul G. Thompson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mark, the digital color bar generator has an analog video output. It is a battery powered device, and I have used it several times for recording color patterns on my VCR while it was connected to the video input jacks. I presumed it should have worked with the VTR, too.


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