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Old 08-12-2017, 10:55 PM
CPQ5360 CPQ5360 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 30
JVC GR-C7 VHS-C camcorder, seized idler tire?

I own two of these camcorders, and they both have this really strange issue. When I got them, I found that when trying to record or play in EP mode, they would only do so for a few seconds before suddenly shutting down. I found that the take-up reel of the tape would stop moving, and traced the fault to the idler tire that connects the capstan motor to the take-up reel during playback.

The idler tire is literally seized - it's difficult to spin by hand. When playing/recording in SP, or when fast forwarding or rewinding, it works okay, but if you try to play/record in EP, friction overcomes the tire, and it stops moving, with the capstan tire just rubbing against it.

I've never seen something like this. The idler tire is just a plastic wheel spinning about a metal pin, so I'm not sure how something like that seizes. I've found that when you give the camcorders a few hours of use, it loosens up a bit and they start working in EP, although occasionally choking up still.

I've also tried oiling the idler tire. Or more accurately, slathering oil in random places on it, since there's no obvious place to oil it, since there's no way it should have trouble spinning in the first place. I think that helped a little, but I'm not sure.

As I type this I have one of them recording in EP, and it's doing an okay job. You see the take-up reel sort of stutter occasionally - it briefly stops spinning before coming back to life and taking up the slack, and the camcorder keeps going. But I'd like to figure out why it's stiff, and fix it for good, if possible. Thanks for any input!
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Old 08-14-2017, 02:32 AM
centralradio centralradio is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 994
I remember those camcorders.I had the same issues in any type of tape recorders/VCRs over the years.First I try to rock it back and forth.If no results I take the idler assembly apart and add a tiny drop of oil on the shaft.Dont get the oil on the rubber and plastic drive surfaces.More likely its probably a nightmare to get inside to the camcorder mechanism section to the idler assembly to work on it.
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