[SOLVED] Have a question about playing 8mm tapes on an 8mm camcorder.

Darkmatterx

Distinguished
Apr 8, 2003
548
5
19,015
6
I'm trying to convert some 8mm tapes for a friend of the family to digital. I've done this before for someone else without any problems, but this time the video just freezes for a few seconds and the recorder then tells me I need to eject the tape. Most of these tapes are Hitachi, which makes me think they may have had a Hitachi camcorder. The one I have is a Sony Hi8 CCD-TR700. The one thing I've noticed is that the tapes were recorded in LP mode, so I was wondering if there's some sort of brand incompatibility going on here?

Anyone know anything about this? :)

Thanks!
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
153,691
11,003
175,990
24,033
Sorry, I forgot to add that. All tapes, even ones that played fine before are like this now.

I don't have access to another player, but with previously working tapes now doing this, and it thinking a tape is at the beginning when they're not (it won't even let me rewind it further) I'm wondering if something has picked up some dirt (a sensor?) and needs to be cleaned. Unfortunatly, I don't know where such a sensor would be. I'll be going to google after this, but I'm not sure if I'll find much.

DM
Tapes, and the camcorder, do not age well.

Not being able to rewind possibly indicates a weak motor in the camcorder. Or, the tape is too tight.


I had a somewhat similar issue years ago, and bought another Sony Hi8 on fleabay.
Depending on how valuable the footage is, $100-$150 for a new Sony or Canon might be a good option.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Mar 25, 2010
60,218
1,037
152,890
16,799
Really should not be any difference in what can play the tapes, did you test other tapes in your Sony to make sure it still work normally? Maybe do a head and mechanism cleaning. Could also be an issue with the tapes with how they were stored.
 

Darkmatterx

Distinguished
Apr 8, 2003
548
5
19,015
6
OK. Since it isn't that, I have some more details that I looked at this morning.

Often when I play a tape I'll just see a frozen screen for a few seconds and then the camcorder says to eject the tape. I tried looking at the tape spools to see if they were moving or not, and they weren't. Oddly though, if I put a tape in, I can fast forward or rewind, so it isn't the motor that advances the tapes. The other odd thing is that for 1 tape, it insists that the tape is at the beginning, even when it isn't. At that point it won't let me rewind any further.

Any thoughts? :)

Thanks!
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Mar 25, 2010
60,218
1,037
152,890
16,799
OK. Since it isn't that, I have some more details that I looked at this morning.

Often when I play a tape I'll just see a frozen screen for a few seconds and then the camcorder says to eject the tape. I tried looking at the tape spools to see if they were moving or not, and they weren't. Oddly though, if I put a tape in, I can fast forward or rewind, so it isn't the motor that advances the tapes. The other odd thing is that for 1 tape, it insists that the tape is at the beginning, even when it isn't. At that point it won't let me rewind any further.

Any thoughts? :)

Thanks!
Same as before, need to see if issue is with the player or the tapes. Other tapes play fine? If they do, need to find another player and try the tapes in that. Without that it's just a guess about the issue.
 

Darkmatterx

Distinguished
Apr 8, 2003
548
5
19,015
6
Sorry, I forgot to add that. All tapes, even ones that played fine before are like this now.

I don't have access to another player, but with previously working tapes now doing this, and it thinking a tape is at the beginning when they're not (it won't even let me rewind it further) I'm wondering if something has picked up some dirt (a sensor?) and needs to be cleaned. Unfortunatly, I don't know where such a sensor would be. I'll be going to google after this, but I'm not sure if I'll find much.

DM
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
153,691
11,003
175,990
24,033
Sorry, I forgot to add that. All tapes, even ones that played fine before are like this now.

I don't have access to another player, but with previously working tapes now doing this, and it thinking a tape is at the beginning when they're not (it won't even let me rewind it further) I'm wondering if something has picked up some dirt (a sensor?) and needs to be cleaned. Unfortunatly, I don't know where such a sensor would be. I'll be going to google after this, but I'm not sure if I'll find much.

DM
Tapes, and the camcorder, do not age well.

Not being able to rewind possibly indicates a weak motor in the camcorder. Or, the tape is too tight.


I had a somewhat similar issue years ago, and bought another Sony Hi8 on fleabay.
Depending on how valuable the footage is, $100-$150 for a new Sony or Canon might be a good option.
 

Darkmatterx

Distinguished
Apr 8, 2003
548
5
19,015
6
Actually, I think it is dirt. But I'm afraid it might have caused damage. I looked at the last 8mm tape I did, and while I did clean off the outside and use an air rocket for the harder to reach areas, the other tapes are very dirty. I think that 1 tape left behind something. I'm hoping it's something I can clean, but I'm not sure yet.

It can't be the motor, because as long as the camcorder doesn't think the tape is at the beginning, it fast forwards & rewinds just fine.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
153,691
11,003
175,990
24,033
Actually, I think it is dirt. But I'm afraid it might have caused damage. I looked at the last 8mm tape I did, and while I did clean off the outside and use an air rocket for the harder to reach areas, the other tapes are very dirty. I think that 1 tape left behind something. I'm hoping it's something I can clean, but I'm not sure yet.

It can't be the motor, because as long as the camcorder doesn't think the tape is at the beginning, it fast forwards & rewinds just fine.
Old tapes can decontaminate, leaving behind lots and lots of particles.
Audio cassettes, reel to reel, 8mm video, VHS...any magnetic tape can do this.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY