Fault and repair guide
No reel rotationThis is a very common problem which can have several causes. The first thing which fails is usually the reel idler assembly. Replacement units are readily available and can be fitted easily after removal of the cassette carriage. Next suspect the drive belt which connects the idler to the motor. Finally the motor itself is prone to failure.
No tuner inputThis is usually caused by failure of the RF combiner / splitter unit. Unfortunately it is not easy to repair this unit.
Timer and/or standby LED fail to illuminateThis is caused by dry joints where the LED are soldered onto the front PCB. In order to gain access to the PCB you'll need to remove the front panel and the servo board on the LHS of the deck.
VCR tape transport is sluggishInternally the VCR contains many drive belts which are used in the mechanics of tape transport. With age these belts become slack causing malfunctions and when this happens the whole lot should be replaced.
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|No tape loading (You can hear the motor running)||The reel motor drives the loading ring using an idler pulley and a belt. Usually these parts deteriorate with time and need replacing.|
|Stops in PLAY/FF/REW after 2 seconds||Tape counter not running. Check the two belts connecting the take-up reel to the tape counter and replace them if necessary. The same applies for the models VTC 5300/5330/5350/5400/5410 and the portable VPR-5800. NOT for the later models VTC 5000/5550/5150/5250 nor the front loaders.|
|FF works but REW very slow or stops entirely||Check the two belts connecting right take up with an idler and counter. They mustnīt be too tight (usually after replacing). If too tight, they will pull too much and prevent the right cassette spindle from turning during REW. Applies to other models and Fisher VBS-7500|
|Machine constantly tracking in short, periodical intervals. Tracking fails||The head drum motor is unable to maintain steady revolutions. The RPM rises and drops. Check the driving circuit and the related capacitors. This issue is not playback related. The head drum revolutions drop even during FF and REW. It can be easily checked by shining LED torch or strobe light on the spinning drum while observing the unsteady movement of the surface.|
|Squealing noise during load or unload operation||Access the bottom mechanical part of the machine, unscrew the small gear assembly next to the capstan motor (2 screws). Carefully remove the first idler (the one with rubber on it) and gently lubricate the axis with a little precision oil. Do not lubricate with vaseline or thick grease. The mechanism needs to retain its quick reaction and the grease will dampen it and cause the mechanism to slack.|
|Garbled test signal picture||Adjust VR11 in VD-1 board until you get the best picture whith the test signal switch set to ON.|
|Loading ring stalls when loading or unloading even with a new loading belt||Flat spot on the loading idler tyre. File it down with fine grit sandpaper. Rubber Renue can also help restoring the tyre's grip.|
|Garbled test signal pattern (correction)||Adjust VR3 in case of the VTC 5300 and VR11 in case of VTC 5350.|
|Improve picture on playback (VTC 5350 only)||Put the machine into play mode and adjust VR9 (Expand) on the VD-1 board while measuring the voltage at TP4. The factory setting is 1.0V. Setting it to around 0.9V will sharpen the picture quite a bit.|