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D1 Control Track/RF Problems

Hi All,
  A While back Chris Bacon wrote:
"The short answer we came up with is that the machines were just too darn
sensitive--for whatever reason--to the less-than-perfect "real world" of
tape.  Changing the software to allow us to run at a slightly higher tension
"desensitized" the machines, and they've been fine since then.

Christopher Bacon
DuArt Film & Video"

Lately we have been having quite allot of control track/RF related problems.
The inner drums were replaced by sony about 2-3 months ago. Drum hours range
from 3470-4072. We are talking about 2ea DVR-2100s. Question one is: Is the
intermittent control track dropout indicative of lower drum failure? I have
not personally seen the "crust" over the in drum CTL head but have removed my
fair share of dirt from it. I have also had problems where the CTL is fine
and the RF will drop low, channel conditions change to yellow, and then all
goes back to normal. This is usually only about 1 second in duration. I can
understand this happening once in a while due to some dirt or whatever but it
seems to be to the point where this will happen several times during a 30 min
tape. (Not to digress too much.....Sony stock, regular or type A, Fuji
tolerated, Ampex seems to suck)

My other question is how and where were the "software"changes made to make
the machine behave better?

Overall I agree that these machine seem to be way to sensitive to the real
world use. A tape that has been black encoded should have errors less than 1.
It is nice to record information with out compression but if you are always
using error correction to make up the missing information are you really any
better off?

Thanks in advance for any and all help,
Rob Laug
MTI/The Image Group
Tweeker777 at aol.com