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curleysound

PD-4 glitch...

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I have had a glitch on my PD-4 in the past month. It's the first time it has done anything weird in the five years I've owned it, and with the fixability of these units slowly decaying, I'm wondering if there is a cause, or solution anyone is privy to?

The problem is that I hit record, and nothing happens. This is after i've been rolling, and have powered down with the tape in. The solution has been to eject the tape, and put it back in, and everything works fine. The main annoyance with this is that I lose the A-Time count and PNO resets. My main concern is that there's an issue with the transport, and that's potentially a limited availability fix. Is this truly an early death-nell or something like a dust-bunny choking a sensor?

Tom

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Tom,

I ran into something similar a while back.

According to Steve George -- PD-4 Guru at Trew Audio -- you should always at least release the tension on the tape prior to powering down, or even remove it entirely.  There's something squirrelly about the tape tensioning system that can cause problems if it doesn't stay "loaded."

Since talking with him I've been careful about this and don't recall problems since.

John Blankenship, C.A.S.

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I still have demand for DAT recording as a back-up and have also been nursing my PD4 along. I'll routinely power down during lunch but I don't remove the tape. How would one release the tension on the tape? Does that happen naturally when the recorder moves from "Pause" to "Stop?"

David Waelder

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I still have demand for DAT recording as a back-up and have also been nursing my PD4 along. I'll routinely power down during lunch but I don't remove the tape. How would one release the tension on the tape? Does that happen naturally when the recorder moves from "Pause" to "Stop?"

David Waelder

Yes, as far as I know - by pressing stop, you are releasing the heads from the tape.

Tim

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<i>Yes, as far as I know - by pressing stop, you are releasing the heads from the tape.</i>

No.  If you'll recall, to remove the tape you need to push the button on the transport (I forget what it's called and I don't have my PD-4 nearby) TWICE.  The first press un-threads the tape (what we're talking about here), the second press opens the door and elevates the tape.

John Blankenship, C.A.S.

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[snip]

No.  If you'll recall, to remove the tape you need to push the button on the transport [snip] TWICE.  The first press un-threads the tape (what we're talking about here), the second press opens the door and elevates the tape.

John Blankenship, C.A.S.

So, does that mean that to safely power down and minimize risks of tape tranport glitches, I should first:

1. Ascertain that the transport is in "Stop" mode

2. Press the yellow button once to decouple the tape.

David Waelder

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That's how I understand it.  Although, Steve George at Trew did say that it was better to actually remove the tape prior to powering down, a person should at least "unload" the tape by pressing the button once.

Stated as it is exactly in my phone log ('02):  "Before powering off, push eject once to unload."

It can be tricky, however, to pick up the PNO numbers properly after powering down.  I imagine if I did it often enough I'd have the routine down rock solid, but typically I'll just keep the machine powered up all day so I don't have to deal with the situation.  Either that or only power down at lunch.

John Blankenship, C.A.S.

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<i>Yes, as far as I know - by pressing stop, you are releasing the heads from the tape.</i>

No.  If you'll recall, to remove the tape you need to push the button on the transport (I forget what it's called and I don't have my PD-4 nearby) TWICE.  The first press un-threads the tape (what we're talking about here), the second press opens the door and elevates the tape.

John Blankenship, C.A.S.

I must admit that I wasn't talking about removing the tape - In my evidently incorrect way of thinking, I thought that parking the heads away from the tape was sufficient to prevent problems before powering down.  I didn't realize that you had to remove the tape as well.

Tim

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Tim,

  I don't think he's saying you have to remove the tape, just unthread it from the record heads. As far as I know, the pause button, when pushed twice goes to stop mode, which means the heads stop spinning, but the tensioner is still on, and the tape is still wound around the head. After stopping, when you hit the yellow eject button, it unthreads the tape. Pushing a second time actually ejects, but you only have to push the yellow button once to be safe.

tom

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I've not used a PD-4 in about a year but now that I'm thinking about it, I remember that what I would do before powering down was release the panel lock and press the "stop" button on the recorder.  Funny that pressing "stop" wouldn't really "stop" the recorder and release the heads.

Only other thing I could add is that I used the PD-4 without cart power, living mainly off of brick batteries, so I frequently powered down before long lighting setups, and I never had a problem - not that I've never had a problem with a PD-4, but never this particular problem.

Tim

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