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VHS to Digital Conversion

I bought a VCR player at the Sheriff's Ranch Thrift Store for $4... needed to convert a customer's tapes to mpeg and we had 2 crappy old players here. One would sometimes have no video, but unplugging it and plugging it back in seemed to work. The other one would make a loud noise and not play but -- interestingly -- banging on the top made it work for a while.

 An old VCR player from the thrift store.

An old VCR player from the thrift store.

 

On the one I bought, the tape would go in, then a motor sounded like it was running fast, then the tape would eject.

 A motor and belt from a scrapped computer DVD player.

A motor and belt from a scrapped computer DVD player.

Took it apart. Found a missing belt from a motor to a gear. Looked through my parts from old DVD players. Didn't find a belt small enough.

Used a small rubber band, and it worked! The motor controlled a mechanism that pulled the tape around the play head. It runs for a few seconds then stops when it's done. Then another motor takes over to rotate the tape. Plays video great.

 

 A peek at the pulley with it's new rubber-band belt.

A peek at the pulley with it's new rubber-band belt.

Sound was warbly though. Looked online. Not a lot of info on VCRs. Not really worth trying to figure out. And, yes, I tried adjusting the tracking. That just made the video go crazy.

Anyway, this was just interesting. I halfway fixed a double-broken VCR. Now I guess I'll scrap it for motors and whatnot. It's a new-looking Toshiba, but only had mono audio out. So, very old. My mother has an old VHS player in the attic. I'll use that and other old machines to record videos for conversion in the future.

For the record, the two old players we already had chugged through the conversion process for our customer. The supply of old players at garage sales and thrift stores will likely keep us converting for the foreseeable future. If you need your old VHS tapes converted to digital, drop me a line!

Derek SchaeferComment