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How to Clean a Panasonic AG-1980 Capstan & Pinch Roller

Note: This article is for informative purposes only. TGrant Photo is not responsible for any damages caused by your attempt to clean the capstan.
Your VCR video heads are very fragile. BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO DAMAGE THE VIDEO HEAD TIPS IN THE NEARBY VIDEO DRUM  Never touch the video head tips with a Q-tip. Never touch a spinning video head drum.

During normal VCR maintenance you should always make a point to follow our instructions for cleaning the video drum, tape path, capstan and pinch roller.

However, when a tape suddenly stops playing, and the image is "paused" on the TV screen, dirt, oil and sticky tape residue on the capstan and pinch roller are often responsible. To remedy this situation, the pinch roller & capstan can often benefit from a "deep cleaning".

1.) To "deep clean" the capstan; unplug the VCR; then turn the AG1980 over and remove the 9 screws that hold on the bottom metal plate. After removing the plate, you'll see a 4" dia. grey wheel with a belt coming from the center. This is the flywheel which is attached to the capstan on the other side of the mechanism.

2.) Cleaning the capstan. This part is a little tricky. You need to position the AG1980 so you can manually turn the flywheel with one hand, and with the other hand you'll be cleaning the capstan on the other side of the mechanism. (the capstan is the 1/4" wide shiny metal rod that pushes against the capstan shaft when a tape plays).

During this step, get several Q-tips and dip them in 91% isopropyl alcohol. With one hand rub ghe Q-tip up and down on the capstan, while the other hand rotates the capstan flywheel. Clean again with another Q-tip dipped in the alcohol. Go up and down the length of the capstan several times, paying particular attention to both upper and lower parts. You can't overdo the cleaning, but cleaning with 5-6 Q-tips should do the job.

3.) Cleaning the pinch roller: position the AG1980 back on a level table. Rub up and down on the rubber surface of the pich roller. Manually rotate the roller a bit until you've cleaned up and down on the entire surface. (NOTE: the Q-tip will continue to come back looking black, regardless of how well you clean the roller. This is normal with all pinch rollers).

4.) Let everything dry for about 20 minutes. Hopefully this will solve your problem!

~ Art Argalby

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. TGrant Photo & TGP Sales is not responsible for any damaged cause to your equipment or to yourself by changing the AC configuration of your equipment


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