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Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

 
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Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Katie Bush » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:10 pm

Hi all,

Well I guess that was the Summer that wasn't, or at least not much.. So I've been playing with one of this year's acquisitions - an N1700 VCR.. Sadly, it suffered in transit, and despite the sender's bomb proof packing.

Structurally, it has suffered some cosmetic and mechanical damage.. The cosmetic is all down to broken plastic parts, and thankfully, nothing that would seem to be major, and with the aid of a small screwdriver to undo a number of screws, I was able to flex the plastics back into place, but there are several "screw holes" that have been broken and will need some crafty glueing.

Mechanically, it was apparent that the cassette door was not closing fully, and was not releasing the system control interlock.. Eventually, and after a bit of chasing up blind alleys, I discovered that the cassette compartment floor was somewhat bowed and not pushing down far enough on the interlock lever.. This could be overcome by pressing down on the top of the door, but was not a fix.. Logically, the cassette compartment needed straightening, and I was surprised to find how easily the metal could be bent.. So a few minutes of gentle force from my grubby, chubby fingers, and a visual guide from a straight edge was enough to get the door to close properly.. It's just a pity that the tape counter has suffered some force to its reset button, which now protrudes from its little aperture at a rather jaunty angle.

Electronically, the VCR will go immediately into standby (as it should) and the clock can be set - so no problems there.. The PSU appears to be working, but it is a complex bit of kit and will need a thorough going over, but the next problem is that the capstan and head drum drive belts have been static for a long, long time, and will not run true on the pulleys, the drum belt in particular throws itself off after only a couple of seconds, so no advances can be made now, until I can source a belt kit.

Does anyone know where I might be able to find such a rare thing? And, in the interim, would there be any advantage in trying a flat elastic band to drive the drum whilst I check out the rest of the electronics?

Marion

Addendum....

Forget elastic bands! I found what looked like reasonable approximation, but it too does not stay on the pulleys - more to the point, it will not 'ride' on the top of the barrelled part of the motor pulley.. The band just runs out to one edge of the pulley, rides up over the flange and throws off.

What was I thinking of? :ccg :ccg :ccb :bbd

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by nuvistor » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:57 pm

Has the transit damage put the pulleys out of line, it will not need much? I don't remember having a N1700 to repair so sorry no other thoughts.

Frank

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Katie Bush » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:18 pm

Hi Frank,

I can't really tell for certain, but I would doubt it.. This VCR deck is built like a tank, and weighs about as much! However, the belts are definitely shot.. I'll add some pictures in due course, but for the moment it's approaching supper time, and I think my camera is still in the car - and probably has a flat battery.

The head drum belt is a 'flat' profile, but this one has taken on a distinctly distorted demeanour - place on a flat surface, the belt has a definite conical appearance.

The capstan belt is a square profile, and runs in a fairly deep 'V' groove - it's stretched and slack, but does drive the capstan, at least when there is no load (tape) to drive.

A new belt kit is, I think, the only way to go.

Marion

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Wolfie » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:30 pm

On that other Forum I was pointed toward a young fella in Blackpool (Colin? Perhaps) who sent out a jiffy bag of lots of "close" fit belts and asked me to use what I needed and then send him the remainder back with a Cheque for a few quid, his name escapes me but I'm certain that many on here will know who I mean..
Last edited by Wolfie on Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by sideband » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:30 pm

Maybe a bit pricey at 25 euros (£17) but this guy in Hungary has a couple

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Katie Bush » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:47 pm

Hi Rich,

Thanks for the pointer, and....

Ouch! - But at least it's an option. :aad

I'd guess there will be all manner of belts that would be "close enough" as Wolfie suggests.. The problem is latching on to them.
The one thing that is for certain, these belts definitely need replacing.

Marion

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Rebel Rafter » Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:01 am

Hi, Katie, RR here. When working on a Philips N1700 whatever you do don't remove the operating keys unless you really have to. I once did that with an N1700 and struggled like h*ll to get them back in again. But then it was the first time I ever tried working on a VCR. Where will you get tapes? Mine got snapped and they were too expensive to replace at the time at £18! I never did find out what caused it. There's probably a fancy special tool for refitting the keys which only Philips and their agents had, just like the situation with laservision disc players which needed a whole load of fancy tools and a "control box" whatever that was, a Philips special of some kind. RR.

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Katie Bush » Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:28 am

Hi RR,

I have a fair few Philips VCR tapes (about 60) which may, or may not, have survived the ravages of time, plus, you can always reload a Philips cassette with tape harvested from VHS cassettes - not ideal, but then we're not in an ideal world.

I seem to recall there being a knack to refitting those keys, but I doubt these will ever need to be dismantled.. On the face of it, this VCR is (or was) in outstanding cosmetic condition, and is as clean as a whistle, internally.

Cheapest VCR tape I ever bought new, was a fiver from WH Smiths in York, and they were knocking them out dirt cheap when other formats made VCR obsolete.. Most expensive was from Savilles in York, and was about £27 for a 90 minute cassette!

This machine would appear to have been long lived and giving good service.. It is unmolested, has all its original "tape dust" around the cassette compartment and appears untouched in that quarter.

Ultimately, I aim to copy all and any of my original recordings onto DVD, with specific reference to some programme material, namely; an episode from "Once In A Lifetime" featuring the tractor driving shrimp fishermen of Morcambe Bay.... A special programme entitled "End Of The Line" about the last steam locomotives in Britain, and their sad demise on Barry Island - includes a large section on the NYMR.... A special live broadcast of the decomissioning of HMS Ark Royal, entitled "Home From The Sea".... and the very last Bing Crosby Christmas Special, entitled "Bing Crosby - The Christmas Years" - it was the show which was in production at the time Bing Crosby died, and was completed by permission of his family, after his death and features the family linking various clips from previous Christmas specials.. I have never been able to find any copy of, or reference to that show.

There are hundreds of adverts from around 1978 to 1990 (oh yes, I kept a VCR in service that long!) that we would have loved to edit out, back in the day.. I aim to compile these into advert breaks to use with my vintage tellies.... :)

I also recorded many episodes of "All Creatures Great And Small" which I have never seen since their original showing on BBC1 - how many films are in there would be anyone's guess, but there is a "Yellow Submarine" in there somewhere!

Marion

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Wolfie » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:45 am

I went through this last year, and realised that I would only watch them during the transfer, the DVDs are now simply taking up more space since the original tapes are still there.

Ours will probably not get watched, they are only of any interest to me, Daughter will probably simply bin them when clearing my house..

The time taken will be the tape time x2, at an absolute minimum, probably more. My conclusion was, life is too short to do this simply for myself.. And I eventually restricted my efforts to stuff that is personal- doggies, weddings, holidays etc and just one or two things I realised were rare..

But all that said, I still really applaud your effort in wanting to transfer them to DVD Marion.. let us know how you get on.

Perhaps we should have a section for all those things where people can put up a list of their old recordings and have a swap with other peoples recordings that they want.. oh hey Mr Crusty Sir??
ttt:

A sort of "SWAP SHOP"...

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Cathovisor » Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:09 pm

I'm still unconvinced by the longevity of home-made optical recordings - and even some commercial ones. I've got a Mica Paris CD in the car (Whisper a Prayer, 1993) at the moment that is intermittent on playback these days: there seem to be some tiny surface defects when you look at the disc.

A bit of me thinks digitising them into something like .mp4 format and storing them on hard drives is a better long-term bet; storage is stupidly cheap these days. Playback via a computer or media player onto a regular TV: DLNA-equipped DVD players can also be useful for playback (if they support .mp4 - some don't).

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Herald1360 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:26 pm

You've nothing to lose by cutting out a section of the stretched belt and splicing the rest with superglue...... might do for a while.

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by marc » Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:30 pm

Hi Marion,

Have you thought about the (duck and take cover) boiling the belt method / bodge ?
It might just prove viable for long enough to see if the rest of the VCR is OK like I did with my Ferguson 3V00 before investing in a belt kit.

Marc.

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Katie Bush » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:01 pm

Hi all,

The belt.......

Unfortunately, this tired old belt is no longer true to its original 'shape'.. For whatever reason it has taken on a conical appearance, and when laid on a flat surface, has the appearance of a wide flatted bowl.. The rubber is starting to do the usual Philips goo routine - at the moment it has all the elastic qualities of a strip of liqourice, i.e. it doesn't return properly after being stretched, however, I do have an idea and will be visiting Yorkshire Engineering Services in Selby to see if they have any tiny belts in the same ball park size - they supply parts for a vast array of engineering needs, from the rediculous to the sublime, so may just be able to come up with something.. Also, the recorder needs two belts to make any semblance of funtionality since the capstan belt only runs so far, drops into a kink and goes slack - too slack to drive the capstan.

I can try the boil in the pan trick, though I have never had any success in the past, and would prefer, at this stage to seek out alternatives before risking the belt(s) dissolving in hot water.. If no alternatives can be found, then a boiling session may yet happen.

Daft as it may sound, I have not entirely ruled out the rubber band option, and may experiment with various other types to see if there are any capable of providing a usable drive.

The recordings.......

Well, I still have the tapes, but backing them up to DVD is the first step, with the next option being to use some other digital storage to back up the back up copies.. I would not rely upon the tapes to play very many times, and in any event, these VCRs were not the most reliable machines, even when new.. One problem, with the N1700 at least, was the tape fouling the video heads during the threading up process, often, this happened during record, and rendered the recording unplayable.. Even 'good' tapes would have a difficult first few minutes if the heads were fouled.. The N1702 seemed to address this malady to some degree, or at least the ones I had were less prone to problems that the N1700.. A reliable back up copy of these recordings would be well worth the effort - after that, I can afford to 'play' with the recorder and enjoy reliving all the fun of owning a Philips N1700!

Marion

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Wolfie » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:48 pm

Many early head designs seemed to be more prone to 'self fouling' instead of having the 'self cleaning' tendencies of later heads.. even the 'finger on tape against drum' method simply made matters worse in many cases.

I also found that the superglue method tended to put a hard lump in a belt which then upset those old servo circuits on every round.

I must admit i never thought of Y.E.S as a source for belts..




Marion wrote: and enjoy reliving all the fun of owning a Philips N1700!
Lol! You are a wag. :qq1

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Katie Bush » Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:09 am

Sourcing belts for this machine could be a problem!

Both kits on eBay have been sold, and no idea if there will be any more.. These kits are/were put together from a vast array of other miscellaneous belts, into a set appropriatefor these machine, but is a service carried out by a private individual - whom if he so desired, might never assemble another kit.

I've been to YES and although there's nothing off the peg, I'm playing with the notion of small section 'O' rings in lieu of belts.. So far, I have a substitute for the capstan drive belt, and the plan is to use two such rings sub for the head drum drive belt.. As yet, these have to arrive - a distance of about 12 miles and two weeks later, depot to depot.. I wish I'd just gone to the other depot and picked them up myself. :zx:

Unfortunately, I can't test further because of the various electronic interlocking systems that cause the machine to shut down in the event of of invalid, or missing signals/data, though I have every hope that this one machine will still prove to be viable - at least it still powers up, then shuts down again, exactly as it should given the defective/missing belts.

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Katie Bush » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:45 pm

Okay, so it's been a while, but the belts in Budapest have been relisted, and I've ordered a set - the last of the three sets listed, so I only need to await their arrival.

I did get a selection of thin 'O' rings, but it's a fiddly job to fit them, or the real belts for that matter, so I decided if it's to be done, let's do it right, or as right as can be.

In the meantime, I have at hand fifteen cassettes, all in good clean condition, so hopefully will have some material to play with, once we have real life in the beast.

Marion

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Doz » Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:52 am

That's great Marion. I think I've just managed to bag two sets of Ferguson 3V22 belts which I have been struggling to get hold of.

Looks like it's going to be a year of VCR repairs....

... now if only I could get hold of a Pye 169 Lopt!

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by marc » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:11 am

Doz wrote:
... now if only I could get hold of a Pye 169 Lopt!

Hi Doz,

Didn't you manage to get hold of Marcus 3500 I'm sure he took a load of LOPT's from Steve P's stash which included Pye 169 ones. :aaq

Marc.

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Doz » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:13 pm

Doz wrote:That's great Marion. I think I've just managed to bag two sets of Ferguson 3V22 belts which I have been struggling to get hold of.

Looks like it's going to be a year of VCR repairs....

... now if only I could get hold of a Pye 169 Lopt!


3v22 belts fell through :(

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Katie Bush » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:45 pm

Doz wrote:
3v22 belts fell through :(


That's a bit rough.. I wonder if this same guy has any.

Next time I'm in eBay, I'll look at his other items, though if memory serves me, he's mainly focussed on early European kit.. No harm in looking though.

Marion

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Doz » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:34 pm

Katie Bush wrote:
Doz wrote:
3v22 belts fell through :(


That's a bit rough.. I wonder if this same guy has any.

Next time I'm in eBay, I'll look at his other items, though if memory serves me, he's mainly focussed on early European kit.. No harm in looking though.

Marion


I'm on to another supplier in the US. I'll keep you posted, although I suppose I better make a new thread.

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Katie Bush » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:43 pm

Hi Doz,

I checked the seller's other items, and although he has several machine kits listed, there are no Ferguson/JVC kits among them.

This is his current list;
http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/loszem/m.html ... 7675.l2562
and I'm sure he's added at least a couple of new kits.. I might suggest it's worth keeping an eye on, just in case.

Marion

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by rob t » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:21 pm


 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by malcscott » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:26 pm

I tried various places for 3v00/3v22 belt kits without any luck. I managed to buy the last 3 belt kits from a company in New Zealand !! Malc.

 
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Re: Philips N1700 VCR - We have life!

Post by Doz » Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:24 pm


The 3V23 is a very different machine, more like a front loading 3V30. I have one of those.
Irwin state they have some in stock on their website, so I ordered some, which have never turned up. They don't reply to my emails...

I did attempt NZ, and Austrailia to no avail, but I may have found some for the HR-4100 in the USA. I have assurances they are in stock so I've ordered a couple. In correspondence with this company, they state they can make belts for anything. This sounds promising. If this goes to plan, I'll publish the details. Quite expensive, but when faced with something unobtainable, this is great news.

Marian, If you manage to get an N1700 belt kit, perhaps you could share the dimensions, so we stand a chance of getting some in the future.

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