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How do ya clean f900 heads?


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#1 Bob Hayes

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 08:18 AM

I got a clogged head light yesterday while shooting with an F900. How do I clean the heads? The Manual says a cleaning tape, some else says denatured alcohol and a clean micro cloth, Panavision says else says don?t ever clean the heads it must be done by SONY.
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 08:35 AM

Hi,

Don't try the cleaning tape. If that doesn't work, don't try going in there with a lint-free wipe and very, VERY gently don't wipe down the drum and heads, taking extra care not to hook any parts of the cloth up on the heads themselves.

Don't do it. Ahem. I've never done it to an F900, but the above procedure works on the 790.

Phil
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#3 Hal Smith

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 09:08 AM

Always wipe the head drum with the cloth in the opposite direction the head travels. If the drum rotates counterclockwise (every one I'm familiar with rotates CCW) wipe the drum clockwise. That way you're moving the cleaning cloth or stick past the heads in the same relative motion as the tape. This is important because the head is designed for that motion, heads are quite fragile and don't take kindly to being stressed from the wrong direction.

Humidity is the culprit in most head clogs - tape stores best under similar conditions to film, not too hot and around 50% relative humidity. I don't know about an F900 but many video and digital audio recorders have humidity sensors that shut them down if they sense excessive humidity (the infamous "dew" light on older Sony's, etc.)

Panavision's caveat is probably based in having got a few F900's back from rental with broken heads. The downside of using cleaning tapes is they're abrasive and take a bit of life off the head when used. On the other hand it might not be a bad idea to take one with on a gig - losing an hour or so's worth of head life versus losing a day's work sounds like a pretty good tradeoff to me. :)

Edmond, OK
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Visual Products

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Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

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Glidecam

Willys Widgets

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Tai Audio

Opal

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS