Mini-DV Tape Drive Replacement

Mini-DV Tape Drive Replacement

Tape Drive Replacement Procedure

Symptom for tape drive replacement: Physically damaged tape loading mechanism, doesn’t release tape or cassette compartment doesn’t stay closed without tape.

Caution: Tape drives are supplied without video head drum.

Alignment/adjustment check: Tape path needs to be checked and aligned.


  • The whole camcorder needs to be dismantled
  • All cables and flexible circuit board going to and coming from the mechanism need to be disconnected.
  • Remove the tape drive
  • Put the upper chassis into the up or eject position with the help of your variable power supply.
  • Undo and remove the three screws which hold the video drum assy.
  • Remove the drum assembly and refit it in the new tape drive.
  • Lower the chassis with the power supply before camera assembly.
  • Screw tape mechanism into the chassis, refit circuit board and connect all cables from and to the tape drive.
  • If the camera has tape path alignment holes in the outside housing, you can continue to assemble the whole camera for testing and tape-path alignment.
  • If not you have to assemble the camera partly to a point where you can switch it on, load a pre-recorded reference tape, put the camera in playback mode and have access to the front of the mechanism where you can perform the tape path alignment.
  • Use an oscilloscope and back tension tape if you have one.
  • If not align the camera for perfect playback picture and sound! Don’t forget to check CUE and REW.
  • Once the camera is assembled, check all functions in record and playback again.

Tape Drive Replacement

Mini DV Tape Drive and Video Head Drum

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