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First time on here for me. Please be gentle.
I do not have much skill in diagnosing faulty electronics. My skill is limited to taking something apart, spotting visual signs of bulging (cylinder shaped) capacitors and then replacing them. I have done this on probably over 100 items, mostly computer motherboards and computer power supply units.
Today's problem is this - I have about 15 hours of Sony 8mm video tape of my children in the 1990s filmed on SONY CAMCORDER CCD-TR350E. I want to transfer these tapes to more modern media (my PC and DVD discs). But the camcorder seems to have a fault. The head fails to spin up. If I leave the camcorder off for hours the head sometimes spins up, not very often and not for long. What it does most of the time is twitch slightly and not spin. the twitch can be in either direction. When it twitches I have tried spinning with my finger (I have taken the plastic cover of the side of cassette tray so I can get in there) but that does not help. The head seems to be making a sh... sound inside it and if I hold my finger on it it feels like it is vibrating. Research so far suggests it might be a failing capacitor problem. I can't see any failing capacitors visually like you often see on computer motherboards. I know that does not mean they have not failed.
Can anyone guide me towards what capacitors are the most likely to cause the problem with the head not spinning.
I don't want to replace all of them, I just want to do the minimum to make it work for me to get the video footage from my tapes. And i don't even know if replacing all of the silver cylinder capacitos would even work as I don't know what type of capacitor affects the head spinning eg. might be rectangular ones for all I know (I don't know the correct terminology).
I have att'd some photos. Stupidly I didn't take a photo of the pcb with the battery terminals on (back end of camcorder) and I have reassembled it all now which also it a bit daft really.
Any help greatly appreciated.

You say that your research suggests it might be a failing capacitor problem, but what are your sources? Have you found others who have experience repairing this particular camcorder with this particular problem? If I were to fix this problem, I'd get myself a service manual and start analyzing.

I understand why you want to want to digitize your films, of course! I'm a parent too. Your best bet here might be to find a shop that can digitize the tapes for you.


Don't know about this camcorder, but others that are 30+ years old are well known for peeing SMD capacitors.
There is a dead Sony camcorder here too, I still haven't got round to opening it.


that is bad cap time period so you  can say its a pretty good guess

Welcome to a fools errand.  When I worked at Circuit City Service around 2000, we saw a TON of these with capacitor failure.  We'd just heat them up and sniff for that typical fishy odor and give the customer a totally unrealistic estimate.  NO TECH wanted to mess with these, as results simply could not be guaranteed.  So we quoted whole board prices, IF available.  These damn caps were a BLIGHT in those years.

The first to fail are always in the DC-DC converter.  But it's already over 20 years later, so it's likely ALL of them, especially if you hope to get a clean transfer out of it.  It's very unlikely it'll make a clean picture or even have sound.  Maybe analog, but most recorded in PCM.

I wouldn't bother.  I'd buy a running 8mm DECK.  FAR easier to service enough to do what you need.  I did this, and used my PC to digitize.

Another POSSIBLE and common problem was the mode switch.  Try cleaning it.  Maybe YOU will be the only lucky person on earth that has a simple fix.

I'd grab a running deck, do the transfer, and then sell the deck.  For all you know the tapes you have could already be un-playable.  I have been in the transfer business.  Most people wait far too long before they remember to back up their "precious memories".... by then it's usually the media is bad or no running machines.  Usually BOTH.

Good luck! 


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