Category Archives: Zinfurbished

ZinFurbishing an Ampex AVR-2: What Ken found

Ken has been working on Ampex AVR-2 Serial #197, which began life as one of a pair of machines at KRBK-TV, Sacramento, California.

Seen here at time of pickup, this third-generation Ampex Quad is in need of some TLC, which it is getting now.

# 197 is undergoing a thorough ZinFurbishment.

Crazy waveforms from AVR-2 at first power-upThat’s designed to identify and correct problems that make “fun” vector and waveform paDSC_2303tterns like those seen here…

Leaky capacitor on AVR-2 board

The ZinFurbishment will replace quite a few capacitors, such as the one on this board that leaked, destroyed its lead and trace on the board,


Crispy connectors
Poorly crimped connectors heated up due to resistance, and got crispy.

It will also  fix “crispy” power connections such as on the rectifiers seen here, caused by poorly crimped connectors.

Ampex issued a field bulletin advising to solder directly to the lug on the rectifier or other part, such as transformers.

The system did power up, but there were quite a few power supply related issues to be addressed. 

Fuseholder added
A fuseholder was put in circuit with circuit breakers instead of fixing cause of breaker trips.

Apparently, previous owners or engineers chose to “band-aid” some faults rather than fix them… like put a fuse in circuit with a circuit breaker because what was found to be a poorly crimped connection wouldn’t support the current requirements of the circuit.

3M RF tap
3M RF tap for external TBC added to back of AVR-2. Will be removed

Rather than deal with a problem involving part of the TBC, a workaround involving a 3M dropout compensator RF tap was installed.


(Heads were being scratched while contemplating “Why’d they do THAT?”)

Broken wire on connector
Broken wire on connector caused transport problem dangerous to tape

A wire break found on one of the transport harness plugs was responsible for no rewind capability.





A lot of small and large things have been discovered and fixed as the process of problem finding, identification and elimination continues.


AVR-2 electronics cage
AVR-2 electronics cage needs a lot of air to keep things cool. Only three of the six muffin fans under the cage were installed. And only two worked.

Instead of the factory complement of six muffin fans under the machine blowing air up into the electronics chassis, only three were found, and one of those was frozen… didn’t move.

That means the heat generated by the electronics wasn’t being removed, and could be the cause of overheated components, malfunctions and shorter time between failures.

People wonder why the cost of bringing back VTRs and VCRs can be expensive. These things are why. It can be a very time-consuming process, and time is money.

The basic electronic and mechanical issues need to be addressed before any “fine tuning” and finishing work can be done.

Once those items are addressed, we can see what to do about cosmetics, like worn paint and button legends.

AVR-2 control panel

The good news includes two Ampex Extender Cards for the electronics chassis (needed to do adjustments where circuits on several cards interact) and an audio preamp extender.

The head spun up fine and has good life… as tested on another VTR.

All in all, we expect to see this AVR-2 transferring tape reliably very soon for new users.

Rental: Sony VP-7040 PAL, SECAM, NTSC 4.43 Multi-standard 3/4″ Umatic Player

Ken just advised that this Multi-standard Sony VP-7040 is Zinfurbished and ready to roll your PAL, SECAM and NTSC 4.43 tapes.

Sony VP-7040 020

It’s been:

  • Cleaned
  • New belts installed
  • Tape Path Lubricated
  • Cassette Loader Lubricated
  • Reel Tables shimmed to correct height
    • (Supports cassette reels in correct position, so no squwaking in FF or REW.)
  • Video head is like new! 
  • Updated signal system by replacing older style capacitors with New style
    • (Now very quiet signal and produces small vector dots)
    • Longer time before repairs
  • Quiet operation
  • Reliable

Old style capacitors replaced with new for better, quieter signal performance:

Sony VP-7040 014-CroppedSony VP-7040 023-Cropped

Playback of tape: NTSC 4.43 format:

Sony VP-7040 017

Closer look at the scopes:  NTSC 4.43 displayed on PAL 1781 R (to work with 4.43 chroma subcarrier.)

Sony VP-7040 027

Note the small size of the dots. That’s one benefit of the time consuming capacitor change.

(Vector scale turned down to avoid confusion with PAL dot boxes. Also, NTSC 4.43 has no setup.)

NTSC 4.43 picture displayed on multi-standard monitor:

Sony VP-7040 032-Cropped

New flutter idler and air damper for better tape performance:

Sony VP-7040 022

IVC 1-Inch Spoken, Zinfurbished, Rented and Sold Here!

IVC 820 waiting to be ZinFurbished
IVC 820 waiting to be ZinFurbished

This IVC-820-C and other IVC 1-Inch VTRs are available for rental or sale.

Zin! VTR Works has IVC 870 editors, IVC 825A, IVC 820-C NTSC, IVC XV-815 Wideband 1021/1049 Line 60Hz and IVC 816X Wideband 50Hz units available for Zinfurbishing, Rental and Sale.

Some of these machines were used at IVC for testing and creation of test materials.

IVC Parts and other information may also be available.

Principal Engineer Ken Zin has been factory-trained on these machines and issued certificates by the manufacturer:

  • IVC (International Video Corporation): 
    • 1972 800/700/600 Series Color Video Recorders

Contact us about IVC 1-Inch VTRs:  Zinfurbishment of your machines, Rental or Sale pricing of Zinfurbished IVC systems, or to find a new home for your IVC machine if you no longer have a use for it.

Please include your First and Last Name, City, State/Province, Country, Daytime Phone and E-mail address.


Zin! VTR Works Zinspected machines are thoroughly inspected, cleaned, lubricated, tested for proper operation, essential wearing parts replaced as needed.

ZinFurbished machines may have additional parts replaced such as capacitors, bearings, belts, and additional adjustment made using Rohde and Schwarz analyzers to create a premium, Archival Quality VCR with the expectation of longer life, better results and less fussing over time.

ZinFurbished™ Sony VO-9850 3/4″ Umatic VCRs for Archival use

We’ve put the ZING! back into this

 VO-9850 3/4″ Umatic VCR

DSC_1592       INFO-SONY VO-9850-Ser-73954

We start with a high serial number machine. That means it’s newer, generally has less use and has the prospect of longer life. Then we ZinFurbish™ it to meet or exceed factory performance specifications.

Zinfurbished- for improved electronic and mechanical performance that supports  higher quality videotape archiving
for improved electronic and mechanical performance that supports higher quality videotape archiving

The machine was completely inspected before work started

Signal system capacitors were changed to tantalum capacitors:

  •  Longer life
  • Cleaner color
  • Better picture and sound

Drum and capstan motors capacitors changed:

  • Longer life, less chance of repair needed soon

Rubber parts replaced to fix problems or keep them from happening:

  • New pinch roller assembly installed and adjusted
    • Helps prevent tape sliding and damage
  • New Fast Forward/Rewind idler drive wheel:
    • Better tape handling, quieter
  • New belts:
    • Fast fwd/rewind, cassette elevator, and threading ring
      • Assures correct operation
      • Lessens damage potential
      • Less chance of early replacement needed

Cassette elevator inspected, lubricated and adjusted

Reel Spindles lubricated and adjusted for proper height:

  • Level spindles reduces risk of damage to tape edges
  • More stable playback: reels inside cassette don’t rub on cassette
  • Quieter in wind mode!  Less chance of “nails on chalkboard” and possible damage to tape

New cushions for control panel push buttons so they don’t stick in “pushed” mode, causing operation errors

ZinFan assembly for Sony VO-9800 series Umatic VCRs

ZinFan™ assembly added for cooling, especially needed in racked operation where there’s little or no vertical space for air circulation.

  • Longer life for components
  • Longer time between major maintenance
  • Lower long-term operating cost
  • Less Downtime
  • More productivity

Power supply ripple measured:  Evidence of clean power, good capacitors filtering AC, reliable operation, stable performance:

  • +12 volts signal system:17 mv rms
  • +12 volts system:    3 mv rms
  • +7 volts logic: 20.5 mv rms


  • Sony BKU-704 SMPTE Time Code Reader

Sony VO-9850 Ser. 73954 Checked and repaired by Kenneth Zin  Sept. 01, 2013

 Available for immediate sale. Call or e-mail for price

Additional machines available.

Contact Ted Langdell for details

(530) 301-2931