I got a broken MiniDV camera pretty much free for the asking and took a look inside. Well, I’m glad I didn’t go in expecting a successful repair because oh no
Probably 50% of the weight of this thing is tiny screws.
I was intrigued and horrified all at once that a tiny cog belt was visible! See it peeking out there to the left of the rubber pinch roller?
The iris was stuck closed. I’ve seen this failure on a few JVC mini DV cams and had never opened one up to investigate. Upon seeing the mechanism I’m not surprised this happens. It’s a combined aperture and ND filter with two weird thin plastic blades that have stuck together, actuated by a very tiny rotary solenoid.
So there’s the tape transport, it has only two motors aside from the head scanner. A very small pancake capstan motor is under the side where the pinch roller is; the one standing in the corner controls the load/unload action.
And finally, that tiny cog belt runs between the capstan motor and a pulley that drives the gear idler. The tension is regulated by a spring loaded brake (felt?) under the take-up reel and that’s pretty much it. This isn’t exactly a very sophisticated transport.
I can’t really imagine actually repairing one of these. Everything had to come out to get to the back of the transport and it’s a total mess in there. Wow.