1978 Philips N1700s

This is a Philips N1700 long play VCR from the late 70s. I bought this VCR from recycle centre Cavions in Bulli in early 2002 which I also found the Philips N1500 there too. This machine was in decent working condition when the belts were replaced and I got quite a nice picture. Later that year I got myself some long play VCR tapes from Ebay with recordings from the late 70s which was a thrill to transfer especially seeing those original commercials and Aussie TV programs. Over the next few years I've acquired 2 or 3 more of these N1700s and have at the same time given away and sold the ones that I couldn't get working due to space problems. Anyhow I currently have one N1700 that works however the audio is gone when playing tapes so I have to somehow locate the fault in the audio circuitry and fix the problem which I should hope to do in the near future. Apart from that, it gives a great picture. I have transferred well over 70 long play VCR tapes over the years and found some great material on them dating from 1978 to 1984. The N1700 looks nearly the same as a N1502/N1512 with its modernistic plastic design.

I've just recently acquired another Philips N1700 from a guy in Sydney who purchased the VCR on 22nd September 1979. He also gave me 16 VCR LP tapes with it which contains a lot of great stuff from 1979 to 1984 such as Paul Hogan Show, Restless Years, rock concerts and clips from music shows like Sounds and possibly even Countdown clips!!! Anyhow this N1700 after a bit of servicing such as replacing gooey broken belts and removing the goo off the pulleys the machine will lace up fully, but after a couple of seconds will lace down but only a bit and switch off I've uploaded a video of this fault to YouTube which is embedded further down this page. So this machine will need more servicing. One of my friends kindly sent me the N1700 service manual in PDF format for me to work off to fix these machines.

Going back to my other N1700 I looked at the manual and suspect the fault may lie in the preamp module U539, so I replaced the preamp module in the N1700 with the preamp module in the recently acquired N1700 and I got the audio back. Then the audio was kind of cutting out once again after previewing some tapes, so I suspect maybe the socket might be a bit dirty and dry contacted, so I pulled the module out, blew the socket to get any dust out and stuck it back in and it worked again. So now I can transfer VCR LP tapes once again woohoo!!! Now all I have to contend with is the bloody sticky shed problem with a number of the VCR tapes, will have to get myself a baking facility such as a food dehydrator and do some test bakings on some sacrificial tapes with nothing rare on them to see if the plastic spools will bake without melting or expanding in height and same with the tape.
(Vintage Video Home)
Here below is my second N1700 cosmetically in better condition than the other. This machine also comes with the instruction manual and service and warranty booklets. And also I've uploaded a video of the lacing fault this machine has and have embedded it below for you to see, any advice on fixing this fault will be much appreciated.
N1700 lacing fault

I've been still having audio dropout problems with my N1700 so I decided to investigate the issue further in the shed where I've just created my makeshift workshop. It appears that the fault lies somewhere else on the main board, not in the U539 pre-amp module. I don't know where the fault lies so I thought of another idea to get the N1700 working good for tape transfers. I noticed that the main board can easily be unplugged and removed, so I decided for now to go the easy mans way and replaced the main board in the N1700 with the main board from the other N1700 and bingo!!! Audio is back for good!!! So now I have a N1700 fit for transfers and have successfully transferred a couple of good N1700 LP VCR tapes so far and I am really happy!!!

Below are some videos and photos of the N1700 getting serviced and in operation.
N1700 in action playing an episode of The Restless Years from around 1980/81
N1700 in action playing Nine Wide World Of Sports 1984
N1700 in action playing a UK program from 1989
N1700 in action playing a Countdown performance from 1979 and Sounds Unlimited performance from 1979, unfortunately the tape is sticky and needs baking
N1700 in action playing a very sticky tape, the one with Countdown and Sounds Unlimited clips from late 1979 onwards, as seen very warpy playback, fluctuations in tape transport speed from the tape struggling to transport through the VCR resulting in unstable picture and variable audio speed which sounds warpy.
Another N1700 added!!!

Earlier this year I paid vintage TV collector John http://cool386.tripod.com/ a visit to see his excellent collection of over 200 early TVs and other fascinating gear he owns and as he was making space, he kindly gave me a massive load of video gear which included about 5 Philips N1700s and one N1502. Due to my own space constraints I gave 4 of the N1700s to a collector friend of mine during the trip and kept the N1502 and one of the N1700s for spares. So this is the new addition to the N1700 collection, I now have 3 of them! I have not gotten around to really testing this one so I have no idea if it's close to working or not but the cassette cradle jams shut and is a pain to get unstuck. This machine may be easily restorable, otherwise it's going to be a spare parts machine.