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Problem with Sony Betamax VCR

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Dietrich Steinmeier, Oct 7, 2004.

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  1. I have a problem with my Sony Betamax SL HF100 VCR. After starting play
    mode, I can see the video for about 2-3 seconds and then get an blue
    screen, while tape transport continues. When pressing Play and FF
    simultanuously, the video can be seen but vanishes, when returning to
    normal play mode. All this does not happen with all tapes, there are
    others, that play with no problems. Is there any circuit in these old
    Betamax recorders, which disables the reproduction because of i.e. poor
    sync signal? Thanks for any hints to fix the problem.

    Dietrich
     
  2. Head cleaning problem. Video heads mainly, but the audio/control head could
    cause this also. Caution is advised - improper technique can ruin the video
    head. The affected head gap on the A/C head is the lower one - Sony's were a
    bit notorious for this one getting dirty.

    Mark Z.
     
  3. The video mute is controlled by the sync signal from the control head,
    so any dirt or wear here will kill the output.

    (Trust Sony to be different, everyone else used the video signal!)

    (I'm just jealous because you've got an HF100 and I haven't!)

    --

    rgds
    LAurence

    ....But if I'm not who I am, who am I?
     
  4. b

    b Guest

    I saw this problem a few years ago. I had an HF 100 in the bedroom,
    One day I came to use it and after about half an hour the symptoms you
    describe appeared. The video mute had me a bit perplexed for a while
    (being a heathen who grew up with VHS, plus Beta is a bit of a rarity
    round here.)
    On opening up the deck, I found the cassette I was using (an old
    scotch L-830) had literally fallen apart in use - shed its oxide
    coating everywhere, and after cleaning the tape path and especially
    the A/C head, all was well again.

    My point is that it may be worth inspecting the tapes in use when this
    problem occurred, considering that (here in Europe at least) they
    haven't been in stores since the late 1980s and will be consequently
    showing signs of age. Don't just treat the symptom (ie, dirty tape
    path), go for the root cause as well!

    While you're in there, take a look at the pinch roller. If you are at
    the end of a tape and try to do picture search rewind and it crumples,
    you'll need to give the roller a good clean - I tried ammonia I think,
    seemed OK, you copuld try alcohol, some don't recommend alcohol but I
    personally haven't seen it damage any rubber provide it's used
    sparingly and excess is dabbed up.

    (Anybody reading this with good or bad experiences with using alcohol
    in this manner could perhaps enlighten me?)

    good luck
    Ben
     
  5. t.hoehler

    t.hoehler Guest

    Alcohol is ok, but I find naptha (lighter fluid) to be a much more effective
    cleaner. You use it sparingly, and don't get it on any plastics, some don't
    like it too much. The old beta tapes are probably the biggest problem,
    finding new(er) ones would be a good idea. When the tape coating binders
    start breaking down and the oxide sheds, the end is near. Transfer your
    treasured video from the old ones and pitch them in the trash.
    Regards,
    Tom

    you copuld try alcohol, some don't recommend alcohol but I
     
  6. Steve Kraus

    Steve Kraus Guest

    pitch them in the trash.

    Just thought I'd mention that you can reload Betamax shells with tape from
    VHS cassettes. You would need to place the Beta reel into the VHS shell
    for the actual winding using a VHS deck. Of course you retain the
    metalized Beta leaders so the autostop functions properly. The splice can
    be simply Scotch tape or whatever works...neatly trimed on the edges. The
    splice won't contact anything important but don't let it ooze adhesive onto
    the next turn of tape which will. Standard T120 type tape has the
    thickness of Beta L500 tape so you'll end up with a tape of that length or
    a bit longer.
     
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