My Sanyo Betacord Betamax has been stored for about a year since I bought it second hand.
Now I'm ready to start capturing the tapes, when I press play, the tape pops out the case. Or at least, it stops and after I have ejected the tape, I eject it and can see that the tape has come loose, just beneath the plastic clip which stabalizes the tape.
Just a quick message to ask if this is something I could solve hopefully by cleaning it up, or if this could be a sign that it needs servicing?
Its a shame because I bought it, ready to capture my Betamax tapes but I hadn't come to realise there was issues with my capturing process, so I spent over a year trying to fix those issues. Now I have & I'm ready to crack on archiving the tapes, I hoping the fault I'm seeing could be relatively easy to solve as it was perfect when I last used it.
Any thoughts would be great, cheers.
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Needs servicing. Could be an issue with the deck (likely), the tape, or both. Put in a new blank tape "to record", and see if it messes that up. That will at least narrow down the culprit.
I’m not sure how handy you are, but there are quite a few good videos out there that demonstrate some of the Sanyo Betacord machine problems and solutions. Maybe you can at least get an idea what’s wrong and go from there, DYI or find someone to service your machine.
Here are a couple:
From the UK:
This should hopefully give us a good start though. It was working perfectly last time I used it over a year ago, so hopefully its something simple enough
Notes from a former Betaphile.
I got my first Betamax* in early 1981 and had to have it repaired that same year. At the time there was only one Sony tech** who was trained to work on it and he told me that he had only the best techs were trained to work on them because of their complexity. Over the next two decades, there were only a handful of techs (I got to know of all them well, having owned 20+ machines) that I got to know very well.
*Pet peeve #186. Betamax is only Sony Beta machines. Beta is the format. Which is why Sanyo machines are BetaCord and Toshiba are B-Cord.
**He later rose very high in the ranks at Sony, moving out of being a tech quickly.
If you're lucky, your loading issue may just be the belts needing replacement. More likely, the loading mechanism needs to be replaced, which is far more complicated because of the U Loading mechanism. Since Sanyo Beta machines were never high quality to begin with, it's highly likely anything other than just belt replacement is worthwhile.
FYI, all video capture is best done with S-Video out. However, there are only a handful of Beta machines with it. All are Sony and expensive. They are the SL-HF2100 (the 15th Anniversary Betamax), EDv-9500/9300, EDV-7500/9300 (ED-Beta) and the EDV-5000-9000 ED-Beta from Japan. Which are widely available at eBay for reasonable, $$$ prices. Note that the black level on Japanese (NTSC-J) machines is lower than North American NTSC and therefore slightly darker.
There are no consumer Beta machines with a built-in TBC.
Yes, thank you. EDV-7300 for Canada. And I meant EDV-5000-9000 to include 6000, 7000 and 8000. Sorry it wasn't clear.
That tickled me BLUE!
I remember replacing the tape loading belt because it got too loose and the tape wouldn't be fully collected,replaced it with a smaller belt.I think,therefore i am a hamster.
Older and newer low end Betamax used a lot of belts. Whenever I had them repaired, the techs would give me spare belts. Newer, higher end models had direct drive motors. IIRC, they started with the slimline design of the SL-2000 portable, whose design was used for the latter slim Betamax(s), starting with the SL-2500.
Trivia. The SL-2000, SL-2500 and SL-HF2700 using folding pins on the loading ring (necessary because of the slim profile) that would frequently break and cause loading problems. They later revised the loading ring and that supposedly fixed the problem. The pins on my SL-HF2700 broke several times and the loading ring was finally replaced by the new design. But by that time I had moved on to SuperBeta and my SL-HF2700 just sat on the shelf.
@lordsmurf. Yes, probably repeating myself! LOL Go turn blue! Oh wait, you already are! Luv U!!!
I've just taken a look at it with my Dad. We've discovered that the belt on the Idler isn't turning the right hand wheel. So this results in the tape not being wound back inside, & it just spills out.
It seems to be worn & isn't giving enough friction. So it looks like it might be ok if we replace the belt, as we just need it to grip. Everything else appears fine.
The only problem is, how we can replace the belt? My Dad says they used to have them as sets, so you'd just replace the idler.
Like you say, opening up the U mechanism can be hours of work & most likely cause further problems in doing so. That would mean I'll need to buy another machine as it wouldn't be worth the hassle.
If there so happens to be a viable way to replace the belt though, that'd be great. It'd be a shame to get rid of it due to this.
I'm probably miles away with this idea, but if its too problematic to take out the idler to get to the belt & replace it, i were wondering if there's a way to do it by adding friction to the belt with some kind of solution to make it abbrasive? Or by splicing it in some way? That's me overthinking it though I suppose.
Watch some of Techmoan's videos on Youtube. He talks about where to get belts. You may get away with using a rubber rejuvenator that makes the rubber tacky again. Be sure not to get it on anything else. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=rubber+rejuvenator&crid=14I2OMUFH34F5&sprefix=rubber+reju%2Caps%2C235&
On my machines, some of the belts were fairly easy to get to without disassembly, but for the reels, the loading tray had to be taken out. Not extremely hard, but something I left to the techs. And at this this point, all the belts are probably due for replacement.
As for other parts, you'll need to cannibalize other machines. IMO pointless as I said, Sanyo machines were never high quality to begin with.
Edit: IMO, only Sony machines were ever worth using. But most of my 20+ machines were near or top of the line at the time or mid-tier. The only low end one I had was an SL-20, which I inherited from my Dad and didn't really use.
I highly recommend visiting mrbetamax.com for lots of info about anything NTSC Beta, including some repair tips. For PAL, visit palsite.com
Last edited by lingyi; 10th Nov 2023 at 11:47.
I think it's my best option, since if its too much of a hassle to open up & get to the idler to replace with a new belt, I wouldn't want to suggest to my Dad to spend hours on it, he wouldn't be but he's a repair addict. Before I replace the machine, I'll give that a go.
I think Betamax/Beta machines are an absolute work of art. When we attempted repairing our old Toshiba a while back, I was amazed at how intricate it works. We had it open on the bench, put a tape in & watching it wind all the tape up into the U mechanism was outstanding.
I wish I'd have filmed it, but that was the last time it loaded a tape, we later sold it for parts along with an F1. It's the F1 I used from about 5-12 years old, I was obsessed with making animation films as a kid, so capturing all that footage is quiet meaningful. Thankfully I had already backed up some of it to VHS, back then it was all about having the right lead, the digital age is a whole different box of frogs isn't it. But in the long run, sustainable I suppose.
I've read (Probably in Akio Morita's excellent "Made In Japan) that while the basics of Beta were based on U-Matic, it was much more complex because of the smaller size required. When a former co-worker told me he used to do VCR repairs, I asked him if he could fix my machines and he just groaned, saying he could, but would hate it! LOL
Watch 12voltvids he is a Sony tech and did a lot of Beta machines repairs on youtube, chances are he has worked on a similar model of yours, Techmoan channel is not for repairing complex machines like a VCR.