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  #1  
10-26-2020, 05:38 PM
EhManana EhManana is offline
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I recently bought a Betamax, Sears BetaVision Model 562.53121350 It has two repair slips with it for work done on it. I was able to load a tape in and it (seems to) thread it right. However, the tape won' move at all - play, rewind, FF do nothing. Ejecting gives a screech, and the tape stays in.

20201026_180658.jpg

This spring feels very loose.
Is it a pinch roller with an issue? I tried looking for a service manual, but I can't find one anywhere.

Here is what happens when I try to eject..
Other posts have suggested using MisterBetaMax - I think it might be a pinch roller or capstan issue, but I have no idea.


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  #2  
10-28-2020, 10:56 AM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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I believe Sears Beta machines were made by Sanyo, which wasn't a quality Beta manufacturer. The cost of any repair other than DIY is more than the machine is worth.

Trivia. As a former Betaphile, I believe Betamax , despite it's usage otherwise is exclusive to Sony. Only Sony machines are Betamax, which is why Sanyo machines are Betacord or BetaVision in the Sears version. Sony brand video tapes are Betamax, but all other tapes are just Beta.

Which is also why it's SuperBeta, SuperBeta Hi-Fi, Beta Hi-Fi, ED-Beta for the consumer market. Betacam, DigiBeta for the pro market.
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  #3  
10-28-2020, 12:43 PM
EhManana EhManana is offline
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Thank you for the reply. I've been talking with someone on Reddit on how to get it working, it needs a drive belt. This specific machine was made by Toshiba . If I use a rubber band in lieu of a drive belt (waiting for it to ship), I can get a picture and audio out, but I think the rubber band snags so its not stable, but at least its a start!
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  #4  
10-28-2020, 01:06 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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Thank you. I thought some Sears machines were Toshiba, but wasn't sure. If my memory his correct, I think some very early Sears Beta may have been Zenith, which was rebadged Sony.

In any case, IMO, the only Beta machines worth spending money on are Sony and even then, just a few of the top machines, most of which I owned at one point. While you have the cover off, might be a good time to some head cleaning and lubing of the moving parts as the it's likely dried out of disappeared. A light touch with everything of course.
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  #5  
10-28-2020, 07:02 PM
EhManana EhManana is offline
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What Beta(max) brands would you recommend? Just top brands by Sony itself? I know (fully) working Beta decks are hard to come by, unfortunately. Most models I see on Ebay are either for parts/not working, or they are a refurbished deck that someone has taken the time and money to refurbish, which is very good and nice, but it is expensive for me right now. Maybe when I win the lottery one day
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  #6  
10-28-2020, 07:52 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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I've only Sony Betamax, had 20+ at one point. I can't find it right now, but there's a thread about best VHS (which lordsmurf has covered) and Beta machines. I stopped using my machines about 20 years ago and sadly had to trash them all when I moved a few years ago. I had most of the top machines and IMO, in order of the best playback quality: EDV-7500, SL-HF2100, SL-HF900, SL-HF650. I also had a SL-HF860D which I didn't think highly of, but Deter who is a highly trusted and respected member here gives it high praise and may still have have it for sale: Sony Super Betamax SL-HF860D (For Sale)

All the machines I listed above, with the possible exception of the SL-HF650 command premium prices. A quick check on eBay shows a lot of 100 series models, 300, 400, 500, 600. IMO, stay away from them as they replaced by the X50 series, 350, 450, etc. I never owned any of the 100 series, but the Sony reps and store people told me they had issues, which is why they were replaced by the X50 series. Also stay away from the Slimine machine, the X23XX, X24XX, X1XX and SL-HF2700 and SL-HL2710. These use the SL-2000 portable loading mechanism and it's highly prone to failure. After the last of many repairs on my SL-HF2700, I just left it on the shelf. Partially because it wasn't a SuperBeta.,

Speaking of SuperBeta, your machine is a regular Beta and probably can't play back SuperBeta and Beta Hi-Fi tapes correctly. On my two non-SuperBeta machines, there's a herringbone pattern caused by the higher recording frequency of the signal and I believe the Beta Hi-Fi tracks.

If I was going to buy a Betamax today, I'd buy the Japanese EDBeta machines I see popping upon on eBay pretty frequently sometimes for several hundred dollars. Surprisingly, I never knew these machines existed. Originally, there was only the EDV-9XXX and EDV-7XXX series which were semi-professional machines. However, for the consumer market in Japan, there was the EDV-8000, EDV-6000 and EDV-5000. I'm sure they're not built to the quality standards of the original machines, but they should give the same top video quality.
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  #7  
10-29-2020, 12:49 PM
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Further thought. Don't insert any tapes that you don't care about while trying to fix the eject issue. Because of the U-Load design of Beta, the load/unload process is more complex than the M-Load of VHS. More tape is spooled out and you can misalign/break some loading pins while trying to extract the tape. Sometimes I'd just cut the tape if it's really bad jam.
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  #8  
10-29-2020, 07:52 PM
EhManana EhManana is offline
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Good advice! I was able to dust off and put on new springs and belts. I think the audio head or something with the audio may have gone, thouh. Video out is ok, but if the audio head is gone, I'll probably save up for good, working Beta from the marketplace/ebay.
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  #9  
10-29-2020, 07:57 PM
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Attach samples clips to post, not other sites.
Site Staff cannot look at them.
I may not have been participating, lingyi was doing fine in answers, but I was reading.

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  #10  
10-29-2020, 09:34 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EhManana View Post
Good advice! I was able to dust off and put on new springs and belts. I think the audio head or something with the audio may have gone, thouh. Video out is ok, but if the audio head is gone, I'll probably save up for good, working Beta from the marketplace/ebay.
Not a repair guy at all, but check for a loose or broken solder point on the audio head. Had it happen on one my machines. One of those "Never seen that happen!" things that the repair guy said.
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  #11  
10-29-2020, 11:38 PM
EhManana EhManana is offline
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Thank you for the reply, I'll check the solder points. This is designed very intricately, taking it apart and putting back together is a daunting task.

In all all likelihood I'm probably going to save up and buy a hopefully known Beta. Maybe in the future if I have more time and know-how. I've been building my computer from individual parts since 2012, so I'm willing to investigate electronics a little, but this is a very complicated design.

The video head works at least, but the loading mechanism is having a lot of trouble. I think one of the gears closest to the motor needs a new spring, but it is buried below everything else that I would have to disassemble just to get access to the spring. I'm probably not going to do that
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  #12  
10-30-2020, 12:04 AM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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If you're going to DIY, look for the service manual. But DIY on a VCR is definitely not a hobbyist task and not something to start learning on. When you see the service manual, you'll understand why. You often have to remove parts X and Y, to get to part Z. Then put it all back together in the exact same reverse order,.
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  #13  
10-30-2020, 12:12 AM
EhManana EhManana is offline
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From what I can tell, the Beta player I have is really a Sears branded Toshiba Beta VCR V-M30. I tried Googling for a service manual, under Toshiba and Betavision name, with no luck. I think this was a local variant made for Sears around the Northeast. The Sears store it is originally from is out of business. Maybe the few remaining in the area do? I could try to call them, but I doubt a local manager would really know what to look for.

Is this the thread for Beta purchase guide? Optimally one with S-Video out.

Last edited by EhManana; 10-30-2020 at 12:54 AM.
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  #14  
10-30-2020, 01:45 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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That's part of it. PM or hopefully lordsmurf will come back and point to the full buying guide thread. Though I think only Deter's responded with his SL-HF860 recommendation for Beta.

In general, I always stuck with the top machines in a model line as the lower cost model may not perform as well. For example SL-HF840, SL-HF2710, SL-HF2000, etc. The exceptions may be the SL-HF900 and EDV-7500/7300/7000 because they were designed as playback machines to the editing oriented SL-HF1000 and EDV-9500.

Because I bought so many machines, the Sony reps, store owners and repair people got to know me and they'd tell me what was good and what was bad.
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10-30-2020, 02:32 PM
EhManana EhManana is offline
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Ok, thank you for the suggestions. I will save up for a good working one. The one I have is too electromechanical for me to really DIY it without finding the service manual. I tried asking my friends and looking at local retro/vintage electronic stores, but none of them have any experience with Beta.
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  #16  
10-30-2020, 02:35 PM
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Work in progress: Video8/Hi8/Digital8/DV/Betamax Buying Guide for quality conversion
Refers to Is there a Betamax VCR buying guide?

I'm making headway on the site again, finally, just not there yet.

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  #17  
10-30-2020, 04:35 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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Take it easy blue guy. Having you here longer is more important that having you do more!
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  #18  
10-30-2020, 06:52 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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The service manual for the VM30 is available here: https://www.manuals-in-pdf.com/downl...-p-498549.html, but it's $50 than the machine is worth.

I seem to recall that there were some good quality Toshiba's, but it's unlikely to be a low to mid-range rebadged one from Sears.
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  #19  
10-30-2020, 08:06 PM
EhManana EhManana is offline
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That's the issue. Buying that is $50 more than it's worth. I still need to get an S-VHS first. This I picked up cheap, but I knew it was "as is". Even with the manual I still would really not want to take it apart I think. Thank you for the encouragement, though - I will get to the Beta eventually!
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