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AnalogToTheFuture 07-12-2017 01:14 PM

Tension Band Brake on Mitsubishi HS-U80
Long-story short: I picked up a Mitsubishi HS-U80 on craigslist and took it in to a local repair shop to have checked out and tuned up. Brought it home and found it was still "eating" tapes. Back to repair shop where technician says the Tension-Band Brake needs to be replaced. I've looked almost everywhere on the interwebs for a spare replacement part with no luck.

So, my question is: is the tension band brake on the U80 a common/interchangable part that I could possibly "harvest" from another mitsubishi unit (preferably a less expensive model or an existing parts unit)? At the very least, does anyone have a service manual that has a part number so I can research compatibility with other units?

Thanks in advance for any help/advice.

Quasipal 07-19-2017 10:10 AM

Just to add that if you have the original you can make your own by removing the brake material from another different brake from any manufacturer - its only a strip of felt. Glue it on to the original backing with thin film of flexible contact adhesive.

But what is wrong with the belt? Is the felt completely missing?

AnalogToTheFuture 07-19-2017 07:30 PM

Honestly, I'm not completely sure what the issue is since I haven't been in to see it myself yet and I can't get ahold of a service manual to see what this particular piece looks like.

[Quick summary: need advice/more info so I don't potentially get screwed by my technician]

I'm kind of in a tough spot given a lack of available information and experience with servicing VHS units-- which is why I decided to appeal to you fine folks here. My concern with the whole thing is whether the tech is making the issue seem bigger than it is-- especially in light of some possible "red flags".

First, when I bring the unit in for service he's surprised to see it since he used to be a mitsubishi servicer and hadn't seen a U-80 in person ever as they were higher-end and not too common. I call him for an update a few weeks later, he's not sure (I say no rush), it's then done the next day. I get it home to check it out but it's eating tapes right from the start. I bring it back since work was guaranteed and this tension band brake problem is found.

He said he couldn't find a replacement part after calling the company and a few other places; he does mention that he has a functional mitsubishi unit in the shop but isn't going to pull it out of there-- which I understand, no problem. He then offers to "trade" me a different functional mitsubishi unit he has in the shop (I think an HS-U51, which is not SVHS). At this point, I reply that I'll have to get back with him as "I may have a friend that either has a parts-unit or may want to buy mine for a parts unit" and that I'll get back to him once I find out, he says ok.

As it appears to me-- the writing is on the wall with regard to the tech: get me to agree to a "swap", he takes the part from another mitsubishi unit in the shop, and *viola* upgrades to a functional HS-U80. Obviously, I'm not thrilled about that deal on my end. So, my only other option is to figure out a way to fix the part as you've proposed or find another unit to get a functional part from.

Sorry for the long version-- but thanks again in advance for anyone's advice or help!

Quasipal 07-20-2017 03:29 AM

Well as you can imagine it is hard to diagnose without seeing the machine - or knowing this model and its foibles, but it pays to know what the tension band does and that is to regulate the back tension during playback to give the correct tension. Too little and the picture will degrade due to inadequate tape to head contact, too much and you will get accelerated head wear and possible picture errors due to the tape not travelling evenly. You say you had chewing - and I have never had a tension band cause that. Causes of chewing are usually that an idler is not turning the hub collecting the tape after the pinch roller or slack being left due to the tape not being retracted into the shell during eject.

If it was me and I was in your position I would ask to see the fault occur with the cover off. take a scrap tape for the purpose. You could say that you may be able to put a new felt on yourself and need to see what exactly is needed. That way you show some expertise but are leaving the actual VCR repair to him.

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