I came across this forum earlier today, and it appears to be quite active and helpful. So here's my question...
My organization has a Sony DVW-A500 Digital Betacam. Up until just before the holidays it was working just fine. But now when I put in a tape and push play, it displays the Error 03 on the front panel. I have the Maintenance Manual (1st Ed., Rev. 6) which indicates a "Reel Trouble 3" problem and suggests that cause is a slack tape or the supply or take-up lock is detected. At this point, the only way to take the tape out that (I can see) seems to be turning off the unit, taking off the top panel, then alternately rotating the threading motor block and shifting the ME lever, thence followed by turning the yellow pulley to manually eject the tape.
If I don't try pushing the play button--just put the tape in and then eject--it seems to behave itself. In all cases, it appears to be threading the tape around the drum okay.
I just went through the different Servo/DT checks, as outlined in the maintenance manual. Everything passed, and the unit seem to function normally as specified in the test procedures.
I'm still somewhat in a learning mode, although I've had other hardware/software experience. And we have a lot of pretty skilled tech-types who do a lot of work on different kinds of instruments. I'm pretty certain that if we could somehow pinpoint where the trouble was coming from or why it was happening, we could fix it; however, at the moment all I've got is symptoms and no cause.
Have others seen this? Is it just in need of a good cleaning, or is there something else going on? (It's happened with several tapes, by the way.) Is there some indicator--such as a board light--or sensor that I can check, or some test to try, or some measurement to take that would help identify the issue?