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Beta deck has a flat tire

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Brian Wiebe
Beta deck has a flat tire
on Jul 11, 2008 at 6:53:50 pm

My workplace has a Sony UVW-1800 Betacam deck. Lately, the picture will cut out and the audio will slow down every couple of seconds. If I fast forward and rewind a few times, it corrects the problem.

Does anyone know what this issue is? And better yet, how much it will cost to fix?

Thank you!


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Matte Blume
Re: Beta deck has a flat tire
on Jul 12, 2008 at 4:16:52 am

Can't diagnose over the web, but it sounds like it needs a "lube."
UVW-1800's require this periodically.

(Usually they get stuck during the threading cycle, too.)

Contact a tech who services Sony... (s)he'll know what to do.

Cost is affordable, if no parts have been damaged.






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Mark Suszko
Re: Beta deck has a flat tire
on Jul 15, 2008 at 2:04:22 pm

You may have not been far off with the "flat tire" joke, actually; if an idler roller is deformed on one side, or has a patch of slickness or stickiness on it from not being cleaned in a while, you could see this kind of thing. Have you gone into the unit with some Q-tips and isopropyl alcohol (the more pure stuff) and cleaned the tape path?


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Brian Wiebe
Re: Beta deck has a flat tire
on Jul 15, 2008 at 5:18:42 pm

I have not attempted that--I haven't opened up a deck before. Can you outline that process at all? Is it basically: unscrew the top, apply q-tip to dirty parts of the tape path?

Anything I should avoid? I should have it unplugged obviously, but are there mistakes that would make things worse basically.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Beta deck has a flat tire
on Jul 15, 2008 at 6:43:25 pm

If you have never done this before, the best advice is to watch an experienced person do it first. The most critical part is cleaning the rotating drum and video heads inside it. That should be done with something besides a q-tip, because the loose fibers could snag the very delicate heads in those slots and yank them out and you are done for the week. Now that I threw the fear of the E1 into you, I think you'd be safe to clean the rest of the tape path and the pinch rollers. What I'd suggest is, yes, unscrew the captive bolts for the top of the unit. Look into those awesome guts and admire their clockwork perfection.

Load a spare or used tape, just in case this goes bad, and see how the mechanism grabs the tape, pulls it out of the cassette, and loops it around the tape path. Cycle the eject/load a time or two until you see where all the points are along that path, the guides and rollers.

Eject the tape again and power the unit down. Remove any loose jewelry on your wrist and any hanging necklaces, etc.

Use a dustless type of cloth or disposable paper; kimwipes are good, eyeglass cleaning paper or microfiber cloth is excellent. That big round silver thing that looks like an oversized can of Skoal? Treat it as if it was high voltage. Stay away from it. That's the head assembly.

Use a bottle of the purest isopropyl alcohol you can get: the cheaper grades are watered down and may have other contaminants you don't want. In the bad old days we used liquid Freon for this, but the alcohol will do. You don't need it to be sopping wet, just barely moist. Hand-turn the rollers and guides that rotate while you lightly wipe them down with gentle hand pressure. If it has been a while since the last cleaning, figure 2-3 passes, until the wipe no longer shows any black or brown residue.

That's it. If you were going to clean the head assembly, they have special pads and tools for that. A really experienced engineer or technician can cheat and clean that with a Kimwipe by being careful to not dig below the surface of the drum... but if you've never done this part before, wait until a pro can show you.

Power up the unit, load the sacrificial tape, try a test record and playback. If all looks good, button up the unit and GBTW.


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Brian Wiebe
Re: Beta deck has a flat tire
on Jul 15, 2008 at 7:10:22 pm

Thanks for all of the great information. Definitely something I will hang onto for future reference.

Brian



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