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Monday 19th December 2016
11:51 am U.K.



I've replaced all the leds from the audio peak prog meter of my SL-HF950ES last week. Half of them weren't working when I bought it. Now they all work :-)

These words just to say it is possible to do it but you must have http://www.ebay.fr/itm/Loupe-Lentille-Pince-Reparation-Lampe-de-Table-pour-Soudure-Soudage-Electronique-/371127160425?hash=item5668e70e69:g:o0cAAOSwpdpVZuaZ and http://www.ebay.fr/itm/Solid-Solder-0-3mm-Flux-Core-63-Tin-37-Lead-Long-Wire-Reel-sp-/181738114959?hash=item2a506f8f8f:g:MgIAAOSw~OVWy2ii and a 30/60w soldering iron with a 0.1mm tip. And of course : http://www.ebay.com/itm/6value-300pcs-SMD-LED-CHIP-0603-Superbright-LEDs-Assorment-Kit-/251506827844?hash=item3a8ef9a244:g:zYYAAOxyaTxTTo3t

Plus a razor blade to cut short circuits betweem the tiny tracks which will almost inevitably happen.

And also a half transparent sheet of plastic to darken the new leds a little.

This is the minimum required. And a LOT of time.


K lambert
Thursday 15th December 2016
12:32 pm U.K.



What you are describing there sounds typical of either worn Hi-Fi heads or an issue with a processing IC for the Hi-Fi.

As this model is not PAL I can guide you no further sadly.

Haver you tried recording anything on it?

If you DO get a Hi-Fi track by playing this on another Beta hi-Fi model then you will no it's NOT the Hi-Fi heads at fault.


Thursday 15th December 2016
7:32 am U.K.


Hello fellow obsolete format enthusiasts!~ Just got a Sony SL-2710 Beta. ODD thing! When playing a HI-FI stereo tape, face indicator lights up "HI-FI BETA", BUT, VU meters drop to 0 and no sound comes out of unit. Unit has "hi-fi", "mix", "normal" sound playback switch. If you select "normal" or "mix" sounds comes right back on! But, playing a HIFI tape in HIFI output mode shuts all sound off! I'm stumped. I can pull the cover off and I've replaced belts,etc. So I'm ready to go into battle! I just need some intel on "no HIFI" enemy! ;} Thank you kind sirs!

K Lambert
Monday 12th December 2016
1:20 am U.K.



Have you looked at the faults page for the 950 here? There is and issue/fault listed that seems to be similar to what yours is doing.


Matthew Gibb
Sunday 11th December 2016
11:59 pm U.K.


Hi guys, just been reading about the SLHF950 's linear skate issues, I have another issue

Mine is in superb condition but it has a weird problem

when I hooked it up in the past via scart or RCA it always displayed a snowy picture, one day it was black and this is what it does now upon start up

Does the beta system have automatic gain control circuitry like VHS, it is like you tried to copy a macrovision protected VHS tape and the gain control circuitry kicked in and your copy had colour bleed and issues like this

I dont know what to do besides try my local repairer or send to another guy in Tassie I know.

Paid 150 for it and it now has new video heads which I've cleaned already since this happened and no change


K Lambert
Sunday 11th December 2016
11:06 am U.K.


Hi Davyrocket;

The first issue you mention IS the mode switch has come loose on the linear skate mechanism.(the knocking noise and going back down again).

I have just repaired one with this issue.

I also always check those PSU capacitors, as quite a few are normally going high esr, resulting in three transistors and a fusible resistor going pop if left for too long.

Some 950 's have had light use though so only a few are just starting to go bad there.

As for the re charcheable battery.I too remember seeing that somewhere but the 950 's I've seen this has been OK.

As for pinch rollers, you can sometimes see them offered but those who do know how to charge for them too.


Saturday 10th December 2016
8:11 pm U.K.


regarding the linear skate drawer on the SL-HF ,950, the problem with one of my machines is the drawer opens and lifts up the cassette compartment but the mechanism is still operating which is like the teeth making a nasty rattling noise after which it goes back down and operates okay the 2nd machine has a fault whereas it will not fast forward but will picture search it will rewind okay and will picture search if asked to in rewind ,I would also like to find a source of replacement pinch rollers,I did repair the power supply a few years ago and I think nearly every capacitor was replaced along with most of the transistors I also would like to find a suitable replacement battery for the top board I did have details for this but cannot recall them this was for replacing the battery on the ,SL-C9

Friday 9th December 2016
2:21 pm U.K.



I am glad that it was my turn to help you.

You helped me several times to repair my SL-C9F, SL-T50ME and SL-HF950ES, as also did Gabriel and NoŽl Higgins.

Here in the south of France I could not have done it all by myself.

As far as the SL-HF950 is concerned I think the pros will see more and more issues with its linear skate in the coming years.

K Lambert
Monday 5th December 2016
8:26 pm U.K.



Thanks for the kind words and praise.

Indeed the mode switch finger contacts were loose but luckily the motor is fine.

I also have two spare so no worries there either.

You are right tough the switch design is primitive and similar to the internals of the Sanyo VTC M30 and VTC M40 tracking control pot's which also fail occasionally.

Nevertheless I feel confident now to do this to any other's I see with a similar failure.

I also found a way to lightly strengthen that glide rail area to stop that end piece being too stressed with that small roller.

This one had broken off but was still inside the vcr which was good.

Once again many thanks to all...........


Monday 5th December 2016
8:12 pm U.K.



I am sure you are solving those issues regarding the 950 quite soon.

As Frandid states (I recall he had a similar problem on this forum, time ago) there is a mode switch -kind of, it is a very primitive design- which often fails and makes the machine going somehow haywire with the skate transport.

That switch sits on the right side of the assembly, viewed the machine from the front side. It is within a small reduction gear group, easily removable. If memory serves me, you'll have to remove the top board, containing the memory battery, tuner, so on.

It is often possible to repair it with patience and glue. Watch out these tiny comb-like contacts!

On the other hand, replacement motors can be savaged from more modern VHS Sony decks. Being the type of "one-block-mecha-assembly" it can be located underside. If not, an original new Mabuchi 370 with the right axis length and diameter is the best solution. Older VHS machines like the SLV757 might also contain an exact replacement for that motor, but there is a chance they are worn as well.

Hope to be helpful!


K Lambert
Monday 5th December 2016
8:07 pm U.K.



It's my turn to thankyou now.

I was indeed that area and the whole finger contact part was loose.

I've glued it back in and also added a re enforced plastic block to go over this area and glued plus lightly hot melted it so those metal fingers cannot fall out ever again:)

It works A1 now.

I have also taken pictures so to show anyone else who comes across this issue.

The way those fingers were attached is the same as on the Sanyo VTC M30 /40 tracking control pot's by hot melting tiny blobs which DO break off after time.

Actually working on that area was quire enjoyable. One area I've never had to venture until now.

Just the caps to check now in the PSU and it's looking and working pretty damned good now.

Thanks again.............Kev

Monday 5th December 2016
11:40 am U.K.


I think it is the mode switch (black part) that tells the motor when to stop.

K Lambert
Monday 5th December 2016
10:34 am U.K.



Thanks for that. It's the first time for me to work in this area of the 950. I was wondering how the motor knew when to shut off after pop up.

I hav'nt checked that area yet so will do.

I think when that sled rail had the broken area and was banging ,it also caused this hatch area to click and go on longer than it should. I think that's why know I've sorted the other it's not stopping.

Will let you know what I find.

Cheers again...................Kev

Sunday 4th December 2016
9:12 pm U.K.


Hi Kevin

I will discuss more about the head disc of my SL-HF950 later on :-)

I had several issues with my linear skate so if I can help :

If the motor is extremely noisy it is dead ! (It ca

The closer to the original is the RF 370 that can be found very easily from China on Ebay from 3 to 5 euros. The problem is that not every motor works. I had to try 3 to have one working. They have almost the same reference but some may not be able to be strong enough, or some turn too fast or too slow...

Check that it has exactly the same dimensions as the original, that it is a 12 volts, then... pray !

If the linear skate behaves in a strange way, loads and unloads when you don't hit the eject button it is probably the small mode switch which is half broken. It is easy to repair with super glue and epoxy. I gave the solution here : http://www.palsite.com/950tech.html ("The SL-HF950 linear skate loads at the slightest touch of it...").

The plastic fixations of the 6 contact blade must be broken and the blade is probably moving causing erratic behaviour.

K Lambert
Sunday 4th December 2016
4:35 pm U.K.


Hi Betaphiles:

Just want to throw this out there.

I have been sent a Sony SLHF950 that has two issues.

The first I've sorted and was down to the very end of the skating mechanism slide rail being broken off.

The second is when the tape hatch pops up the motor keeps wirring until eventually it goes down again on it's own and withdraws inside the machine.

Is this a fault with this motor internally. I removed this assembly and I have stopped the loud clicking at this point but now the motor keeps turning continuously on pop up. It has operated once correctly but now is turning all the time until it goes back inside.

I do have two spares that I can try but thought I'd ask in case anyone else has come across this?

Cheers in advance..................Kev

Saturday 3rd December 2016
9:41 pm U.K.


Cees, it will depend on what is recorded on the tape.

If recorded on a Betacam machine, yes. If recorded on a Betamax machine, no.

Main problem will be the difference in tape speed between the two system although the tapes are the same size.

A L750 3 hour tape will run for 30 minutes in a Betacam machine.

Cees Stouten
Saturday 3rd December 2016
3:58 pm U.K.


Is it possible to play a Sony DX L-750 tape on a Betamax SP UVW-1600P player?

K Lambert
Thursday 1st December 2016
4:08 pm U.K.



You pose a good question there.

In theory due to the nature of the recording system used on PAL Beta vcr's the Hi-Fi audio ,should deteriorate before the picture, as this is recorded deeper onto the tape with the video skimmed over the top at a slightly different angle to avoid any crosstalk interference.

Usually the Hi-Fi will be lost or have a limited tracking range before the video shows signs of advanced wear with picture tearing, especially around white to black objects. When recording with wearing Hi-Fi heads you will get during playback a clicking /tizzing noise that you cannot get rid of on this vcr. The tracking range will also be severely limited and you will be lucky to get any Hi-Fi sound off centre. This is also providing the internals are set up perfectly too.

I believe it's called depth multiplexing.

The NTSC system had more room for the Hi-Fi so used the same two heads for BOTH. The nice thing there is two head discs are easier to come by (and cheaper) than the four head Hi-Fi type.

Also on the SLHF950 there are five heads.(even six as I think it has a flying erase head too?)

Two set's opposite for the Hi-Fi audio and three set's on the other two opposite (on one side a head is split into two with one tiny head angled differently to give the clear still picture).

This third head is very easily damaged as it's the smallest so beware.

I have seen a Sanyo M40 with still decent hi-Fi but the video ones are (or look to be) bad.

On most (99%) the hi-Fi goes first.

It is also possible I guess to damage or cause premature wear to a head when cleaning them improperly. Make sure too cleaning type tapes are used very sparingly, avoid the wet types with those horrible ribbons that will wrap around the capstan (I've seen it happen) preferably avoid them all and keep those flaming cotton buds well away!!

Hope this helps....................Kev

(Reposted down to revision and spelling mistakes)

Thursday 1st December 2016
1:04 pm U.K.


Hi Kevin and Gabriel

I had to take off the tape holder to deeply clean the head drum, and now it's OK. :-)

Just a question, for my knowledge : Is-it possible on the SL-HF950 that one of the rotating video heads starts being worn yet hi-fi sound is still OK on both channels even with extreme (bad) settings of the normal tracking button ?

I saw clearly that there are 4 heads on the head disc, I don't know if each of them is a video and hi-fi audio head at the same time or if only two or three are video heads and one or two hi-fi audio only.

If it is like in VHS all four should be video and audio at the same time, hence if a video head starts to be damaged audio will be affected at the same time.

On VHS when rotating heads start to wear hi-fi audio is affected before video shows any problem !!

I know that there is a difference between VHS and Beta about how the hi-fi audio work on both sytems, but cannot remember what is this difference.


K Lambert
Thursday 1st December 2016
2:07 am U.K.



My friend I think you've just found your answer.

WELL DONE........

It's obviously a dubious tape has deposited this on the surface and hence your current issues.


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