Sony 1984
Betamax SL-HF100

beta hifi logo
beta vcr logo




Fault and repair guide

Note, the inside image also shows the power supply can in the top left hand corner with the top removed.

No reel rotation.

A common fault with older machines is lack of reel torque. This can result in the machine shutting down in playback or record modes and the tape not being would back into the cassette housing after eject. The best cure for this is to replace the reel chassis. However, because of changes during production you may find that some other bits, such as springs, may need replacing as well. Sony also made available a 'motor mod kit' which consists of a .02mm thick piece of plastic which can be fitted in the worn bearing. Alternatively a small ball bearing can be fitted but this may require the rotor to be filed down to ensure the correct gap between rotor and stator coils.

Audio level controls not operating.

Check that the audio monitor is set to Auto. The VU meters only show the Hi-Fi sound level in this mode.

Failure of VU meters.

The audio level meters can fail in some segments. Failure is not usually due to defective LEDs but faulty drive ICs. Because of the way this unit is constructed it is not possible to repair and the whole unit should be replaced.

hall effect sensors with glue
Hall effect sensor attached with glue

No head drum rotation

You may find that the head drum fails to rotate. This is due to a problem with the Hall effect device on the head drum motor which is secured by a blob of glue. Full details on how to fix this can be found on the head motor page.

No tape transport

The forward torque pot (third board down at the back near the TV O/P can) gets dry/contaminated changing value which causes tape crease and jamming. CRC spray and a mechanical action back and forth when resetting tension can restore the machine to original performance. If you don't have a torque meter then the rule of thumb for adjusting this is to play the tape and back off the torque until tape just slacks slightly and then turn pot on about 15 degrees. Then confirm tape is not too slack after fwd review/preview actions while searching the tape for a particular scene.

Thanks to Noel Higgins for this tip.

Deck goes into rewind

This can be caused by failure of the tape end sensor. You can check this by unplugging the sensor at its socket on the PCB.

Loading gear location

Loading gear and shaft repair

The loading shaft for the Sony has no official replacement but most times it can be repaired, unless the gear is in two pieces or a tooth has broken off. There are two approaches to solve this, either repair the broken gear, or purchase a similar gear and adapt it to fit.
  • Replacement part approach
  • White plastic gears (for RC toy cars) are available quite cheaply on eBay that have 10 teeth, a 2.5mm hole and 5.7mm in diameter and 4.7mm in length.

    In practice the diameter is sufficient and the reduced length does not really matter, just use super glue (or other suitable glue) to glue them to the shaft and protrude the shaft 1mm or so past the end. See: RC-Toy-Car gears

    If you don't need 50 then look for a smaller quantity but the price does not seem to change much.

  • Repair of the existing gear
  • Here is how to repair the shaft when it is out of the machine:
    • Remove the black plastic gear from the shaft and then clean the shaft of all plastic residue.
    • Take the gear and pass a hobby knife (or similar narrow blade) down through the gear crack to remove any plastic residue to allow it to close to its correct gap width.
    • Place the gear in a soft jaw vice such that you can apply pressure to close up the gear crack.
    • Now use a drill with the same diameter as the outside diameter of metal drive shafts knurled shaft end to clean out the rough plastic residue from the shaft hole.
    • Take the gear out of the vice. Take the shaft and put super-glue on it and press the shaft back into the gear.
    • Put the assembly back into the vice again (with the shaft facing down flat, gear top facing up) closing up the gap again but leaving about 3mm of the gear exposed above the top of the vice. (note the gap is facing across the vice gap).
    • Drill a hole the diameter of paper-clip metal through the top of the gear and shaft but just below the surface of the top disc.
    • Insert the wire from an unfolded paper clip and turn both ends hard up, then trim off the excess metal. This will lock the plastic gear to the shaft and should keep tension across the gear and not encourage the gap to open up again.
    • Remove any excess super glue from the cracked tooth gap. The repaired gear may make a slight noise in operation but that is only an issue when loading and unloading. It puts the machine back into normal operation versus a scrap heap or spares. The pin clears the drive gear by a good margin and prevents the plastic spinning on the shaft again.

      Thanks go to Noel Higgins for this fix

Quick fault guide

Please click on the button if you are able to contribute a solution to this list or would like to add to, or update PALsite's information on this model. Please note, questions will be removed.

If you have a question about this model, please raise it on the chatpage.

B/w picture / picture interferenceClean tape path & check setting of tape guide number 5
DeadCheck transistors Q622, Q623 [2SC24581] & 0627 [25D882P] then check regulator chip IC1 (MB37593)
Insufficient tracking range in playbackCheck transistors Q102 [2SKI52] & 0107 [2SK152] for failure
No drum or capstan operationCheck resistor R652 [1k ohms] on the M panel for open circuit
No functionsCheck resistors R607 & R608, transistors Q601 [2SC24581, Q602 [DTC144ES] then check T601 on panel M
No operation and -au- on display at switch onCheck transistor 0627 for dry joints / failure
No picture / interference on picture, sound distortedCheck resistor R039 [10ohms] on panel RP17
No picture in e-e mode, sound okCheck capacitor C111 between pins 11 a 12 of 1C9 for failure
No stereoCheck IC003 ITDA3800AS for failure
Not switching to AV mode via the AV inputCheck resistor R040 a transistor Q66 [2SA1175] on panel YC28
Poor playback pictures, heads orCheck 1C301 [CXI94B-5] an panel SS28 for failure
Sticking on 1 channelCheck crystal oscillator CF101 on the TU60 panel
Tape transport erraticSuspect failure of the pinch arm assembly.
machine suddenly diesChange on/off switch
No video or sound AV O/P, Drum motor runs too fast. Machine stops in FFWD & REWCheck solid state fuse PS001 (N20) in 9V supply on bottom Board YC-28 and replace if necessary.
Drops out when trying to rewind or reverse searchThe metal edge which lifts the tape flap when it is loaded can become bent and short out the tape sensor coil where the wires solder on. Check that it is not touching and if it is straighten the bracket base and position it so as to avoid contact. The coil should read about 3.9 ohms when working correctly.
Machine plays but picture blanks after about a second. Preview or Review workVideo mutes because of lack of tracking pulse. In this case (probably rare) Q307 on the SS-28 servo board had become leaky and was self biasing causing the tracking amplifier bias to shut it off.
Replace the Q307 transistor. (marked 603)
No colour or no Chroma in playback modeBad CV001 in Video Board. Replace.