INITIAL CLEANING
Illustrated here is an overview of the cleaning steps performed at the beginning of the refurbishing process. In order to check various functions and examine all the tape handling components the Beta machine should be clean, this eliminates dirt and debris as the possible cause of any malfunctions we might find. Keep in mind that we only want to accomplish enough now to make the unit operable, future steps will be used to bring it back to as close to new as possible. If you click on the photo above another illustration will take its place. It indicates the various components we are going to be discussing and has them identified. As an aid to the upcoming discription (of this preliminary cleaning process) you can click back and forth between the two as much as you like. The explanation that follows describes only to the first illustration, which is the nine pane composite. So here we go. Starting with the upper left corner with the section marked with the number one we see an example of tape shard debris, an indication of tape damage due to some kind of alignment or tape travel malfunction. After this trash is carefully removed with compressed air and physical cleaning, examination and correction of the cause would be performed before we proceeded. Extreme care is always exercised during all of these cleaning steps to insure that no damage is inflicted on any of the parts. Photo two shows the number three guide being cleaned. A fine weave crocus cloth is soaked in special solvent and drawn over it while being held within a medical clamp (hemostat). This would also be done to the number two guide, seen resting on the plastic guard by the big number 2 in the right corner. Photo three is showing the cleaning of the plastic tracks and related components using a cotton wad soaked in solvent and held by a similar clamp. Photo four is cleaning the ACE head assembly and related guides with special swabs soaked in solvent. Photo five is removing oxide buildup from the capstan with a soft wood rod soaked in solvent while it is rotating (the unit is operated here by tricking it into operation even though no cassette or pinch roller is present). Photo six is cleaning the track ways on the rear of the loading platform. Photo seven is using a chamois stick soaked in solvent to clean the full erase head. Photo eight is using a tooth pick to remove buildup from the tape rail on the video drum. Photo nine is cleaning the video heads (the bright reddish copper wire coils of the head can be clearly seen to the right of the chamois stick). It is especially important when cleaning the heads than a back and forth movement be used, up and down will break them off. The heads are mounted on a rotating disk inside the drum so I usually hold the swab in place, then slowly rotate the head slightly back and forth against it using the circular balance wheel (damper) on top of the disk assembly like a knob. It also helps for one to be ambidextrous when performing these steps, as sometimes favoring one hand over the other would be a definite hindrance. Now that we have things cleaned we can move onto the next step, which is making our OPERATIONS AND TEST TAPES, click here. To close this panel and go back to the main page click here