How to service a Sanyo Beta (Betamax, Betacord) video recorder.

In short, you will want to replace the belts and idlers in order that it mechanically runs properly and without chewing tapes.

See Parts To Order section regarding the parts you will need.

** Parts now sold out, sorry **

  • VTC5000 / VTC5100 / VTC5150 ultra-popular top loading Betacord and international equivalents including VCR4000, VTC5005, VTC5550. Request early geared type idler. SOLD OUT
  • Early front loading models VTC6000 and VTC6500. Request early geared type idler. SOLD OUT
  • Later Front loading models VTC-NX10, VTC-NX15, VTC-NX100, VTCM10, VTCM20, VTCM40, USA model VCR4590: Request later friction drive type idler.  SOLD OUT
  • The kit is NOT suitable for: VTC5300, VTC5350, VTC5400, VTC9300, VCR4200, VBS7000, Superbeta VCR7250 nor Betamovie camcorders. Partly useful for the VPR5800.
    Brand new sealed Sony L-750 tapes also available at just £4 each.  Contact me for address to send payment, and let me know which idler type you require. 

    Sorry, pinch rollers now sold out.  Both types of drive idlers sold out too.

    Torque kit (see end of this page) for Sanyo VTC5000, VTC5150 and international equivalents, still available for just £2.  Soldering skills required.  Not all machines need this modification.

Now sold out of idler kits.


There is a supplier in Australia who may have some Sanyo Beta parts in stock as of 2014.

The main procedure is shown on a top-load video recorder, but is essentially the same (or slightly easier, no the carriage being in the way) on new, front-load video recorders.  It applies to all Sanyo models from VTC5000 onwards, but note that the VTC5300/5400 series is an older mechanism for which these notes do not apply.


There was a bug in the system control of the VTC5000, in that if it failed to progress the tape during FF/REW due to a worn reel idler, it would give up and THEN LACE UP!  This was clearly a hang-over from the earlier VTC5300 which was of the always-laced up variety.  (Yes, Sanyo model numbers often progressed backwards.)  The upshot of this bug was that if you had a worn reel idler, the machine compounded the problem by lacing up, since when you pressed STOP to unlace, the poor reel idler may fail to pull the tape back into the cassette.  If you spotted the problem you could press FF/REW again and release it quickly, and this might get the tape back into the cassette.  If you didn't know it had happened though and just pressed EJECT, then you made a right mess of the tape.  This bug was cured for most of the VTC5150 recorders sold and no later models suffer this defect.  Also see note at the bottom of this article regarding a reel motor torque modification.

Top-load video recorders

Here is how to dismantle an early video recorder, VTC5000 / VTC5100 / VTC5150:

Parts to order

See the top of this page for a special price on a full service kit.

You will need a belt kit BK44 from  for all models of video recorder (included with my kit).  Now there is an amount of confusion with part numbers next.  Some recorders have two rubber surfaces, one on the top roller (as in the picture below) as well as the lower idler.  Others have a geared idler for the top section as in the picture above.  You will need to get the correct type for your video.


The lower idler is Grandata IDL82 (Sanyo 143-0-741T-20001), this one does the FF/REW reel drive, and is slightly less prone to wear than the upper idler.  I believe the same part is available from Charles Hyde, their part number VID1219 which is the correct correct for the  VTC5000, VTC5150, and right the way through all subsequent Sanyo Beta video recorders. 


I recommend replacing the whole assembly with 143-0-662T-01202, I am assured by the very helpful people at that this is the type used in the later models after but not including the VTC6500.  Grandata do the whole assembly, with a rubber drive top idler, their part number IDL85, Sanyo 143-0-662T-10350, which seems to be correct for later front-load video recorders such as the VTC-M20, VTC-M40 etc., and includes the lower idler too and is essentially the same as included my kit for the same video recorders.


Generally the geared idlers (as shown above) are applicable to VTC5000, VTC5150, VTC600 and VTC6500.  The friction driven ones are for the VTC-Mxx series models and probably all of the VTC-Nxx ones too.  Check your mechanism before ordering!  If there are teeth on the spools then you will need geared idlers.   For the gear driven models, a useful package from Grandata is their part number SK164 which includes belts, idlers and pinch roller, and this is essentially the same as my kits for the same models.



L-750 Sony tapes are £2, very limited quantity available so only two per customer.  Contact me for address to send payment.

** Pinch rollers sold out.  Later friction drive idlers sold out. 

Torque kit (see end of this page) for Sanyo VTC5000, VTC5150 and international equivalents,  still available at £2.  Soldering skills required.  Not all machines need this modification.

Buy now by Nochex or credit card.





Belt kit and pinch roller.  Not all belts will be required, because this covers all models.  


Front-load models, dismantling procedure, and replacement for both types.

Now the main procedure, shown here on a later Sanyo Beta video recorder:


  Back to my Beta web page.






VTC6000 and VTC6500 only, see pictures by following these links:  You will need to remove the tuner preset PCB (screw in the centre), followed by a plastic bracket as (one of the screws is shown in this picture), and then a metal bracket to get at the cassette carriage belt.  


VTC-M** and VTC-NX*** models are a bit fiddly to replace the front loading belt as shown in photo above.


VTC5000/VTC5150 etc do not have this belt.



  The lower idler is less prone to failure than the top one, but I like to change them both.


The reel motor may need replacement if you get white flashes on the picture, even in pause (since when it fails, it arcs excessively internally which gets random white flashes onto the picture even in pause).  Also it can develop dead spots and intermittently stall.  You will need to remove the bottom of the video recorder to complete replacement of this motor.  In most cases, you  don't need to perform a motor change though, just the replacement of idlers and belts.

Now reassemble with the new idler and drive belt.  Care to put the black washers back where they came from.  Make sure you don't get any twists in the belt, and that it is clean.  Don't clean the belt with alcohol however, it will shorten its life.


Next we will be changing the loading motor belt, which applies to all models:



Replace the pinch roller if you have purchased one, this comes off by pulling off the black plastic cover above it.  Wiggle from side to side to get it started.  If it's really stuck, you may have to remove the pinch roller arm, but if so be careful to reassemble with the spring installed.  Put the black top back as shown.  The arm removed is shown here, but you may well be able to replace the pinch roller in-situ.  Note: The Grandata (and therefore mine) pinch roller may not fit the VTC-NX100 very well, it has been known to foul the mounting due to the different internal dimensions.  You may select not to order the pinch roller for this model, or try to obtain a Sanyo original.


Now carefully put it all back together, and test it.  You should find all REW/FF and tape chewing problems are fixed.  

For the more experienced video enthusiast:

May I also suggest you carefully clean the capstan with a cotton bud wetting with alcohol (head cleaner fluid or Isopropyl Alcohol sometimes called IPA).  The capstan is the silver rod which the rubber pinch roller presses against.  Clean all deposits off this, and they may take quite an effort to remove, without getting alcohol on the pinch roller.  Try not to get alcohol running down the shaft into the bearing, in fact you may even consider adding a tiny drop of oil to the brass bearing top if you are really keen.  You can clean the upper and lower head drum, and video disk, using IPA and special video head cleaning sticks (available from of course), but don’t use cotton buds for this. 

Also clean the audio/control track heads with IPA and cotton buds, being sure not to disturb the alignment.  If you do think the sound is muffled on recordings made on other video recorders (known as an azimuth error), you can play a known good prerecorded tape and fine adjust the screw beside the audio head (not the one with the spring beneath it) for maximum clarity (treble), then lock the screw head with a little superglue or similar.  This is particularly worth doing with the VTC-M40 for some reason, but being HiFi you must first switch the audio to “NORMAL” and then adjust azimuth, then switch back to “STEREO”.

VCT5000 and VCT5150 reel motor torque improvement modification

In the case of the VTC5000 and VTC5150, there is a modification to improve reel drive during FF/REW, and importantly, during unlace.  This is particularly helpful therefore if your machine leaves loops of tape when changing from PLAY to STOP even after a new reel idler and belt has been fitted.  This is believed to be approved by Sanyo but I do not yet have printed evidence of this, however I can confirm that it definitely works very well.  You would need some electronic soldering expertise to carry this out:

On the System Control Board, SY-1 (at left hand side as you're looking at the front see picture here or this earlier circuit board on some VTC5000 machines .):
1) Undo the screw on the vertical plastic riser at the back of SY-1 board, and remove the riser.  Pull the PCB towards the back of the machine to unplug it from the front panel PCB.  The SY-1 board is now accessible, but be careful not to start pulling the plugs loose where cables connect to the rest of the machine
2) Remove zener diode d3006 (D6) & fit 3V3 zener in its place.  This is mounted near the bottom edge of the PCB towards the front.  Note the black band marking on the original diode, you must fit the replacement with the band the same way round.  There are two versions of the board as noted above.  This diode change improves takeup torque during PLAY.
3) Change r3049 (R49) from 2r2 to 1r 0.5watt.  Note, the original part is a fusible resistor so I would firmly recommend replacing it with such, and refit the heatproof sleeves to the legs of the new fusible resistor.  This is mounted at the top of the PCB near IC6 which has the large heatsink (R49 connects to IC6 pin 8).  It does not matter which way around this part is fitted.  This resistor change improves unlace torque.
4) Check that all plugs are still firmly connected (double-check this, they cause strange problems!), then refit the SY-1 PCB, carefully ensuring it lines up correctly with the front panel PCB.  If this is a struggle, remove the front operation cover:  remove three screws at the top and three at the bottom (accessible without removal of bottom metal cover), remove tracking control knob, undo earthing connector.  This will give you a better view, and you can slacken off the front panel PCB if required.  Reassemble.
Note that d3006 and r3049 will be marked d6 and r49 because the board has a "3000" offset in its part numbers.  See circuit diagram here.  You will find a huge improvement in reel motor torque and all tape transport problems should be solved.  If not, you have either failed to fit the service kit properly, or the reel motor is probably defective.

Note that the edge connectors from the SY-1 board to the front panel are both prone to developing dry joints.  These can give strange symptoms including no front panel indicator LEDs (except tuner) and unreliable operation.  Take off both the SY-1 board and the front panel PCB and resolder the male connector (front panel) and female connector (SY-1 board.)

Torque modification kit now included with the kit.  Fusible 1 Ohm resistor and a 3.3V Zener Diode.  If purchased separately from the kits then it is still a very reasonable £2.

VCT5000 and VCT5150 Clock resets to zero when switched on from Standby, or display flickering:

If the clock resets every time you switch from Standby to On, replace C5207, 16v 100uf capacitor inside the metal heat sink on the larger power board, near the centre at the front.  The position may vary slightly depending on the vintage of the machine, and it may have a fire retardant woven sleeve around it.  You may even find an empty location for C5207, and the actual capacitor is installed nearby in a location which is not numbered at all.  If replacement doesn't completely solve the problem increase the value to 220uF 16V.  If the display is flickering then replace C5204, 47uF 35V, which will probably be physically quite close to C5207.  I would recommend that if you have to change either of these capacitors, that you replace both.  These capacitors can be replaced without the need to remove the power supply from the machine.  You can fit slightly higher voltage rated components if you can't get the same voltage rated parts as the originals.  The above applies to some variant models such as the VTC5550.

VCT5000 and VCT5150 terrible picture with black horizontal bands wandering through it:

This is probably mains hum on the supplies.  Check C5105 2200uF 35V large capacitor on smaller power board.  This capacitor can be replaced without the need to remove the power supply from the machine.


You need to be careful when doing any of the above work, don't touch the video head drum and don't disturb the electronics.  If you don't feel competent then instead print out this information and take it to a video repair shop.  The information here will be helpful to them if they are not familiar with these models or are unaware of where to source the parts.  THIS INFORMATION IS SUPPLIED AS-IS, NO RESPONSIBILITY IS ACCEPTED FOR ANY CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGE, LOSS, INJURY OR MISHAP, HOWEVER CAUSED.  Do not start to dismantle any equipment unless you are certain you are capable and have an understanding of electrical safety.  This information and also spare parts are provided as a non-for-profit service to owners of Beta video recorders.

Testimonials on my Service kits:


Back to my Beta web page.

Too much trouble to fix your own machine?  I can do excellent video to DVD transfers, and may accept a Beta machine as part or full payment.

I have also scanned in the entire service manual (28MB download) for the Sanyo VTC-NX100 front-loading Beta video recorder, and this is helpful for servicing most Sanyo models, request it if required., and this is helpful for servicing most Sanyo models.

Also for sale, brand new and sealed Sony L750 tapes at £2 each plus post.

Service manuals for lots of old equipment are available at the very helpful site

Also see our YouTube videos
See us on YouTube
Some useful ones to start with include:
A tour of the studio
Review of Tascam SS-R250N audio recorder

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Last updated 15 April 2011

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