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Vintage Television and Video Vintage television and video equipment, programmes, VCRs etc.

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Old 2nd Jul 2011, 5:29 pm   #1
Mikey405
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Default Sony AG-7 Betastack

Hi everyone.

For many years I've had a strange gadget called a Sony Betastack sat unused in my store. The theory behind this very complicated and clumsy looking unit is that you put the unit on top of a Sony C7 Betamax video recorder and the unit would feed a new tape (up to 3?) as the tape in the machine ran out. It would eject the tape in the machine, push the tape out from the back and it would then fall into a little pile on a tray in front of the gadget before loading the next tape up.

Now, today has been the first time I've had this very strange gadget in the same location as a Sony C7 VCR and I thought I'd give it a try. Unfortunately, I can't work out how it attaches to the top of the VCR; I have a feeling there might be a piece missing. Does anyone have one of these units that could shed any light on how it attaches to the VCR and what you're supposed to do to make it work? (Although I guess it may be self explanatory once it's connected up correctly.)

Thanks everyone.

Kind regards.

From Mike.
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Old 2nd Jul 2011, 5:37 pm   #2
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Default Re: Sony AG-7 Betastack

Hi Mikey,

Here is a picture of one (connected ?), but sadly little info.

http://www.palsite.com/slc7acc.html

Cheers,
Baz
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Old 2nd Jul 2011, 6:13 pm   #3
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Default Re: Sony AG-7 Betastack

Hi mikey,
Another link with a bit more info. for you.

http://www.totalrewind.org/misc/X_AGC7.htm

Cheers,
Baz
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Old 2nd Jul 2011, 8:14 pm   #4
Mikey405
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Default Re: Sony AG-7 Betastack

Thanks Baz. Hmm - It looks like I need some kind of thingamabob that attaches to the C7 itself. Oh that's a shame - I guess that's not going to be an easy thing to find.
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Old 2nd Jul 2011, 8:43 pm   #5
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Default Re: Sony AG-7 Betastack

Yes Mikey that looks an interesting bit of kit!

I can remember seeing these advertised in different magazines when they were current, but a tad expensive.

I have never seen one in the flesh, I do hope you manage to get this to work, as I would love to see one in operation (youtube or similar), especially after reading the description in the second link I posted.

Cheers,
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Old 2nd Jul 2011, 10:57 pm   #6
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Default Re: Sony AG-7 Betastack

AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH.
Please do not remind me of those ****** ** ****. I was the unfortunate person in Sony that was able to get them working!
Not so happy days
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Old 3rd Jul 2011, 10:24 pm   #7
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Default Re: Sony AG-7 Betastack

Clearly this was a device, targeted toward the couch potatoes among us!!!
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Old 7th Jul 2011, 8:20 pm   #8
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Default Re: Sony AG-7 Betastack

I have one of these interesting devices, mentioned on my old website. Mine is rebadged as Wega CW-M1 For Video 3 - no mention of Sony. It's certainly great fun to watch.
The BetaStack AG-7 or CW-M1 came with a special plastic bracket to attach it to the C7 VCR. First you have to remove two screws from the top cover of the VCR, place the bracket over the holes and refit the screws to secure the bracket. The Betastack then clips on to the bracket. When not required, the Betastack can be unclipped and removed from the VCR, leaving the bracket behind. Of course, if the two items are separated and the VCR is disposed of, the bracket is lost. The brackets are consequently very rare.
You also need an external power supply, centre negative, it's either 6 or 9 volts DC. The bad news is I can't find either the bracket or the power supply for mine at the moment.
As for what they were used for, Sony marketed the C7 as an advanced VCR which it was in its day. One of the advanced features was a multi-event timer which could record daily or weekly TV programmes from different channels. With the Sony C7 and Betastack, you could go on a 2 week holiday without worrying about missing your favourite programmes, according to the marketing brochure. It didn't catch on though. VHS Long Play offered 8 hours recording on a single tape which was cheaper and easier. Nobody seemed to care about the lower quality. I think the Betastack was used in duplicating factories for a while, producing pre-recorded movie tapes.
Note the Betastack internally has many mechanical parts, in particular there are two nylon levers on either side which have a tendency to crack, causing it to stop working.
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Old 7th Jul 2011, 9:15 pm   #9
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Default Re: Sony AG-7 Betastack

I remember the Sony Salesmen/Engineers bringing one to our workshop in Morley to show it off, we were astounded at the time since we had loads of Philips recorders out on rental which we visited so often we almost took up residence with some customers..

This Sony monster arrived 2 handed and was stuck on the bench, we instantly christened the Betastack 'A Skislope' as it was attached and filled with cassettes, then it was turned on and...

Worked first time.

After being lugged up and down the country in the boot of a car, talk about being impressed, before long the shop was brimming with C5s and C7s, I don't remember any Skislopes though.
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Old 9th Jul 2011, 8:57 pm   #10
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Default Re: Sony AG-7 Betastack

Quote:
Originally Posted by G8VAT Wolfman View Post
I remember the Sony Salesmen/Engineers bringing one to our workshop in Morley to show it off, we were astounded at the time since we had loads of Philips recorders out on rental which we visited so often we almost took up residence with some customers..

This Sony monster arrived 2 handed and was stuck on the bench, we instantly christened the Betastack 'A Skislope' as it was attached and filled with cassettes, then it was turned on and...

Worked first time.

After being lugged up and down the country in the boot of a car, talk about being impressed, before long the shop was brimming with C5s and C7s, I don't remember any Skislopes though.
We nicknamed it the "Roller coaster" which is nowhere near as good as skislope
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