Sony AV-3400 Scanner Motor Troubleshooting – Part 1

I recently bought a Sony AV-3400 Portapak setup, which includes the portable AV-3400 video tape recorder, AVC-3450 black and white Vidicon camera, and an AC-3400 AC power supply. The decision to buy one was mostly based on curiosity and “nostalgia” for a device that was so revolutionary in the world of media/personal media.

At any rate, I went into it knowing it might need some work, and it does. The video below summarizes its current state:

I reached out to Rich Diehl aka LabGuy, attaching the video and asking for pointers. He noted that if the motor isn’t spinning, the VTR isn’t generating sync signals, which the camera requires if I want to do anything beyond just looking at pretty pictures in the viewfinder. He then suggested I inspect the rubber foam inside the motor that keeps pressure between the motor brushes and commutator. By the way, if you’re interested in the history of video hardware like I am, check out his website and YouTube channel! I also bought services manuals from him for a very reasonable price. Thanks! 🙂

At any rate, here are some photos I took while trying to access the scanner motor. The service manual wasn’t abundantly clear about how, so I first tried from the bottom of the AV-3400. Enjoy, and if any progress is made I’ll make another update.

First Step: Removing the rear/bottom chassis:

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Second Step: Investigating the scanner motor and its surroundings

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Third/Last Step: Unscrew some stuff carefully!

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