I’m sure other video engineers of the time will be familiar with this tale. The first case was when I worked for Sony as a bench engineer and a Sony SL-C7UB turned up on the bench with that awful smell of cats urine emanating from it. On removing the case and cassette mechanism there was corrosion around some of the deck pillars that the idler assembly’s were mounted on.
On dropping the lower servo/video board there was very bad corrosion present, some of the IC legs some being completely corroded through. As a reliable repair could not be guaranteed, Sony would not undertake the repair. It then, by ex colleges from the BBC, came to me independently. It took a mass disassembly of the top deck components and washing through with warm water and a paint brush to get the deck back and a light wipe of the deck pillars with a lightly oiled rag to preserve them.
The video/servo board was removed and washed in a bath of warm water with the paint brush and then blow dried with an air line and left to dry for a couple of days. The “rusted” through components where replaced and at the end of assembly all back to working. This is rather labour intensive but the only way. These machines were over £700 to purchase so making the worlds most expensive cat litter tray!
I came to see this problem quite a few times over the years and used to carry out the same operation. All where brought back to life. After I encountered the second machine to suffer this the only conclusion I could come to was the owners said the cat liked to sleep on top of the machine I assume due to it being a warm place. Why they then take pee on the machine I don’t exactly know, marking territory I presume?
I don’t think after receiving the bill and possible loss of the machine that the cat would be allowed anywhere near the video, if indeed it was allowed back into the house!