Over the last 45 years of service in the Electronics Industry, I have worked on anything from Coffee Pots, Rice cookers, VCR’s, Camcorders, Digital Betacam, and then Transmitters in the AM and FM Radio business. There is a lot to see. But in working on consumer tape decks and amplifiers there are a few things that stick out for anyone wishing to repair electronics should watch out for.
They can be things like poor wave soldering of the boards. There is so little solder on these parts that the smallest bump or vibration will cause a failure of that circuit. Multiply this by 100- 200 joints in a machine and you have a real good chance that it will need repair sooner rather than later. Other things that can break weak joints are conditions of thermal cycling. Does the part have a heat sink on it or does it get hot? Well so does the joint. So many cycles will make the solder joint weak and it was develop a ring around the part lead and again an intermittent connection or break. Corrections done by a good Technician who knows how to solder using Kester 44 (Lead) solder will do wonders for the longevity of the unit.
That is not the only thing that causes failure. There is the infamous 10 V Electrolytic capacitor. These 10 V types have proven a very high failure part so that I often tell others that I am allergic to 10 V caps. Many a tape deck or other equipment that have this part are on borrowed time from when they are made. I just was working on a Teac Z6000 tape deck. Playback was lost on the left channel. Further examination indicated that the coupling cap was defective and must have had a bad connection inside. What value was it? 220uFd/ 10V. Not the type of part I would expect in a $1500 tape deck. Don’t feel bad Teac, Revox and Uher have their Frako caps too. They are notorious for shorting.
OK, Now for the X series tape decks from Teac. Some think that having dual capstan drive is a plus. Technicians can tell you what a headache they can be. There is sensitivity to belt length, belt position, how clean the pinch rollers are and dirt on the capstan shaft. However, what causes me to write this is that I have also found the the two conditions that are seen are either Skew or tape looping. Looping is when the tape comes away from the heads making a perfect loop down below them. This is most likely caused by a loose belt. Most all X series need a 16.8″ belt but some sell 17″ belts that are near the limit to not use them. They sometimes do not work and if they do only for 6 month. Marrs has the good belts at 16.8″ X .330″ wide.
Next there is Skew. This is when the tape travels off the straight path at the pinch roller. I have determined recently that some genius adjusted the head position on the head block so that they are tilted and THIS make the tape skew. Of course the machine never works like they adjust them. Just go turning all the head screw and you are sure to make the deck better- Yes after about $160 of Technicians work. Rule is don’t touch these screws you need a lot to put them back into position.. Please,I have more than enough work already.
The best Service Manuals come from Stereomanuals.com . If I do not have one I need that is where I get them!
In Canada, A new site for service in your area may be this one here. http://reeltoreeltech.com/
I am now at the point that I am taking orders for the gear that so many service shops and people need to fix their blinking transport lights problem. Teac does not have this part any more but I have had them made up. They are $30 plus the postage- I will not ship in a flat envelope like the $80 guy does on E bay. What does it look like-This is a Resin cast gear as were the original ones. Some call it gear B some Gear C. In the 122 Mk III parts diagram 4 the 4-34 part is what this is and was part number 5801474300 and sub’d to 9278377600.
To obtain one or some, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I take credit cards- MC, Amex, Visa and Discover and can take Paypal as well. The cost of obtaining the gears has gone up slightly so they are $30 each now. Also know that the mechanism must be cleaned and greased prior to use or the same problem can occur. I have never had a new one fail yet. I use Lubriplate 105 to lubricate the mechanism first. Also the contact plate.
Every once in a while I get a guy who complains about the gear price. NO there are no $.33 gears nor $2.00 gears or you would not be contacting me. The gears cost the manufacture near $3000 to set up and make these custom made gears- he dictates the price he wants for them. There is conjecture that I make $20 profit on a gear and I can tell you that is not at all what they cost. There is a guy selling hundreds of gears on E bay who started at $80/gear. He sells them for $39 now. If you want to buy from him to save money then do so. There are a limited number of gears and when they run out that might be it. I use the same gears in repairs and there is no reason I HAVE to sell them. With enough of this aggravation I might not.
As of 1/27/2020 the postage has been increased to $8.30 for flat rate.
People have trouble buying good decks from E bay mostly because the equipment there is old and has had very little maintenance and some of it has been tampered with by amateurs. Well here is a place you can get a deck that has been checked out, calibrated and tested for correct function. They also have a 6 month warranty.
I will be offering Teac, Tascam, Nakamichi, Pioneer and other brands that have passed our testing procedure. There are units ready now I just have to get the pictures ready.
I have had units ready to sell but some of them sold before I could even take a picture of them to list here. It seems I can not get them ready fast enough.
Recently there was a repair that was done and the customer refused the unit so it is for sale here with a new capstan motor and belts plus all the alignment and calibration and a 6 month warranty. $185 The model is the DR-M14HX. Specs as measured can be sent to prospective buyers by E mail. Questions can be answered or further pictures sent as well.
THIS ITEM SOLD
630-616-0932 Office, email@example.com E mail.
People who have walkmans of the WM-D6C type continue to ask me if I have an AC adapter for it. Well I did a little research and came up with a limited number of these that can take in 100Vac to 240Vac and put out 6Vdc with a negative center post. These are made for these Walkmans and I have tested them with WM-D6C units. They are going for $12 each and have a 1 year warranty. It also comes with a smaller adapter that can work with other walkmans provided they are 6Vdc and negative center. 6Vdc at 1Amp.
These are switch type adpaters- Postage around $7.20 Priority mail.
I have been working on some machines that are clearly butchered by local shops. If I was to be doing this kind off work I would not put a big gold sticker on the back saying Electronic Sale and Service. The Service part is clearly not there. You have to be careful who you hand your equipment to and one of the first signs they are only after your money is the Deposit Fee.
Another thing I find annoying is that they don’t put all the screws back or that they put them in with a jack hammer and strip out the heads. Some machines that I get in show the only thing the guy who worked on it last was good at was putting a lot of wire ties on. Of course they all have to be cut out to correct his incompetent work. Just today I had a Audio board mounted wrong with tape and insulation foam added to the board. Why not save all this time and tape and put the board in the right way? They left the front pots not tightened down and then used a cassette deck belt in an open reel. It was real dirty inside but they did nothing about that. Maybe the dirt accumulated came from their shop where it sat for a long time. Of course it works well now. Teac’s lowest reel deck of the line an X-3 derivative called a 22-2 has a wow and flutter of .018% after I got done with it. Must be that AMS Signature oil I put in.
Recently I got a Pioneer RT909 in that had the belt changed in it and new Pinch Rollers put on. Yet the person at the shop completely skipped over the stuck Pinch Roller linkage and then when the 25 V zener diode shorted, he said he could not fix the deck. What kind of people operate shops like this- this one is in MO. I find it strange that they even take them in and charge for this kind of work- they are totally bogus I would say.
Now I come across many machines from a person still unknown which I call the Sharpie Technician. The reason for the name is that all head screws are marked with a red sharpie pen. As if this wide mark would have any accuracy in putting the head back is a ridiculous idea. If anyone who aligns heads knows, the movement needed to get a 20KHz sine wave to be in phase with the other channel is such a small movement that a mark like this is just a total waste of time. Other traits of this guy are cleaned pinch roller linkages but no grease put into the transport, residue of old belts still on the flywheels and pulley, the belt is put on the WRONG way and so will not work properly, the tape tensions and 5V references on the X1000R are no where near where they should be. This is obviously some amateur trying to look like a Technician but falling very short. I am trying to find out who it is so I can warn people away from this hack.
I don’t mind other Technicians coming up and doing business- we need them badly. There are those I help to get started like Gerhard in Florida who is doing a wonderful job. I am already sending him customers and he has many good reviews.
Some people have called and asked to get my address to drop off a unit or to ship them to me. Well here is that info-
Skywave Tape Deck Repair 617 McLean Ave.
Bensenville, IL 60106
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For those looking to drop off units, I am at the SW corner of O’Hare Airport not far from Route 83 and 1/2 mile South of Irving Park Road(Rt 19). I am here most of the time but if you are dropping off it is best to let me know when you plan to arrive.
If you have questions, my Cell phone is 708-334-2260.
Google phone if I am at the Bench 2 is 630-448-2513
Do you have a Tape deck such as a Cassette or Open Reel that needs to be repaired or calibrated? Well you have come to the right place! I have been doing this work for over 40 years. I was employed at the Teac Factory Service in Arlington Heights and the Sony Factory Service in Niles IL. Neither are open anymore making it difficult to get your equipment repaired until you found me! Well why don’t we get started then? I service Teac/Tascam, Pioneer, Studer, Otari, Sony and Technics machines.
I can be contacted by Email: email@example.com