UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > Specific Vintage Equipment > Vintage Tape (Audio), Cassette, Wire and Magnetic Disc Recorders and Players

Notices

Vintage Tape (Audio), Cassette, Wire and Magnetic Disc Recorders and Players Open-reel tape recorders, cassette recorders, 8-track players etc.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 29th Jun 2013, 2:37 pm   #1
SteveCG
Nonode
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 2,157
Default Philips EL 3541/15K tape recorder

A second hand shop purchase. It is a single speed 3 3/4 ips, 1/4 track mono, 7 inch diam spools, valved recorder, with a production date sticker of 52/62 (so last week in 1962?). The closest model I can find in my Radio and TV servicing books is the EL3515 (a 1/2 track) on p. 214 in the 60/61 edition.

It plays back, but forward wind and rewind are virtually non-existent. I can see that the 3 pads in each of the spool holders have decomposed. Can anybody tell me whether these pads were made of cork and also how high should they be?

The main belt seems to be in good condition. This is now the 3rd Philips machine from the 60s I've seen that still has a good main belt. I wonder why these are alright, but others of the similar era have fragmented? (I should say that the tape counter belt has fractured)

I've yet to do that vital check which is to take the bottom off to verify the state of the capacitors for leaks, electrical or otherwise.
SteveCG is offline  
Old 29th Jun 2013, 2:48 pm   #2
bobbyball
Moderator
 
bobbyball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Stockport, Greater Manchester
Posts: 1,097
Default Re: Philips EL 3541/15K tape recorder

I seem to remember the 3 "pads" were actually made of rubber. They should be positioned so they just clear the bottom of the reel table assembly when a winding function is not selected. I have the service manual for this mechanism "somewhere" and if I can find it I will have a look...

Robert
bobbyball is offline  
Old 29th Jun 2013, 2:57 pm   #3
Steve_P
Dekatron
 
Steve_P's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester, UK.
Posts: 6,615
Default Re: Philips EL 3541/15K tape recorder

The only difference is the track switching, so the EL3515 version, which is in fact rarer, will do just as well. If you do need the EL3541 version, it's available here....

http://www.service-data.com/product....40/6073/e14540

There are a few weaknesses on this machine and you have found one out already I see. You can get a kit from Ebay with all the relevant bits on it, and a full manual of what to do to bring this machine up to spec. It may seem expensive. but it's well worth it.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Philips-EL...item19dde84452

Note that I have no connection with the seller and this is purely provided as information.

Check that the Erase Head is not broken at the base. It does happen sometimes.

Cheres,

Steve P.
__________________
If we've always had it, why is the Car Boot open? You're not sneaking another Old TV in are you...?
Steve_P is offline  
Old 30th Jun 2013, 7:15 am   #4
ricard
Octode
 
ricard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Lund, Sweden
Posts: 1,336
Default Re: Philips EL 3541/15K tape recorder

The decomposed studs on the spool holders can be replaced by good quality cork to good effect. I bought a bag of wine corks from which I cut out pieces using a sharp knife. For the EL3541 (et al) I cut out octagonal shaped pieces just oversize so that the peaks of the octagon get compressed when pushed into the holes in the spool holders. Final adjustment of the height can be done with a file once the pieces are in situ. Takes longer than just putting replacement parts in but is of course much cheaper.

I agree it's amazing how well the rubber parts on these old Philips machines hold up, especially considering they did a 180 turn a couple of years later and started using rubber which turns to the notorious goo found in later 60's machines.

Occasionally I've found an EL3541 with a stretched belt, but I've then just cut away a couple of centimeters and glued it with superglue and it's ready to go again.
ricard is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2013, 10:09 am   #5
SteveCG
Nonode
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 2,157
Default Re: Philips EL 3541/15K tape recorder

Thanks for the info gents. I'll post the results when I get time to do the job!
SteveCG is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2013, 1:07 am   #6
radiotechnician
Pentode
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Powell River, British Columbia, Canada.
Posts: 207
Default Re: Philips EL 3541/15K tape recorder

The proper operation of the EL 3541 turntables involves the center rod of the take up and feed spindles. They hold the turntables raised slightly for play and record, where felt clutches furnish friction. On rewind and fast forward, a tapered end at the bottom drops the respective turntable down where the three vulcolan plugs engage the spinning drums. The whole adjustment is done with plastic washers. Here is a typical adjustment routine, however, approach with care as the adjustment may involves the bending of metal.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Philips EL3541 1.jpg
Views:	420
Size:	107.9 KB
ID:	81513  
__________________
Steve Dow
VE7ASO
radiotechnician is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2013, 8:11 pm   #7
ricard
Octode
 
ricard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Lund, Sweden
Posts: 1,336
Default Re: Philips EL 3541/15K tape recorder

I would think however that in an existing machine where the rubber plugs have gotten worn that it would not be necessary to re-set the height as it shouldn't have changed much.

The critical part of the adjustment is that there must be sufficient clearance when the clutches are disengaged, and at the same time the top half must not drop too much when engaged so that the reel height does not change appreciably.
ricard is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2013, 12:28 pm   #8
SteveCG
Nonode
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 2,157
Default Re: Philips EL 3541/15K tape recorder

Some interim results:

1) The capacitors look to be dirty yellow types of the sort I already have which are not leakers;
2) The clearance between the top of the pad holder and the spool carrier is greater on the supply spool than the take up spool;
3) The take up spool has a few of those plastic washers mentioned in Steve Dow's helpful attachment;
4) I replaced the pads - more as a trial than anthing else - with some 6.4 mm high material I would describe a 'silicone rubber'. This has a good grip.
5) I can now wind and rewind with no clutch slippage;
6) The Philips Crystal Mike that came with it is dead. This is the second one that I've had that is dead. The Rochelle Salt hygroscopic problem I suppose.
7) The record/replay head wear is greater across the lower part than the upper part. So I can expect better performance from track 3 - until the wear really shows itself.
8) Some old pre low-noise EMI, Philips and BASF tapes that came with it still seem in fine condition.

More still to do, including trying to make a recording. At least the magic eye is bright!

What other weaknesses are there I wonder? Certainly these earlier Philips machines seem to be worth looking out for.
SteveCG is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2013, 1:08 pm   #9
Steve_P
Dekatron
 
Steve_P's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester, UK.
Posts: 6,615
Default Re: Philips EL 3541/15K tape recorder

Which socket are you plugging the mike into? It goes into the one on the Right Hand Side, on the left of where you store the cable.

Before you condemn it, check the wiring or test the mike with something else. These mikes have a long cable and it can fail!

Clean (I am sure you have) and demagnetize the heads and all other metal in that area. You can get a head demagnetizer off Ebay or ask on here. Also, check the head alignment. Carefully in the case of the erase head!

Cheers,

Steve P.
__________________
If we've always had it, why is the Car Boot open? You're not sneaking another Old TV in are you...?
Steve_P is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2013, 1:48 pm   #10
ricard
Octode
 
ricard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Lund, Sweden
Posts: 1,336
Default Re: Philips EL 3541/15K tape recorder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_P View Post
... alignment. Carefully in the case of the erase head!
Is that because the plastic tends to crack or is there some other reason to be particularly careful with the erase head?
ricard is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2013, 5:51 pm   #11
Steve_P
Dekatron
 
Steve_P's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester, UK.
Posts: 6,615
Default Re: Philips EL 3541/15K tape recorder

The plastic tends to be brittle with age.

Cheers,

Steve P.
__________________
If we've always had it, why is the Car Boot open? You're not sneaking another Old TV in are you...?
Steve_P is offline  
Old 2nd Aug 2014, 8:14 pm   #12
retroteck
Tetrode
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 53
Default Re: Philips EL 3541/15K tape recorder

Hi All
I've just finished restoring an ST455, the Stella equivalent of the Philips EL3542 which shares a similar drop-down spool carrier arrangement for tape winding as the EL3541.
For repairing worn out spooling pads, having completely removed the old pad material, (cork in the case of the EL3542 or silicone in the EL3541), I replaced them with 8mm diameter cork balls available from:

http://www.just-cork.co.uk/

This cuts out the time consuming hassle of making random pieces of cork fit.
They are cheap at 1.66 for a pack of ten (although the postage is twice this),
are a good push fit and can be mounted in seconds.
I gently filed a small amount from the tops of the balls so they protrude about 1mm above the surface of the circular metal mounting apertures keeping the surfaces flat.
It shouldn't be necessary to alter the clutch disc height on either side provided all the spacing washers are refitted as original.
These balls produce the right amount of friction and are holding up well.
Fast forward and rewind is now excellent.

Rod
retroteck is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2016, 8:58 pm   #13
deedawales
Diode
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mid Glamorgan, Wales, UK.
Posts: 7
Default Re: Philips EL 3541/15K tape recorder

Hi Everyone, I'm a very infrequent visitor on here, mostly because I don't understand much of the technical stuff! However, I have acquired an EL 3541 that appears to do all it should but fast forward and rewind, which is very well covered on here, my only query regards the tape counter which is minus it's belt, so giving me no clue as to what drives it, is it one of the tape spools? thanks Terry
deedawales is offline  
Old 25th Feb 2016, 3:14 pm   #14
ricard
Octode
 
ricard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Lund, Sweden
Posts: 1,336
Default Re: Philips EL 3541/15K tape recorder

Yep, it's driven from the left spool, there should be a groove in the white plastic if I recall correctly where the belt would go.

(The two reel holders are identical so technically you could just as well drive it from the right hand one, although all Philips machines tended to have the counter operated from the left reel).
ricard is offline  
Old 14th Mar 2016, 10:45 pm   #15
deedawales
Diode
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mid Glamorgan, Wales, UK.
Posts: 7
Default Re: Philips EL 3541/15K tape recorder

A belated thankyou ricard for your helpful reply,
deedawales is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:36 am.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2019, Paul Stenning.