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Old 28th Oct 2018, 2:26 pm   #1
Tim
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Default Dansette Dilemma

Hi all.


I am restoring a Dansette Major for my daughter to play her small but steadily growing vinyl collection.
Cosmetically the condition is quite good, all the electronics seem to work and there is a noise when I scratch the stylus with my finger.
I have a circuit diagram( such as it is) and electronically everything seems to check out.
HT is at about 236 volts, expected levels of hum, and there is about 4 volts across the 100 ohm(106 ohms) cathode resistor indicating the EL84 is drawing the right sort of anode current.


The dilemma is this. Do I replace everything, rectifier the two resistors( I counted them twice!) HT caps etc. for the sake of reliability OR, leave it as it is-seeing as everything seems to be working fine) and fix it if it goes wrong?


I think the cartridge has been replaced, as it is not the original TC8 and I would like to fit a 3 core flex. And lubricate the deck obviously.
I would also like to fit some plastic feet so the machine can be stored on it's side when not in use. Not authentic I know, but they are intended to prevent any further damage to case or fitments.
Full "success story"-although I fear it will be a boring one- in due course.


Opinions please!
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Old 28th Oct 2018, 3:20 pm   #2
Edward Huggins
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

Well, if it's working OK why not just leave it as it is. More importantly what type of replacement cartridge is now fitted? Ideally it should be a high-output, stereo-compatible type. This will be essential if you Daughter is to play "modern" Stereo LPs. A photo would help as there were various versions of the "Major". You can add a 3 core lead as the chassis is mains isolated, but be careful not to create an earth loop. Plastic domed or felt feet can easily be added.
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Old 28th Oct 2018, 3:46 pm   #3
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

If it has a grid coupling or grid coupling capacitor/s I'd replace these to give peace of mend. Failure here can destroy other components.

Then I'd use it and see what else, if anything, fails.
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Old 28th Oct 2018, 4:41 pm   #4
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

Depending on what record deck it has, storing it on its side can cause the rubber turntable mat, if it has one to sag.
I would replace the tone control capacitor if it is a paper type, as failure of this could take out the output transformer and tone control.
Also the fixed tone corrector between the anode and cathode as that could also take out the OP transformer if it went short circuit or badly leaky.

Mike
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Old 28th Oct 2018, 6:31 pm   #5
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

Hi. Thanks for all the comments. There is no grid coupling cap, and the tone capacitor is in series with the tone control, all across the primary of the o/p transformer. I had actually forgotten about that. It’s a Hunts moldseal so maybe I will replace that one.
As for the cartridge, I have owned this player for a number of years and ISTR the volume is adequate. I’ll try and get some photos of the cartridge though, as I will need to identify it to be able to obtain styli. I think it is one of the flip over types.
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Old 28th Oct 2018, 7:46 pm   #6
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

The Dansette Major uses a single EL84, the only capacitors are the two HT, ones, the cathode bias (All three in one can) and the tone control capacitor. I've had problems with the multi capacitor so I would replace that, together with the 0.047 cap in series with the tone control.

I've found the rectifier to be very reliable on these so no need to replace.

The deck will require a strip, clean and re-lube.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 11:26 pm   #7
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Default Dansette cartridge etc.

I have established it has a GP91 1SC cartridge fitted.
It seems fine, as it produces a healthy scratching sound in the speaker and although I haven't played the machine for some time , I do remember the output was adequate.
I understand this is a stereo compatible cartridge, so should be OK for playing "modern" stereo records.
I have some digital kitchen scales with resolution to 1 gram that should be OK to check the tracking weight etc.


Where would you folks recommend to get a suitable stylus(or two) as I want to get this working for my daughter to use.

Thanks
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Last edited by Station X; 17th Jul 2019 at 11:35 pm. Reason: Threads merged.
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Old 18th Jul 2019, 12:14 am   #8
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

https://www.thestyluslady.co.uk/styl...91sc-252-p.asp - Tracy is very reliable in my experience.
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Old 18th Jul 2019, 12:43 am   #9
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

Thanks Roj
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 11:19 pm   #10
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

The Dansette electronics are now done, with the Hunts moldseal capacitor and the EL84 cathode resistor replaced. Hardly noticeable levels of hum, so I guess the HT caps are OK. HT DC current draw about 700 microamps with valve removed.
Tone control was open circuit between one end and wiper, and had risen in value from 25K to 1,7Meg!
Fortunately I had an exact replacement in my pot stash- which probably came from the same scrap chassis that provided the replacement mains transformer- so had been hibernating for about 35 years!

I took great delight in watching my 21 year old daughter marvel at the autochanger working. New stylus fitted and volume IS adequate!

Well, mostly working anyway, after a going over with carefully applied sewing machine oil and grease to relevant parts.
Everything seems fine except the UA14 autochanger mechanism doesn't always drop the record( but the arm still travels across as though it has and would nosedive the stylus if I hadn't managed to catch it). If the records are moved slightly on the "stalk" then they will drop, but ALL drop at once. The deck plays and completes all other actions normally.

Any ideas please, as I would like to get it working properly so daughter can play a stack of records as originally intended.
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Old 5th Sep 2019, 6:56 am   #11
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

Ae you quite sure the centre spindle has not been rotated away fom its optimal location?

I would gently twist it a small amount to see if it can "re-find" it's correct location.

BTW - I'm glad (yet rather surprised) you are getting a healthy sound output, not withstanding the fact that you are using just a medium-output cartridge.
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Old 5th Sep 2019, 8:08 am   #12
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

I once had a BSR deck that did this. IIRC (it was about 40 years ago) it was the moving part of the spindle which was suffering from the 'congealed grease' problem. Once I'd heated it up and let the grease run out, washed it out with switch cleaner and added a drop of sewing machine oil it worked a treat.
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Old 5th Sep 2019, 8:15 am   #13
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

As well as the spindle that Andy discusses also check the holes in the records for any damage or wear.
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Old 5th Sep 2019, 8:54 am   #14
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

Thanks Andy. I’ll try to look at that. I’m off work at the moment ( in the middle of treatment for kidney stones) so hopefully, wife permitting, I’ll be able to have a look at it.

Thanks Frank, I did check the records, as it lists worn holes as a possible cause of this problem in the manufacturers trouble shooting guide. She only has a dozen or so records at the moment( mine are all under everything in the loft so can’t get to them easily) but it does it with all of them in any order.
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Old 5th Sep 2019, 7:08 pm   #15
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

Iíve had this problem and it was caused (as Edward described) by the spindle not seating correctly.
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Old 5th Sep 2019, 8:12 pm   #16
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

The wedge part up the side of the spindle that moves to drop the record has a noticeable spring tension. Is this normal?
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Old 6th Sep 2019, 1:11 am   #17
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim View Post
The wedge part up the side of the spindle that moves to drop the record has a noticeable spring tension. Is this normal?

Yes.


I've also had the main smoothing block fail, usually some time after I've finished the job. I now replace them using three capacitors.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 8:11 pm   #18
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

Thanks everyone.
Hi John. How would I get the spindle out, or re-seat it? I’ll try heating and re-lubing as it seems to have worked on the rest of the deck
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 8:36 pm   #19
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

There is a small spring wire under the deck near where the spindle is located, you have to move that wire out slightly and then pull the spindle out, if it won't Budge then heat it up before pulling it up
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 10:12 pm   #20
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Default Re: Dansette Dilemma

If my memory is correct I did as Edward did and just wiggled it a bit, not very technical but it solved the problem for me. Hope you have success solving this problem.
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