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

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Old 11th Oct 2020, 6:14 pm   #1
cdm1christopher
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Default Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder WVA series 5

Hi All
Just got a lovely vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5. Great condition. Does anyone have a schematic for it and user manual. Want to change out the main electrolytics plus oil grease up where needed.
Any info much appreciated.
Already checked schematic page nothing listed.

Willing to pay if you have original booklets etc. Can pm details.

Cheers Chris
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Old 11th Oct 2020, 6:43 pm   #2
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

Maybe not that helpful but a Series 4 schematic in this link.

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...5&d=1162763476

David
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Old 11th Oct 2020, 6:57 pm   #3
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

Cheers David when I open her up see if there's any similarities.
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Old 11th Oct 2020, 7:17 pm   #4
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

As far as oil and grease it will be the same as a Ferrograph of similar vintage, the deck is the same.
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Old 11th Oct 2020, 7:28 pm   #5
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

Okay cheers I'll have a look.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 7:57 am   #6
BillDWVA
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

The WVA Series 5 has a different valve line-up to the Series 4; Rectifier is an EZ81 and the bias and erase oscillator has a push-pull arrangement using an ECC85.

WVA 5 Manual is here but is missing the full circuit diagram..

https://app.box.com/s/qm6xujnk82ksb3cfuv87q68xtged0a3n

The amplifier circuits are similar to one half of the stereo CBL 5 and a copy of that circuit is here..

https://app.box.com/s/f3deatxpp65x3uzr2u2orp0meul2gl9c

Hope this helps,
Bill

Last edited by BillDWVA; 21st Oct 2020 at 8:04 am.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 10:45 am   #7
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

Nice one Bill the CBL is an exact match using the ez81 12bh7 el34 and the ef86 valves super. Resistor and cap values also spot on.
I had several schematics but all used different rectifiers and output valve etc. But she's had total recap all showing signs of bubbling. Changed out the switch cap the blue one complete meltdown that one and the 500r had been overheating. It still fascinates me that caps are breaking down but you can still get a spot on reading.
Death caps replaced also.
Few grease points done just a very small dab was all it needed. The capstan not sure if shaft on that needs oiling?
Had her running all day on Monday everything working like new. Idlers working spot on all switches etc.
I did read that if using external speaker the phono jack needs 15r in series is that correct on this version. Only ask as the jack mount showed signs of heat so I'd assume a speaker was just plugged in no thought given to impedance matching.
It also says the heads bias is 10v now I'm assuming that would be - 10v not +.
Bit confusing on biasing not got a figure for the actual amp. I'd assume around - 15 to 20v? Think it's only 3.5 watt. Also the bias dial can you use that with the meter to set bias? But I think there is a variable resistor on the bias line. I'll try and print that circuit off.
Amazingly I only needed to change 2 lengths of wire due to hardening up. Rest is fine all tested with my shallcross.
Another thing the heads need demagnetizing which I have a defluxer to cover that.
But why on earth put a speaker with a large magnet on it directly beneath the heads? Work that one out. I can't. I think also an inherent problem with these is the meter glass coming loose. Now that's a ****** as it seems the actual dial despite removing the nuts to pull the unit out won't budge. So had to resort to double sided sticky tape lift then gently squeeze in some glue and secure that way. The brass screw on the front of meter is just for setting it to zero thought that would undo so could remove glass nope. So they must have glued the unit in.
The heads look okay I'll post some pics show how she's cleaned up.
Cheers Bill I'll try and print that of.
Chris
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 5:30 pm   #8
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

Ah got that wrong had good look through schematic some similarites some not but still very helpful.
Post some pics. Do the heads look okay or does anyone think they need re doing or replacing.
I tested voltage across 500r got 323v drops to 300v so 23v drop seems about right. I think that's supposed to be around the 300 mark on that resistor.
Check everything else tomorrow just difficult getting it all ended up for checking voltages. Blocks of wood I think.
Anyhow some pics attached.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 5:32 pm   #9
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

Couple more
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 8:16 pm   #10
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

The heads and whole tape path area look amazingly clean, good job done !

David
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 8:30 pm   #11
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

Thanks i found the manual now that is helpful as I would not have had a clue how to use it. Brilliant.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 8:35 pm   #12
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

Hi Chris, Great to hear that you are getting on OK with the WVA, looks to be in great condition.

You have probably caught all the capacitors that give trouble; changing the power supply smoothing cans is a good idea as well as the coupler in the anode circuit of the EL84 that feeds signal to the head when in ‘record’. Generally the makers used good quality components but any caps made by ‘Hunts’ come under the ‘replace on sight’ category when servicing these decks.

You will only need to use resistors in the speaker jack if you want to drive a high-impedance amplifier input from it as that is the only output socket on the WVA. The manual gives details of the attenuation resistor values needed.

Vortexion used to give bias values based on the reading on the meter with the meter switch set to ‘bias’. The recommended values for different tapes and speeds was written on the label screwed to the inside of the lid. The bias value will be in the region of 150 to 200 as indicated on the meter. The units on the meter are just relative to the setting and audio performance for a particular tape. The manual goes into a bit of detail about the bias setting but as one can’t do off tape monitoring during recording on the WVA you have to find the optimal value by repeat testing for a particular tape. The voltage value that may be written on a label under the deck will have been put there by the makers of the heads, Ferrograph.

The signal meter should come out after undoing the four holding nuts under the top plate and it all comes apart to re-glue the glass by removing tiny countersunk screws that hold bezel to meter body. Loose glass is quite common especially if the machine has been stored somewhere damp.

Most of the wiring on these sets is pretty long-lived but I have had trouble with the rubber insulation on the mains transformer tails hardening and falling apart. Unlike the Ferrograph, which has a hinged deck, the Vortexion can be a pain to work on unless one can find a way of holding the deck up without straining the connections to the deck tag strips. I made a simple wooden bracket to clamp to the deck and case to hold it open at ninety degrees so I can delve inside.

The capstan shaft runs in bearing races and I would only try taking it apart to re-grease them if there is any ‘rumbling’ or stiffness - the capstan should take well over a minute to come to rest when stopping from 7.5 i.p.s.
A small drop of oil can be applied to the reel motor bushes, the idler wheel bushes and the pinch roller shaft.

Bill
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 9:06 pm   #13
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

Thanks Bill good to know. Yeah that rubber wire they use is horrendous stuff def prone to go brittle although on this one all is fine and I checked all wires via my shallcross just to make sure no breaks, shorts or low inductance in the wires. Only two needed changing one next to rectifier well it was basically touching it gone brittle and exposed wire the blue cap completely melted put 1.5kv in there. Had to change out a couple resistors gone way high and the 500r had overheated at some stage. So been lucky really in vgc.
Funny enough I have a couple pieces timber to do what you mentioned. The capstan wheel takes about 30 to 40 seconds to completely stop at 7 1/2. Noticed on base of fans there are felt pads do they need oiling. Not sure why there there.
She was bit noisy on the meter that spins but thats all settled in now nice and quiet.
So just want to check the HT and heaters then read instructions and get a tape running. Did not also realise that the dummy head can have a stereo unit in there might get one as you have the left and right stereo outputs on the side on the unit. Sure there's some around. Got plenty of gear to hook it upto.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 9:56 pm   #14
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdm1christopher View Post
Couple more
From that distance the R/P head face looks clean and OK but very hard to tell with any accuracy. To really inspect it, it probably needs removing or at least removing of the pressure pad arm and a macro photo taken of the face so the fine head gap is visible. Just taking a useable photo for examination can be tricky.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 6:28 am   #15
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

I'll try that I'm not intending to remove the actual heads as it upsets all the settings from what I've read and don't want to have to thumble through trying to re set it all. The arms are easily removable so I'll take some pics that way. If they need re doing I'll get them done. I intend on keeping it. Just need a descent Mic.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 10:41 am   #16
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

Best pics I can get of the heads. Voltages seem okay so thats a bonus. One of heads looks like something on it prob bit dust.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 3:14 pm   #17
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

Well nothing wrong with the heads got a demo tape on and the sound is pretty darn amazing. Highly impressed with it. Thought it would sound crap to be honest. Only thing heaters are only running at 3.6v instead of the 6.3v? And bias dial not working properly not able to set it at 150 dial will only run it up to 100. So need to look at why heaters low and bias not working properly on meter scale.
But as said above no crackles hum nothing crystal clear. Just listened to Road Harris �
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 3:19 pm   #18
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdm1christopher View Post
Well nothing wrong with the heads got a demo tape on and the sound is pretty darn amazing. Highly impressed with it. Thought it would sound crap to be honest. Only thing heaters are only running at 3.6v instead of the 6.3v?
Centre tap heater supply?

Lawrence.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 3:36 pm   #19
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

Yes, the circuit diagram shows it to be though it is far from clear.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 3:39 pm   #20
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel tape recorder Wva series 5 schematic

Yes, just looked at the book of words and it says centre tapped heater supply.

Lawrence.
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