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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 21st Jan 2022, 1:50 pm   #1
stevie23
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Default Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

Hi. e have on the bench an Ultra 4 track 2 speed reel to reel. There is a problem with the mechanism in that play works but ffwd and rew dont. How many belts should these machines have? Do ffwd / rew work via the belts or idlers?
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Old 21st Jan 2022, 2:33 pm   #2
DMcMahon
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

A model number would help to be sure looking at correct Ultra machine.

David
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Old 21st Jan 2022, 2:46 pm   #3
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

Probably similar to this Marconi/Ferguson example I purchased in 1967. The Ultra is identical other than the case.
Excellent units! From memory the only belt employed is for the counter.
I think you will discover that the fault is caused by hardened grease on the reel tables and FF/RR mechanical mechanism. John.
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Old 21st Jan 2022, 5:20 pm   #4
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

Hello John,

The photo in your post is of a four track three speed Thorn deck (DC43), the OP says theirs is a 4 track, two speed, so likely to be a DB42 deck, which is rather different.

The DB42 has two belts: one for the tape counter and one for the take up spool drive.

Having said that, the cause of no FFWD or REWIND is likely to be dried out grease on the two swivel arm bearings that move the two spool carriers slightly between play, ffwd and rewind modes.

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Old 21st Jan 2022, 6:15 pm   #5
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

Thanks for that info Dazz. So many variations with these Thorn recorders. I have a few examples including a couple of Ultra models with the smaller deck. I have been playing some tapes on mine, 1960's Top of the Pops recorded from a Decca radiogram on FM. Quality is still incredibly crisp and clean. Best domestic machines ever! John.
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Old 21st Jan 2022, 6:21 pm   #6
dazzlevision
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

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Originally Posted by Heatercathodeshort View Post
Thanks for that info Dazz. So many variations with these Thorn recorders. I have a few examples including a couple of Ultra models with the smaller deck. I have been playing some tapes on mine, 1960's Top of the Pops recorded from a Decca radiogram on FM. Quality is still incredibly crisp and clean. Best domestic machines ever! John.
Hello John,

Yes, I agree, these Thorn Tape recorders were very good domestic machines and they have survived the test of time.

I still have tapes recorded on my Ferguson 3230 (DC43 deck) machine in the mid-late 1960s, including one where I am rotating the VHF turret tuner on the family Thorn 850 convertible TV during a (summer) Sporadic E opening, with all the co-channel interference chaos that caused to the reception of BBC1 TV on channels 2 to 5! IIRC, European Band 1 transmitters didn't use channel 1.
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Old 21st Jan 2022, 10:58 pm   #7
DMcMahon
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

Stevie, the Thorn DB42 Tape Deck Service information is available as a purchasable download from the Instant Downloads link at top right of screen.

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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 3:58 pm   #8
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

Yes, I figured it. Hardened grease on the aluminium bushes below the reel tables. Application of a heat gun and a liberal helping of oil did the trick!! Now they work fine. Thanks for the suggestions. The model is marked at a 6212.
I guess this can now be closed.
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 7:08 pm   #9
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

The BRC service manual shows the Ultra 6212 to be basically the same as the Ferguson 3230 which uses the DC43 tape deck, this is 3 speed which differs from your 2 speed description ?

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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 9:34 pm   #10
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

The Ultra 6212 is a three speed deck, so must use the DC43 deck. I actually have an Ultra 6212 and it definitely is a three speed DC43 deck machine with fixed turntables.
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Old 25th Jan 2022, 12:28 pm   #11
stevie23
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

Yeah its not a 6212 its a 6208. See picture.

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Old 25th Jan 2022, 1:52 pm   #12
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

BRC Service manual for this 4 track 2 speed 6208 model also covers the HMV 2210.

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Old 25th Jan 2022, 3:00 pm   #13
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

I can't believe there are so many variants of the Thorn tape recorders. I dug this one out a few minutes ago. It's a Ferguson 3218 two speed four track. It has not been turned on for 20 years plus and worked fault free. It's looks identical to the Ultra even down to the red lid interior. These robust tape recorders have survived very well. John
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Old 26th Jan 2022, 10:24 am   #14
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

The Ferguson service manual for the 3218 calls it the "Portable" model (it has a carrying handle), the manual also covers the very similar "Furniture Style" Ferguson 3222.

The 3218, 3222 and the Ultra 6208 all use the Thorn DB42 tape deck chassis.

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Old 26th Jan 2022, 11:42 am   #15
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

Help! They are attacking me! Another slightly earlier version the ULTRA 6202.
These Thorn recorders certainly had style. There is another very smart Ultra lurking on a shelf just out of reach. That will probably be the last post! John.
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Old 26th Jan 2022, 1:40 pm   #16
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

Looks good and nice condition.

Basically the same as the Ferguson 3204.

David
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Old 26th Jan 2022, 2:12 pm   #17
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

I had the 3224 version in the late 60's and it was a very nice, sturdy machine with good quality audio. My schoolmate Pete had one as well and he retired it after about 10 years. He later brought it to me as it had the usual 'solid grease' problems and seized swivel bearings. A good de-grease and clean out followed by a re-lube sorted it. Those Thorn decks are superb.
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Old 26th Jan 2022, 3:47 pm   #18
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

Another Ultra! This time a 6214 with Perspex top and real wood Teak front. Talk about stylish! Single speed two track.
This one like the others not including the Marconi that I purchased new, came off the tip. This Ultra still has it's EMI tape supplied new with the recorder. Probably very little used.
The tape has what appears to be an early recording of LBC's morning programme.
Thanks Stevie for stimulating a chat on Thorn tape recorders. Sorry I've highjacked your thread. The remainder are hiding. [but I did find a clean Elizabethan Princess with a very odd deck...]Regards, John.
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Old 26th Jan 2022, 4:00 pm   #19
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Default Re: Ultra tape recorder ffw rew problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heatercathodeshort View Post
Another Ultra! This time a 6214 with Perspex top and real wood Teak front. Talk about stylish! Single speed two track.
Regards, John.
This is the exact same model of the three I am repairing at work. One is like this, the others are similar variants in one way or another. Ridiculous !

Yep, I, also think it can now be closed. x
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