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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 2nd Sep 2017, 7:32 pm   #1
Beatlebacker
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Default Ferguson 3224 reel-to-reel recorder - help needed

Hi all,

I've 'inherited' a Ferguson 3224 type R2R recorder which pretty much needs a full strip-down and service but I require some guidance on how to go about it. Any assistance gratefully received no matter how little it might be; issues as follows:

Powers up and plays, albeit with a warble most of the time.
playback obviously works therefore but f/forward & rewind don't, pause I'm not sure about.
Record not yet tested.

I'd like to know how to get into it to service the mechanical side of things, the head cleaning, lub'ing and the suchlike doesn't pose a problem. Any set-up / adjustment advice might be profitable if any is required.

Thanks for reading

ATB,
Steve (aka Beatlebacker)
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 12:30 am   #2
Andrew2
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Default Re: Ferguson 3224 reel-to-reel recorder - help needed

The deck on these machines is well-engineered and a decent performer, but as usual there are problems with rubbers and bearings. The main offenders for FF/REW are the sliding bushes which carry the reel tables. They are meant to move in and out so that the tables touch the idler to provide drive, but after years of disuse they seize up. They need to be removed and cleaned of the old congealed grease and re-lubed.

The deck is fairly simple and comes apart in layers. Describing the process would take longer than actually doing it. A good look at how it is all arranged, along with photos and notes if necessary before tackling it might be a good idea.

Pay particular attention to bearings, bushes and any rubber items.
Initial access is by removing the head cover and the screws visible from above. The plastic cover should then lift off. Then the deck itself can be lifted out after the removal of the four screws at the sides. Much of the work can be done with the deck in situ, but the reel table assemblies need attention from below IIRC.
These are a good solid recorder. I had one when I were a lad from 1968 to the mid 80's. My old schoolmate kept his for yonks and when he got it down from the attic it had the same problems as yours. A few hours stripping and re-lubing got it as good as new, although the counter belt had turned to goo. Good luck, the 3224 is a good recorder.
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 11:52 am   #3
stubbyeddy
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Default Re: Ferguson 3224 reel-to-reel recorder - help needed

Hi Steve

Can't really add to what Andy has said, it's pretty much dried up grease that seizes these decks up, I have stripped 5 of these things in the past so know my way around pretty well.. problem being as Andy said, to describe this process would take longer than doing it! However if your ever get out my way up in mid Wales I'd be happy to do it for you for nothing, I even have a scrap deck for spares if need be. Once working these are good little recorders!
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 2:10 pm   #4
Beatlebacker
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Default Re: Ferguson 3224 reel-to-reel recorder - help needed

Andrew2 - Thanks for the info and as you say, photos are always a good idea Slow and steady I think is the way to go not having seen one before never mind stripped one! I shall update with any positive news as and when it happens - thanks again.
Steve
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 2:14 pm   #5
Beatlebacker
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Default Re: Ferguson 3224 reel-to-reel recorder - help needed

Hi Stubbyeddy - Thanks for the offer of a freebie repair but it would be at least the going mates-rate (a case of beers) and I'd be hands-on with you as it's the only way to learn ... and I may well take you up on it if I run into any issues. Watch this space
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