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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 28th Apr 2019, 3:15 pm   #1
placemat
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Default Philips Reel to Reel help!!

Hello all! I've just been given a Philips reel to reel machine and I think the belt has gone as the spools are not moving when in 'Play' mode and they just spin freely when moved by hand. The thing is that I can't find a model number on it anywhere so that I can locate a drive belt. Does anyone know this model and if so can you help?!
Many thanks, Steve.
P.S. I've attached an image.
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Old 28th Apr 2019, 3:21 pm   #2
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

I would start by taking the deck plate off and cleaning all the belt goo off the drive parts.
The clutches also turn to goo too if it is the type of deck I am thinking of.
The model number might be on the bottom plate.
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Old 28th Apr 2019, 3:34 pm   #3
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

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I would start by taking the deck plate off and cleaning all the belt goo off the drive parts.
Many thanks, I will. Is there a special cleaner for the 'goo' or do I use white spirits?
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Old 28th Apr 2019, 3:50 pm   #4
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

The goo is very messy stuff so you have to make sure all contaminated solvent gets soaked up.
If goo gets onto anything absorbent you will never get it out.
Waves of several different kinds of solvent will be needed to get it off.
If it has the rubber flap clutches in the spool hubs the goo will be serious in them.
There is several methods for making new clutch rubbers from rubber sheet or even "O" rings.
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Old 28th Apr 2019, 4:18 pm   #5
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

Thanks for the heads up. I'll have a look at it when I get a spare bit of time and hope that there's no goo on the clutch! If there is, then I might be asking for help with making a new one as you suggested.
Thanks again!
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Old 28th Apr 2019, 5:01 pm   #6
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

N3304
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Old 28th Apr 2019, 5:27 pm   #7
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

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N3304
Excellent! Many thanks!
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Old 28th Apr 2019, 6:58 pm   #8
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

Usually Philips hid the model number in the mains lead stowage compartment. Remove the cover and have a look in there. There were a number of very similar-looking models. I think the deck was fairly standard so a set of belts shouldn't be too much trouble to find.

The belts decompose into a sticky gooey mess. Wear gloves or you'll spend ages getting the residue off your hands. If you get the gooey mess on your clothes....don't bother to try and clean it off! Surgical spirit or Acetone is best for cleaning it off the metalwork and pulleys in the recorder.
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Old 28th Apr 2019, 7:17 pm   #9
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

Thank you Sideband! I'll do that.
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Old 28th Apr 2019, 7:41 pm   #10
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

I have a similar machine, and I seem to remember the main problem was just the rubber tyre round a motor or idler pulley (long time ago now...) but a large O-ring was all that was needed.

Methylated spirits is pretty good for removing 'goo', but as has been said, keep plenty of clean rags to hand and don't touch the stuff. It has a tendency to transfer itself onto adjacent clean surfaces, where it sticks like... goo!
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Old 28th Apr 2019, 7:59 pm   #11
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

Thanks Phil, good advice. I'll have some spare time in the next few days to open it up and have a look. I'll post updates when I do.
Again, I appreciate everyone's help.
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Old 28th Apr 2019, 8:20 pm   #12
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

I was de-gooing a Philips N4407 last week.
I tried IPA Isopropyl Alcohol and Methylated spirits, the latter was better

I did not try Acetone.

As others have said the Goo gets everywhere, hands, tools, anything you touch after working on it, light switches, doors...

Best not to start by trying to wipe the stuff off, it just spreads.
I would recommend scraping the stuff off with a screwdriver or spatula first, then wiping whats left with solvent doused tissue. Then dispose of the tissue and start again with a new one..

Best to use have lots of tissues to hand to wipe the stuff off your tools as you go, and a plastic bag to drop the tissues into.

I read that this degeneration of the rubber was due to inadequate curing of the rubber during manufacture.
Would be very interesting if anyone knows how long it took before Philips discovered the problem and how they reacted. Judging by the number of machines which have this problem, it probably took several years to discover it. Maybe they had long stopped producing these models by that time.
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Old 28th Apr 2019, 8:42 pm   #13
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

Methylated spirits it is then. I will also scrape the goo first.
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Old 28th Apr 2019, 9:36 pm   #14
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

Yes second thoughts, Acetone can destroy certain plastic parts so you have to be very careful with it. IPA or meths are quite safe on the plastics.
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Old 28th Apr 2019, 10:18 pm   #15
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

Forget all those nasty strong solvents that are going to damage the finish if they get in the wrong place, and they just tend to make it stickier and spread it around more.
I have found Swarfega easily removes the black rubber which has turned to goo.
I did not believe it either when I first heard this, but it works a treat.
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 12:02 am   #16
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

I still have the under-deck goo to remove from the 4407, I am intrigued to try the Swarfega...
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 12:19 pm   #17
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

Another contender is ordinary Kitchen degreaser, can't remember if I've tried it myself (as I have a dispenser with methylated spirits close at hand so it tends to be my go-to solvent), but apparently it does wonders when it comes to lifting the goo of all sort of surfaces.
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 4:06 pm   #18
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

I'm not too surprised that Swarfega and de-greasers work as the goo will effectively be an organic tarry substance. In theory neat washing up liquid and a strong solution of soda crystals should work too but I've not had the need to experiment as yet.

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Old 29th Apr 2019, 6:35 pm   #19
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

Baby wipes are very handy to have close by just in case. They also clean the deck nicely and won't upset the plastic.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 10:35 am   #20
placemat
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Default Re: Philips Reel to Reel help!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by crackle View Post
I have found Swarfega easily removes the black rubber which has turned to goo.
I did not believe it either when I first heard this, but it works a treat.
Thanks for this! I'll get some and try it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Welsh Anorak View Post
Baby wipes are very handy to have close by just in case. They also clean the deck nicely and won't upset the plastic.
Good plan, I've got loads of those!!

I managed to open the unit today. The belt has indeed collapsed and is all 'gooey'! I will take on the advice and try and clean it up. I'm not sure how to get the spindle things off that the reels sit on as the belt is lying underneath. If anyone knows how these come off, I would appreciate the extra advice!
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