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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 16th May 2021, 3:15 pm   #1
Redjazz
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Default Ferguson 3246 Tape Recorder

I recently acquired a Ferguson 3246 tape recorder, in quite a bad state. Iíve cleared most of its many problems but have discovered that it wonít record. Playback, though, is absolutely fine. Any useful suggestions/stock faults?
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Old 16th May 2021, 3:56 pm   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Ferguson 3246 Tape Recorder

Clean all the switch contacts with Servisol or something similar. Then go back and clean them again
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Old 16th May 2021, 9:23 pm   #3
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Default Re: Ferguson 3246 Tape Recorder

Thanks for that. I have already cleaned the switches several times, with Servisol. However, I forgot to say in my original post that, when the recorder is switched on, and with no keys depressed, the needle in the level meter shoots up to maximum. When the recorder is switched off, the same indicator slowly returns to normal.

When I depress the record key and touch the input socket with my finger, there is no sound whatsoever.
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Old 18th May 2021, 3:41 pm   #4
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Default Re: Ferguson 3246 Tape Recorder

I have no experience of the 3246 or any Ferguson so can only comment generally.

Unless someone can advise of a known/common fault for this, then the only practical way to investigate the VU meter issue would be to monitor the VU meter drive circuitry with a volt meter or scope to trace the fault (depending upon your relevant experience this may not be easy).

To do this means opening up the machine and there would be live mains voltage present so should only be done if you are competent and can do it safely.

The schematic for the 3246 can be purchased as an Instant Download from the top right corner of the Forum page.

I would start with the VU meter driver transistor VT6, voltages are shown on the schematic for normal conditions, so would expect to see a much larger DC voltage on the emitter of VT6 for your fault.

I have had identical type symptoms on 2 different machines where the VU meter goes hard over on power up and stays there until machine powered down. On one machine it was a bad electrolytic capacitor on the other a bad transistor. Although this fault on its own should not affect the actual record signal, i.e. like your no sound.

I see the 3246 has Automatic Record Level Control (ARLC). It would be interesting to know if the VU symptom exists when the ARLC is switched from Automatic to Manual. With the machine not in Record mode and no input signal then the ARLC circuitry should not have any effect but just wondering if there was a fault condition.

David
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Old 18th May 2021, 5:23 pm   #5
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Default Re: Ferguson 3246 Tape Recorder

This is the Thorn DD410 deck. In my Marconiphone variant I have the following: AUDIO CRACKLES AND CUTS OUT AFTER 10 MINS OR LESS:
VT3 (BC114) PRE AMP TRANSISTOR INTERMITTENT INTERNALLY USED BC548 (NPN) IN LIEU.

I suspect these transistors, like the lockfits are showing their age. Trace out the circuit in the recording preamp and associated circuitry, and you're sure to find a few suspects
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Old 19th May 2021, 11:06 am   #6
DMcMahon
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Default Re: Ferguson 3246 Tape Recorder

Unhelpfully the BRC Service Manual for the 3246 does not list/show the transistor types, other than by saying that for VT2 & VT4 BC109 is suitable & BC107 is suitable for VT5.

David
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Old 19th May 2021, 9:31 pm   #7
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Default Re: Ferguson 3246 Tape Recorder

Thanks very much for your information. The overloaded level indicator suddenly seems to be working OK, after me switching S2 backwards and forwards! As regards the no sound on “record”, I think I need to take your advice and sit down and methodically check each stage, with a signal generator and a scope. I have the circuit diagram from above and will carefully study the record operation, to see if I can sort the problem. As has been said, the circuit notes are not very helpful with regard to the types of transistors used, etc. I’ll post, with my findings, if any!

Regards, Mick.
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Old 31st May 2021, 10:24 am   #8
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Default Re: Ferguson 3246 Tape Recorder

The little tape recorder is now fixed! This machine was in my shed for years and I’m not even sure now where it originally came from (possibly a car boot sale!). My first problem with it was that the pinch wheel was completely seized up and took ages to free and then clean up. The tape transport also need attention, being affected by a small amount of rust. I cleared all that and found that, although it played satisfactorily, it wouldn’t record. After previous discussion on this forum, I really got into studying the record operation, etc., and discovered quite quickly that someone had previously had it apart and put it back together with the record/play switch on the pcb jammed in the play position! I sorted that and the machine worked reasonably well, so I continued working on it. The brake pads had hardened and were completely useless, so I had to make a pair of replacements (from the rubber sealing ring of a Kilner jar!). The counter drive belt had broken and I had to get a replacement. I cleaned all its switches, which was very much needed, but the volume control was beyond saving, so I had to replace that. All in all it was very satisfying and worthwhile and I now have a decent and useable little 1970s tape recorder
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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 9:46 pm   #9
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Default Re: Ferguson 3246 Tape Recorder

Well done, perseverance brings rewards in these cases! Another one saved
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