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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 26th May 2024, 3:51 am   #1
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
Posts: 114
Default Sony tc500 - obvious motor fault missed

I have long wanted a stereo r2r, and a Sony tc500 was local at a very reaasonable £40.

2 heads & 1 motor, so not exactly pro. Quality, but it claims 12khz , well above my post-rave hearing, and it is a heafty-engineered bit of kit.

However, it's speed was erratic; slowing down. I dismissed it as beyond repair, blaming worn rubbers, or a clutch turned to goo in the drive.

Fortunately, I work in the power industry; and after establishing what type of motor was used, it was swiftly put to me that a failed motor run capacitor would be an easy attempted fix for a hysteresis motor.

The machine was built with a split 1.5mF/0.5mF component for 50 vs 60Hz mains (neat speed solution I assume!) So a £3 2mF component from the hoover/washing machine spares shop on the corner effected the necessary repair.

I appreciate this is probably an obvious fault, but it's one I would never have seen; nor without colleagues whose day job is (much bigger) synchronous devices, I would never have seen, so I post to share their knowledge.

Speed now constant and playback is good, but distortion on left track record. Suspect a coupling condenser somewhere in the signal path. Nearly there!

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Old 27th May 2024, 2:55 am   #2
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 1,998
Default Re: Sony tc500 - obvious motor fault missed

A weak motor capacitor is a common problem and as you say easy to fix.

It was a nice featured early stereo machine but highly dependent on rubber parts which tend over the years to go hard. Also the capstan shaft bearing can wear badly, causing erratic tape speed. Sony improved the bearing design in later models.

I'd check record/play tape speed remains stable right to the end of the tape reel, where take up tension is weakest and back tension greatest.

Last edited by TIMTAPE; 27th May 2024 at 3:01 am.
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