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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 12th Sep 2012, 8:18 pm   #1
keithinuk
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Default Honeytone

I popped to a weekday boot sale and picked up a portable reel to reel, it seems to work pretty well other than it's a little slow, maybe down to lack of use, or cheap batteries. It has one 9V battery for sound/record and two C's for the drive.

It's not the normal thing I collect, but as I have a good working Stella ST470, why not. It was cheap anyway and I don't think it's that old.

Any information on this one would be gratefully received.
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Old 12th Sep 2012, 8:58 pm   #2
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Default Re: Honeytone

If it says "your mission, Keith, should you decide to accept it, <etc>" switch it off fast !
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Old 12th Sep 2012, 9:59 pm   #3
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Default Re: Honeytone

Checking the internet there is one on eBay in Australia, same reported problem re tape transport if I read the sellers comment correctly. Maybe there is a worn or stretched belt or drive. I presume the batteries need to be high power zinc cells rather than alkaline or rechargables. There is also a variable speed control, maybe there is a resistance problem with that.
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Old 12th Sep 2012, 10:28 pm   #4
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Default Re: Honeytone

It depends if the recording was originally recorded on the machine. Looking closely at the picture there does not seem to be a capstan or pinch roller. The machine relies on the torque of the take up spool for tape transport. The tape speed will be continuously variable according to the amount of tape on the take up reel. This was common on cheap Japanese tape recorders from the '60s

Al
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 12:06 am   #5
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Default Re: Honeytone

It sounds like some 60's radio recording on it, it's a little slow and I have tried recording and playback, that works fine.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 12:00 pm   #6
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Default Re: Honeytone

keithinuk,

Your Honeytone machine was also branded under at least two other names, which I have the following in my collection: 1) Benkson & 2) Binatone. (see pics below)

The Binatone version, as does the Honeytone has a Speed control (just a rotary low ohmic, wirewound pot).

The machine's transport system is based on the Rim Drive principle, although the chassis on the Honeytone, Benkson & the Binatone is a more 'sophisticate' Rim Drive system than usual.

Note:
A basic Rim Drive system is based on the (single) motor shaft/s making contact with the outer rims of both spool platters (which have a rubber tyre around the outer perimeter). This system makes the running speed change throughout it's play/recording transportation (as the amount of tape on the Take-Up spool increases) and therefore, if you play a tape that's been recorded on a stable, constant speed machine (i.e: capstan drive), it will speed up from start to finish.

Anyway, back to the more 'sophisticated' versions.

The drive motor is mounted vertically (basic Rim Drive motors are usually mounted horizontally) and has two idler wheels which transfers the motion from the motor to either the Take-Up platter or to the Rewind platter. Note: The platter on the Honeytone, Bekson, Binatone versions have metal platters which do NOT have the rubber tyres around their perimeter. The rubber idler wheels make contact with the metal rims.

Here's some tips to improve motor/transort/rewind speed:

1) Give the contacts on the battery box for the 2x C batts a good clean.

2) Clean the wirewound surface of the Speed control with a good switch cleaner e.g Servisol S10 and then rotate the knob of the Speed control back & forth several times.

3) Clean the running edge of the two rubber idler wheels. (I use pure petroleum spirit: Ronsonol) & also clean the running edge of the two metal platters.

4) Clean the motor with Servisol S10 (although this will involve getting the spray nozzle of the S10 in through a small hole in the motor) Just one quick squirt should suffice, as too much will flood it. Then wipe away any surplus and the clean the drive shaft with Ronsonol.

I have over 30 different rim drive type machines and, in my opinion, this type of rim drive model is probably the best version.

Tony
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 12:08 pm   #7
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Default Re: Honeytone

Oh, one more tip:

When not using your Honeytone for some time and any Rim Drive machines, remove all batteries and switch the control lever to Rewind.

This is not just to save the batteries but, more importantly, in the Stop position most Rim Drive mechanisms park the motor with it's shaft pressing up against the rubber rim tyres, and this eventually results in a permanent indent in the rubber tyre, thus causing a "bumping/knocking" sound on Play/Record mode. When parked in Rewind, this removes the pressure of the motor shaft from the tyre.

OH THE CURSE OF THE RIM DRIVE!
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 12:30 pm   #8
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Default Re: Honeytone

pic of idler wheels under name plate cover:
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 6:11 pm   #9
keithinuk
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Default Re: Honeytone

Thank you for your information, gratefully received.
The drive is as per your picture, the speed control pot seems to be fast or slow, but has no adjustment in-between, it doesn't look like its a Speed control inside more like it's just a switch.
Is it a 60's machine?
Thanks again.
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Old 14th Sep 2012, 11:23 am   #10
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Default Re: Honeytone

Quote:
Originally Posted by keithinuk View Post
Thank you for your information, gratefully received.
The drive is as per your picture, the speed control pot seems to be fast or slow, but has no adjustment in-between, it doesn't look like its a Speed control inside more like it's just a switch.
Is it a 60's machine?
Thanks again.
Yes, this type of machine came onto the market around the early 1960s and improvements were made that lead to the evolution of better machines with more facilities & functions.

As to the Speed Control, when turning the adjustment knob the affect is not always immediate nor does it give a massive affect as it only controls the amount of battery power (from the C Cells) to the motor. Therefore the range can be affected by the voltage of the battery/batteries and the effeciency of the motor and moreover, the speed the original recording was made at.

For best use of the Speed Control and to get the best affect of it's speed range, when recording always set the position of the control knob to mid-way and that way, when playing back, it will have a better plus & minus range.

I've done a rough draft of a typical speed control (the underside) to show how basic it is (see pic). Usually it only has two connecting wires, one from the 1.5V battery/batteries and the other (in some way) to the motor.

The wirewound surface is a bobbin wound low resistance - uninsulated wire to which a wiper makes contact and this, when turned by the control knob, varies the resistance value in series to the motor. Therefore, as the wire surface is bare and open to the elements, it can become corroded or dirty. Therefore, using Servisol S10 to clean the surface is ideal (spray the S10 onto a cloth or cotton bud) and rub it over the wire surface.

Also, a good contact by the wiper to the wirewound surface is essential.

Tony
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Old 14th Sep 2012, 12:42 pm   #11
keithinuk
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Default Re: Honeytone

I think it maybe down to the battery's, new but low powered ones.
Also speed controller is a three wire switch more than a pot, maybe not original?

http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/c...y/IMG_0035.jpg
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Old 15th Sep 2012, 6:53 am   #12
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Default Re: Honeytone

Quote:
Originally Posted by keithinuk View Post
I think it maybe down to the battery's, new but low powered ones.
Also speed controller is a three wire switch more than a pot, maybe not original?

http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/c...y/IMG_0035.jpg
Well, it looks like a switch and moreover an original one at that.

Perhaps the manufacturer decided to do away with the sometimes problematic wirewound pot and redesigned it to give it just a slow or fast function instead.

Another feature to add to my knowledge bank on these machines.
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