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Thread: NEW USER: Tascam 388 Won't Play - Can't find similar issue here.

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    SLOTH_DEMON is offline Registered User
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    Unhappy NEW USER: Tascam 388 Won't Play - Can't find similar issue here.

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    Hello All,

    First, I would like to say that I have been creeping your forum for a few weeks now and I appreciate ALL of the great info. that I have found, particularly pertaining to analog recording equipment.

    To the point: I have a Tascam 388 that I purchased (with option to return) from a pawn shop who acquired it from an old man who hadn't used it in years. It was very clean, and upon bringing it home, it powered up, showed a signal on all vu meters, all lights / buttons work, etc.

    RW / FW / LOAD etc. work, the capstan belt and motor are spinning freely, and the belt is very elastic and new feeling.

    My problem is that PLAY and RECORD do absolutely nothing. I have checked the capstan belt, and replaced the fuses, to no avail.

    No lights, no movement of the pinch roller, nothing.

    Any ideas would be GREATLY appreciated as I am VERY excited at the prospect of recording with this machine!

    Thank you in advance!

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    diggy_dude's Avatar
    diggy_dude is offline Now 169% diggier!
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    Do you hear relays click when you press PLAY or RECORD?
    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    One day I'll make it into somebody's signature line.

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    jpmorris's Avatar
    jpmorris is offline Tape Wolf
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    I still wonder if the belt is loose. Can you hear the capstan motor running?

    EDIT: And you're sure the tape is running between the rubber pinch roller and the capstan? If you've threaded the machine so that the capstan can't pull the tape you'd get something like this. You might also want to see if the capstan is turning and the pinch roller is too loose...

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    SLOTH_DEMON is offline Registered User
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    Wow; Fast response. Thank you.

    No clicks. Literally nothing happens. Nothing moves / changes / lights up for either.

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    SLOTH_DEMON is offline Registered User
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    The capstan motor is definitely turning (based on my amateur knowledge of how it is supposed to be functioning). I have watched it with the back panel off, and it seems very smooth... also, the little protrusion that touches the tape is spinning fairly fast, and counter-clockwise.

    That being said, I have looked at lot's of diagrams on threading tape and it seems correct. the tape is touching the capstan, and the pinch roller sits below it. I can push the pinch roller up by hand until it meets the tape, and it will guide the tape forward, but of course the reels won't turn.

    When I press play / record though, the pinch roller doesn't move and nothing lights up, clicks, etc.

    Thanks for any input man!

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    fgonza2 is offline Dedicated Member
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    can you post some pictures ? i am curious about "the little protrusion that touches the tape is spinning fairly fast, and counter-clockwise"

    I am not familiar with this model, but if FF and RW work it means that the tension rollers are working fine in terms of detecting tape threaded. It maybe related to a relay in the transport control card, maybe related to the capstan solenoid that is not kicking in. THis machine has several fuses, do you have a service manual ? are you comfortable with opening the machine and measuring voltages ? how much did you pay for it ? (to get an idea if it is worth fixing or not) how are the heads ?

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    SLOTH_DEMON is offline Registered User
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    Heheh. I was referring to the capstan, i suppose. I can definitely post pictures this evening.

    And yup, the tension rollers seem fine. In fact, the entire machine is great and very clean, aside from the pinch roller not moving upwards, and the play / record functions not working.

    I paid $400.00 under the assumption that it may or may not work, and under the assumption that I could return the unit w/in 30 days. I do have the manual, and I simply replaced the 5 fuses that were easily accessible from the top right corner of the unit.

    The heads seem a bit dirty, but they don't seem scratched!

    I am definitely interested in fixing it... I may be able to get a partial refund since it is no-operational. I wonder if I can just find a replacement in the transport control card...

    Hope this helps!

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    A Reel Person's Avatar
    A Reel Person is offline It's Too Funky in Here!!!
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    Exclamation ...

    look from the bottom side at the button panel, and verify that any cable connecting it to the other circuits is plugged firmly. I can't remember if this is soldered/hardwired or connector type.

    If there is any way to get an RC-71 or RC-90 onsite to use the remote buttons as a workaround, would verify the buttons themselves.

    It also can't hurt to check the fuses with a DVM for continuity, regardless of having changed them or how they look. I've seen fuses that appeared ok to the eye actually be bad as tested with a DVM.

    Look at the pinch roller/load solenoid & verify it moves freely and is not all gummed up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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    fgonza2 is offline Dedicated Member
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    good point. the buttons usually build up residue and become a problem on storage units, hopefully is that. you can remove the panel and use some deoxit on them, it wont do any harm. Of course with the machine turned off. Are you saying that the capstan is rotating backwards ?

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    A Reel Person's Avatar
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    Exclamation ...

    Capstan rotating counter clockwise is correct direction.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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