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Thread: Dirty Fix for My Fostex R8

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    Dirty Fix for My Fostex R8

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    The other day I received a few reels of RMG LPR35 in the mail



    Having access only to sheddy Ampex 457 since I got in to analog recording, I was really excited to try this tape out. I threaded up and started recording some solo piano just to test it out. Everything sounded great, but there was a lot of oxide on and around the erase head.



    So I took the unit over to a more suitable working area and had a look at the tape while engaged in play. As you can see in the above picture, the orange guide to the left of the head assembly was catching the side of the tape and stripping a lot of oxide.

    According to the service manual, that guide is adjustable. It must be sealed with something similar to the 'warranty void' adhesive that seems to be on every other screw in this machine. I tried a few hex screws. All of them fit in quite well, but turning them just ends up stripping the screw. It won't budge.

    Since these guides are effectively fixed, I decided instead to raise the tape on the transport so that it fits through the guides perfectly. This is done by adjusting the height of the two tensions arms on either end of the transport like this one:



    I went in to my archive of parts and found a bunch of plastic and rubber washers. After a few minutes of trial and error I found the perfect combination.



    This is what it looks like when in place on the transport.



    I threaded some tape, pressed play, and no oxide buildup!



    Once I was sure that this was the correct height I sealed the bottom two washers together with glue. This modification has been great for the machine overall. Beforehand, the tape would rub slightly against the side of the take up reel when winding, despite the fact that the reel tables have been set to the exact position described by the service manual. Now, winding is clean and consistent. I wonder if maybe I'm missing a part that ships with the R8. A part that keeps these tension arms raised in the way my modification does.

    Anyways, I decided to share this because there is a lack of documentation for Fostex tape machines on the net. Maybe somebody will find my experience here useful some day.

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    Avieth,

    Nice job. Good pics and documentation and hear-hear to putting it up. I wish I knew more about the R8...I would think the guides to be adjustable but I think I read elsewhere of another R8 owner having trouble getting them to budge. As long as your mod still has the tape running down the center of the heads it is wonderful.

    I'm sure it will help somebody else.

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