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Thread: Fostex 380S troubleshooting ~ repair

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    Fostex 380S troubleshooting ~ repair

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    I bought a Fostex 380S in the late 90s at just about the time I quit playing and recording. It has been sitting around for almost two decades. I just went in and replaced the drive belt. It worked for a couple days. As of today, though, the play function stopped working. Pressing play brings stillness, and then every light on the display comes on. Fast forward and rewind still work. Before going back inside, does anyone have similar experience, or knowledge of this failure? Is it my new belt gone bad?

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    Did you replace the capstan belt too? From what I understand the drive belt brings the heads and pinch roller wheel up and down when you press play and stop. Check again and see if one broke or came loose. If it was working for a couple days and then stopped it's most likely the belts, but who knows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Level Anything View Post
    Did you replace the capstan belt too? From what I understand the drive belt brings the heads and pinch roller wheel up and down when you press play and stop. Check again and see if one broke or came loose. If it was working for a couple days and then stopped it's most likely the belts, but who knows.
    Yes, you were right. The belt I had replaced had come off again. I was hoping these "square" belts that come in bunches of 50 would work. But the original belt was wider and more inclined to stay running on the flywheel, while these ones with a square cross-section seem to float around and come off. I need to find a more suitable belt with a more rectangular profile.

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    You're going to have issues with pretty much any belt that you put on there that's not close to the original specs of the one that came from the factory. You can always tie a string around the the flywheels and then subtract a bit to make sure it'll have enough tension to stay on. Here's an example of that from a site that I sometimes buy belts from How to measure belts

    You may get away with using a random belt like you did but even if it stays on you'll still have problems with speed fluctuations and stuff. Find the right size to put on there. It's worth it.

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    Thanks, again. The rubber band that I put on there last time is still working, so far. I have acquired a collection of "flat" profile belts that I will go to when the rubber band rides off the flywheel or jams up. As to getting the "right" belt for this application, I do not think it is possible to find one. I have not turned up anything in all my searching online, and the oldest store in Cleveland, Empirical Sound, thought I was crazy to ask for a belt for a twenty five year old machine.

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    The right belt is just a matter of length and width. Use that site I linked or email Marrs. Anything is possible my friend.

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