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Thread: Tascam 38 Take-Up LOCKED UP!

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    Unhappy Tascam 38 Take-Up LOCKED UP!

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    Was tracking with my Tascam 38 when... somebody distracted me in the middle of a reel rewind and the tape ran out. At full transport speed.

    Now the takeup reel won't... take up. The spindle tries to turn, but only "lurches" forward a bit, then locks up. No rewind, no play, no fast forward. The spindle won't free spin either-- it's like it's in gear, but can't move. The feed spindle works just fine.

    I've never worked on the inside of a reel-to-reel before, and I'm planning to take it in for repair if I don't get any tips here. But I figure I'd see if anyone has had this problem, and if it was as simple as disengaging something that's stuck somewhere "under the hood."

    Any ideas?

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    Nothing springs to mind. If it was a brake locking problem you would still be able to turn it by hand.
    All I can really suggest is opening it up and studying the mechanism. Something has evidently worked loose and jammed it up.

    I suspect everyone has done the overwind thing at some point. I did once have some 1/2" tape slap so hard that it sliced about 3/4" off the end of the tape, and I had this problem a lot with my '32 when the tension roller got stuck. That was worse because it wouldn't even stop when the tape ran out.

    EDIT:

    The mechanism itself is very simple, it's direct drive with a brake band around part of it. I do wonder if the brake band has somehow broken and gone somewhere it shouldn't have...

    It's been a while since I've taken the '32 apart, but from memory the only real gotchas in removing the front cover are:

    1. All the control knobs and rollers have to be removed. The knobs have a little grub screw in them which holds them in place. The counter module cover has to come off too.

    2. The varispeed knob has a collar sunk underneath it which has to be removed using some weird tool, a pair of tweezers or some needle-nosed pliers. It is threaded in like a bolt so you have to unscrew it.

    3. Be careful when lifting the cover past the counter display. There is a little glass bulb at the top which you must not break, otherwise it'll destroy the VFD panel. I'm not sure if anyone has ever actually done that, but just so you know :3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryman View Post
    Was tracking with my Tascam 38 when... somebody distracted me in the middle of a reel rewind and the tape ran out. At full transport speed.

    Now the takeup reel won't... take up. The spindle tries to turn, but only "lurches" forward a bit, then locks up. No rewind, no play, no fast forward. The spindle won't free spin either-- it's like it's in gear, but can't move. The feed spindle works just fine.

    I've never worked on the inside of a reel-to-reel before, and I'm planning to take it in for repair if I don't get any tips here. But I figure I'd see if anyone has had this problem, and if it was as simple as disengaging something that's stuck somewhere "under the hood."

    Any ideas?
    The EDIT switch disables the take up reel motor.

    Ensure that it's not been switched on.

    Also, there is nothing what so ever connected to the idea of fast winding a tape off the end at full speed that could cause the motor to die. Otherwise, every machine on earth would have a busted motor...and that's not the case at all.

    Cheers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Ghost of FM View Post
    Also, there is nothing what so ever connected to the idea of fast winding a tape off the end at full speed that could cause the motor to die...
    No, I'm pretty sure the motor's not dead, because the reel lurches when I try to get it to engage via Play/Rew/FFwd.

    Thanks for the tips so far-- I'm gonna take the plunge and look inside. Anybody else have an idea, let me know!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryman View Post
    No, I'm pretty sure the motor's not dead, because the reel lurches when I try to get it to engage via Play/Rew/FFwd.

    Thanks for the tips so far-- I'm gonna take the plunge and look inside. Anybody else have an idea, let me know!
    So, you're saying you checked the edit switch ( the rectangular light colored switch that's just to the left of the pitch control), and its up and in the off position?

    Cheers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Ghost of FM View Post
    So, you're saying you checked the edit switch ( the rectangular light colored switch that's just to the left of the pitch control), and its up and in the off position?
    Cheers!
    I'd have to try this on the '32, but doesn't the EDIT switch make the thing freewheel? What he's describing seems more like a mechanical seizure.

    Ryman, do you get this same behaviour when the machine is powered off?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpmorris View Post
    I'd have to try this on the '32, but doesn't the EDIT switch make the thing freewheel? What he's describing seems more like a mechanical seizure.

    Ryman, do you get this same behaviour when the machine is powered off?
    I'm not sure what you mean by "free wheel".

    The edit switch turns off the take up reel so that you can dump tape on the floor, cut and splice the tape back together. It's an old school practice when you want to make tighter gaps between tracks, etc.

    The only other thing that comes to mind is if the brake solenoid is seized in the brake position but I can't see a scenario where letting the tape unwind off the reel would cause that to happen?

    Somethings missing from the puzzle.

    Cheers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Ghost of FM View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean by "free wheel".

    The edit switch turns off the take up reel so that you can dump tape on the floor, cut and splice the tape back together. It's an old school practice when you want to make tighter gaps between tracks, etc.
    Yes. It shuts down the motor but leaves the brake off, so the reel can be turned manually in either direction. If the EDIT button is disabled or the power is cut off in EDIT mode, the brakes will come back on.
    On my '32 - which is not exactly in peak condition - when the brakes are engaged, the reel can be turned fairly easily by hand in one direction but is difficult to turn in the other direction.

    What Ryman seems to be describing is that the motor struggles to turn but can't, and he can't manually turn the reel at all. While the idea of the brakes getting stuck on had occurred to me, rather doubt they are that good - it sounds more like something has broken off somehow and is obstructing it.

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    Took the plunge and opened her up... turns out the brake band was frozen to the felt on the reel table. I removed one end of the brake band and carefully peeled it away from the felt, cleaned everything off, and it works fine now.

    Thanks for the help though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryman View Post
    Took the plunge and opened her up... turns out the brake band was frozen to the felt on the reel table. I removed one end of the brake band and carefully peeled it away from the felt, cleaned everything off, and it works fine now.
    Bizarre. I wonder whether it melted or something? Glad you got it sorted, though!

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