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Thread: Tascam M-___ Story...

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    Tascam M-___ Story...

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    This is the next chapter of this thread.

    17 hours and counting...I will depart in my 17-year-old car to make a 2200 mile journey in less than 40 hours to retrieve the Tascam M-___ console from a friend of a friend who kindly picked it up from Shoulderpain...and by the way, give Shoulderpain some chiclets or something...He has been gracious and honorable through this whole thing. My cup runneth over. Wonderful guy.

    Why call it the Tascam M-___ you may ask? Well, it is nameless, but Tascam's naming convention at the time this mixer appears to have been built was 'M' for mixer, a hyphen and then a three digit number. Don't know the number so I'm putting three underscore marks.

    To be continued...

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    The suspense is driving me crazy! Can't wait!!

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    We made it...

    My 10-year-old son wanted to come...I explained very clearly the boring nature of the trip and the partially insane itinerary and let him decide. He still wanted to come. We had a blast, and I will never do anything quite like that again.

    The trip ended up being a bit over 2300 miles, and we did it in about 64 hours including actually getting some sleep (and exploring many rest areas and gas station) one night at the Lebec Rest Area...OH! I mean, uh...no we uh...rested...yeah...we just rested there, since, ah, there's no overnight camping...yeah...uh-huh...that's how it happened...and the second at a motel on the northern California coast. The first night was comical. We made it to Burbank by midnight, got the mixer, and then drove until we couldn't anymore...that was Lebec. Then the two of us sleeping in the car with the mixer (which fit perfectly in the back of the car bhind the back seat and between the shock towers...UPS eatcher heart out)...my son across the back seat and me in the front passenger seat...ugh...memories.

    We saw palm trees, redwoods, the Golden Gate, the Grapevine, a gihugic elk, Alcatraz...visited with family...getting the mixer quickly became a mere footnote of the adventure.

    Anyway, soon I plan on tearing the thing open and taking stills and video and putting them up. This coming week I will also see if I can extract any data off the 5.25" floppies that came with the mixer.

    Until then, and since this is, at this point, a fun project that I hope we can all enjoy, are there any specific questions anybody would like me to address? I'll gladly let questions dictate what I open up first and/or what pictures and videos get produced and posted first...kind of a "What you always wanted to know about the Tascam M-___ but couldn't ask until sweetbeats got the thing home" kind of thing....

    The Tascam M-___ in the back of the 'ru in Lebec the AM of 10/03 as we prepare for takeoff...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_7972_1_1-jpg  

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    WOW! What a story! 2300 miles!?!?!

    That mixer looks big, from what I can tell.

    Yes, I have one question: I'd like to finally know what the model # is or should we keep on calling it Tascam M-___ , which, truth be told, kinda fits in light of the context of the whole story, begun by the mysterious Shoulderpain.

    --

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    Daniel,

    That's the fun part...there is no known model number. No label on the casing anywhere; the folks at Tascam don't even know what it is...they support that they built it but nobody knows about it. I'm going to try and reach Jim Finch on this one as well as seeing if there is helpful info on the disks. oooooo...mystery!

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    That's it Cory - I'm shipping my Otari 4-track to you to get refurbed. You're the only one crazy enough to do it! lol!

    Seriously, looks like a nice score, congrats!



    AK

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    You're the only one crazy enough to do it!


    Seriously..."crazy" is about all I felt at 11:00pm in the middle of a rainstorm on Hwy. 101 turning mile #1700...

    My words of encouragement and assurance to my wife upon return: "I won't do that again." Though my son is another story...when I joked with him about an ATR60-16 I'd seen for sale in central Canada he said "Let's go!"

    I've got videos...









    [EDIT]

    The above videos were the first run of these overview videos captured the day I unloaded the M-__ from the car when I got it home. I later did another run of the videos using a higher quality capture device but for some reason I never posted them contemporary to their capture. I have them posted in this thread much later, and below is a link to that post. They mostly duplicate the above videos, but, again, they are better quality, and may have some clarified/corrected/enhanced information:

    Tascam M-___ Story...


    Here's a really big picture channel strip. It is a stitched-together panaorama, so you'll have to look past the perspective shifts and blurred edges where the individual shots join together:



    Here is a shot looking down the meter bridge:



    And here is a shot with the meter bridge open:



    Oh, and check this out...this is another kind of "hmm...I wonder" pictures regarding the possibility that this mixer was a prototype. I forgot to mention this in the corresponding video. Look at this picture and you'll see some spots that are orange in the foreground at the top and bottom (above and below the I/O panels) where the black paint has chipped off. Yeah, somebody might just have painted over the orange, but why bother on the back? And actually it is not somebody painting over the orange because there are sections with screened text on the black over the orange. Tascam used to use the orange stuff back in the day right? So I figure some of the material for the back panels may have been old stock of orange-painted sheet steel that was used to put this thing together. Also, notice that there are screw-holes along the bottom lip of the meter bridge back panel that go to nothing. Unrefined, like a prototype. Here's the picture:



    I've got more pictures, but I'll put up a couple more posts to break up and group the picture topics.
    Last edited by sweetbeats; 06-28-2019 at 13:48.

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    Mouse!

    I think the board was sitting on its side for some time and it looks like a mouse or two was using it for a toilet and lodging. YUCK!! So far though it appears that the damage does not extend to wiring or electronics.







    Here is a general shot of the side...you can get a good idea of how chewed up the trim panels are...I'm actually glad they are there as I'd hate to think with the metal would look like were it not for these sacrificial particle board panels...

    Last edited by sweetbeats; 06-28-2019 at 13:49.

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    Shots for the geekiest

    These probably won't mean much to anybody, but I took shots of the individual PCB's on the input module...as can be seen by the layout of the controls, the module features two rows of PCB's, and it is nice that there are about 6 individual PCB's on each module...if one goes bad you're not effecting the whole mess. Since I haven't disassembled the module, these pictures are really just for interest as you can only see one side of each row. Anyway...

    I've made up names for each PCB based on each card's primary purpose according to the controls it supports.

    Starting from the "top" of the module on the left side:

    The PGM PCB



    The AUX and MONI buss PCB



    The REMOTE PCB



    And now starting from the "top" of the module on the right side:

    The INPUT PCB



    The EQ PCB



    The SOLO/MUTE PCB



    And a straggler photo of a channel fader

    Last edited by sweetbeats; 06-28-2019 at 13:50.

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    Some summary thoughts/questions so far...

    This mixer is really neat-o.

    I think I can get it powered up. The AUX-MONI PCB is really the main PCB for the module as it has all the I/O contacts, which, by the way if you haven't watched the video of the internal tour, is really cool. This is probably a common feature in larger-scale pro consoles, but it is the first time I have run accross a channel module that literally pops out after removing two screws. Literally, you can remove any channel module on this thing in...oh...30 seconds? That is removed as in "disconnected and out of the frame". The modules plug into the mother PCB with slot type connectors reminiscent of the old ISA computer cards. Anyway, the individual slot contacts are labeled on the module including the power contacts. I haven't pulled the master module yet, and it may have some other voltages on it, but so far the channel modules require:"

    • 0VDC (x3)
    • +/-15VDC (x2)
    • +/-35VDC
    • +48VDC


    The VU meter lamps may be 6VAC like the M-500 boards, and I'll probably be able to figure that out by looking at the meter PCB's.

    I'm curious as to what uses the 35VDC...

    Anyway, I have a spare PS-520, and so far it produces everything but the 35VDC rails. Need help figuring out how to mod the power supply to do this. Assuming that there is nothing else on the master module rail-wise, and assuming the VU lamps are 11VAC, it may actually not be as scary a project to power this thing up. I will likely retro-fit a Hirose connector for the power supply connection on the board in lieu of the Molex connector, mod the PS, make the cable and trace the rails to get the pin assignments, close my eyes and hit the power switch.

    I'm still confused as to how the PGM bussing works...there is no PGM OUT jack section on the master module, just BUSS OUT jacks on each channel module. What confuses me is that there are 12 channels, and therefore 12 BUSS OUT jacks, but only 8 PGM busses. It was suggested that it may be that the 8 busses output on the BUSS OUT jacks on only channels 1 ~ 8, but it'll be interesting to confirm this.

    Channel meters 9 ~ 12 are also labeled AUX 1 ~ 4 respectively, but I don't see where those are switched...it may be that the meter source select switches for channels 9 ~ 12 do this, even though they are labeled "INPUT - BUSS - MONI"...maybe this applies to channels 1 ~ 8, but channels 9 ~ 12 are really "INPUT - AUX - MONI" and only one control screen pattern was setup if it was indeed a protype board...?

    The REMOTE section is totally baffling...

    I realized last night as I was vedeo recording the tour of the controls that there are no AUX master controls...that's wierd considering the extensive controls in all the other areas...

    I'm sure I'll have more thoughts...way too many more thoughts.
    Last edited by sweetbeats; 10-07-2008 at 10:54.

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