Just to let some know

I have been swamped for years with too many units to repair but I have trained and helped out others to get started. Most of them are doing well and there is a guy in PA that has finished his work so there is the availability to get some equipment fixed if you are in that area. I have other people I can direct you to as well.


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I have a stack of decks needing help my guy is backed up too. Please share contact info I’ll send him some decks. Not all are tascam.
In the mean time I try and train as many guys as possible as long as they show to have the ability to do the work. Gerhard in Florida is a great help down there.
Dean in the center of Canada has figured out stuff that would stump a regular shop Technician and I know this as he has been in communication with me.
Mike in MN, Arnold is coming up in Texas, I have a couple of guys working on it in California, Jim should be up and running before long in Oregon, of course there is Tom in TN (Nashville) and there is Russ in New Jersey. We need a lot more guys as this business is booming even with the virus and I continue to get requests for repairs even when I have plenty already.
IF you want to get training to fix tape decks, contact me and we can discuss. skywavebe@sbcglobal.net there is plenty of work for everyone!
The demand continues to go through the roof. The other day I fixed a deck that was at a local shop. They had an O ring on the play idler with a 6" piece of solder wound around the nylon part of the pulley under the O ring. Talk about hack methods. Why didn't this wonderful method work- well it did to an extent with wow and flutter at .29% when I put the right belt on and fixed this properly the Wow and Flutter measured .06%. This is what you can expect at some sloppy work type shops out there. I would never allow this in my trainees and it is really a bonehead method if you think about it.
Still looking for more trainees in the Chicago area.
It gets worse yet- I was sent a 688 deck that was estimated at a TAP place in CA and what was wrong with the unit? Customer was using a 240V 50Hz unit at 120Vac and expected it to work. They told him it would be $800 for this working unit and they never told him of the voltage issue as they may not have known- if they did why didn't they tell him? I check the unit out and it seems to work fine.
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There may be a new FB page for tape deck people to visit as well as here- It might be good to check it out as well. Sometimes you need all the help you can get.

Yes I am there too.


If you know of any online resources I'm all ears...I know a little stuff, but not enough to sit down and methodically troubleshoot problems. I also don't know how to safely hook up meters and scopes when the units are on and when or how to supply say a board with voltage and check it through.
Hi Al,
Well you really can not get into too much trouble with scopes and meters but the device you are working on should not be shorted with metal probes. The input impedance of the meter and probe is high and they are design for minimal insertion upset to a circuit.
I went to college for about 8 years collectively- you only really need about two and then some years on the bench for practical experience- College teaches you the terms and technology but it does not tell you how to repair a unit- they are all specialized and you need to know your trade. I have worked on coffee pots, Microwave ovens, VCR's Transmitters to 50KW and then reel to reel and cassette decks as well as many things in between. It takes exposure and years of work to gain experience and I can tell you now we are still learning stuff about decks when they have problems. Some young guys express that they want to get into repair until they find out how much effort that it takes to refine your skills to a higher level. Decks do not get fixed by boneheads- and in fact they usually are made worse by their abstract thinking. It is best to mentor under an old timer who is well known. One of my trainees that I was talking to on the phone say he is blown away by the stuff I come up with- it all takes years of working with this stuff to know what you are doing. It is like a study of a science of some kind.
I can start to train you by E mail but the better training comes when one on one. Trouble shooting is a method of going through a circuit and knowing what should be there and what is not. This is best done when you have a left channel out while the right is still working and you can compare one path to the other. Repair is really not all that complicated as you follow a signal with scope to a point where it stops- now you find out why it stops. Can be lack of power supply, shorted or open electrolytic. a shorted mute transistor. Bad relay contacts or more likely the transistor that turns on the relay. Some transistors like 2SC458 were defectievly made and will cause problems but they can be replaced with new fresh better transistors. There have been times where all that was wrong was an open feed thru joint of a double sided board- feed through joints have been a source of problem for a lot of years. One technician sent me a Pioneer reel deck he could not fix. All the problem was a feed through rivet. I solder wires from one component to another to make the feed-thru a redundant connection and that fixes it. Where does the signal stop and why is all you have to answer- then know how to solder with a weller solder station and a good solder like Kester 44.


Thanks for the replies skywave. I guess there just aren't enough hours in the day to get things done. At the end of it all, this is all a means to keep my own stuff working, rather than mending other people's gear. I am a musician first and foremost, but to keep this aging equipment going, unless you've got bottomless pockets, you need to be able to figure out what's worth fixing and what isn't. Thanks for the tips.... I'll certainly try using a scope.
As some forums like TH and AK alienate their better Technicians and I leave, these places lose most of their good advice and then it leaves those members lacking. Well I mentioned this to one of my past Engineer clients and he created a FB page that we can better manage what is done there- the owner is not a money hungry Grumpy person.
If you want to follow the people with greater knowledge the The Reel to Reel Clinic is a place to visit. I am there and offer help all the time.
The Home Recording Forum is a good place and I have never had a problem here. They are smartly run.