What Is It That Compells Me…

flyingace

Active member
Awesome to see that you’re continuing to bring this one back to life! My synth tech resurrected my Yamaha DX7IID that we once thought was going to have to be parted out AND he wanted to get into audio tape, so I traded him a TEAC A-6300 4 track auto reverse 1/4” R2R for it. He’s really enjoying working on it as well as the Tascam 122MKII that I got for cheap. He thinks he can repair that completely as well, so we’ll make a profit (told him we’d share the sale for repairs). So nice to bring stuff back!
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Awesome to see that you’re continuing to bring this one back to life! My synth tech resurrected my Yamaha DX7IID that we once thought was going to have to be parted out AND he wanted to get into audio tape, so I traded him a TEAC A-6300 4 track auto reverse 1/4” R2R for it. He’s really enjoying working on it as well as the Tascam 122MKII that I got for cheap. He thinks he can repair that completely as well, so we’ll make a profit (told him we’d share the sale for repairs). So nice to bring stuff back!
This is a nice story, finding left-for-dead stuff and finding a home for some of it with an excited motivated new owner and getting something you’re excited about in trade. Everybody wins and some old gear gets resurrected.

I found rack ears for the 238.

And the pitch control knob was missing the color cap. I have tons of Tascam knobs of different styles and colors…of course I do t have that one. It’s a small knob. So I found one of those too. I think I paid $60 or so USD including shipping for the parts…that was shipped from overseas. Seems silly to spend more on those parts than I spent for the whole 238 and RC-88 remote, but both units seem to be very straight, clean under the dust, low miles, etc…and no corrosion etc. they’ve been stored properly and used little. I know me…I wouldn’t be able to let it go until it was complete.

And then the n/f capstan motor…so I did some research and consulted with the brain-trust…did a little testing…the assumption is either the driver IC is bad, or something else…the coils all seem good…I did notice corrosion around a number of components, cleaned it up, looked for damaged traces, didn’t see any, still didn’t work. The coils are all energized, but it like they’re all energized simultaneously, so maybe a bad hall element? It’s all over my head, so I did end up ordering a new servo PCB assembly. I verified with the Seller they are actually new…manufactured in 2021…got a little discount, $110 shipped. The nice thing is the new assembly is made with a glass fiber PCB instead of resin based…the hassle is you have to transfer your coil assembly from the old to the new, which requires desoldering and desoldering 8 very small wire tails…delicate work…and bending the hall elements over and adhering them to the coil plate…you have to be careful the tails of the parts don’t touch the coil plate…I’ve got that all done and it’s ready to reinstall on the capstan assembly…solder the wires back on and test it out. Fingers crossed. I hope it works. I’m about $220 into this now. I might also purchase a replacement pinch roller…jury is out on that one. If I can get it working though it will be a really clean and straight example of a 238.
 

TAE

All you have is now
Hi I'm Tom Fixin..I've been fixin stuff for so long I forgot how to fix it, but I'm still fixin.

It started with the juu juu bees (Cheech and Chong reference)

Use it up, wear it out, make due or do without..

My Pops was a fixer and the apple didn't fall from the tree...

I use many of the tools he left me...and a shit ton more I have acquired over the years..

It's a good problem that can get bad when you suffer from GAS (Gear acquisition syndrome)

So I have both and it is really hard for me to get uh grip..I've been purging but the pile of stuff that needs fix is piling up and I still keep adding to the pile...

I definite fit into RFR's description and it's OK

So just keep on keeping on and leave the pile for your loved ones to toss once you expire...
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Looking closer at the original servo PCB there is a fair amount of corrosion where traces meet many of the components, and there’s a diode that looks pretty roached. So I’m glad I went the route of replacing the assembly.

Here’s the new PCB with the coil assembly transferred, component side. You can see the 8 solder joints around the center where the 4 pairs of leads from the 4 coils solder to the board:
30C46B7F-588D-4E3E-9BC9-15ED17DF7A8E.jpeg

Here’s the other side with the coil assembly shown:

75F312C2-F6E9-4C97-AAD5-B6F2B404BD49.jpeg

And looking a little closer you can see the components that look like small transistors. Those are the Hall elements. The PCB assembly comes with those sticking straight up, but they have to be bent over the coil plate and adhered to the plate while ensuring none of the leads touch the coil plate:

6454B2A2-D1A7-490B-83EA-CA05222E412C.jpeg

At the end of the day guess what?? It works!!


And I cleaned up the RC-88 remote…didn’t take long…literally looks like new and I think the 238 will do the same once I have a chance to clean it up too:

975A29A1-DFDA-4003-8354-52D92D05B96D.jpeg

So now it’s cleaning up the 238, making some decisions about whether I proactively replace the pinch roller and disassemble and lube the headblock motion assembly…but it doesn’t *need* any of that at this time. Seems like everything works.
 
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sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Well it’s back together…cleaned up super nice. Like, I always look at screw heads and jacks to tell what kind of environment a piece of gear has been in because they’ll reveal oxidation from a damp environment, etc. Everything looks new on both the 238 and the RC-88. I took all the amp cards out just to reseat them and be able to vacuum the dust out…there was just a light dry layer of dust. Solid 9/10 condition and fully functional…I think my net outlay was, like, $200 or $220 for the purchase and the parts to get it 100%? And that includes the brand new capstan servo board so that’s taken care of. Anyway, pretty happy with it.

 

RFR

Well-known member
Awesome that you got it up and running.

I guess that answers the question of “what is it that compels me”

Well, it seems that there is an incredible satisfaction of the victory in the conquest of man over machine.

A job well done! (y)
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I think theres a sort of difference when the products have real engineering in them to make them move fro mundane and disposable to collectable, but most importantly usable. Nice work.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Awesome that you got it up and running.

I guess that answers the question of “what is it that compels me”

Well, it seems that there is an incredible satisfaction of the victory in the conquest of man over machine.

A job well done! (y)
Yes…you’re right. It does answer that question! And yes it is satisfying to be able to elevate the state of something…I think I like doing that with a wide variety of things, but clearly I particularly enjoy doing that with an audio device.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
I think theres a sort of difference when the products have real engineering in them to make them move fro mundane and disposable to collectable, but most importantly usable. Nice work.
There’s something profound in there @rob aylestone …yeah there’s a wide range of potential in products and devices. We certainly have a lot more “disposable” products these days, and you can still defy the intent of the designers and work on ornfix some of them, but it’s just harder to do and often a far less elegant and lasting result. Even though the 238 is later generation, it still clearly was designed to be serviced. I’ve done limited work on some consumer hi-fi stuff and it’s really obvious how it, generally-speaking, *wasn’t* made to be worked on. Ever recap a Pioneer RT-909? Geez…the added effort to access the boards and disassemble…nuts. Maddening. I could have the transport, power supply and amp cards out of a 238 in about 3 minutes flat. And I appreciate that design element. And then there’s the whole aspect of what it can do and how it can be used to create. And the cassette format is fun. And it sounds surprisingly good. I don’t know why it always makes me sit back when I record something on a cassette 8-track machine. I have other formats that are preferential to me, but there is a lot of good going on in a very compact package with the 238. Anyway, it was relatively easy and worth redeeming this un-abused 238. And I know things are relatively quiet here these days, so thanks to the handful of you that participated in my process and satisfaction.
 
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