• Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

Cassette decks

Status
Not open for further replies.

dr pepper

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
After finding a big box of cassettes from an earlier life I decided to dig out my old stereo system's cassette deck.
Its a kenwood, not sure of the model but it has the usual bells & whistles, dolby S & Hx pro etc.
I'm expecting disintegrated belts & pinch rolls in a mess.
Does anyone else around here still use cassettes?, I had to explain to my apprentoid in his early 20's what a tape is.
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
"What do you mean...the tape is pulled out from the center of the roll and wound around the outside? That would never work!" <-- 8 track
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
On a practical point of view for cassette repairs, for quite a few years I've always refused to get involved in repairing them - it's rare that all spares were available, and was cost prohibitive even if they were. Many 'later' decks were also very difficult to work on, and it only made sense to replace all belts, pulleys, clutches, pinch rollers and motors while you were doing so. Invariably, the heads also needed replacing as well, as most heads are soft and soon get a groove worn in them - running your finger nail up the head soon shows if there's a worn groove on the surface - this results in loss of treble, one channel much weaker than the other, and poor tape tracking.

Basically a tape is a very fine file - pieces of metal stuck to plastic - and this soon wears through the soft steel of most heads. The actual 'head' itself is made of ferrite, which is much harder then the steel, but is only one half of the tape width (bottom if I recall correctly?), hence the uneven wear across the head.

Years ago I had a Sony TC-186SD cassette deck, and these used 'ferrite and ferrite' heads (which were particularly expensive), but because all parts were ferrite they didn't wear. Mine had a huge amount of use, and the heads were still like brand new. In later years I replaced it with a Kenwood deck, with three heads - but that never got a great deal of use, although it sounds great, as you could adjust the bias while monitoring from the third head to get the best sound.
 

alec_t

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Good luck with replacing the rubber parts. Some years ago I tried casting a turntable drive belt, using silicone sealant squirted into a mould. That was a failure. The belt looked ok, but proved too stretchy, resulting in a lot of wow as the turntable cyclically accelerated and decelerated. Perhaps a thicker belt would have worked, but I didn't have the will-power to hack out another mould :).
 

dr pepper

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I did confuse him with 8 track, and I bet not many here remember playtape.
Also mentioned my 4 track reel to reel, got a blank look there too.

I reckon I have the technology to make a pinch roll, but maybe not belts.
The playback only side is probably worn out, that got a lot a use, the record side hopefully isnt as bad.
I've not had a proper look yet but wont this have 3 heads, it has Hx pro and dolby S, dont those require a third head?
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I seem to recall using a plain rubber band (perhaps known as an elastic band?) as a passable belt in a turntable.
 

alec_t

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I couldn't find a large enough domestic plain rubber band for the turntable, but I did successfully use one for getting a cassette deck going long enough to digitally archive some tape contents. For the turntable I eventually resorted to paying through the nose for a replacement belt from Maplin's (R.I.P).
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I did confuse him with 8 track, and I bet not many here remember playtape.
Also mentioned my 4 track reel to reel, got a blank look there too.
Prior to Compact Cassette (from Philips) there had been a good number of different cassette systems, none of which ever did anything of course. Later there was also Elcassette (not sure of the spelling?) from Sony, essentially a Compact Cassette but bigger, running at twice the speed, and giving pretty good performance. Needless to say, that flopped as well.

I reckon I have the technology to make a pinch roll, but maybe not belts.
The playback only side is probably worn out, that got a lot a use, the record side hopefully isnt as bad.
Run your fingernails up the heads, see if you can feel any ridges - if the heads are worn it's not worth messing with - assuming it is at all? :D

I've not had a proper look yet but wont this have 3 heads, it has Hx pro and dolby S, dont those require a third head?
I don't think so, and how they work doesn't seem to suggest that - three head cassette decks were pretty rare.
 

debe

Active Member
I would be surprised if some one doesn't still keep stock. Here in Australia WES components still stock Cassete player heads pinch rollers & all sorts of rubber belt sizes. They also stock Turntable belts in allsorts of sizes.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I would be surprised if some one doesn't still keep stock. Here in Australia WES components still stock Cassete player heads pinch rollers & all sorts of rubber belt sizes. They also stock Turntable belts in allsorts of sizes.
Pretty well all the UK general spares companies have ceased trading now, there's very little left.
 

dr pepper

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
There was a deep ridge in the head so I scrubbed it off with some P40.

Only kidding!
Cpc a major electronics supplier here in the Uk still stocks belts, pinch rollers & stuff for this kinda thing.
 
Last edited:

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Cpc a major electronics supplier here in the Uk still stocks belts, pinch rollers & stuff for this kinda thing.
CPC are about the only one left, and are a branch of Farnell, so spares are only a very small part of their business - I suspect it's probably only a matter of what they have left in stock?.
 

dr pepper

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
They dont say while stocks last so they either have a shed load or they sell enough to warrant the stock.
Cpc are convenient, I can get there on a push iron in 10 mins.
I remember when they opened, their whole business was around domestic electronic repairs then, they do all kinds of stuff now.
Funnily enough their original building before them was a tv repair centre, they closed around '90, it had been running 53 years, shame.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Latest threads

EE World Online Articles

Loading
Top