Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Everything breaks

First my nice 32" LCD TV broke, which is annoying. But the TV is easily replaceable, it just takes some money. At the moment I am just using an old 21" CRT TV monitor instead, because it is no good to work on any more.

But now my beloved Sony TC-KA6ES tape deck broke. It was the best tape deck Sony ever produced. A three motor, three head
and Dolby B/C/S monster with manual tape calibration and a weight of half a ton.

I haven't used it for at least two years and this is probably the reason why it broke. Our flat here in sunny Spain gets pretty warm in the summer and it is also a very dusty city. This week I wanted to use it again, because I am working on a little python software to help me to transfer my many tapes to the computer. But now all I have left is a rubbish Technics deck.

I could try to find another good tape deck on ebay, which would set me back 100 to 350 Euro, depending on the deck. I also checked what new decks are available, but all of those are on the cheap end. I am very much in vintage territory now. I realized of course that tapes are not commonplace any more, but they vanished from the high end since five years or so now.

The other option is to find someone to fix the Sony, because it is probably just some rubber band or a dirty part. Fast forward and rewind still works and all the motors seem to work. But while repair shops like this are pretty common in Germany and London, they are difficult to find here. I might also try to fix it myself, as I can't break it much more than it already is.

I finish this post with a picture of my also lovely and broken Sony TC-C5. This one is a very rare five tape auto reverse changer. The tapes are on a carousel. I used it a lot in my time in university to record long techno and house mix shows on the Stuttgart radio. Depending on the tapes it gave me five to ten hours of music. It probably has a similar problem as the TC-KA6ES.

1 comment:

  1. If all the motors are working then the fault must be somewhere near the pinch wheel which presses the tape against the drive shaft of the main drive motor. Have you tried to see if the pinch wheel is free to move as the bearing could be just dry. A tiny tiny drop of oil on a toothpick is about all you need to lubricate the bearing. Also is something stopping the pinch wheel from pressing fully against the drive shaft? Does the pinch wheel have a spring to give it tension? What mechanism pushes the pinch wheel onto the drive shaft? Hope this helps you in your effort to solve the problem.