Thursday, January 26, 2017

Reel to reel tape cleaner

Due to advancement of audio technologies reel to reel audio tapes are now classified as a rare item. The biggest problem with the reel to reel tapes are fungus. Fungus are developed on old unused tapes due to humidity exposure. Also another problem with old tapes is that the lubrication on the surface of the tape starts to deteriorate and tape starts to stick to itself, and this leads tape to break during the playback. Most of the that have Fungus can be fixed by using tape cleaner. But these days reel to reel tape cleaners are not available to buy and because of that we decided to build simple tape cleaner by using parts of old reel to reel tape players.

The core component of this player is an induction motor which we got from an old reel to reel player. The motor which we used in this project is Sony HC-134. HC-134 is 100V single-phase, capacitor run, induction motor with 1500 - 1800 RPM. Recommended auxiliary winding capacitor for this motor is 1.5μF. To deliver 100V AC to motor we use 3A, 230V to 100V step down transformer.

Final view of the reel to reel tape cleaner.

Casing and most of the parts of this cleaner is made by using 5mm transparent acrylic sheets. Size of the casing which we made for this cleaner is 300mm × 100mm × 215mm.

To clean 360m long (polyester) tape this cleaner takes 4 to 5min.

Tape before and after cleanup with the cleaner.

High resolution photographs of this reel to reel tape cleaner are available at my flickr.com page.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Telefunken HiFi Studio 1 restoration

HiFi Studio 1 is portable boombox manufactured by Telefunken in around 1979. This player consist with 4 band radio (with LW, MW, SW and FM), cassette player / recorder and with 2 × 30W audio power amplifier.

Restored HiFi Studio 1

This unit is designed using both ICs and transistors. Receiver of this unit is build around TDA1047, TBA570 and BA1320 ICs. Tape player/recorder is mainly build using NPN transistors and special Telefunken IC and 4066 ICs are used to get Telefunken's proprietary HIGH COM tape noise reduction feature. Power amplifier of this boombox is transistor based and it uses pair of TIP130 and TIP135 transistors in it's final stage.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Sony TC-252 reel to reel player restoration

TC-252 is 3 speed reel to reel player manufactured by Sony in around 1970 – 1972. This is transistor based tape player with 4W × 2 audio output power, sound-on-sound and sound-with-sound recording features.

The TC-252 which we got to restore had many problems. Major problem is someone alter the circuit in that recorder and attach LA4440 power amplifier into the circuit. Apart from that, motor speed of that recorder also starts to decrease after 10min of continues playback. Other than above two major problems it had some mechanical problems in playback position and all the potentiometers in the front panel are damaged beyond repairing.

TC-252 main PCB after restoration.

As a first step of the restoration we remove the LA4440 module attached into that recorder and rewire the player with original wiring layouts. After rewiring we check all the transistors in that player and find-out that the couple of 2SC634 transistors are damaged in that player. Because 2SC634 is not available in the market we replace those damaged transistors with BC548 transistors.

For the front panel potentiometers we use standard 10K and 20K (log) potentiometers available in the market.

To fix motor speed problems we replace 1.5MFD + 0.5MFD multi-section can capacitor with two separate 1.5MFD and 0.5MFD (450V) AC fan capacitors.

Internal view of restored TC-252 player.

After cleaning and reassembling the mechanical unit TC-252 player starts to work. Compare with most of the reel to reel players TC-252 looks like a basic player, but we really like it's playback audio quality and audio output power.