Sunday, January 20, 2008

REP: Restoring Pioneer RT-707 VU meters

Although it's rare that the red color turn into a discolored orange, I found it in a deck that has been lot of years exposed to direct sunshine in a sunny area somewhere in the south of France.

When I bought this deck thru eBay, I ditn't realized in the discolored meters. Really I bought it to restore, since it was announced as a not working unit.

More than one year has passed from that moment. I asked other people for ideas to restore the color again and, after thinking all purposes, finally decided to make a new scale using a computer paint program. The idea was to make the new ones just exactly the original ones.

I worked with high resolution images with several layers, put over a pic of the original scale to ensure that new scale is in the same place. One problem was the original font used for "PIONEER ELECTRONIC CORP.". After searching for more than one hour, I found a very similar but not identical, but close enough to pass the test of anyone.

After opening the deck and get the meters accesible, I disoldered both so that I can work with them safelly and more confortable.

To open the meter is very easy. Like most cases, it only has a few pieces of adhesive tape, in this case, three. After cutting them, the cover of the meter can be removed:

The scale is printed over a fine metallic piece, so I used a cutter between it and the plastic base of the meter to cut the glue that join both. It must be done very slow and carefully.

I decided to print the new scales into stikers so that I can adhesive them in the other side of the original metallic piece where was the old scale.

One problem is to find the adecuate mosts similar background color to the original one. Although I took different shots, I were sure that after printing it would be different.

In a DIN A4 paper I printed 16 stickers, 4 left and 4 right, one time with a darker background that the original one, and one time with a lighter background.

After printing it in a laser color printer, none of them had the same background tone color than the original one, so I decided to use the lighter one although it was mostly identical to the white color.

Before put the cover of the meters, I tried to reduce the scratches in the transparent plastic cover, so I used toothpaste bacause is a good polish that respects well the transparent plastics.

Isn't easy to put the sticker perfectly over the metallic part so that the scale be perfectly where was the original.

And here is the final result:

And a closed pics of the meters, before and after restoring:


Unknown said...

Hi Juanjo

Please post the name of the font you used for lettering the company name.


TheReeler said...

Hi Mikkel,

Sorry, I can't remember the name. I was looking for it, but unfortunatelly the computer where I originally die the job no longer exists, so the font isn't installed.

I remember that for that purpose I visited some internet font sites and looking examples, I found it.

Anyway, if you need the part of the company name, I still having the original design with the lettering in high resolution as image.

Anonymous said...

do you still have the image? And would u mind to send it to me?