Friday, December 25, 2009

TV: House M.D.

Release date: November 2009

Episode 6x07: Teamwork

Pioneer RT-707

Monday, July 20, 2009

REP: Calibrating Pioneer RT-909 torgue

I calibrated the tension and backtension of a Pioneer RT-909 some months ago but I didn't remember that I had uploaded two videos about it.

The first shows the problem, only present in RWD mode:

This can be produced by you if you just play with the internal pots without knowing exactly what are you doing and without having the correct tools to calibrate the tension:

- The service manual where is described the procedure to follow and the order in which is needed to do it.

- A spring gauge, or even better, a tentelometer.

Notice that even when the tension is not correct in one transport function and rest seems to work OK, all the entire calibration is needed because the values of the rest impact in the other tensions.

This is the result after some time calibrating the pots until getting the correct readings in the tentelometer:

Friday, July 17, 2009

AN: More photographies

They were shot two days ago.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

AN: Photographies

I know that in the last weeks I didn't update the blog, but I've been busy with lot of work during week and most of the remaining time has been spent in my hobbies. Also here is very very hot and sunny, during the day it's 30 ÂșC (measured in shadow) and my home is most of the time shot by the sun.

I finally bought some tools to help me to repair and calibrate reel to reel decks, including scopemeter, millivoltmeter, tentelometer and digital weight scale. Soon I want to write a complete article about all the DIN plugs of the Uher 4400 Report Monitor. I made most of of the adapters for my unit and I'll share all the info I've got, including about the Z124 charger.

But until that day, I'll put here some pics shot during these days.

My second Pioneer RT-707 with ReVox 7" metal blue reels

Uher 4400 Report Monitor

Recording trains into the Uher 4400 Report Monitor

Two Pioneer RT-909

Sunday, April 12, 2009

VID: Uher 4400 Report Monitor

Doing a test with a piece of Maxell UD tape recorded very hot played back at 19 cms/7.5 ips in the Uher 4400 Report Monitor plugged by the DIN output socket to my main stereo system. It sounds really good even with those levels.

Monday, March 23, 2009

REP: Pioneer RT-909 sticky pinch roller mechanism

After thirty years is possible than the pinch roller mechanism of the Pioneer RT-909 gets sticky. It happened too to other machines that I own because the grease used in the mechanic pieces becomes gummy.

To solve this problem is needed to do some work inside the machine, isn't too complicated, but are needed some tools to open class E circlips (retaining rings / E-clips).

First of all I removed eight philips screws, four per side, to remove the black cover. The top front panel has three philips screws in the top of it. Once they are removed, the top front panel can be removed pulling it from the top against you.

To remove the lower front panel is better to place the deck horizontally. Take care with the back panel because there are the input and output cinch connectors and the voltage selector (not present in all units, only in global models).

With the deck horizontally I removed three philips screws in the bottom and another three in the top of the panel. Next step is to remove the buttons covers from output volume, mic input, line input and pinch control. Is better to remove also the pinch rollers taking care not to lose all washers and screws. Before remove the bottom panel, look carefully how is mounted in the bottom part.

Both front panels and the head block removed .

With both front panels removed I went on with the head cover. Is needed an allen screwdriver to remove the two biggest screws in the head cover (they are black). I think that now all the head block can be moved just pulling it carefully, however I prefered to remove also the screws that fix the bottom thin piece that is linked to the head block.

The pieces that are directly responsible of the problem are the two arms where are mounted the pinch rollers. Both arms come together in an unique branch that is attached by a thin deck to the pinch roller solenoid. Each of those arms is mounted over a cylindrical axis and the grease between the axis and the pinch roller arm is solidified.

The two pinch roller arms that must be removed to clean them.

To remove these pinch roller arms is needed to remove the spring of the join, the circlip down it and each circlip of each pinch roller arm. This is the hardest part of the repair job, so be careful.

After removing the main circlips .

After removing the spring from the top part where is glued.

Once both pinch roller arms are free, now they can be removed.

Removing the pinch roller arms.

The pinch roller arms watched from the top while removing them.

Aspect of the chasis once both pinch roller arms have been removed.

I cleaned both the inner part of them and the axis of the chasis where they were placed. All there is full of grease in bad state, so after removed it I put new grease in those zones using a cotton swab.

The pinch roller arms in the bench and some of the tools used in the process.

New grease that will be used to lubricate the moving parts.

Applying new grease to the inner part of the pinch roller arms.

New grease put in the axis of the pinch roller arms.

Now is time to come back from the previous steps to mount all again. After put both pinch roller arms and place the spring in its original place, I glued it again so that it gets secure there.

Soaking a cotton swab in glue.

Before putting back the main circlips and after glue the spring.

After mounting the pinch roller arms, I tested the result.

Being useful that was everything disassembled, I cleaned the panels and the buttons covers using an aluminium cleaner.

Cleaning the front panels.

To put the lower panel in its original place isn't as easy as you can think in a first watch, so take it easy and don't force anything, it must be put in its right place and no force is needed.

Mounting the panels.

Here is a video showing the final result:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

MOV: Kiss The Girls

Release date: January 1998

Dokorder 1120

Internet Movie Database Link

MOV: Blow Out

Release date: July 1981

Nagra III

Ampex 350

Pioneer RT-2022

Ampex 350

Nagra III

Ampex 350, Pioneer RT-2022, Scully 280B

Ampex 350, Nagra III

Ampex 350, Pioneer RT-2022, Scully 280B

Ampex 350 (2 units), Nagra III, Pioneer RT-2022, Scully 280B

Teac 2340 (2 units), Teac 2300SR

Teac 2340 (2 units), Teac 2300SR, Nagra III, ???

Nagra SN

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, March 13, 2009

VID: Teac X-2000R with 7" metal reels

Here is the Teac X-2000R with two TDK AR-7M 7" metal reels spinning at 7.5 ips / 19 cms.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

AN: Pioneer RT-909 black edition

As most people know, the Pioneer RT-909 was the top of the line of the brand, and unlike other brands, it was only released in silver finish.
That's was the supposed truth for a long time, but after watching in some movies the Pioneer RT-707 in black finish I questioned myself if also existed a RT-909 in black.

A few time ago I discovered an auction for a Pioneer RT-909 in black. That wasn't the first time that I found a black one, but was the first time that the finish looked not DIY, looked as an authentic black RT-909. After reading the text of the auction I realized that this was a personal project made with lot of care, effort and expensive, but with professional results.

I contacted the seller (Mr. V. in advance) to ask about the story of this unit and he told me than he always wanted a RT-909 in black and he saw one 20 years ago in a goverment institution. It was brand new and boxed. The box said "Pioneer RT-909", not "Pioneer RT-909B" or "Pioneer RT-909K" as usually do the brands to identity the black units, but in the corner there were a small text: "black".

The black RT-909 wasn't released to the consumer market, so only goverments and some professional sectors were able to order it. Mr. V. wanted a black RT-909 and after long time he finally decided to make a professional looking project with a friend to convert the silver face into a black face.

Their priority was to get a very high finish quality, not an amateur job. They tried the modification to black in different factories specialized in anodization processes and front printings, but the result was just good. Good were not enough for them, they wanted the perfection. A huge problem was the lettering on the front face because they found a very similar font but not the exact match. Another problem was the material used in the original front face that they used for the modification. Sometimes in some fronts hadn't enough aluminium consistency and sometimes appeared "clouds". It's more difficult to get a perfect black anodized surface than a silver one.

After a long research and a huge waste of material, they ended in the factory where also the big brands like Burmester and T+A do their cases and fronts. That factory knew how to do the things right and get the exact original font match and text placement on the front and obtain a very high resisting printing in silver color, which looks better than white color print.

Lot of problems appeared along the project, specially with the head cover, because it wasn't able to be converted to black, so it was needed to make the piece doing a 3D scanning and reproducing it in very high detail to get the black anodized head cover.

But this black Pioneer RT-909 has something that the original one never had: the wireless remote controller. Yes, all transport functions can be operated from a wireless remote controller and the result is amazing because it was done with the idea of an add-on, so there isn't neccesary to make new holes or lot of soldering. The infrared receiver sensor is placed just together with the fluorescent meter, so it uses the same window and a perfect reception is obtained.

All the electronics needed were profesionally made, even the remote controller

As a result of a long project and after lots of hours of design and job, here is the result: a black pearl, a black Pioneer RT-909 with high quality finish and outstanding perfection. Do you want more?, because there's more. The heads were relapped and aligned by JRF, so they are in perfect shape and perfectly aligned.

Here are some pics of the final result of this project.

This project wasn't made just for one unit but just a few of them. They are very limited and maybe when you read this lines, there is no more left, but if you feel lucky, are a serious collector and want to try to get a black Pioneer RT-909 or to get the wireless remote control kit to add to your Pioneer RT-909, send me an email.