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The Official Elcaset thread!

Discussion in 'Tape' started by Bigerik, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. treeddog

    treeddog New Member

    Messages:
    1
    I inherited an EL-5 from a friend of mine. I need to know a good source for VU meter lamps (Or suitable replacement). This will get me started. It has a few other issues. I hope won't be a major problem.
     

     

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  2. spensar

    spensar New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Just found this 6 year old post! I brought my El-4 into Centek Electronics a few days ago. I was encouraged when I was walking in the door on a snowy day, carrying the deck sideways with the name not visible and before I even got through the door, from about 10 feet away I heard "Is that an Elcaset" ! Looks like I was in the right place.
     
  3. nigelt

    nigelt New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Just dug me Elcaset EL5 out of the garage for a tidy up.
    Having problems with the brakes not working during pause, so looking around for some felt to refurb.
    I've sorted out most of the solid Japanese grease, one of the feed brake actuator rollers was absolutely solid.
    Having reassembled, I now have problems with the power supply 24v keeps dying.
    Will continue the saga tomorrow - fed up for today.
     
  4. Tinman

    Tinman AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,087
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California.
    Well, I don't post much on AK these days, but I have suddenly gotten quite a few elcaset decks for repair.
    As is often mentioned... dried up grease, belts and the brakes are shot. The brakes you have to re-line. A strip of suede works very well.

    I do repair these now, if anyone is in over their heads and needs help.

    Cheers!
     
  5. nigelt

    nigelt New Member

    Messages:
    4
    A bit disheartened with the Elcaset, so it's been moved off the bench in favour of a Nakamachi 480 that needs a new capstan motor.
    Currently modifying the bracket and fitting a Sony FG motor instead, along with a 7806 regulator.
    I will machine up a new pulley as the motor diameter is different. I'll make it a bit on the large side, them if I can't get the speed in range will machine off a bit more!

    Nigel (based in the South UK)
     
  6. nigelt

    nigelt New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Where do you get the belts from?

    Nigel
     

     

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  7. Flaxmill19

    Flaxmill19 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    New Zealand
  8. nigelt

    nigelt New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Postage to the UK is horrendous.
    There's retailer in Germany - a bit nearer

    Nigel
     
  9. spensar

    spensar New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Ebay for EL-4 belts. Only option for me with workable shipping fees.
     
  10. 62vauxhall

    62vauxhall AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,948
    Last fall I bought a (neglected for many years) EL-7 and 10 used tapes for $75. Too much on my plate until yesterday so that was the first time I had to have a good look at it. After coaxing the pinch roller assembly into position it does play, FF & REW so the frequently mentioned dried grease is a problem. The face plate is off and I took a look at the service manual on HiFi Engine. I have reconditioned to some degree reel to reels, 8 tracks and a couple of cassette decks but I don't really want to do an extensive disassembly on something this unfamiliar with just the somewhat complicated exploded view diagrams I saw as a guide.

    It seems to me that if the "beauty plate" in the cassette well was out of the way, accessing the pinch roller linkage would be easy but how does that plate come off? I removed the two screws holding it so it is loose and to me it looks like it should just left up and out. Is there something other than those two screws I need to deal with?

    I can get it about this far but no farther.

    IMG_3233.JPG
     
  11. hjames

    hjames dancing madly backwards ... Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

    Messages:
    12,248
    Location:
    VA near DC
    Can you still get TAPES for these players? They intrigued the heck out of me when they first came out,
    but I bought a CTF-9191 instead - then switche to JVC dual cassette decks, so many years ago!
     

     

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  12. Flaxmill19

    Flaxmill19 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Hi 62vauxhall,
    Its been awhile since I pulled one of my EL-7's down, but if my memory serves me correctly that back plate will come out, but it is tight. My only thoughts are have you pushed the Reel Spindle Caps back to give you a little bit more movement?

    Best of luck

    Tony
     
  13. 62vauxhall

    62vauxhall AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,948
    That's what I thought but no such luck. I discovered that the reel hubs are each held in place by two very small set screws. Had to spend $9 for a set of hex keys to get one that small - 1.27mm. Even so, I needed to grip the hex key with a hemostat (they were too short) in order to reach the set screws. Never the less, I loosened them and the reel hubs pulled off the shafts. Did not realize at the time that the counter belt is driven by one of those hubs. I don't think it will be a problem getting that back on but we shall see. In the meantime, I am going to give relining the brakes a try. Just trying to guesstimate how thick a piece of material to use. I have a piece of felt somewhere (have not found it yet) and I noticed other posts, one suggesting suede and the other an old drive belt. The felt I have (if I find it) is about 1.5mm thick but judging from the old felt, that may be too thick. I have some thinner self adhering felt which I use to recondition certain 8 track cartridges and will size that up. I would not rely on the self adhering adhesive but would augument it with a dollop of contact adhesive gel stick.

    With the tape well plate out of the way, I think I cleaned and lubed things well enough for the mechanism will function. We'll see also see about that. The biggest offender for being gummed up with dry grease was the cam that engages the brakes. Because it was not free to move, it also prevented the pinch roller mechanism from moving up and down properly. It took some time and effort to get that cam off its pivot shaft but it's back in place now and seems to behaving normally.
     
  14. artsarkis33

    artsarkis33 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Oh man, I love the way your Teac Al-700 is looking, how dose it sounds?
     
  15. 62vauxhall

    62vauxhall AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,948
    The mechanism now does what it's supposed to do, the capstan and counter belts are (surprisingly) in good condition, I re-lined the brakes with new felt, it plays and it records. What I did not do was clean the pots. I did not feel like performing the diassembly needed to get at their undersides. Presumably that would be where DeOxit can be introduced because that ain't gonna happen from the exposed areas - those things look well sealed. Instead, it's in the shop for control cleaning. Same shop had a nice quantity of sealed FeCr 90 blanks but someone else has dibs.
     
  16. Aerochrome

    Aerochrome Member

    Messages:
    78
    I just received a SONY EL-7 deck, in perfect condition aside from a broken black switch (P/N: 4-836-144-00). This is the same style of black switch that is on the EL-5. Anyone know of any cheap sony tape decks that have the same part, or have any parts machines?
     

     

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  17. Aerochrome

    Aerochrome Member

    Messages:
    78
    Well crap, The EL-7 I bought arrived with a bad motor control board... back on the hunt...
     
  18. Tinman

    Tinman AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,087
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California.
    These decks are not very complex. Also, there are a TON of fusible resistors in it instead of actual fuses. These can foul up a novice.
    Unless the motor control board is split in half, it should be quite fixable.

     
  19. 62vauxhall

    62vauxhall AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,948
    Nine months have passed since my posting about taking the EL-7 to a shop. They charged $78 to clean the pots & switches that I felt were too troublesome to get at.

    But, it was obviously not play tested afterwards.

    The reason for taking it in for service was the record level control was noisy and the split rings grossly uneven with each other which I attributed to a dirty/oxidized control. But the problem persisted after "professional" cleaning.

    A few months passed and I heard about another local tech who'd recently opened his own shop - repair only, no equipment sales. Turned out he was an alumnus of the shop I first went to and previous to that had worked on Sony Elcaset's. He said he'd encountered the exact same symptoms mine was exhibiting and was fairly confident it was a cheap 'n' cheatful fix. Unfortunately his suspicion was wrong but he did isolate the cause to a defective Dolby switch. The fix I was told meant removing and disassembling the switch and that seemed reasonable. Once done and back home the deck worked well.

    When I got around to recording my first tape, I re-used one of the tapes that came with the deck.

    Bad idea.

    Seems that Elcaset tape housings are prone to age related mechanical problems that prevent the take up hub from turning. So after extracting the "eaten" tape from the machine, I decided to gamble one of the factory sealed tapes I have.

    That worked splendidly and recording fidelity did not dissappoint. I would say it sounds just as good as my Teac or Pioneer R2R's @ 7.5 IPS.

    The next aspect of my Elcaset ownership experience will be reconditioning the used tapes I received to record over. I understand that can be done and "how to" instructions are out there somewhere.

    That new tape was great but damn, they're expensive.
     
    Luckyorleans likes this.
  20. Randeyman

    Randeyman New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Greetings fellow Elcaset tape enthusiasts. I am new to this forum, but seeking assistance. I am the proud owner of two elcasets. An EL-7 and an EL-5. Both have been in extended storage (along with an awesome Sony TC-765 10" R 2 R) for over 18 years. They are still in pretty good shape. (although they have that moldy smell) I have spent a lot of time on the R 2 R and it is cleaned up, greased, new drive belt, pots cleaned with contact cleaner, etc. and is now working wonderfully! So my next project is the EL-5. After a lot of disassembly (and admiration for an awesome design of both electronics and mechanics) and cleaning, greasing, replacement of the two small reel assembly brake pads (new 1mm thick felt), its working pretty good. My REAL problem and the subject of my question is this.... does anyone know HOW to remove the reel spindle assembly from the mounting shaft? The spring loaded cap on the supply reel has some sort of binding issue and will not freely spring up and down (or front to back) and thus will not properly engage the sprocket hubs (or whatever they are called) in the plastic elcaset tape shell. I have the repair manual and it shows the exploded diagram of these parts, but there is no clue as to how to remove them. I don't want to break it, as there is no replacement part. Because of the 4 holes in the "base" ( i.e. the flat part) of the assembly, I was thinking that there was probably some sort of tool - a puller of some sort - to actually pull the assembly off of the axle. But I am not sure.. I want to try to find out what is binding in the spring loaded cap assembly and try to repair it so that it will easily and properly engage the supply reel hub. Is there any experience with this out there? I would sincerely appreciate any advice!
     

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