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Old October 18th, 2020, 03:54 PM   #1
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Reel-to-Reel Belt Replacement Time Lapse

As there haven't been too many audio and video jobs lately, I finally got around to putting time into some of the projects I've had cluttering up my closet. This video documents the process of replacing the belts on a Sony quadraphonic open reel tape deck.

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Old October 19th, 2020, 01:05 AM   #2
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Re: Reel-to-Reel Belt Replacement Time Lapse

Id been putting off it replacement on a Tascam deck and looking a what I could dismantle I wondered if such serious dismantling was needed, and I used a video just like this to show me the path, and it really helped me NOt remove things I didn't need to. They're handy for so many things, I watched it end to end, which for me is unusual. If you can manage it, well worth doing for helping others. I discovered my sticking motor was simply 30 years of sitting there unpowered. Aft being on and running for a day, it never came back as the lubrication softened.
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Old October 20th, 2020, 04:38 PM   #3
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Re: Reel-to-Reel Belt Replacement Time Lapse

G’day Patrick, you must have had those belts in stock too, you couldn’t get them now.

Those Sony Quad decks were all the go in the late 1980s. Never heard of the TC388, for a/v programs we had a few TC 854-4s. 10.5” reels, 3 speeds and the handy pitch control. We kept a stock of new heads etc, and they were better than the equivalent Teac models.

Here’s a story about the pitch control. Years ago one morning at our Sydney studio, the Danish Embassy rang and asked could we help them. Their new Ambassador to Aust. was going to give his first reception and he wanted to screen the new Danish hit movie to his guests. The problem was his copy had the soundtrack in Danish with French subtitles.

At a previous screening in Melbourne, a woman sat in the front row translating and reading the French subtitles in English while somebody recorded her. The Embassy now had this 10.5” reel at 3/3/4 IPS and could we supply a machine to sync. it with the movie at the reception.

The call got through to me, and after getting more details, I thought the TC 854 should do the job with its pitch control to keep sync. Seeing it was to be Sunday night, and I didn’t want to pay any staff double time, I said I could do it.

Sunday night I get to the Anzac Theatre early, meet the projectionist, get the 10.5” reel and set up in the projection booth. The first English voice is the movie title so I cue the tape up to that. The show starts and after his welcome speech the Ambassor introduces his movie, lights down and off we go.

I thought, once I get the tape in sync. it might stay there, but no, soon I see it drifting out so I use the pitch control to slowly catch up. All goes well for about an hour then disaster, the projectionist puts the wrong film reel on. Straight away I see it and so does the Ambassador, he calls for lights, leaps up to mic. apologises and invites the guests out to the reception room for drinks and cakes.

I go too, and actually meet the the Aust. Prime Minister John Howard. He asks what happened with the movie and when I tell him he says, “Well it wasn’t all that good anyway.”

We got paid for the night and I dined out on this story for years. Thanks for reading.

Cheers.
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Old October 23rd, 2020, 01:51 PM   #4
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Re: Reel-to-Reel Belt Replacement Time Lapse

Great story!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
G’day Patrick, you must have had those belts in stock too, you couldn’t get them now.
Amazingly, you can get them now. And there's a guy (in Australia) selling an idler wheel I considered buying, but the 3-1/2" per second speed problem seems to be linkage rather than the wheel.
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Old October 23rd, 2020, 04:39 PM   #5
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Re: Reel-to-Reel Belt Replacement Time Lapse

Thanks Patrick, that story got in the papers here and the Danes make killer pastries.

Can you still get the belts from Sony or do like we did, measure the old ones and get ‘em cheaper from Belts are Us, something like that.

Cheers.
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Old October 24th, 2020, 01:38 AM   #6
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Re: Reel-to-Reel Belt Replacement Time Lapse

My belt set was via eBay, from Portugal! Worth the search.
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Old October 25th, 2020, 03:11 AM   #7
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Re: Reel-to-Reel Belt Replacement Time Lapse

I got the belts via Ebay from a seller in New York State. The TC-388-4 evidently uses the same belts as the TC-377.
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