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Reel To Reel All discussions pertaining to reel to reel decks. These include general usage, recording, playback, and service questions. For subjects related to tape itself, see the Open Reel subforum under this one. Obscure service subjects that don't quite fit go in the Help and Do It Yourself subforum.

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Old 04-05-2012, 11:13 PM
tapehead ted tapehead ted is offline
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why is my tape walking on the pinch roller?

and what can I do about it? It's walking away from the VU meters, towards me.. I don't think it's affection.

If I hold it in place, it will stop doing it until I start and stop it again, but I've been struggling with this for an hour or two. It was worse earlier, but fiddling seems to have it temporarily manageable...

Man, I have a lot of work to do, I hope there's a solution to get me through for a day or two anyway.
Old 04-05-2012, 11:39 PM
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390FE 390FE is offline
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Have you cleaned the pinch roller & capstan real good? Clean it again.

Check to see if the plastic/nylon retaining clip/washer is still in place on the capstan against the bushing/bearing. Can be white or black. And verify that the flywheel retainer/rear pivot is adjusted properly (if it is adjustable).

Also check to make sure the capstan belt is good.

Next the spring pressure on the pinch roller assembly could be off & need readjustment.

Possible the roller may need to be replaced.

Lastly it is possible that the bearing/bushing for the capstan is worn.
Old 04-06-2012, 12:23 AM
tapehead ted tapehead ted is offline
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Thank you.

The pinch rollers were replaced not so many usage hours ago. & I've been cleaning them once every reel (10.5"). Cleaning I can do! & will.

I'll take it to my tech when I get home next week, he'll know what to do.

In the meantime, a more complete description of the behavior: The tape lifts up in back off the guide on the pickup reel side, a good 3/16" off in back and still in place in front. Then it walks out of the slot, towards the incredulous operator.
Old 04-06-2012, 12:41 AM
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390FE 390FE is offline
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My bad I didn't see this was a R2R deck & may not have those retaining washers I was talking about.


Not having a lot of dealings with R2R It almost sounds like maybe a drag issue with the take up reel?

Does this do the same thing with different tapes & reels?
Old 04-06-2012, 12:57 AM
tapehead ted tapehead ted is offline
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I have a couple adapters that let me use the modern reels with the big holes. I noticed the takeup reel was rotating somewhat eccentricly, so I tried a couple different similar ones and swapped out the adapters from one side to the other, and I tried an old plastic reel that doesn't use the adapters. Same problem. It seemed like an improvement when I swapped the adapters.

I'm sitting there holding it in place with a Q-tip, and occasionally I take a chance and see if it will stay in place on it's own. Sometimes it will until the leader comes along, and these tapes are leadered between every song.

It's all the same make of tape. I'm moving songs from one reel to another, compiling the keepers.
Old 04-06-2012, 04:10 AM
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Old Busted Hotness Old Busted Hotness is offline
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If it does that all the time, on every tape, then it's an alignment problem with the deck. Pinchroller shaft could be bent, a guide could be off. I've had this happen when gunk piles up on the capstan, too.
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:03 AM
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I have a cassette deck that has a tendency to do the same thing and found that if I put my finger on the feed reel spindle to increase the back pressure it would solve the problem, so you may have a back pressure problem with the feed reel motor. I haven’t worked on a R2R deck in many years but I’m thinking they supply a small amount of reverse current to the supply reel motor to create some back pressure and I think maybe they would increase the current when switched to the 10” reel position to counter the geometric leverage difference from a 7” reel. It could be a dirty switch isn’t kicking the current up enough to give good back pressure for a 10” reel full of tape. I would see if the problem goes away if you just hold your finger on the outer edge of the feed reel to increase the drag. Also check and see if it does it with a 7” reel of tape instead of 10’.
The lifting of tape at the output side of the capstan would indicate not enough take up power either so it may be that your deck isn’t switching into the 10” position, at least not electrically so as to increase power to the reel motors. __

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Old 04-06-2012, 10:17 AM
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It does sound like either alignment or not enough back tension.

Put a little drag on the supply reel and see if it keeps walking.

Old 04-06-2012, 10:33 AM
tapehead ted tapehead ted is offline
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Thanks again for all the suggestions. My first guess is the 7 or 10 switch is gunked up- I'l switch it 100 times for good measure. I'll try the 7" reels too.
Old 04-06-2012, 08:55 PM
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My Teac A-4010s was doing this, last time I had it out to play. I found helping the pinch roller move toward the capstan helped it hold the tape better. So out came the manual and spring scale. Adjusting the pinch roller pressure was useless. The problem turned out to be the capstan solenoid.
(3) Otari MX-5050Bll-2 - main deck with MTR metal "smoothie" heads, Ampex A-122 & F-44, Teac A-4010S & A-4070, A-6010 GLS, Revox A77 Mk II, Heath A-16 (Magnecord 1020) __
Old 04-07-2012, 11:41 AM
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I'm confused as was 390.
What model and brand deck are we talking about here this should have been stated in the first post.
I ca not advise without knowing what we are dealing with?
Best regards,

Sam Palermo, BSEE , ProSquad Member
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Past Teac/Tascam Lead Service Technician at Chicago Factory Service, Sony too still doing repairs.
Old 04-07-2012, 10:43 PM
tapehead ted tapehead ted is offline
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1968 Sony 854-4.
I actually got through the work I needed to do, holding the tape in place with a Q-tip and listening very carefully...

When I get back home I'll take it to my tech who knows that model (and the particular one, actually) inside out. Thanks for helping me through the binge.

60 reels at 10.5", reduced to 10 keeper reels. Recording live music must be harder than hitting a baseball- I'm batting .166 and I feel like Ty Cobb.

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