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Matrix's RT-909 Modifications and Improvements Want a wireless remote control for your 909? How about making it quieter? Matrix might just have the answer.

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Old 08-26-2013, 07:55 PM
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matrix matrix is offline
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Arrow RT-909 Infrared Remote Kit


Have been asked to post here the pictures, details and the history of the infrared remote control for RT-909.
I have developed the infrared remote control especially for the RT-909 reel to reel deck.
The receiver PCB is designed to fit as a click-in unit, having gold plated pressure contacts and side fasteners.
This was the first version, very elegant build. But Pioneer released the very first version of the RT-909 with higher contact lines on the logic board. I had once the chance to find one of these. It was from 1979.
It seems that they changed very fast to the lower contact lines. These lower contacts have been used then for the entire production life time.
The models from 1979 with the higher contacts are really rare.

Hand sender, Receiver board (click-in version) and Sensor board:

The remote receiver with the click-in feature can be used only in the models with lower contact lines on the logic board.

For the RT-909 model with higher contacts on the logic board, I did a second version of the remote receiver. Meaning the same PCB but with wires instead of the click-in spring contacts.
This second version is mounted on an aluminium frame and attached behind the logic board using the same screws of the logic board itself.

---- Click-in version of the receiver board ---
This is the picture of the click-in version with gold plated contacts. This one can be clicked in over the contact lines of the logic board. The lower chassis of the RT-909 keeps the receiver PCB in place with the right amount of pressure over the contacts of the logic board.

Mounted receiver PCB (click-in version)

Lower chassis in place

---- Wired version of the receiver board ---
Here is the picture of the receiver PCB version with wires and aluminium mounting frame. The wired version doesn’t make use of the contacts on the logic board and can be used in both RT-909 models

Mounted receiver PCB (wired version)

---- Infrared Sensor board ---
For the IR-Sensor I designed a PCB that can be clicked-in at the right side of the VU glass.
The IR sensor is then under the VU glass – No holes needed in the front panel !
The wire from the receiver PCB must be connected to the white connector.

Mounted overview

---- Infrared Sender ---
Several detail pictures of the IR hand sender:

And that’s it.

Kind regards,
....once we accept our limits, we go beyond them....

Last edited by matrix; 02-06-2016 at 08:40 PM.
Old 08-26-2013, 08:42 PM
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Elite-ist Elite-ist is offline
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Very nicely presented, Vlad. Have you offered any of your IR kits for sale?

Old 08-26-2013, 09:11 PM
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matrix matrix is offline
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Originally Posted by Elite-ist View Post
Very nicely presented, Vlad. Have you offered any of your IR kits for sale?


yes offered a few the past. I'm not looking to make a business with that stuff. But have some pieces that remained unused from each project.
Feel free to send me a mail if you need something.

....once we accept our limits, we go beyond them....
Old 08-26-2013, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by matrix View Post
I'm not looking to make a business with that stuff.
Might you consider posting the schematics and parts lists for DIY projects?
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:34 PM
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Pacific Stereo Pacific Stereo is offline
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Very nice work! I think you could make a lot of RT-909 owners happy with these.
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I RESTORE VINTAGE AUDIO AND VIDEO GEAR. Master technician for Concept, Quadraflex, Calibre, Pioneer and Sony. Endorsed by Richard Schram for Concept product restoration. Factory technician for both Yamaha and JVC. Sonics consultant for Denon. Pacific Stereo store manager, service manager, Central Service lead tech, liquidator at our demise. Pacific Stereo curator. Infinity IRS dealer. Music buyer for one of the first CD retailers in the USA. Authorized servicer for virtually every brand on the planet at one time or another. Music addict. Mastering & recording engineer, weaned on a Neve (no other console sounds like a Neve!). Industry-respected ears. Head Tapehead.

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Old 08-27-2013, 05:49 AM
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matrix matrix is offline
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Originally Posted by Scorpion8 View Post
Might you consider posting the schematics and parts lists for DIY projects?
The schematic is really simple. Just a transistor in parallel to each switch of the logic board in the deck.
At the begining I also tought about a DIY. The main problem I had was the form factor. I did not had any good results as a DIY to build it such a way to fit the parts in the very small place between the contact lines of the logic board.
As well I had problems to build it so flat to be included between the logic board and the chassis. The only solution here was a microcontroller which is small and flat enough to have place there.
And the microcontroller is then the next stop in a DIY, the software (firmware) for the microcontroller it is required and the programer unit to burn the firmware into the micrpcontroller.
Finally I ended in with a factory job. As well with a custom made build of especialy designed spring contacts for the mating with these metal lines of the logic board.
The other problem I had as a DIY was the hand sender. Tried at the begining to use the case from old remote senders. But had just ugly results.
As well final story was to contact a factory for the manufacturing of the hand sender. This sender is not compatible to the RC5 Philips standard and can't be replaced by a universal remote sender.
If you want a DIY then you must forget this kind of implementation (because of the form factor problems) and to think about another place inside the cabinet of the deck where you can mount it in.
The sender question and how to build the case remains also open.
Do you want to use universal senders?

....once we accept our limits, we go beyond them....
Old 08-27-2013, 06:04 AM
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matrix matrix is offline
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Originally Posted by Pacific Stereo View Post
Very nice work!......
thank you for your kind comment.
I saw at you web page that you are also doing PCB design.
Was very pleased to read that you like symetry and beauty in the board design.
I'm thinking like you - ugly boards are ugly.
I redesigned the preamp PCB of the RT-909 and paid a lot of attention for symetry and same length of the tracks in all channels.
Will post soon the PCB layout - would be happy to see your comments about.

Kind Regards,
....once we accept our limits, we go beyond them....
Old 09-18-2013, 05:12 PM
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Very impressive work!
R2Rs: Sony TC-880-2, TC-766-2, TC-765, Tascam 44OB, 52, Otari 5050 BII & BQII, Tandberg TD-20A & SE, 64X, Revox A/B77, A700, G36, MCI...
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:55 PM
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wow ! Amazing !
Old 08-28-2015, 12:35 PM
scottjoh scottjoh is offline
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Nice job!

If you aren't offering kits there is another fairly easy way to add wireless remote capability to the RT-909. www.akai-remotes.com makes a the RC-90 which can be fairly easily wired into the RT-909. It will require some drilling of holes on the back cover to mount a connector and soldering.
The RC-90 wireless remote receiver has a DIN-8 connector for 8 function Forward play, reverse play, record, stop, pause, rewind, fast forward, record mute. The RT-909 does not use record mute so that function is not used, but, that pin can be used for power which I'll discuss later.
First find a good place on the back of the deck with about 1" of clearance around it on the inside. Use a step drill to open up a 5/8" dia hole and mount a DIN-8 connector on the inside with a screw and nut.

The connector needs to be wired to the decks electronic. In the picture below I have labeled the connections to the button circuit board from 1-13.

The connector DIN-8 connector has a weird pinout compared to the one molded into the plastic of the connector so use the picture below as a guide.

Now start the wiring.
Pioneer DIN-8 Function
1 - - 1 - - - Pause
2 - -Shield- Ground
7 - - 7 - - - Record
4 - - 4 - - - Play
5 - - 9 - - - Reverse Play
6 - - 5 - - - Stop
9 - - 2 - - - Fast Forward
10- - 3 - - - Rewind

The RC-90 remote requires power which you can get from the AC adapter that's included or you can use the Record Mute pin 8! This will require a small mod to be done inside the RC-90 receiver. The gray wire should be unsoldered from the circuit board and the wire connected to the power connector center pin instead. Inside the RT-909 find a source of +12V and wire it to the DIN-8 connector center pin, pin 8.

Last edited by scottjoh; 08-28-2015 at 12:40 PM.
Old 08-28-2015, 04:30 PM
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Vlad's work seems to be top notch yet he is not into it for commercial reasons. Well that is up to him but as far as I am concerned, I get requests for doing modifications on decks which most of the time make no sense and are what I call snake oil mods.

Vlad's Remote mod is one I would not mind installing in a clients unit as it is clear cut and a very well made product as far as I can see. Too bad he does not sell a kit so that service people could offer such a thing for their client's machines making them even more happy.
Maybe one day he will change his mind?
Best regards,

Sam Palermo, BSEE , ProSquad Member
Skywave Tape Deck Repair- Chicago area
(630)616-0932 Office/ Email skywavebe@sbcglobal.net
Past Teac/Tascam Lead Service Technician at Chicago Factory Service, Sony too still doing repairs.
Old 08-28-2015, 05:35 PM
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Now if we could get one for the 707 that would be icing on the cake with ice cream!

Nice work and you should offer a kit and make a little $$ on the design. I hope you patent it!

"lets get the flux capacitor a good waxing as well to improve the electron flow through the quadiphile dynamic harmonics stabilizer........"

Freddy1 9/9/1950 - 6/7/2015
Old 08-29-2015, 03:07 PM
scottjoh scottjoh is offline
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Vlad made a really nice unit. The Click-In version looks especially easy to install but only works on the small subset of the RT-909s made, which means that wiring in a unit is the only other option for most of the decks.

I tried to edit my post from yesterday with some pictures of the remote receiver unit, but, I can no longer can. It seems that I'm allowed only one edit. Well anyway here they are.
First is a picture of the receiver with the cover removed.

The IR receiver is on the left middle, marked U2. This part can be removed from the board and remotely mounted with just 3 wires. The wires going to J1 match 1-1 the connections to the DIN-8 connector, 1-pause (brown), 2-fast forward (red), 3-rewind (orange), 4-play (yellow), 5-stop (green), 6-reverse play (blue), 7-record (violet) and 8-record mute (gray). Pin 8, record mute, is not used in the Pioneer. Both pins on J2 are ground, J3-1 ground (black), J3-2 Power 7-12 Volts (blue).
I just noticed there is an error in my earlier post. In the wiring table I messed up the reverse play connection. It should be Pioneer pin 5 to DIN-8 connector pin 6.
Pioneer DIN-8 Function
5 - - - 6 - - -Reverse Play
I took the electronics out of the case it cames in and mounted it inside a deck (not the RT-909 in the picture below) and then wired it into the deck. The job is fairly easy. I used the existing cable and cut off the DIN-8 connector to wiring in directly to the front panel push button switches. IR receiver was removed and with three wires I remotely mounted it in the corner behind the LED meter window. In the picture I haven't yet found a good place to grab power from the deck, but, that would go to J3 once I do. Again J3-1 (square pad) is ground and J3-2 (round pad) is power.

The deck can now be controlled with any universal remote. The jumpers on the receiver board configure which Sony VCR code (Beta, VHS, 8mm or laser disc) it responds to. This made it easy to configure my Harmony remote or any universal remote for that matter. The Harmony software is rather annoying however in that it wants the model number of the Sony VCR. I just went on eBay and found the model number of an old Sony Beta deck (SL-HF500) and the Harmony tool was happy and it worked.

Last edited by scottjoh; 08-29-2015 at 03:13 PM.
Old 02-06-2016, 09:36 PM
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this AKAI remote will do the job for sure but it isn't a good implementation for the RT-909
Mounting is a problem, maybe you need to drill some mounting holes or to build yourself any frames to mount the pcb.
IR sensor is also not ready to be installed.
And a UNIVERSAL Sender !?!? This is exactly what I avoided in my design. Don't want to see a vintage deck with a modern VCR or credit card IR sender !
I wanted to keep mine in a vintage look and feel.

I do have two versions: the click-in version for smaller posts in the RT-909 and the wired version when the click-in don't work because of the higher sized posts (the higher posts are present in a few early production RT's).
(See the pictures at the top)
Both versions can be installed very easy, without to drill any mounting hole and without to manufacture any adapters or mounting frames.
And my hand sender is vintage look and feel and with printed "RT-909" fascia - it is as it should be for a vintage deck (my oppinion).

Yes the AKAI remote kit is the cheap solution (somewhat in the range of US$ 80) and ok. for everyone who want it as cheap as possible.
My remote kit is in another price range. It is available for US$ 195 and with discount for repair shops who need several units.

So we have here a lot of major differences (concept, design, mounting effort, look and feel...) especially when we talk about the implementation in the RT-909.
Even when they do finally the same job, the main question is if we can compare these remote kits?

....once we accept our limits, we go beyond them....
Old 05-31-2016, 11:57 AM
homegas181 homegas181 is offline
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909 remote

Hi, iam looking to install a remote on my 909,looking at the one you have to wire in would be the one for me,is there any chance I could purchase one please, please contact gadsby774@btinternet.com thankyou mel
Old 06-07-2016, 11:40 AM
homegas181 homegas181 is offline
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Spin pioneer rt 909 remote

Matrix if you have contacted me ,please do again as I've lost all my emails , thanks homegas 181 .........Mel
Old 09-22-2016, 09:19 PM
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I think the easiest DIY way is to use arduino and TSOP382 or similar. I've made few of IR with arduino. You just grab any remote you want and then hardcode the arduino with those codes. Use mosfets on outputs to "push" buttons. If the buttons are switched against ground you don't even have to do that, can be wired directly to arduino pins. Heck, you can make also the sender yourself with another arduino, either IR or abandon IR entirely and make it wireless with those dirt cheap 433MHZ RF modules, then you won't have problem where to put the IR receiver. Total cost of components for project like this on ebay is like $6. Most of the time I am spending on making boxes for the project these days....everything else is now child's play.
I use those $2 nano from ebay. For absolutely everything electronics. Seriously, once you get into it you would not understand why you waited so long...
Pioneer RT 909, RT 505, TEAC X-1000R and tons of other weird things.

Last edited by OscarKo; 09-22-2016 at 09:28 PM.
Old 12-28-2016, 05:28 PM
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Still active?

Is Matrix still active on here?
Alan C. W.

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Old 12-28-2016, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Kacansas51 View Post
Is Matrix still active on here?
Just now checking his member section shows Last Activity in April this year.

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