Repair: Realistic TR-882
Adjust and Test

Before I started the website I have already thoroughly refurbished the device, the old belt has been replaced, the mechanical parts have been regreased and the speed has been adjusted.

In a previous repair I replaced the lights because one had burned out.

He plays really well again and looks neat. But the device can also record. 

When I wanted to take advantage of that today, I found that the balance of the stereo sound was not right. Time to take the device apart one more time to correct this.

29 december 2019

Tools and materials:

  • Screwdriver Phillips (PH2)
  • Screwdriver flat (2mm)
  • Tray for screws
  • Audio source (MP3 player/Smartphone)
  • Speakers (optional)
  • 8-Track cartridge
  • 2x RCA stereo cables with appropriate adapter

Normally I give a tour and describe the device. But today we'll skip that.

When testing you see how strong the difference is, they differ considerably from each other. I can't say which one is right and which one isn't, so I'm going to adjust them both.

The device is on when I do this, it is advisable to be careful if you are going to mess around with a screwdriver in an active device, actually I advise against it but I see little other choice.

If you follow my steps then use insulated tools (insulated against electricity).

For now, the device can still be switched off, we will first disassemble it.

Place the device on its back and remove the legs, this secures the interior to the housing.

There are 5 screws on the back, remove these as well. The panel can then be removed.

From the front you can slide the interior out of the housing, make sure that the cord does not get caught at the back.

On the left side is this aluminum shielding (underneath a piece of cardboard).
It is secured with four screws, loosen them. Keep in mind that the circuit board underneath will also come off if you do this, I'll get to this later.

Here we see the circuit board of the recorder. There are small holes in the plate. on the other side are potentiometers. You can adjust this with a flat screwdriver.

I can't find much in the manual about adjusting your stereo sound. An electrical diagram has been drawn. Here I find the (red marked) parts I am looking for. Two potentiometers are drawn here, recognizable by the arrow with a circle around it.
Text is also included, referring to the function. It's the potentiometers I'm looking for.

The potentiometer holes are marked with soldering tin letters. the two marked as 'LM' (Level Meter) I have to adjust to get the sound back in balance. It doesn't say which one is for the left and which one for the right, but if you think about it you should know that.

Before I start I put the foil back and note with a marker which potentiometer is for what.
I reassemble it not so much to prevent damage but rather because the recording function does not work when the circuit board is unscrewed. You push the record away when you press the record button...

Time to plug in the device, I'm using my mp3 player with music for tuning, it also has some fixed sound tones on it that I'm going to use.

Put the device on pause and press the record button when you put a cartridge in it. (I copied the photo above from another page).

I look at the VU meters when adjusting, I play a number of different songs and tones to see how bad the deviation really is. I also play around with the volume on the MP3 player and the device itself.

I first check the position of the potentiometer and use the flat screwdriver to adjust it.

Be careful not to hit other parts, during the adjustment I notice that the VU meter sometimes disappears completely, this happens when you hold the screwdriver at an angle and it hits the aluminum. You then make contact with earth. It is not harmful, but it does make adjustment more difficult.

As you can see I have adjusted the left channel to the right one, but after some testing I notice that this is not the right setting, when you adjust the sound level the meters still differ. Finally I adjust both potentiometers while watching how it affects the VU meters.

In the background I connected the speakers to listen in, you may not hear the difference in stereo but it does help, the best is to use headphones but I can't adjust the volume on this (it is too loud when using it).

When I am finally satisfied I reassemble the device, but not without testing it extensively!

There is not much more to say about this simple repair. I can show you how to put the unit back together but it's the same as taking it apart.

My goal was to record a mixtape on the recorder. I did the recording the same day and can be found here . Tuning your stereo channels is the same on many Tape media. This instruction is therefore largely applicable to other devices.

29 december 2019

Related pages: