Cantata 700 cassette
repair part 2
We begin this second page with the Rhythmic Library 165 (R-165).
The cassette looks dirty but otherwise doesn't look that bad.
Take a look at the sticker on the back. I'm now wondering what the punched numbers mean (208571). I am in doubt between a serial number or production number. But guess the former.
It will be a surprise again what happened to the tape here, because it no longer runs along the parts it should walk by, have it opened quickly to find out what's wrong!
All six screws are neatly present, as soon as they are out I take a look inside where I immediately notice something.
Where did the brake go? The only thing I can find is some red residue on the edge of the housing. I suspect someone has been in the cassette before. Perhaps then the brake was removed because it was probably no longer good given the residue that I find.
When I take out the top spool I see that the tape is broken because it no longer crosses over to the other spool. If I look closely I can find both ends. The one on the top coil is stuck and I have to remove it with tweezers. This confirms my suspicion again because someone has tried to make it with glue. This apparently had no positive effect because the tape got stuck and was pulled apart again during playback. The cassette probably disappeared into storage after this.
A very dusty storage if you ask me. The white spots, on the other hand, are not dust, but rather resemble old cobwebs. With compressed air I manage to get most of it away except for the strange round spot. Hopefully it will have little effect on playback. On one of the reels we see the text again that refers to the content of the tape itself.
I grab my trusty cut and paste set again. When I take a closer look at the break, I notice that it probably hasn't been repaired as I thought before. The tape has probably already been set aside after the failure and has never been looked at again. I neatly cut the two ends and attach both sides with a piece of adhesive tape.
Fortunately, the brake can also be made working again with the same method as I had used before, or in a slightly different way. The rubber feet are actually a bit too big and touch the housing of the cassette. So I cut off a strip and again come to the conclusion that they don't stick well enough either. I solve the latter with a few drops of superglue. After this, the brake fits properly and works as it should again.
Meanwhile, in the background, I check the cassette itself, clean the dirty parts with alcohol and lubricate the points with a dot of grease where necessary.
It all seems to run smoothly until I put the spools back in place and want to tension, the tape tears again but this time in a different place! It turns out that something sticky got stuck in the spool on the roll of tape.
There is no other option than to unroll the tape from the spool until it no longer sticks. Fortunately, the damage is not too bad, after about three meters of tape, it no longer sticks. I cut the sticky tape between them and reattach the good piece to the other end. I lose a few meters of music with this, but given the amount of tape left on it, this is only a fraction. For now, I'm reassembling the cassette.
All that remains now is the outside, I put pads with alcohol over it. The sticker at the bottom right is very weathered and almost impossible to read. So I decide to take it off. I still have plans for these stickers as they should normally be on every cassette but are already missing on some. I will come back to this later.
At first it seems he doesn't feel like it and the speed is far from stable. But once he's been playing for a few minutes, the symptoms slowly disappear and he starts to sound better. It seems that this cassette has not played many hours, probably because it broke fairly early. I'll be running it for a while soon to see if it continues to play really well and if it won't stick again later. For now I approve it and put it on the pile of repaired cassettes.
Is it now upside down or not? It was a bit of a surprise to see that this cassette has everything the other way around in terms of descriptions, even the 3M logo is upside down. This was probably a later edition of the Cantata 700 catalog. This can be clearly seen in the coils that are no longer made of metal but of cheaper plastic that is also not translucent, but reflective because if you look closely you can see the mobile with which I took this photo.
The stickers on the back are also different, the standard sticker is no longer reflective, there is also a second sticker that states that it is forbidden to duplicate this music. At the end of course I make a short movie with the operation of this cassette, does this also fall under duplication?
The cassette is not very special. The interior also seems to be easy to maintain. There is some dust on the coils and the housing needs to be checked with compressed air. Some lubrication and it could be put back together.
The brake also still looks good. I don't have to do any maintenance on this. The description of the content can also be seen here on the reel. "SE526I 240" is written on it. SE526 is the designation of the music I stands for volume 1. The number 240 means nothing to me, but can be a reference to the 240th copy.
The coils get a refreshing clean and shine like new.
Apply some grease, and a final check before I put it together. It only strikes me here that a piece of the housing has broken off. But this can't hurt. Time to test the cassette!
The previous cassette was a calm before the storm compared to this cassette. The Rhythmic Library 266 Series II now stands here. (R-266). I can already tell you that I have very little desire to tackle this cassette...
On the first page I already became acquainted with what is going on here. If you look closely at the edges of the coils you can already see what I'm talking about. The tape is also not as it should be, they are all bad harbingers of what is to come.
Another picture of the sticker on the back. As usual, there are no start and expiration dates stamped on the sticker.
When I want to open the cassette, my eye falls on the reel. It is now very clear what happened here. The brake that is supposed to keep the coils in place is completely gone. I've tackled this same problem before on the "Variety Library V 168" but on this cassette the problem seems to be even worse. Someone probably tried to play the cassette with the brake already melted, as a result the creamy paste is spread all over the cassette. It is now hoped that the tape itself did not end up under this paste, otherwise it may be a lost cause.
When opened, the damage appears to be fairly limited. The tape on the top spool is untouched and still looks good, there is even little dust on it. the rim of the spool is covered in soggy mess.
Let's take a look at the culprit. The brake has indeed completely deteriorated to a soft mush of pitch. The remnants that are on the brake have even taken on a very special shape. There is also a layer of gunk where the brake rests.
It is only when I take out the second coil that it becomes clear to me how bad the situation is. You can see exactly where the edges of the coils run. A circle of brake paste adorns the bottom. The lower spool is also covered with paste, but fortunately the tape is still completely untouched so it is a matter of a lot of scrubbing and scrubbing to get this cassette operational again. I gather the courage and start an hour-long job.
I scrape the thick paste off the bottom with a flat screwdriver. After this I can scrub with cotton swabs dipped in alcohol. Finally, I scrub the surface again with a soft pad. In the pictures above you can see how it works.
The coils get a similar treatment, except here I have to be careful not to scratch the coil with the screwdriver, and scrub gently to avoid bending the coil.
Instead of cotton swabs, I use soft pads with alcohol here so that I can clean a larger surface. Especially the edges of the coils are a challenge, but after a while of brushing everything looks neat and clean again.
Now that the housing is clean, I can wipe the ends with grease...
...And I clean the parts that are dirty.
I take the brake apart and clean it step by step.
And then put together a completely new brake.
After a few hours of scrubbing, scrubbing and polishing, the cassette is back in good condition. Now just screw it shut and test it out.
The recording itself was made the day after, I had already tested it last night but it didn't run smoothly. The top spool regularly got stuck, causing the tape to crumple. I let it rest for a while and inspected it again the next day, I couldn't find anything, put it back together and now it spontaneously plays much better. Could something have gone wrong inside?
If there's one thing I've noticed about mechanical engineering over the years, it's that sometimes you have to let it rest for a day. What is not going well at the moment after repair, can suddenly be fixed the next day without you having even lifted a finger. Initially I was never satisfied with this because what was the cause of it running badly yesterday and not anymore today? I think I've found the cause by now. Just like people, physically moving parts sometimes need to rest before they work properly. There are many different factors involved and if one factor does not work properly, there is a chance that nothing will work properly. For example, a spread such as grease must have time to act on the parts to be lubricated. Temperature can sometimes also be a factor. Warm parts sometimes run better than cold parts.
In short, give things some time sometimes. Let it rest for a day and try tomorrow what won't work today.
Okay, we've come to the last cassette I'm going to fix up with extensive details. But this specimen also needs special treatment. As you can see in the photo, this cassette has seen better days. The cause is known, but a solution can still be complicated.
You could almost say that this cassette has fallen from ten stories high. But that is fortunately not the case. On the contrary, the previous owner tried to make it, with the result that the housing is severely deformed. It no longer plays smoothly and I can't even turn the player off while this tape is playing.
The previous owner literally tried to bake the tape dry by putting it in an oven. It may sound strange, but it really isn't. If tape gets wet it can slip when playing, this defect is also called the 'stick slip effect' and gives tape media a terribly high-pitched scraping sound when playing, as if you were scraping your nails on a chalkboard.
Unfortunately, there are no permanent solutions for the stick slip effect when it comes to tape, but there are temporary solutions, baking the tape dry in the oven. But if you do that, it is wise to remove the tape from the plastic cassette, because plastic and heat often do not mix. And vice versa, it is wise to wait until the tape and the metal coils have cooled down before you put them back in the housing. Probably something went wrong here in the process, causing the housing to become deformed.
All I can do is find a replacement case to put the spools of tape in and consider this case lost. At the moment I am still waiting for a delivery of a cassette which I will use as a donor to get this deformed right again.
By the way, the cassette came with the purchase of the device itself and was therefore also the first I worked on. But describe him last because of his defect.
At first glance it can be said that the tape and its reels still look good.
But the other parts inside still need some attention. There is a lot of dirt in the cassette and parts where the tape runs must be cleaned.
So that's exactly what I did, even though the cassette is so warped, it might still be salvageable if I cleaned all the parts.
I thoroughly clean every part that can move or come into contact with the tape.
I check the housing itself and clean all parts that I could not remove with compressed air. Then I run another cloth through the entire cassette.
As can be seen on all the other reels, there is also some writing here. However, it seems that a change has taken place. Apparently this reel was intended for an RL-202 cassette. Probably "Rhythmic Library 202" an edition that is unknown to me in the catalog. Afterwards, other tape was spooled on and the text was changed to IM 4-3. Why IM 4-3 and not IM-470 is unknown to me.
After maintenance, the cassette can be assembled and I can test it on the Cantata 700.
The result is not satisfactory. The reels frequently hang and I can no longer turn the player off. It might be interesting to mention here that the player itself was not yet serviced when playing this cassette, but even after the repair I tried it with exactly the same effect. The cassette is just not usable due to the serious distortion. The housing will have to be replaced if I want to be able to listen to it's content.
To get the cassette off, I have to force the brake. something that is not good for the machine. The cause lies with the cassette, but it is the machine itself that does not end up in the correct position with this cassette when starting up, so that it cannot switch off either because it gets stuck between the two positions. Only when the device is apart can I manually get the machine into the position where I can switch it off normally again. In short, I have to wait for the donor before I can get it working...
The donor has arrived! I couldn't wait to change the coils so forgot to take some pictures before I got to work. Here the inscription of the coils from the donor cassette, This is the RCX II-105, It is the third Christmas related cassette in my possession, two are enough for me. In addition, it does not contain nearly as much music as expected, only a quarter of the entire reel is filled...
I maintained the donor cassette beforehand, although there was little wrong with it. What is striking is the color of the cassette. It is a cassette from (presumably) one of the last generations to be released.
The indicator plate of the cassette no longer corresponds to the contents. Lucky it is that this picture is barely glued, I can pick it out in no time.
There will of course have to be a new sticker on it, I don't want to pick the original sticker that is on the deformed cassette because it will break. On the contrary, I measure the sizes and just make a new one that resembles it.
I put the coil from the donor cassette in the bent cassette, I also stick the indicator plate on it. The sticker underneath remains unharmed because the plate does not stick well enough that it pulls the sticker with it when removed.
Who knows, I may rebuild this cassette in the future so that it also becomes playable, then the reels can be changed again and I can play them both again. For now I'll take it for granted and close this piece with one last video.
In addition to these eight cassettes, there are a few more of which I will not make a detailed report. They also receive the same maintenance, but I will mention some interesting points below.
Here the Christmas Choral Library 167 (VX-167)
There was really nothing wrong with this cassette, but when it got to the end of the tape it didn't turn around but pulled the tape itself free from the reel. In this case it was sufficient to reattach it with super glue.
after the first repair I went to test the cassette but it didn't switch. It turned out that there was a break in the tape at the level where a staple is through the tape. the staple is needed to indicate that the end of the tape has been reached, because it clamps between the two axes that I operate by hand in the many movies. When the staple jams, it takes the axes with it, causing the playback direction to reverse and the playback head to play the other side of the tape. I took out the old staple, reattached the tape, and pushed a new staple through it. The cassette now plays flawlessly again.
De "IRL-S08 Easy Listening"
This cassette has had some serious blows, broken parts and cracks in the housing, but luckily it can still be repaired, except for these defects, the cassette was otherwise in very good condition.
Rhapsody I RH185 (RH-185). There was literally nothing wrong with this cassette. It plays well without maintenance, but I opened it up to clean it and lubricate it. I suspect that this cassette was one of the later editions of the series.
- 3M Cantata 700 Information
- 3M Cantata 700 Player Repair