Saturday, June 25, 2022

Busy Week, Beautiful Weather, Amateur Radio Field Day

 Having gorgeous weather the last few days, and got some (more!) yard work done, and enjoyed evening strolls around the 'hood with SLW, and Pebbles.

We're headed to the CSU Flower Trial Gardens tomorrow where various types of flowers are grown to evaluate how well they do here in this environment. Some things grow here very well, and others croak rather quickly. Then it's off to Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers for some chow. Very good Patty Melts, burgers and fries, and their shakes and root beer floats are excellent.

  Thursday night I cleaned out one corner of the garage so the drywall guys could fix the damage from the plumbing leaks caused by the Incompetent Floor Guy.

The got here on-time at 0830, cut out the damaged drywall, trimmed new fire-rated drywall to fit the area, and had the tape and mud finished by 1130. They came back after lunch, put the final coat of mud on it, and cleaned up the area they worked in.

Very nice job:

They were a guy a some younger than me, and his 20-something son. who wants to go into business with his Dad, and Dad's teaching him the ropes. Great to see somebody doing that "live, and in-person". I wish them both well.

And I dove into the Pioneer cassette deck I bought a week or so ago. 

Pulled the knobs:

Then the front panel:


Then pulled the tape Transport mechanism out so I could do a full service on it. New belts, idlers, and pinch rollers, along with cleaning out all the 40 year old lubricant, and replacing it with synthetic lube and grease, and where required, "Light Machine Oil", a.k.a. "Sewing Machine Oil", "Honing Oil", "Gun Oil", and all its other names. You NEVER use products like WD-40 or 3-In-One Oil on a mechanism like this. Well, you can, but you'll be working on it again "Soon", to "Very Soon" if you do.

Trust me, as this is the level of disassembly involved in doing a rebuild of the transport mechanism:


In the picture below, you'll probably notice  a crack in part of the "Supply Reel Assembly" at about the 4-o-clock position. They're only replaceable as a complete assembly, and somewhat hard to find New or New-Old-Stock parts, so I'm going to rebuild them. The idler tire is mounted on the yellowed plastic wheel for it, and will require care in replacing so I don't damage the wheel.


These are the heads, capstans, pinch rollers, and tape guides before disassembly. This all has to be taken apart, cleaned, properly re-lubed, and the rubber rollers replaced. Then the spring tension has to be checked and adjusted as necessary using a spring scale. You can't see it here, but one of the rubber "Brake Pads" is missing from the Brake Lever Assembly. Since they both get replaced it's no big deal, except for the fact that they're getting very close to be NLA. I'll probably just fabricate some from a bit of neoprene tubing, or a couple of layers of heat-shrink insulation. They're not like the "Brake Pads" on an Indy Car of Formula 1 Car, at all. so there's quite a bit of latitude in replacement material.

And this all has to be properly reassembled.

Since I needed a few cassettes to test with, I found these at the local used records and books store:


I'll keep stopping in there to buy these whenever they have them, as they're much more reasonably priced there than on eBay and Amazon. The first two, left to right, are a "Type II", or CrO2 tape. The third one is a "Type IV" METAL tape, which this machine can use. It can also use the "FerriChrome" "Type III" tapes, but they're pretty much unobtainium, and are insanely priced.

And it's "The Last Full Weekend In June", so that means it's Amateur Radio Field Day, and the bands are wall-to-wall signals. 

So enjoy your weekend, be safe, and Viya con Dios.





14 comments:

  1. How did you find a cassette deck? I have scoured heaven and hell for one. I am looking for a higher end home auto reverse deck. I have all these cassettes of swing, big band, jazz and C&W I can't listen to. I am envious and jealous!

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    1. I bought this on on eBay, but you have to be very careful buying "vintage" stereo equipment there. 90% of it has problems, sometimes cosmetic, and sometimes requiring some $$ to set straight.

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  2. Nice job on the ceiling! And good luck with that deck!!!

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    1. Thanks. These guys were licensed, bonded, and FAR better than the "handyman" types SLW had been hiring.

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  3. It looks like another wonderful restoration by DrJim(c).

    We have good wx here also, albeit a bit warmer than you guys. We're getting monsoons and had a short power blackout last night. At least we're getting some rain to soak in.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bob. We got .05" last night. Not a whole lot, but waaay better than nothing!

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  4. I was having a problem trying to comment here and on several other blogs that use Google logins for comments. I finally found what was causing the problem. I had to turn of advanced tracking protection in my browser (Firefox).

    Anyway, I used to work on such things as tape decks when I was a broadcast engineer many years ago. Between my vision and coordination declining as I have aged, better you than me working on this stuff. My hat is off to you. Keep up the good work.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, I had the same no-log-in problems until I turned it off, too. This is definitely not something a beginner should tackle, especially without the Service Manual, which is a free download.

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  5. Hope you had a good Field Day. We did just okay in Kerrville, TX. But it was fun to get together and spend the night up working radios. When there was a lull at about 0815Z (0315CDT), I was monitoring 20 meter SSB to see when it would open. Lo and behold, there is this strong signal with a Britishish accent. Turns out to be a guy near Melbourne, Australia. We talked for a little while, both under the club call and my call.

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    1. I just don't "do" Field Day any longer. 25 years of being either the #1 or #2 guy at the club I was in back in SoCal really burned me out. The last time I worked a Field Day was on the Iowa, where I had my satellite station set up on the Admiral's Veranda outside the Admirals In Port Cabin. Had a blast and caused numerous pile-ups on the birds!

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    2. Last time I did Field Day was 1995. The club I was with always setup at Buffalo Lake Wildlife Refuge outside of Umbarger, TX. The local ARES/RACES group had a trailer mounted 10KW Onan generator that had been donated by a TV station I had worked for several years previous that provided plenty power for most of the camp and quite a few rigs. It was always a good time. I've been pretty much inactive since I moved away about a year after that. I do have a 10 meter rig that I could run off of my battery setup. I have a generator, but it's not worth feeding it gas in a non-outage situation.

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    3. Most of the club members had their own generators (I have a Honda EU2000i), and a couple of members had 100' crank-up towers on dual axle trailers, with BIG Honda generators, so we were never short on AC power.

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    4. I have enjoyed Field Day. I used to be a member of a club up in Dallas County, Texas. We always had a good time just getting together. I am now with the Hill Country ARC in Kerrville, Texas that has members from all around the areas (Fredericksburg, Bandera and surrounding Counties). We are trying to rebuild the activity after the last two years being canceled by Covid issues.

      We have a space in a county building that is in a park used for other purposes like renaissance fairs, music festivals, private functions. So we have a nice air-conditioned space. But is set up to be an auxiliary EOC by the rental agreement if the county calls. No sitting outside in 100+ degree late June Texas weather.

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    5. The first 15 years I did it I had a lot of fun. Then it became difficult to get people to volunteer. I finally wound up with each Band/Mode Captain being responsible for only their own station. I was fortunate to be able to have a member's wife who handled the food and beverages, but other than that, you were on your own, and expected to be a self-contained, independent station.
      Dropping by the Field Day site here for several years in a row took me back to the mid 1960's, just like the first time I went to the NCARC Hamfest. It was even in the 4H building at the fairgrounds, just like I remembered.

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Keep it civil, please....

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