Monday, February 06, 2012

My Fostex R8 began acting up years ago. It began with a reluctance to make speed at the beginning of a session. Then it evolved into an elongated ramp up to speed whenever the transport was activated. Finally, it just stopped passing tape completely.

Seeing as how most of my work is direct to two channel, this wasn't a high priority and it rotated into the pile. I estimate it's been close to ten years since it was used, and it would be nice to have operational again.

Naturally, a little clean-up is in order.

Being that there remain some hours on the heads, this is all worthwhile.

Fpup indicated a while back that these things are dead simple to work on, and if I'm lucky it's a thrown belt. Tear down is indeed simple, I don't know whether to be glad or mortified at how easy the tape path pulls apart (without tools or the nuisance of threading).

Evidence of an extreme alignment issue, I'll have to pay it heed once this is reassembled.

I didn't test fit the guide rollers for cross compatibility, but they do look to be the same shaft so mind the order.

This is more or less exactly a condition as described by fpup. Correction is an easy task, as this is all just press fit (leaning on mortification now, thanks). Correction the take up reel tensioner doesn't do anything to turn the capstan though, so I've got to dig deeper..

The rear circuitry is contained on two PCBs. The upper of which is on a hinged frame that will allow access.

There's a decent photo essay (though it's a single composite image that is very tall) in the service subsection of the MZE Electroarts Fostex R8 page regarding path of access & disassembly that I've essentially ignored completely here.

I remounted the belt, fired the machine up and observed positive capstan movement. Success was brief, however, as the belt jumped in short order. Looks like a rubber order is in my future, now the question is do I dig into other tape transports to consolidate (possibly delaying this fix while I hunt for specific machines) or do I just fix this one to determine my buying experience.. I'm leaning on the latter.

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