Adjusting Reel Height on Tascam 38...

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illacov
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Adjusting Reel Height on Tascam 38...

Post by illacov » Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:40 am

My take up reel hub is too low. I just got the deck due to the height of the hub cannot load my take up reel.

I have tried taking the face off the front of the machine but I have no idea how to take it off properly without breaking the face off. There's the two arms with their cylinders, I don't know if you unscrew them with a needle nose pliers or what. Same deal with the other pieces that are above the skin of the face.

Please give me a hand if you can.

I know there are supposed to be two allen screws that adjust reel height but I need to get the face off before I do that.

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thereminman
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Post by thereminman » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:07 am

I had a similair problem with my Teac 80-8.
I eventually had it fixed by an actual technician, but in the meantime,
I put a CD between on the hub before the reel of tape. This lifted it just the scoach it needed. (I may have got that suggestion right here at TOMB for all I remember.)

xonlocust
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Post by xonlocust » Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:54 pm

i had to do this YEARS ago - so my memory is very fuzzy - but you can do this yourself. and i think it was pretty easy, but kind of annoying. i think you had to take the back portion off as well?

completely clear off the table, and start unscrewing whatever screws you can, eventually you'll expose the guts - but i think you need to take off more than you think you'd need to to get at it. once you have the axle exposed, like you said - allen wrench, loosen - slide up, retighten, and back to everything else you did.

sorry that's so vague - it's totally doable if you sit down and attack it though...

oh, as for the face - if it's giving you resistance and not coming off easily - you haven't taken off the appropriate screws yet. don't force anything. there is a way w/o stressing it, it's just convoluted.

nclayton
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Post by nclayton » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:14 pm

I don't believe you have to take off the face. You might not even have to take off the back. The reel tables are attached to the reel motors by sleeves on the shafts with I think 2 set screws per table. In order to adjust the height you just loosen the set screws, move it in or out, and then tighten them again. The screws are accessible from either the top or side of the machine, so really what you need to remove is the metal box that wraps around the sides and top. I don't remember if you have to take off the back to get that piece off, but I know you don't have to remove any part of the front.

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Post by poopdealer » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:38 pm

I've had to do this on my 80-8 and it is extremely easy.

Take the right side panel off.
You'll see where the motor shaft enters the hub.
Spin the hub until you see a small recessed allen plug (looking in from the side access) that you can barely get to. Loosen that a turn or two and the hub will slide up and down the motor shaft. Tighten that recessed allen and you'll be ready to roll tape.

illacov
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Thanks!

Post by illacov » Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:30 pm

I acutally figured it out on my own, you have to remove the back of the unit in order to get the top panel to slide out.

Then you can gain access to the screws on the stems.

Apparently mine were philips head! Much easier to adjust, you only need to loosen them in order to adjust the reel height.

When I bought the unit, the seller didn't inform me about this.

The unit was well packaged. (Box in a box, tons of bubble wrap etc..)

Do you think this kind of thing would have happened in transit?

The unit was displayed with a reel of tape and a take up reel.

How the hell could the thing function with the reel height set wrong??

BTW what I discovered was that one of the screws on the back panel was actually stripped and made it damn near impossible to remove the back panel, hmmm..

I took a good peek and noticed there was no components or wiring behind the screw so I drilled it out with a metal bit and voila! The back comes off.

I got the unit for quite a good price, the heads look barely used and it does playback fine so I'm not in any way displeased just confused.

Maybe I'm missing something here?
You think the seller thought they were handing me off a bum unit??

It sure as hell works now Lol.


As a second note, does adjusting the reel height affect playback or recording??

I guess maybe this is true if you recorded with a different reel height and then tried to playback, something wouldn't align I suppose.

I'm only going to be recording, on new tape so maybe this won't be a big deal.


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Theo_Karon
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Post by Theo_Karon » Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:38 pm

Just for future reference- to get the front panel of a 38 off (if memory serves) you have to unscrew an extremely inconveniently placed hex screw tucked into the side of that silvery plastic varispeed pot and pull it off.

I doubt the seller was trying to burn you- this sort of thing happens all the time in transit. Shipping a tape recorder is a risky proposition at best- it's always a good idea to put some kind of protection around the reel hubs and any other protrusions (old duct tape spools work great). Realize that it is going to be dropped 5-10 feet multiple times and pack accordingly.

To answer your other question, the guides do a pretty good job of keeping the tape where it should be on the heads- the main risk if the reel table is too high or low is the flange rubbing against the side of the tape, which can damage the outside tracks. This is also a good reason not to use bent reels.

nclayton
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Re: Thanks!

Post by nclayton » Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:22 am

illacov wrote:When I bought the unit, the seller didn't inform me about this.

The unit was well packaged. (Box in a box, tons of bubble wrap etc..)

Do you think this kind of thing would have happened in transit?

The unit was displayed with a reel of tape and a take up reel.

How the hell could the thing function with the reel height set wrong??

Maybe I'm missing something here?
You think the seller thought they were handing me off a bum unit??
Hi. Just about everybody who's ever owned a Tascam 38 has had to adjust the reel height at some point or multiple points. It doesn't stay in one place.

It is something that could be changed in transit since if the box was placed on it's front there could be pressure on the reel table from the weight of the machine no matter how much packaging was surrounding it. That's just gravity. Also, as I mentioned, people had to adjust reel height all the time, both because it slips and because you adjust it for the brand of tape (and thickness of reel flange) you're using. If someone did this at some point and then didn't cinch down the set screws tight it could have worked just fine for the seller, but might have only needed a little pressure to knock it out of alignment.

If they boxed it that well, it doesn't sound like they're just jerks. They probably were honestly trying to make a good, clean sale, even if it's true that the reel height issue was just something they plain old missed.

If the machine seems to be working well other than the reel table height, if I were you I'd probably be elated given the myriad problems those machines have as they age.

I realize with a 1/2" 8 track there are no options in the world for buying one new. That being said, in general the reason people buy used stuff is because it's cheaper than new, and the reason it's cheaper than new is that you *know* it won't be in as good of condition, in general you enter the deal knowing you won't get a guarantee, and there's a good chance that even the person selling doesn't really know much about the condition or how long it will last. If these things were known and all guaranteed to be top level, you'd be paying a lot more.

And if you really want to be sure of what you're getting, buy new stuff, and never buy stuff on ebay. That's not to say I think ebay sellers intentionally rip people off (at least very rarely), it's just that buying used stuff sight unseen is by its nature a gamble. BUT GAMBLING IS FUN! I love to buy used stuff because it's cheap. Yes, a lot of it ends up needing work, and occasionally some of it even ends up being a total loss, but it's worth it because it's SO much cheaper than buying new. *IF* there was anyone still making a 1/2" 8 track today, I'm sure that the new cost of it would probably be at least 8 or 10 times what you paid.

Sorry for the rant, and sorry if I'm misreading your feelings on the deal you got. It's really more a reaction to what I see as becoming a more and more general attitude about ebay and buying used than your situation in particular. I just don't want a bunch of people who want a Wal-Mart type return policy on ebay forcing others to stop selling crazy old used junk on the internet because when it doesn't work like new everyone wants their money back. I want that crazy old junk!


Ned

illacov
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Post by illacov » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:27 pm

Well I'm not implying that.

What I am implying is that given the fact that upon further review of the decks pictures from the sale, you can clearly see that the reel is not all the way on the hub, how the hell does the seller confirm the unit works which is what they advertised??

You know what I mean. Its not like the guy said hubs spin but you need to adjust the height. Works fine in good condition are what I'm talking about and it wasn't ebay.

I don't regret the money because the deck usually goes for way more money.

I'm just used to a little more courtesy between folks.

Ah well.

Ive been doing multitrack layback from the computer to the deck thru the repro heads and I'm loving it!

Peace
Illumination

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