Schlagwort-Archive: Sony

DAT-Walkman Sony TCD-D3

Sony TCD-D3

At least one blog post per month to write I have set myself the goal, even if it is not always easy to implement this temporally. Anyone who has small children himself can perhaps imagine that. But in the evening and in between, I can collect material and edit it. -> it just takes everything much longer. This time I organized a Sony DAT recorder for retro audio. It is a Sony TCD-D3 from 1990-91, a so-called DAT Walkman.

DAT (Digital Audio Tape) is an audio magnetic tape recorded digitally. The recording format and the sound quality are essentially similar to those of the audio CD. The recording takes place on small cassettes, which were also used in the storage area in the EDP (DDS tapes). The DAT format was intended as the successor of the audio cassette, could not prevail in the broad market. It is also discussed here that the music industry did not want to see the format in the consumer world, as it was possible with the system to produce digital, lossless copies.

The technical structure of the cassette drive corresponds to that of a video recorder. The tape is pulled out of the cassette with loading arms and passed around a rotating head (DAT-R). The recording is done in helical scan. The copy, which I acquired this time as „defective“, was with the defect: Cassette shaft does not open, described. After dismantling, I noticed that I was not the first to look at the inside of the device after the factory. Someone was already messing around. All (tantalum) capacitors were soldered, the lead wires to the battery pole contacts were „pinched off“ and the wires were missing. The Flexiprint, which connects the front panel to the mainboard, had a broken track when looked at closely.

fixed trace

The broken wire could be repaired by carefully scraping off the insulation and brazing a stranded wire. The capacitors I have all newly soldered and of course checked before. Here I noticed that some were not soldered properly and had a cold loosening at a pole or were not connected to the pad. The battery contacts were also provided with new wires. On the mainboard there is also a DC / DC converter, which makes the supply voltages for the logic and the audio components from the 9V input voltage. (5V +/- 7V). This converter is housed in a completely soldered tinplate box. Of course, nobody was inside and checked the Elkos inside. That was done quite quickly and the small box was overtaken. Now I was able to provisionally reassemble the boards and drive and put them into operation. As data carrier I used a DDS (storage) cassette. So tension on it and „Eject“ pressed and lo and behold, the cassette compartment opens immediately. From my Handyaudioplayer as a music source, I made a trial recording. And what can I say, a wonderful sound quality!

The next issue to fix is ​​more of a visual nature. These are the side casings, which are coated with a rubber coating and this begins to seem to change chemically and becomes sticky. So I washed this gum carefully with isopropanol and tried not to replace the white printed lettering with. That worked quite well. With acrylic clearcoat I then painted the parts.

painted side casings

After curing the clearcoat I was able to assemble everything again and start the final test. The following pictures show the inside of the TCD-D3.

Specifications of the TCD-D3

  • Type: Digital Audio Tape Dec
  • Audiotracks : 2-channel stereo
  • Tape speed: 4.075, 8.15 mm/s
  • recording time: 240 minutes
  • headsystem: 2000rpm, rotary
  • D/A converter: 16 bit linear
  • A/D converter: 16 bit linear
  • Samplefrequency: 32-48kHz
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 22kHz
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 90dB
  • Dynamic Range: 90dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.0008%
  • Analoginput: 80mV (line), 0.25mV (mic)
  • Analogoutput: 0.5V (line)
  • Dimensions: 85.2 x 40 x 120.1mm
  • Weight: 0.42kg


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Sony RX100 digital camera (and it´s repair)

The Sony RX100 digital still camera with its 20.2 megapixel EXMOR CMOS sensor impresses with its excellent image quality and compact design. The sensor size of one inch and the front Zeiss Vario Sonnar F1.8 lens are also responsible for the good image results. With 10x6cm and a thickness of 3.6cm, the camera is still suitable for pockets. (Although I would not recommend it). The 3.6x optical zoom lens is retracted when it is switched off and extended when in use.

But after some time and a number of in´s and outs of the optics, it may – or better – it will come to a situation where the optics refuse to serve. This manifests itself in different ways. Either nothing happens after switching on, the optics do not move and only the message („Power Off and on again“) appears on the display, or the lens moves out a bit and then back in again. Now you could assume that the camera has mechanical damage, the sliding surfaces inside the optics are dirty, or something is bent or warped and jammed by a possible fall. But that’s usually not the case. In this case, the camera has never been subjected to strong mechanical, thermal, etc. stresses and there is still an error. If you do a little research on the Internet, you will find some repair tutorials where you try to clean with some paper strips between the slide rings of the optics etc. No reasonable information was found. So I have no choice but to look for the cause of the problem myself. And it was found quickly. After opening the device and slightly lifting the rear housing cover, the object suddenly extended again. If the lid was replaced, the problem was there again. So there had to be a contact error somewhere. In the following lines I present my way to a functioning camera:

After loosening the screws and removing the plastic base plate, the rear cover can be removed with the control panel and the monitor.

The Flexprint for the screen and the one for the control unit can be released, the small speaker can simply be hung up. Now the battery can be inserted and the camera can be switched on again. In this case the lens opened and extended again correctly. So it’s really a contact problem. But where? I tried to put light pressure on the Flexiprint, which supplies the mechanical part of the optics. (Not the one that leads from the sensor to the mainboard.) With this slight pressure on the Flexprint, the device was switched on again and lo and behold -> hit. The optics didn’t move. That could also be understood. So this Flexprint seems to have a line break at the kinks. Apparently, this print is mechanically stressed due to the construction and retraction of the lens and thus yields and breaks at some point. (Perhaps also planned obsolescence). Anyway, I looked for a replacement on the net, found it and after a week of waiting the new Flexiprint was already delivered.

The new print for the optics is sold without any components. This means that from here a little experience in handling soldering tools, SMD components and flexible circuit boards is required.

The optics must be exposed and removed. To do this, the mainboard must be detached. (three screws in total). Then carefully remove the black film from the back of the optics. (Be careful with all flexible cables) Once the film is off, the flexprint to the sensor can be unplugged.

Next, the motor unit is released and the motor is separated from the lens housing.

There are some components on the print, such as plug connections and small fork light barriers, which are installed in the lens (lens position) and in the motor unit (two pieces as incremental encoders and for determining the direction of rotation). These are held in place with small metal brackets and must be released before removing the lens unit.

The lens, drive unit and mainboard are removed. All plug connections between the optics and the drive motor must be disconnected.

The motor unit can now be separated from the lens. The Flexiprint is attached to the lens housing with tape and small hooks. These have to be solved.

Now disassembly of the motor unit continues. As previously mentioned, there are two fork light barriers in the plastic housing of the motor gearbox, which are also held in place with a clamp. This can simply be clipped out. To complete the removal, the motor must be unsoldered. Now the Flexiprint is free and the delicate step can begin.

The small SMD connectors must be unsoldered from the old print and reattached to the new print. This work requires cleanest hand towels, as the small plastic housings can be easily destroyed when unsoldering. I recommend here to heat the print only from the bottom, and then lift the plug off with tweezers. Otherwise you run the risk of deforming the plastic of the connector too much heat. If this is successful, the plugs can be soldered onto the new Flexprint.

The same work is also to be done with the fork light barriers. Then only the contacts of the motor have to be soldered to the designated positions in the flex board.

If that worked, the assembly can be done in reverse order. When bending the flex board into the correct position, you can orient yourself on the old board. Then the installation should not be a problem. A function test should be carried out before attaching the rear wall of the camera (rear cover). The lens must extend and retract without a monitor or control panel. If that also works, then it can be finalized. In my case, the repair was successful. Let’s see how long it takes for another conductor to break in the flexible PCB …

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Cassette player/recorder SONY TC150B

Sony TC-150 cassette recorder

The Sony TC-150 is the newest, old member of the collection. Once again purchased as a defect device, this baby found a place in the workshop. After a quick inspection, it was immediately clear that the ravages of time were gnawing and, as is often the case, the drive belts became brittle or decomposed. Otherwise, the device is in perfect condition, hardly any scratches and damage to the case. The battery compartment was also clean. There are four belts of different lengths in the device.

belts to replace

Suitable replacement belts can be obtained, for example, from a large electronics store that is represented in Austria by six megastores. You will quickly find what you are looking for under the name „drive belt range“ and „1.1mm edge length“. Replacing the straps is less quick. Here you should take at least half an hour and carefully take the drive apart.

The main circuit board must be removed in order to access the pulleys or to be able to unscrew them further. However, this is only possible if some lines are unsoldered. Only then you can fold up the board. Once that’s done, you can unscrew the retaining plates above the pulleys. They form the backing of the flywheels (capstan shaft). On this occasion, it is advisable to check the capstan shaft for dirt (due to belt wear) and damage, or it should be cleaned. The pressure roller must not be neglected either. In this model, both were in great condition. The pinch roller was neither glazed and brittle, nor contaminated with tape wear or shrinked. So I could put on the new straps. The main belt from the engine is put on with a rotation of 90 °. Here you should note the installation position of the old belt, if it still exists, or at least do a short test run after fitting the new belt.

If everything turns again (and especially in the right direction) then the assembly can be done. Solder the wires again, screw the circuit board and the repair is done. To have this man a test cassette, here are some parameters, such as tape speed or the tracking of the tape head, which are given and adjusted if necessary.

the TC150 after belt replacement
the VU-meter for recording level control to as battery meter


Technical data of the SONY TC-150:

Vendor:                                    Sony
Type:                                         TC-150 (Europa) bzw. BT-50 USA
year of production:           ca. 1977 – 1982 (according to various sources)
Modell kind:                          portable  Cassette Corder
Hauptprinzip:                      NF-Audio
tape speed:      4.8cm/s
heads:                                      1 recording-/playback head
                                                     1 earase head (Permanentmagnet)
semiconductors:                8 tranistors, 5 diodes, 2IC´s, 1 FET
Power          :                           Outputpower: max 360mW
                                                     Powerconsumption : max 9W
Supplyvoltage:                   battery 4×1.5V AA, or accupack BP28
                                                     12V Caradapter bzw. 6V 4W wallplug
operationtime:                    2.5h at continous recording
Speaker:                                 dynamic 5cm Lautsprecher
Abmessungen:                    174 x 29.5 x 113 mm (BxHxT)
weight:                                    ca. 769g




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