hifi engine

Akai gx230d will not play

My gx230d will not play. It has ff and rw, when the pinch roller is up against the capstan it will not drive the tape. What do I do?

Re: Akai gx230d will not play

At the risk of sounding cheeky, take it to a repair shop that specializes in vintage audio equipment, especially vintage three motor decks and prepare to fork over big $$$.

Okay, that said -

This is a three motor machine, two motors are dedicated to each reel and one to drive the capstan to accurately pull tape past the heads. It would appear that the capstan motor is not running. It's been awhile since I had my hands on one of these, but as I recall this unit has a servo locked motor. When the power if first applied the motor gets "kick started" by the motor's servo control, once the motor is rotating a toothed wheel on the back of the motor provides speed information to the PLL control circuit via a magnetic pickup, first to "pull" the motor up to speed. Once the motor is brought up to speed the motor is "locked" electrically with an internal reference (quartz crystal) providing very accurate tape speed.

Unfortunately, when these systems go wrong it's usually a unique problem and there is no "smoking gun" part to replace. Indeed each time I got a PLL controlled tape machine in for repair I always found some obscure part had failed, and since these are servo systems troubleshooting is very difficult, because if the motor is not running there is no signal or waveform to troubleshoot. It takes the factory manual patience and a bunch of time to repair.

- John

Re: Akai gx230d will not play

Is the motor turning? If not, the motor capacitor may be bad, or the motor could be frozen (try turning the shaft by hand). Could be a bad micro switch that controls the motor. Do the idler tires move freely, and do they engage the flywheel when in play mode? If not, the mechanism could have dried lubricant, in which case it will need to be disassembled, cleaned and relubed.