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 Post subject: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: May Sun 11, 2014 2:31 pm 
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I recently acquired this reel to reel and gave it a good cleaning and once over. the play head looks like it has never been used, the push buttons are worn so I know it has been.

here's the question, when the fast forward or rewind are engaged, the start up is so sudden it will snap the tape. does anyone have one of these recorders and have you experienced the same problem?

is there a way to introduce a soft start into the FF/REW positions to smoothly come up to speed?

BTW, playback of some tapes I have is excellent with rather nice sound

thanks
Randy


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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: May Mon 12, 2014 1:55 am 
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Since these were offered in kit form, there might possibly be a wiring error.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: May Mon 12, 2014 7:58 am 
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Whoa, a 60s EICO I DIDN'T build.

Look in the back or under the front plate. I'd expect to find one motor. Which means there would be clutches for FF/RW and they're likely stuck 'engaged' after 50 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: May Mon 12, 2014 12:28 pm 
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3-motor drive with DC braking.

Image

I built an earlier Eico deck that uses miniature eye tubes for record level indicators. It also had 3-motors with DC braking. I don't recall a tape breakage issue on fast wind start-up.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: May Tue 13, 2014 12:36 am 
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Playing devil's advocate, if you are using vintage Acetate tape, it is very, very brittle and will almost always break today. Mylar is a lot more durable. However, if there is a motor or brake problem, that could explain it. I can't address the circuit since I have not seen one of these machines.

Looking forward to more input from other members...

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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: May Tue 13, 2014 1:27 am 
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I appreciate the responses so far, it has 3 motors: one for each capstan(no clutches) and one for the spindle.

I need to clean it a bit better :oops:

I don't know if it was built from a kit or factory assembled, they were available both ways.

the tape is old Crescendo Medallion series Mylar, probably early 70s.

I have other tape but do not want to break another testing it.


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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: May Tue 13, 2014 3:19 am 
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As I recall on the machine that I built, the spindles started out for a few seconds at reduced torque, then full torque was applied. Lots of other machines work this way as well. There is usually a large, high wattage resistor with a sliding tap that controls how much initial torque is applied.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: May Tue 13, 2014 7:58 am 
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Admit, totally guessed on the single motor, as I've NEVER seen a 3-motor deck lurch to a snapping start in fast wind. (A snapping stop, yes but not a start.)

Probably going to want the build/service manual and a spring scale to setup torques.

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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: May Sat 17, 2014 2:47 am 
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I put a test tape in it today and worked it through fast forward, rewind, play, no problems. I'm listening to a tape on it now that was recorded in about 1968: Rusty Warren, Every Inch A Sailor...

not sure what the problem was

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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: May Sat 17, 2014 3:25 pm 
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It's a minor miracle that 40 year old tapes, especially acetate, will play at all. I'd fast forward the entire reel, than rewind it before attempting to play it. Some tapes get gummy as well and others drop out a lot. Tossed all of mine years ago, but properly stored some stuff just survives OK.


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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: May Sat 17, 2014 3:44 pm 
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Thanks,
these appear to all be Mylar tapes and I have been ff/rw before I put them to use. got about 100 all music from the 50s-70s mostly classic CW, not my cup-o-tea but great for testing out a deck.

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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: Sep Tue 16, 2014 5:54 pm 
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I built one of these when they first came out. Mine had a different color scheme, but otherwise is the same. This machine had a very interesting design as it is closer to how professional machines of that era were constructed. For example, the capstan is located on the uncoated side of the tape, saving wear on that component. It is much easier to replace the pinch roller than the capstan. I was a recording engineer for 40 years, using Ampex and other machines, and that's how those machines were built.
As for your problem, it may have been caused by the control switch having dirty contacts. This switch is made up of one large phenolic board with tons of fixed contacts that the switches slide in and out of. It's the only real design flaw in this machine, but then, no consumer deck at that time had logic controls which used relays for the switching of functions. This no doubt kept the price low. The deck used two AC motors for the reels and DC differential braking and hold back tension. There was no backup mechanical brakes, so if you lost power while rewinding or fast forward, you would spill tape everywhere. If the switch contacts were not perfect, you could apply full torque to both reels, snapping the tape. These switches failed often (they just wore out). Mine failed and I actually built a logic box with relays to replace the switch and also made it remote controlled as well. What a nightmare to do this because of the differential braking design! Anyway, my bet is on the switch assembly. With the power off, push the buttons quite a few times to try to clean off the oxide. DON'T TRY TO USE A CONTACT CLEANER! Some of the old boards will dissolve with the wrong cleaner, then your out of luck. If you know what you are doing and running the switch doesn't fix it, you could try the proper cleaner. I wish I still had my machine as a keepsake.
Good Luck,
Joel


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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: Sep Tue 16, 2014 10:50 pm 
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Thank you for the information, I will take a look at the switches. I used the deck for several months after posting the original problem and never had it do it again.

as of right now the deck is down with a blown transistor in the audio amp so It will be a while as I track down replacements.

Randy

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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: Sep Wed 17, 2014 12:59 am 
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If the switch contacts are easily accessible could one use a fine grit thin sandpaper to clean the contacts?

If that fails would pure isopropyl alcohol and an acid brush ruin the board?


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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: Apr Thu 16, 2020 7:39 pm 
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I know this is a very old topic, however, I just bought an EICO RP-100 cheap from Ebay (not working). I had one way back in high school and my first years of college. I guess I'm either regressing or just sentimental. Needed something to occupy my time during the pandemic!
Anyhow, after much work and cleaning I have it mostly working except the bias oscillator, which is still tube based (the record/play amps are solid state). I have actually bought a second RP-100 thinking that I may be able to combine parts to get one that actually works. First thing I will try is just swapping the 6BX7GT tube because the voltages on it's pins are way off. After that, swap the whole bias oscillator.

Agree with one of the earlier posters that the push button switch is a weak point. Took a lot of work to get that working. Ended up using CAIG DeoxIT D5S-6 spray contact cleaner. This did not seem to damage the board as an earlier poster had warned (it's pretty expensive).

Anyhow, I'm posting here in case there's anyone out there who has an RP-100 or is working on one just to share experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: Apr Wed 29, 2020 4:34 am 
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Manualman.com has both the manual and service book for a price.

Keith


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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: Apr Wed 29, 2020 6:55 am 
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Tape records have excellent sound. EICO I would expect to last a long time.

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 Post subject: Re: Eico RP-100 Reel To Reel
PostPosted: Apr Wed 29, 2020 12:26 pm 
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Well, buying these things online, you never know what you'll get. I now have two. One was in remarkably good shape ('62), one was not ('63). I have all the manuals I should need, including the "Construction Book" for the kits. In '62 and '63, I don't think the kit was available, so these were factory jobs, however, one of them had been "messed with". I've been in a battle with the main power supply (working) and the bias oscillator (sort of working). Getting ready to give the preamps a going over then give her a try. The deck mechanical stuff is all working fine and she has nice quiet capstan motor.


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