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Vintage Tape (Audio), Cassette, Wire and Magnetic Disc Recorders and Players Open-reel tape recorders, cassette recorders, 8-track players etc.

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Old 28th Nov 2022, 1:37 pm   #1
Martin Bush
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Default Keeping cassette deck belts going

I have a few tape decks - nothing high-end, but good enough to keep. My main one gets used but others are stored away or sit in the stack doing not much.

I was wondering if there was any merit in using them from time to time in order to keep the belts supple. My theory is that if they get used now and then they are less likely to go hard.

Is that a sound idea or wishful thinking?
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Old 28th Nov 2022, 1:47 pm   #2
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: Keeping cassette deck belts going

I think that occasional use may reduce the risk of the belts becoming deformed. If, for example, the same section of the capstan belt is allowed to sit around the (small diameter) motor pulley for years on end, I think it's asking for trouble. Similarly, bearings tend to become sticky if not "exercised" by being used now and again.

More importantly, storage at a nice temperature and level of humidity is wise. Lofts and cellars and outhouses are generally not good in that respect. Under the bed or in the wardrobe is much better, although admittedly a PITA.

However, a lot of it's just down to the passage of time. Rubbers deteriorate and oils thicken-up. Anno Domini, as they say.
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Old 28th Nov 2022, 2:01 pm   #3
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Keeping cassette deck belts going

I agree with Nick. It's just the passage of time really.
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Old 28th Nov 2022, 2:16 pm   #4
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Keeping cassette deck belts going

If you're storing things for a long period it may be worth removing the belts; at least then if they _do_ go off you won't have a load of black goo to remove from pulleys, capstans etc. and you get to check the condition of the belts before you re-fit them.
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Old 28th Nov 2022, 3:04 pm   #5
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: Keeping cassette deck belts going

I certainly pop off the belts from my Philips 212/312 turntables and put them in an envelope under the dustcover when they've had their outing and go back into storage.
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Old 28th Nov 2022, 4:44 pm   #6
Martin Bush
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Default Re: Keeping cassette deck belts going

Thanks chaps.

Taking belts off a cassette deck is a bit more difficult than a turntable, but I get the idea.

I've one deck with no belts so while that one won't suffer from sticky good, I've no easy way of working out what replacements to get... but that's another story.
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Old 28th Nov 2022, 9:03 pm   #7
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Default Re: Keeping cassette deck belts going

Belts are (usually) easy to replace, and the modern non-OEM replacements aren't as bad as people make out (I have a couple of machines running >factory spec W+F with new belts). Pinch rollers are a serious concern, as it can be a major job to change them, and finding the right replacement may not be easy.

If you're putting decks into storage, I would suggest being concerned about grease turning to Evostik (got a couple of decks with completely seized head carriages - and it's a major job to strip everything down to nuts and bolts, clean and re-grease), as well as electrolytic caps being left powered down for months on end.

Rollers, grease and caps worry me more than belts TBH.
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