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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 8th Jul 2020, 11:30 pm   #1
JayBee66
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Default Converting drive types...

Is it possible to convert between friction wheel, belt and direct drives? Has anyone done this and what are the steps?

Presumably any given drive moves the tape at so many inches per second, which will need to be preserved. So long as that is the case then it would seem to be not such a problem.

I am not suggesting this for a good quality reel to reel, which would already have a good drive.
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Old 9th Jul 2020, 2:18 am   #2
ben
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Default Re: Converting drive types...

I once converted a very noisy idler driven reel to reel to a belt drive, a Spanish Ingra, results were okay but not spectacular. It was a long time ago
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Old 9th Jul 2020, 6:52 am   #3
ricard
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Default Re: Converting drive types...

I'd say generally it would be near impossible without a lot of work.

Specific machines might have the mechanical components mounted in such a way as to make it possible.

For instance, if the machine has multiple speeds and speed change is accomplished using a movable idler, that would have to be replicated using the alternate drive. There must also be space for the belt path.

Converting to direct drive would mean there needs to be space under/behind the flywheel for the motor. Plus a completely different flywheel than originally installed.
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Old 9th Jul 2020, 8:05 am   #4
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: Converting drive types...

In the general case, why would you want to?
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 6:58 am   #5
ricard
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Default Re: Converting drive types...

One thing I once considered was adding a second motor. I had a Philips EL3542 which was playing too slow, and disconnecting the main belt driving the reel holders and associated clutches resulted in it playing normally. So I considered adding a second motor to power the reel holders, and leave the original motor just driving the flywheel. In the end I couldn't find any space for the motor, and it seemed too much work anyway.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 7:52 am   #6
saxmaniac
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Default Re: Converting drive types...

Surely it's better to put right any faults causing it not to run right rather than re engineer the whole thing? If you want better performance get a better machine?
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