Servicing a SONY DAT machine (Pictorial)

Discussion in 'Tape' started by SaSi, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. buzshaws

    buzshaws New Member

    Thanks, that's what appeared necessary but I was able to avoid the whole thing by finding the pinch roller afterall, but I couldn't find the plastic clip, which was likely broke off anyway. I plan to send it to Pro Digital Inc. in PA.
    While I was putting the unit back together a piece of the door mechanism came off and I'm at odds figuring out how to get it back correctly. Between that and the pinch roller cap, seems the best solution is to send it off before I ruin anything else. :sigh:
  2. hdrobien

    hdrobien Active Member

    Could you post a pict of the odd part ?
  3. buzshaws

    buzshaws New Member

    Sorry for not responding sooner, but I have since sent the R-500 out to Pro Digital. The unit was returned at my doorstep 10 days from when it was sent, so these guys were not kidding about fast turnaround! The plastic retaining clip for the pinch roller was repaired, 2 belts replaced and the tape carriage also was repaired. The deck was completely aligned and calibrated for lowest error rates for both play and record. The R-500 is working superbly and I couldn't be happier.

    For what it's worth, I looked around for a repair facility that specialized in DAT. I was very comfortable with the discussion on the phone prior to sending it out. There is another specialist I considered who's pretty well-known and well-published for this, but his fee schedule is more than I could afford. What I had done would have easily been $450-$500 USD, yet the end cost for my repair was far, far less; even with return shipping. The thoroughness, quick turnaround and cost has made it easy to justify having this deck returned for yearly service/calibration, given I use it enough.

    I have no affiliation with Pro Digital, Inc., but just thought I'd share this for anyone that might benefit from it, as I wish I had more references to go by when I was shopping for a reliable repair facility.
  4. klud

    klud New Member


    hey SaSi
    I was doing the final recording a my new track last night when my Sony ZE-700 went bonker (couldn't play anything, no rew, no ff..nothing)
    I was going to bring the deck to midtown NYC for reparation when I discovered your post this morning, followed your instructions, removed everything, rubber weel was missing, discovered few clips missing, cleaned lot's of dirty weels etc.....
    8 hours later...
    Problem solved!!!!!
    thanx a lot mate, you made my day!
  5. Person123

    Person123 Owner of gadgets

    I need some parts for a Sony DTC-750. Can anyone help me. I need a Transport and an RF amp.
  6. chickenwatt

    chickenwatt New Member

    Hi Sasi, I'm fixing a Sony DTC-59es which have a strange problem, when I turn it on everything works fine until 10 min or 15 and it starts to sound jittery and then later mutes.
    Other test was I turned on after a day and leave it in stop for the same 10 minutes and does the same in stop or in play mode.
    So the problem comes every time after 10 minutes no matter if it is in play or stop, I was suspecting of a crystal frecuency variation by heat but I've no way to test that.
    I'm 95% sure is not a mechanical problem, what do you think it is!!!
  7. rosh1

    rosh1 New Member

    hi SaSi
    First thanks for a wonderful post, I just discovered it today so I havent gone through it all yet. But since I couldnt wait Im posting a couple of quick questions here: I have a SONY DTC-60ES DAT recorder that i was gifted a few months ago.
    It has two problems one of which has only begun in the last few days:
    1) The cassette door doesnt stay open, automatically closes ALL the time.
    2) I got some brand new Quantegy R120 DAT tapes and tried recording on them last week- but when it plays back the sound is very choppy and i can hear some relays switch on and off. Strangely it plays previously recorded tapes without ANY dropouts. A friend says it ought to be a pinch roller issue but Im puzzled how it could play tapes that were recorded on it but not the new tapes.
    I would be grateful for any pointers to what i should look for.
    thanks in advance
  8. hdrobien

    hdrobien Active Member


    Concerning issue #1 i would chech the limit switch on the mecanism, located on the right side near the large pulley.

    Concerning issue #2 i would try first to clean the heads and then i would suspect the RF amp.
  9. rosh1

    rosh1 New Member

    DAT Pinch roller source

    Hi SaSi
    While trawling for potential pinch roller candidates for my DTC-60ES I came across this.

    hope this is useful as i plan to buy a few myself to keep in stock..

  10. rosh1

    rosh1 New Member

    Thanks for the tip, I will have a look at it the moment i reach home.
    What should i do with the limit switch- can it be cleaned? And how?
    Apologies for the questions- Im a relative newbie to DATs..

    I saw some posting here on cleaning heads - whats the best approach?


  11. hdrobien

    hdrobien Active Member

    Concerning the switch you can check with a meter that the slider part of the mecanism closes it (or opens it) when the loading tray is fully opened. As far as i remember there are 2 limit switches: one for opening & one for closing.

    I believe that the loading tray is supposed to close itself if something blocks it.

    The best way to clean the heads will be to use cotton swabs with isopropyl alcohol. BE VERY GENTLE as they are fragile.
  12. chickenwatt

    chickenwatt New Member

    To Rosh1:
    I had that problem and I solved it by changing the pair of springs in the loading tape compartment for a weaker ones
  13. rosh1

    rosh1 New Member

    Thanks all, I opened the deck and cleaned the limit switches as far as i could see, it had some gluey stuff on it. So the problem seems to have reduced - since now its happening only randomly..

    however the dropouts in sound still persist, in spite of very gently cleaning the head.. I noted the pinch roller was extremely shiny..plan to get a new one from the UK, can anything be done about that till then?

  14. chickenwatt

    chickenwatt New Member

    Try to view the heads with a magnifyng glass in order to see if some dirt is seen,,if a hard dirt is there i'd prefer to use a printer paper with a bit of alcohol very glently and without making presure
  15. hdrobien

    hdrobien Active Member

    You can clean the roller with rubber rejuvenator (same used for printer roller or copy machine).
  16. hdrobien

    hdrobien Active Member


    A new machine in my collection: the Sony DTC-1000ES.

    I am trying to put it back to life.

    It powers up, drawer opens, but when I try to play a tape, it loads, the "arms" begin to extend but retracts before reaching position. Then it ejects the tape.

    Where to begin ?

  17. squatski

    squatski Member

    I got to here. Mine looks like this (pic below)
    Either I've done something really dumb but the bridge on mine is quite stiff. I dont want to put any force on it. also, are the tape feeders messed up?


    Tried to take a real good close up pic I'm not sure my cam is good enough.

    On earlier post you mentioned moving the black cog my hand to watch the tapefeeders move. and some point I heard a click sound and I thought That didn't sound good !

    It doesn't looks like your picture which is this one:

    mine's stiff because something is wrong with the white + black cogs? I can't help but think they're the wrong way because the fake stump tooth on the white cog is obviously there to stop any more movement. I could be wrong though.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  18. SaSi

    SaSi AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Look closely at your pic. (BTW it's clear and good enough to show the details required).

    To the right, the black toothed arm appears to be fully extended (as it should) since the bridge is almost fully to the left.

    The white toothed arm appears to be in the retracted position and the tape guide it moves is also retracted. Look better and you will see the the clip that secures it in place isn't there anymore (one of the most common reasons for mechanism failures in these decks). My guess is that for whatever reason the clip became loose, fell off and the arm skipped resting in this awkward position.

    Look inside the transport or the pcbs or the bottom of the deck for a small white cylinder/clip. You don't want to lose this. I haven't found any suitable replacement as well (I used the ones from transports with bent guides, faulty heads, etc.
  19. squatski

    squatski Member

    i've looked everywhere and can't find it. to make things worse, this 60ES's case has holes in bottom, big chance of it fallen out, sucked up with the hoover etc :(
    I'll keep looking though. is it really that important? also I can see the same clip on other things? would if I took one off just for this part?
  20. SaSi

    SaSi AK Subscriber Subscriber

    You can use the clip from another part to secure that arm. In one of the posts I explain that in need, you can remove the clip from one of the two gears above that. They are normally facing upwards while these two arms face downwards - hence need a clip.

    You could also experiment with miniature c-clips (if you have). I don't have anything similar and did have enough faulty transports that I could use clips from.

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