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Echolette pinch roller

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  • #31
    The tape tensioning roller is not that critical as long as it spins freely. It should be approximately 7-8mm high and 19mm in diameter.

    The rubber pinch roller/wheel is very important! I usually remove the roller and rub it's surface on 120 emery paper finishing on 80. Hold the roller between your index finger and thumb and let it abrade on the emery paper, don't hold it to tight as you will introduce flat spots. After I am satisfied with this procedure I give it a coat of "renue" and let that sit for a day or so. Sometimes I have to do it all again two or three times. BE CAREFUL WITH THE RENUE IT IS HIGHLY CARCINOGENIC!
    My next step is to remove the steel pinch roller support and check this to ensure it is perfectly flat. All rubbing areas are smoothed with emery paper and I do this to keep the wheel perfectly flat against the motor shaft. Failure to do this can cause the tape to wrinkle, the tape to ride up or down on the shaft and increase wow.

    The 47uf capacitor does not give to many problems, in my 50 years of echolette repairs I have possibly only found one faulty one. The capacitor is a motor start capacitor and if it increases in value it would make the motor turn a little faster, no big deal!

    The bridge rectifier can be replaced with numerous options as long as it has at least 400PIV at 200mA rating. I have not used a voltage drop resistor but that is your choice.

    At the risk of being repetitive check the heads all should measure 1.2K ohms, replace all the coupling and bypass capacitors, check the valves/tubes and if all has been done then move on to the mechanical overhaul.
    Attached Files

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    • #32
      With the emery paper why would you want to use 80 after 120 when 80 is courser than 120? The capacitors are hard to get to, too.
      https://homeguides.sfgate.com/emery-...per-96632.html

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      • #33
        Yes, got that back to front, 80 first!
        Echolettes are not for the novice repairer. If you have a printed circuit board model you need to take extra care when soldering in the new capacitors as you can easily short one track to the other, also manipulating the board can be a task. The earlier non board models require some patience when replacing the caps around valve No.2. If you're planning this project as a detailed restoration I would also replace those filter capacitors as shown in one of my photos.
        One more tricky job will be the adjustments of the record head bias oscillator levels and if you are experiencing echo volume issues with head 1 check the level pot (dual ganged) as I have found these to go open circuit occassionally.
        Have just received an E51 which requires new heads and a pinch roller, but is otherwise in a very clean condition

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        • #34
          Various rollers

          The Echolette comes with three solid rollers like the one shown in the pictures. One of the black rollers is shown with some metal and polyurethane rollers. The metal and polyurethane rollers all have bearings. The polyurethane rollers turn easier than the metal rollers (less friction). I tried using a smaller polyurethane roller on the tension arm and it turns easier than the solid black roller. At times the black roller wouldn't turn and the tape would just run over it when the tape was running.
          Attached Files

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          • #35
            Attached is a photo of a later model NG51S which shows three all plastic rollers, on the earlier model the two plastic rollers are held in place with a large washer while the roller on the tape tension arm is held by a smaller washer and screw. Thw large washer on the earlier moel also serves to align the tape.
            The solid black roller is I believe the rubber pinch wheel and this MUST be in tip-top condition so that the tape is moved past the heads at a constant speed.
            If the tape is riding high or low this could be caused by a warped pinch wheel support plate, but get that pinch wheel in good order before you go any further.
            Have you sorted out the electronics?Click image for larger version

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            • #36
              It looks like two of the original black rollers are thinner than the tension arm roller (see pics). I tried replacing the two thin black rollers with polyurethane rollers which are about the same size as the thinner black rollers. I tried putting a metal roller on the tension arm, but it wouldn't turn when the motor was on. The tape just slipped over it. It might be that there isn't enough friction between the tape and metal roller. After that, I tried putting a polyurethane roller on the tension arm. I filed off the glazing from the pinch roller using an emery nail file and it grips a lot better. I uploaded a video of it to youtube.

              Echolette with polyurethane rollers
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkYMQhNiizY


              Some new caps for the Echolette

              https://www.ebay.com/itm/Motor-run-c...t/254231084664

              https://www.ebay.com/itm/Doppelelko-...t/254231084674
              Attached Files
              Last edited by Toynbee; 11-25-2019, 04:45 PM.

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              • #37
                None of those rollers look original!

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                • #38
                  The black ones were on my Echolette.

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                  • #39
                    Strange! I have a number of Echolettes in my workshop at the moment including an early model NG51S similar to yours but none of these have black rollers. During my 50+ years of Echolette repairs I have never come across a unit with black rollers so I wonder if any other readers have seen them?
                    Have you sorted out any/all electronic issues? I have another person who is asking me a lot of questions at the moment but he is not that clear on tube electronics so I will suggest he takes his echolette to a senior service tech who is experienced with echolettes. I have recently repaired one which was in very poor shape after it had been "serviced" by another so called tech and it caused many a headache for me but it's going good after numerous unpaid hours spent on the unit.
                    Good luck.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Mickey View Post
                      ...I have never come across a unit with black rollers so I wonder if any other readers have seen them?
                      While I have nowhere near the experience level that you have, I have fixed a few of these and I have seen one unit with black rollers before.

                      All of the rest have had the white plastic ones.

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                      • #42
                        Well it looks like you're on the way to solving your issues so when its all done let me know how and what you did to bring your echolette back to a useable working item.

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                        • #43
                          OK, happy Thanksgiving.

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                          • #44
                            Echolette Overhaul

                            Appears my photos didn't download, so here goes!
                            Attached Files

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                            • #45
                              Hey Bill, there is an Echolette advertised on eBay which appears to have "Black" rollers, so there you go !

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