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Dino123
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#1
21st December 2013
Old 21st December 2013
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Fostex G16S

Hello to All I am encountering a odd issue with my Fostex G16S recorder. When attempting to rewind or forward, the tape is extremely sluggish; It won't even go on some occasions. Ironically, when it does occasionally launch, the speed seems just fine. However, if I attempt to stop and then restart the issue usually returns. When I very slightly lift either of the arms it immediately responds normally. Can anyone please tell me what is going on here? Is this an electronic problem or a mechanical alignment problem. I have meticulously cleaned the entire unit. I am indeed looking forward to your insights. Thanx!
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22nd December 2013
Old 22nd December 2013
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Can anyone kindly lend a hand here?
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22nd December 2013
Old 22nd December 2013
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Merry Christmas
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#4
23rd December 2013
Old 23rd December 2013
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C'mon folks, I know that there are quite a few very qualified individuals here that can lend a hand
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23rd December 2013
Old 23rd December 2013
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So, this situation was first posted here by fellow member Niva (Guillaume) and based on what I read from his thread, I don't know if he was able to resolve the issue. What he outlined in his description was literally identical to my problem. Another member, RadarDoug, made mention of a possible correlation to the servos because once they are even ever so slightly lifted, it serves to correct the sluggish speed. If there is any merit to this, where do I need to start looking - Mechanical? Electronic?
#6
23rd December 2013
Old 23rd December 2013
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The G16 has extremely complex servo system and proprietory micro-controllers controlling it all. It could be any number of things and the best way to find out is to get the service manual and perform the transport alignment procedures. This requires special tools and a tentelometer which measures tape tension, so it's not something you can do unless you can get hold of one. I had a G16 in for service with a similar fault and we could not fix it, in the end we decided the micro-controller was faulty and these can not be obtained anymore. Good luck with it.
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Dino123
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23rd December 2013
Old 23rd December 2013
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Hi Tim! And, Thank You Very Much for having posted here, I do genuinely appreciate it. Well, your news is not necessarily all that promising but at least I have something to start with. I do not have a tentelometer on hand and am not certain that I would necessarily be comfortable in performing the alignment myself anyways. I am really also hoping that fellow member Niva joins in here because not only did he have the identical issue but he specifically made mention that his tech guy was great (maybe a can get a reference to). I'm keeping my fingers crossed; I've been looking for a piece of gear like this for quite awhile now.........
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#8
23rd December 2013
Old 23rd December 2013
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Hello again Tim. I noticed that you also contributed to the original thread here on the forum where member Niva was has this exact same issue. Do you recall if the unit which you attempted to repair came in after you had posted your comments? Thanx
#9
23rd December 2013
Old 23rd December 2013
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What kind of tape are you using?
#10
24th December 2013
Old 24th December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino123 View Post
Hello again Tim. I noticed that you also contributed to the original thread here on the forum where member Niva was has this exact same issue. Do you recall if the unit which you attempted to repair came in after you had posted your comments? Thanx
Yes, this was another machine recently. Are you sure the tape is not sheding and sticking to the guides?
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#11
24th December 2013
Old 24th December 2013
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Hello Radardoug! And, Thank You Very Much for chiming in, I do sincerely appreciate it I was hoping that you would chime in here because what you outlined in the original thread posted by member Niva with regards to the servos is exactly what I experienced - If I move the two lifter arms ever so slightly the recorder seems to operate normally. Please do pardon my ignorance here, but, I am not certain what kind of tape it is; The reel is branded Scotch but I have no way of knowing what's on it
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#12
24th December 2013
Old 24th December 2013
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Hello again Tim. I just responded to Radardoug. Unfortunately, I am not certain as to what type or brand the tape is; The reel says Scotch. I did not know that the tape could cause the recorder to malfunction like this........
#13
24th December 2013
Old 24th December 2013
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Go to Google and do a search for:

audio tape sticky shed


Bri
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24th December 2013
Old 24th December 2013
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Hello brianroth And, I do indeed extend my gratitude to you as well for the kind contribution here. I did indeed look up what you suggested but I am not entirely certain that this is what I am incurring; "SSS", or, 'Stickly Shed Syndrome' may not be the culprit. The tape itself appears to be fine. Ergo, I have resorted to the qualified veteran experts here. Believe it or not, I have been lurking around for over a decade and have managed to glean much useful information. However, I now seem to be at an impass......
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24th December 2013
Old 24th December 2013
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Well, funky tape is the very first place to look if a machine seems to be having transport/tape handling problems. When in doubt, try another (completely different) roll of tape after a 10000000000% cleaning of everything in the tape path.

Beyond that, it's been eons since I did any work on a G16, so I can't make any further suggestions. But, Tim's comments re. the complex setup adjustments for the transport servos certainly rings a bell for me. I seem to recall a bunch of trimmer pots and a convoluted series of adjustment steps as described in the service instructions.

Bri
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Dino123
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#16
24th December 2013
Old 24th December 2013
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Hello Folks. Okay, as of today, I'm on the hunt for some additional tape to test with; I'll post again when I have it in my hands. Hopefully member Niva reads this thread and can post a comment as to how he managed to resolve the problem. Thanx!
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#17
25th December 2013
Old 25th December 2013
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Just curious here folks, but, does anyone know member Niva (Guillaume) personally? I would very much like to get in contact with him. Thanx
#18
26th December 2013
Old 26th December 2013
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Did you try sending him a PM? He was active on GS only a couple months ago.
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#19
26th December 2013
Old 26th December 2013
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Hi Richard. Yes, indeed I did to no avail. It does show that he's on here so I guess I'll just have to be patient
#20
26th December 2013
Old 26th December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianroth View Post
Well, funky tape is the very first place to look if a machine seems to be having transport/tape handling problems. When in doubt, try another (completely different) roll of tape after a 10000000000% cleaning of everything in the tape path.

Bri
Cleaning is very much what I would be looking at. The gunk off Ampex tape particularly, is clear, and very very sticky! You need to clean everything in the tape path which touches the tape. Note that in rewind/FF the lifters come out and touch the tape. Dirt on the lifters is a very common cause of wind failure.
#21
26th December 2013
Old 26th December 2013
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Have you tried running the machine without tape and just engaging the lifters by hand and see if there is any sluggish motor operation?
That could help determine if it's the tape (SSS).
If the motors spool up quickly and run properly without hesitation or sluggish behavior then at least you know it is not a problem internally with the electronics.
That isn't always the best way to test, but you have nothing else to go on. You need to rule something out first.
Also is there any residual tape particles being left on any guides rollers or heads?
If there is then I would get a brand new spool of tape to try...
#22
26th December 2013
Old 26th December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino123 View Post
Just curious here folks, but, does anyone know member Niva (Guillaume) personally? I would very much like to get in contact with him. Thanx
I believe I spoke with him on the phone once regarding the technical issues on his G16 machine, but that was a couple years ago. It was only because it seemed he was somewhat local (ends up he's 600km away from me) and that I might have been able to see his machine and help him out. That obviously never happened but I don't think I'd be able to find out how he/I got my/his number.

Anyway, I would try tapetape.com if you want to get some tape at decent price.
Blank Video Tape, Audio Tape, Digital Tape Reseller--Best Prices on the Internet


cheers

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#23
26th December 2013
Old 26th December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmukilteo View Post
Have you tried running the machine without tape and just engaging the lifters by hand and see if there is any sluggish motor operation?
That could help determine if it's the tape (SSS).
If the motors spool up quickly and run properly without hesitation or sluggish behavior then at least you know it is not a problem internally with the electronics.
That's probably what I would have done. I guess you can use a pair of long elastics around the headblock to pull up the lifters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djmukilteo View Post
That isn't always the best way to test, but you have nothing else to go on. You need to rule something out first.
Also is there any residual tape particles being left on any guides rollers or heads?
If there is then I would get a brand new spool of tape to try...
I agree. see my previous comment. Actually you'd only help yourself by putting up a little youtube video of the current operation of the machine so we could help you out better.

cheers
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26th December 2013
Old 26th December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2N1305 View Post
That's probably what I would have done. I guess you can use a pair of long elastics around the headblock to pull up the lifters.

I agree. see my previous comment. Actually you'd only help yourself by putting up a little youtube video of the current operation of the machine so we could help you out better.

cheers
Exactly....Dino's issue's and descriptions are all too vague and common with tape decks so it could be anything really. It also doesn't sound like Dino is really technically minded on the unit either (no offense Dino), but that just makes it difficult to troubleshoot online like this without some more tests and clues. There are several things that can cause sluggish tape winding and movement.
Is this only happening in PLAY or does it happen in FF and REW?....etc, etc
Faulty motors/transport or bad tape are the two most common, so each of those need to be thoroughly checked and ruled out first before making any further conclusions or discovering the actual problem.
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#25
26th December 2013
Old 26th December 2013
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Hello again Radardoug. I will absolutely make certain in verifying again that the entire pathway is extremely clean
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#26
27th December 2013
Old 27th December 2013
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Hi djmukilteo. I thought your idea was very keen so I just went to perform the test. As you may be aware, if there is no tape loaded onto this recorder, it will give you an error message. In order to "bypass" this I first placed two pieces of rubber tubing (approx. 1/2 inch) under each roller; After engaging either Rewind or Fast Forward, the unit's reels would each respectively rotate and stop in a continuous pulsing sequence which I found unusual because I had never witnessed that before. Then, I recalled what Radardoug had wrote in the original thread from 2010 with regards to the servos influencing the "drive" of the reels and I substituted the rubber tubing for two small plastic spacers (1/8 of an inch thick) under each roller. When I tried again, each reel spun with considerable speed as well as consistency while the opposing reel started and stopped; This was witnessed for both directions. I hope that this synopsis is able to provide all of you with some additional insight. I empathically extend my gratitude to everyone for your kind collaboration
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#27
27th December 2013
Old 27th December 2013
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Hi to 2N1305 too I do appreciate you chiming in, especially since you were part of the "original" cast. My only real conundrum here is, based on the experiment which I just conducted (which is briefly outlined in a previous post), how do I know how far I need to distance the wheel spacers in order to effectively determine where the problem lies? Those rollers appear to be very sensitive to how far up or down they are relatively spaced; Does this have something to do with how much power is actually driven into each motor by the servos? I have no clue.......
#28
27th December 2013
Old 27th December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino123 View Post
Hi djmukilteo. I thought your idea was very keen so I just went to perform the test. As you may be aware, if there is no tape loaded onto this recorder, it will give you an error message. In order to "bypass" this I first placed two pieces of rubber tubing (approx. 1/2 inch) under each roller; After engaging either Rewind or Fast Forward, the unit's reels would each respectively rotate and stop in a continuous pulsing sequence which I found unusual because I had never witnessed that before. Then, I recalled what Radardoug had wrote in the original thread from 2010 with regards to the servos influencing the "drive" of the reels and I substituted the rubber tubing for two small plastic spacers (1/8 of an inch thick) under each roller. When I tried again, each reel spun with considerable speed as well as consistency while the opposing reel started and stopped; This was witnessed for both directions. I hope that this synopsis is able to provide all of you with some additional insight. I empathically extend my gratitude to everyone for your kind collaboration
I take it from that description that the motors, servos, lifters interlocks etc all worked and functioned normally in all modes thus ruling out any electronic or electro-mechanical malfunctions?
If no tape residue exists on any tape path points....try a fresh reel of new tape!
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#29
27th December 2013
Old 27th December 2013
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Based on the tests I performed, I'm not certain if the behavior I witnessed from the recorder is "normal"
#30
27th December 2013
Old 27th December 2013
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Sounds like you have working servos, and we are back to dirt as the problem. Now that you have a method for testing without tape, you can try holding each reel, and see how much force is being generated by the servo. Be carefull to grab the reel while it is NOT spinning, the reel can cut your hands if you are not carefull. By raising/lowering the tension arm you can feel how much tension is available. I don't have the Fostex manual with me, but you can get an idea of the force produced, which will be several ounces. If this is fine on both sides, I'm afraid we are back to sticky in the tape path.
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