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MCI JH-110 A-2 won't move tape Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 28th June 2017
  #1
MCI JH-110 A-2 won't move tape

This might not be high end but I seen a lot of usefull info on tape recorders here. Sorry if I misposted.
This nice old producer I know gave me a MCI JH-110 A-2 - needless to say I'm over the moon.
However it doesn't move tape. Most lights are working except on the section with the transport where only "torque limit" light up. Nothing happens when I press play.

I wondered if these could have a saying, doesn't look like they should just be floating around like that.

Any advice? Would love to have a full analog chain.




Posting this on Home Recording too, bit desperate to make it run or at least diagnose the issue ASAP.

Last edited by WarmJetGuitar; 28th June 2017 at 10:28 PM..
Old 29th June 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Chris Mara is the man for that kind of thing... I know they do skype sessions with people that own MCI decks he sells Might be able to help you trouble shoot it somehow and be able to provide parts needed.

google mara machines
Old 29th June 2017
  #3
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
Do any of the transport modes work (Play, FF, RW) ? What exactly happens (and doesn't happen when you engage each of them - are any of the solenoids responding ?

It mat be that the drive torque is out of range, but it's also possible that there is a mechanical or electrical fault. Impossible to know without more information.
Old 29th June 2017
  #4
Find a guy in your area that works on those machines. I know about 4 or 5 in my area. A local recording studio should know somebody. Also, when you find a guy. Learn his favorite beer.
Old 29th June 2017
  #5
First of all thanks for all the quick reply. Sure makes me happy I finally posted in here instead of just endless lurking around. Didn't get much sleep yesterday and just enjoying the morning coffee and some Roxy Music so have me excused if my post is a bit messy.
Looking at the PSU it got an output called "deck". Could that be the section to the transport? In that case I'd just need to buy a cable for that.

EDIT: On another note, how do I take the the NAB hubs off? Cause I only got one 1/4" tape on 10,5" reels but loads of tape on 7" reels.

Quote:
Chris Mara is the man for that kind of thing... I know they do skype sessions with people that own MCI decks he sells Might be able to help you trouble shoot it somehow and be able to provide parts needed.
Heard lots about him and he seems to be quite a MCI wizard but do you think he can be bothered when I didn't get the machine from him?

Quote:
Do any of the transport modes work (Play, FF, RW) ? What exactly happens (and doesn't happen when you engage each of them - are any of the solenoids responding ?

It mat be that the drive torque is out of range, but it's also possible that there is a mechanical or electrical fault. Impossible to know without more information.
None of the transport functions are working or reacting at all, the only one reacting by just lightning up on that section is the one saying something about torque. What does torque mean? I know it might be a daft question but I'm used to Fostex, Akai and Revox machines, this is my first pro machine.

Quote:
Find a guy in your area that works on those machines. I know about 4 or 5 in my area. A local recording studio should know somebody. Also, when you find a guy. Learn his favorite beer.
I know a pretty good repair guy but he is going through a rough time in his personal life so I'll try not to bother him for a bit till I know if its an easy fix or not. And also I save money from having done troubleshooting well enough to identify the issue. And dude, you're right... I don't know his favourite beer, sound advice that I'll take to heart.

Last edited by WarmJetGuitar; 29th June 2017 at 11:58 AM.. Reason: Forgot something vital
Old 30th June 2017
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Are you saying there isn't a cable running from the "deck" spot on the PSU to the actual deck? If not, you'll need on of those. Chris Mara is a good buddy, and super helpful. I'm pretty sure he'll still do a skype with you (for a fee of course). If the deck is really in bad shape, it might even be worth it to have Chris and the gang get her up to spec.

You mention torque. ON MCI machine its pretty common to need to do an analog torque board adjustment on the reg. I know that's true of the 2" machines, but I have no experience with the 2-tracks.
Old 1st July 2017
  #7
Thanks mate, I'll definitely text Chris and probably order a cable - as soon as I finished mixing obsessively and have went to the cinema with my GF its first on the list And yeah, no cable in the 'deck' slot nor in the unspecified one on the left hand side.

Located in Denmark so shipping the lovely old beast is not an option. But I know of a studio here that run MCI's and Sony's so gonna hear who their repair guy/woman is. .

As for visual head inspection and wear on guides and all that stuff I'm no autority but I've seen worse on machines that was good enough for recording rock 'n' roll and various weird **** which is basically my group of clients. Fortunately I love this kind of music and know how to use the mutes to keep the hiss down Its a small semi-pro studio so nothing fancy although I'm slooowly getting there.

I appreciate your help a lot, have a great weekend.
Old 14th July 2017
  #8
Is this tuschel connecters what I need to make a cable from the PSU? In that case which one?

http://www.redco.com/Tuchel-Connectors/
Old 22nd August 2017
  #9
Sorry to bother you all with another MCI resurrection question. And once again thanks for all your help so far
Stephen Sadler was so kind to send me a cable, couldn't afford the support though. Know it might be very useful but I'm too broke.

With the cable attached things on the transport lights up like it should just after switching it on but still no tape movement. The pinch roller doesn't even engage. When I try to FF or RW it will move the tape off the heads. After being on for five mins or so the play button won't light up anymore when pressed.
On top of this I got electrecuted and now wearing rubber gloves... not much grattitude this old beast is offering me from trying to save it being parted out on Evilbay.

Any ideas here? Things that needs reseating? Or perhaps I should just find someone locally who fixes these machines.
Old 24th August 2017
  #10
Lives for gear
 
analogtodd's Avatar
 

Does it 'click' when you put tape into the sensor?
Clean the sensor... it also might need a bit of an adjustment, (its a small pot on the underside of the sensor)
Its mostly issues with logic and ATB on MCI... I usually just start a ground up restoration on any MCI that I get my hands on.

Honestly, if you can't afford Steve, you can't afford to use an MCI in 2017. Parts and "stuff" to make the tape machine go, cost $$$$$
Old 24th August 2017
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
2Low's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by analogtodd View Post
Honestly, if you can't afford Steve, you can't afford to use an MCI in 2017
I second that !
Old 26th August 2017
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Yeah, buy Steve Sadler's service. It's the best deal on any type of tech service I've ever seen; not only will Steve make any MCI machine you own work, he will also teach you everything there is to know about how to care for the machines and how they work.

Steve worked at MCI, and can usually tell what's wrong with a machine just from seeing how it's behaving. I am quite sure that a year with Steve would cost less than one day's visit from a local tech, most places in the world.
Old 4th September 2017
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogtodd View Post
Does it 'click' when you put tape into the sensor?
Clean the sensor... it also might need a bit of an adjustment, (its a small pot on the underside of the sensor)
Its mostly issues with logic and ATB on MCI... I usually just start a ground up restoration on any MCI that I get my hands on.

Honestly, if you can't afford Steve, you can't afford to use an MCI in 2017. Parts and "stuff" to make the tape machine go, cost $$$$$
First of all, sorry for the late reply. Didn't mean to be rude, just been offline for quite a bit.
Sounds like a great advice No clicks or anything but I will clean the sensor as well as I can next time I'm there and see what happens.

Judged by the overwhelming respect Steve has in here I will make subscription a priority as soon as finances allow me to. But for anything major I still need a repair guy. I'm good with signal flow, decent with locating what problems there is with a given piece of equipment but absolutely ridicoulous with a soldering iron due to impatience and clumpsiness

But got in touch with my usual tech and he's up for it and will let me have credit. He's used to dealing with my Fostex G16 and his own E16 which is way more complex machines in a much smaller frame and a lower quality. So I'm trying to make his job easier by gather as much information as I can and present it to him including this thread.
Old 26th September 2017
  #14
Alright, I can't find the tape sensor... were is it located?
It's my last attempt before she goes to repair.

Thanks so much for being patient with me, it is truly invaluable
Old 26th September 2017
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Tape sensor is on the top of the deck, on the take-up side of the capstan.

Download the manual from analogrules.com and pay the $200 USD or whatever it is for a year of Steve's service. I'm sure your tech is great, and credit is good, but, unless you're completely useless when it comes to following directions, I don't see how Steve's service wouldn't be the best deal you've ever encountered.

I reiterate this simply as a very satisfied customer of Steve's, because I think he's doing the audio world a great service by offering his knowledge and time for practically nothing. After some sessions with Steve, your machine will work and you'll know how it works and how to fix it... and you'll still be able to call him up day after day if you need to.
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