RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

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RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by PhonoBrit on Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:41 pm

This unit, is spinning about 10% too fast on 33 & 45. Any ideas on how i can rectify this?


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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by repairtech on Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:15 pm

The photo is too large - but knowing which model it is all I can tell you is ALL RCA changers including that RP-217 run slightly FAST by design.
Make sure the motor shaft is clean - gunk build-up can add to the speed issue.
Other than that, there's nothing that can be done, nor has to be.

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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by PhonoBrit on Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:34 pm

10% fast is too much in my opinion. One would think gunk build up would slow it down not speed it up.

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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by Bill Cahill on Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:51 pm

That could cause it to run fast if it is on motor shaft.
Ten percent is rather fast, even for RCA. If the idler wheel has been rebuilt, they may have made it too large.
You need to decrease the size of your photo. It's way too large.
Bill Cahill

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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by PhonoBrit on Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:55 pm

original idler wheel

here is smaller pic link http://i.imgur.com/n0J7s.jpg

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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by repairtech on Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:49 am

Is your strobe disk designed for 60 HZ?

Measure speed with the arm playing the beginning of a record.
Those arms are heavy - designed to slow down the platter.
They are DESIGNED that way.

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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by PhonoBrit on Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:28 pm

repairtech wrote:Is your strobe disk designed for 60 HZ?

Measure speed with the arm playing the beginning of a record.
Those arms are heavy - designed to slow down the platter.
They are DESIGNED that way.
Indeed it is designed for 60hz.

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A couple thoughts on the subject

Post by Jim K on Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:43 am

Hello PhonoBrit,
I haven’t worked on a RCA, but I drug home 3 free craigslist console stereos to get enough good parts to put together a nicely working BSR. On the BSR the idler wheels had an adjustment to put the wheel centered on each progressive diameter of the drive shaft. I had one that was out of adjustment, to where the wheel was just at the edge of the next diameter on that shaft and made it play at the wrong RPM. If Repairtech is correct about the unit being designed to run fast, and the tonearm has to be adjusted to weigh heavier on the record, then the LP’s are going to wear out quicker over the years, or sooner if you play particular albums a lot, and cause loss of fidelity.
If it was me, and could not see a mechanical fix, I’d put a rheostat on the motor, and set it where it sounded right to me.
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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by Bill Cahill on Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:34 am

A rheostat won't work because the motor will then lose power, and, not run as well.
I've sanded the shafts periodically checking the speed of the machine to make sure it was right.
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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by repairtech on Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:42 am

Jim K wrote:Hello PhonoBrit,
I haven’t worked on a RCA, but I drug home 3 free craigslist console stereos to get enough good parts to put together a nicely working BSR. On the BSR the idler wheels had an adjustment to put the wheel centered on each progressive diameter of the drive shaft. I had one that was out of adjustment, to where the wheel was just at the edge of the next diameter on that shaft and made it play at the wrong RPM. If Repairtech is correct about the unit being designed to run fast, and the tonearm has to be adjusted to weigh heavier on the record, then the LP’s are going to wear out quicker over the years, or sooner if you play particular albums a lot, and cause loss of fidelity.
If it was me, and could not see a mechanical fix, I’d put a rheostat on the motor, and set it where it sounded right to me.

Please let me educate you a bit.....
The RCA "Studiomatic" RP-217 changer in question has a certain design that I'm well familier with.
The reason for the heavier tonearm and faster than normal speed is because of a felt pad that rides on the record, and actually causes it to slow the record down to a fairly accurate speed.
This pad doesn't wear out the record - it's there to clean the grooves as it plays.

The actual cartridge/needle just behind it is pivoted, and floats at 5 grams - also not wearing the records.
I've got records my parents bought in the early 1960's that were played a lot on that same model changer. - and they're in great shape.

There's no reason or benefit to put on an external speed control or rheostat - this changer's induction motor cannot be improved by such tactics, and if anything, would cause the changer to stall during change cycle.

If people putz with this changer by trying to reduce the weight of the arm, and lifting the pad/arm off the record, indeed the original design will be compromised, and also if the pad is worn or missing, speed issues could be noticed by someone with pitch sensitivity.

These are mass-produced record-playing machines, with varying levels of quality - certainly not upper-crust High Fidelity components.
If people are sensitive to speed, or annoyed by such things, they should purchase a component turntable, perhaps one with a pitch control, and avoid these machines designed for casual listening.

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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by Jim K on Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:06 pm

Looks like Repairtech may have pointed to the solution, in his educating me – could it be the felt pad is too worn, disintegrated to produce the performance it was intended to.

Bill, when I lived in Seattle the voltage at the AC outlet was 119, in Hospers, Iowa the outlets measured at 130. Would that play a factor?
I don’t know much about electronics (I only know very basic stuff like using an ohmmeter to find failed circuits and checking to see if power is getting to where it’s supposed to,) but the highest percentage of the time, I’m able to fix some of the older stuff I find by cleaning or repairing connections, or fixing what I can visually see (in some cases feel) to be not working properly. But I’m willing to learn, if you don’t come at me too fast. I’m a slower thinker than some; often I’ll “Sleep” on a problem, for the solution to come to me.
Sometimes though I’m just dumb enough to get the result I want – Last year I was talking to a mechanic about the low gas mileage on my low geared old Chevy work-duty truck, and he said you can’t get any more out of it, “I’ve tried everything.” Later I modified the air cleaner housing to take a filter twice as tall, and got 3 more miles per gallon out of it.
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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by Bill Cahill on Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:37 pm

Felt pad??
The speed can only be changed by reducing speed of motor, or, shaving the shaft to the correct speed.
ON the amplifier, is it tube operated, or, solid state?
That is Transistorized......
With care, you can fix it. But, an ohme meter won't check capacitors. As a rule, you should replace all paper, and, electrolytic capacitors. If it has a selenium rectifier, that will also need addressing.
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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by repairtech on Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:45 pm

Bill Cahill wrote:Felt pad??
The speed can only be changed by reducing speed of motor, or, shaving the shaft to the correct speed.
ON the amplifier, is it tube operated, or, solid state?
That is Transistorized......
With care, you can fix it. But, an ohme meter won't check capacitors. As a rule, you should replace all paper, and, electrolytic capacitors. If it has a selenium rectifier, that will also need addressing.
Bill Cahill

The unit in question is probably a 3VCxxx, 4VCxxx, or 4VExxx model - printed-circuit tube chassis.
1964 vintage, with swing-out speaker systems - a suitcase portable.





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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by Bill Cahill on Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:29 am

Well, that helps. Thank you. But, still, what's the felt pad used for?
I know someone with a real cheapie RCA rp.
It's also stereo.
His speed runs very fast. Example: 78 is closer to 82 rpm.
The mannufacturers just didn't care abut quality. They just wanted them to work. Period.
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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by repairtech on Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:57 am

Bill Cahill wrote:Well, that helps. Thank you. But, still, what's the felt pad used for?
I know someone with a real cheapie RCA rp.
It's also stereo.
His speed runs very fast. Example: 78 is closer to 82 rpm.
The mannufacturers just didn't care abut quality. They just wanted them to work. Period.
Bill Cahill

Bill,
Through the years, and servicing many phonos, I've found that most "run fast".
I remember even back into the early 70's as a kid just getting into "hifi" and using a strobe disk on my parents RCA Victor console - and noting it ran slightly fast.

These are mass-produced *casual* players with wide *tolerance levels*.
They are *not* strictly manufactured *transcription* units.


I don't know how else to say it, and I get weary of trying to explain it to people.

I see threads on every website about this - pass the word around to the people upset over the percentage of speed deviation of inexpensive mass-produced record changers.

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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by Bill Cahill on Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:38 pm

That's what I"m trying to do here. Let people know that speed wasn't important on the less costly machines. Especiallly not on kiddie record players.
I have got machines that run about right on the money, but, not in cheapie machines, though. And, if you are talking acoustic-electric I guarantee they are all fast.
The motors were cheap, the machines were cheap.
You could buy a one tube wonder for as low as 14.99.
These were toys, guys.
They were for cheap entertainment.
Bill Cahill

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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by PhonoBrit on Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:24 pm

A new idler wheel and an extra washer under it lined it up with the spindle more accurately and now the speed is fine.

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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by Bill Cahill on Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:11 pm

What type of washer did you use? It should have fibre washers. If you used metall, you need fibre. Gary Sharke at VM enthusiasts should be able to help you on that.
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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by PhonoBrit on Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:34 am

Bill Cahill wrote:What type of washer did you use? It should have fibre washers. If you used metall, you need fibre. Gary Sharke at VM enthusiasts should be able to help you on that.
Bill Cahill
twas a fibre washer Very Happy

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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by Bill Cahill on Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:52 am

Good move. Thanks.
How is it working now??
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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by PhonoBrit on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:33 am

Bill Cahill wrote:Good move. Thanks.
How is it working now??
Bill Cahill
See my post from yesterday Very Happy

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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by Bill Cahill on Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:23 am

But, how is it playing? Have you rebuilt the amp, yet?
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Re: RCA Suitcase Player spins too fast

Post by PhonoBrit on Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:32 am

Oh, the amp is fine. No hums or buzzes.

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