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September 2, 2014

Disintegrated drive belt: Repair of an Aiwa 3500 Cassette Deck

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:32 pm

Just finished a repair of a 1980′s vintage Aiwa cassette deck: Aiwa model 3500 (see http://www.vintagecassette.com/Aiwa/AD-3500), a 3-head model with decent performance for its era. The drive system was essentially nonfunctional. Why, you might ask, would I bother fixing such an old piece of electronics? The answer is that I needed a sound source for a “goose barker” to connect up to an amp and speakers to scare some persistent geese off my mother’s lawn, and a cassette deck was a pretty good choice, given that it was here and available.

Upon taking the cover off, the cause became obvious: the drive belts had disintegrated to a degree that I’ve never seen before; all that was left was a sticky mess of disintegrated rubber on the motor and drive pulleys and the capstan flywheel.

disintegrated drive belt

disintegrated drive belt
disintegrated drive belt

disintegrated drive belt

I carefully cleaned off the disintegrated belt mess with cloths and then found a couple of replacement belts: discarded rubber bands of the right length that happened to be in a desk here. I needed one flat, thick one, for the primary drive belt, and a square cross-section one for a secondary belt. For the purpose of this repair, I’m not concerned about wow and flutter specs so those found rubber bands were fine.

After installing the rubber band  replacement drive belts, I reinstalled the cover and tested out the deck. Works great, and the system does scare the geese away from my mother’s garden.

operational Aiwa 3500

operational Aiwa 3500

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