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Cassette Speed Adjustment Test Tape

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by mcp6453, May 21, 2005.

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  1. mcp6453

    mcp6453 Guest

    I need a cassette alignment tape, actually for speed adjustment. Anybody
    know where I can find one? I don't have a deck that I trust enough to
    make my own.
  2. NSM

    NSM Guest

    Use a good quality pre recorded tape?

  3. Ken Weitzel

    Ken Weitzel Guest


    Must be that I'm missing something here... how is an
    alignment tape used to check speed?

    Think I'd prefer a tape recorded on a known good (speed)
    machine with a nice say 5k tone on it; then look at it on
    the suspect machine with a freq counter?

    Or the quick and easy way... take a commercial tape, with
    song lengths printed on the label... choose the longest
    song on it... play it; timing it with a stop watch and
    see how close it comes :)

    Take care.


  4. Ray L. Volts

    Ray L. Volts Guest

    I'm sure he must have been referring to a head azimuth alignment tape --
    which would have at least one steady tone on it. ASTI Magnetics offers (or
    at least used to offer) the more costly, single-purpose variety. Or he
    could get one of the popular all-in-one tapes for $20:
  5. N Cook

    N Cook Guest

    Checking the play speed of a cassette recorder.
    Requirements: a 1KHz test tape or a recording of an accurate
    1KHz tone made on a known good tape unit and played back on that machine
    to check, and an audio signal generator
    with a fully floating output ie no dc reference if not then de-couple the
    with a couple of capacitors.Parallel together one channel of the phones
    output of the tape and the output of the sig.gen. and a set of headphones
    in mono (L and R connected).With approximately equal sound levels
    you should get unmistakeable beat note .Reduce the beat to a minimum by
    changing the speed regulation of the cassette unit motor.

    Diverse Devices, Southampton, England
    other electronic hints and repair briefs , schematics/manuals list on
  6. mcp6453

    mcp6453 Guest

    No, not necessarily. There are tapes made specifically for determining
    the speed of a cassette machine. They are typically 3.150 kHz. Play the
    tape, measure the frequency of the tone with a frequency counter, and
    adjust the speed accordingly. A commercial version is available at, but quite a few other
    companies used to make them. I just cannot find one of those companies,
    although the source suggested above may be a good one. The descriptions
    on the tape do not tell what other tones are available, but I assume
    that the speed test would be one of them. Thank for the pointer.
  7. mcp6453

    mcp6453 Guest

    This is certainly a viable technique, but it is not as accurate as a
    test tape with a frequency counter. Thanks for reminding me!
  8. JR North

    JR North Guest

    Easy to make. Produce a tone with an analog signal generator. Say 8K HZ
    about 1-4 mA. Pipe it into a known good deck. Play the tape in the unit
    to be adjusted into a scope. The difference in HZ is the spindle error.
  9. NSM

    NSM Guest

    Or get a friendly musician to listen to it and tell you if the pitches are
    high or low.

  10. Andy Cuffe

    Andy Cuffe Guest

    This method works very well IF you can find a known good tape deck.
    When I used to work on a lot of tape decks, I don't think I ever saw
    two that were even close to the same speed (usually they were too
    fast). Many were off enough so that it was obvious when listening to
    music. Even the two sides of double decks were rarely both the same
    speed. Expensive decks also varied a lot.
    Andy Cuffe

    <-- Use this address until 12/31/2005

    <-- Use this address after 12/31/2005
  11. NSM

    NSM Guest

    Somewhere I have / had a cleaning tape with a built in strobe disc. Try
    dollar stores?

  12. John T

    John T Guest

    Hi Ken,
    Problem is the running times printed on those labels are often highly
    inaccurate :)

  13. N Cook

    N Cook Guest

    f counter is a bit OTT, I've never come across a cassette tape player that
    is consistently within 1 c/s of beats at 1 KHz of test tape.
    Perhaps something with huge motors and flywheels but not ordinary domestic

    Diverse Devices, Southampton, England
    electronic hints and repair briefs , schematics/manuals list on
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