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old electronics smell

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], Oct 28, 2007.

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  1. Guest

    I have a TEAC X-3 reel to reel deck. There's this smell that comes out
    of it after about half an hour that I don't really like.
    Does anyone have any insight on late 70s solid-state consumer
    electronics as to what is making a smell like paint or shellac?
    I think the power transformer is coated with something that smells
    when warm.
    If could get a better idea of what it is I can maybe replace the part
    or clean it up.
    I'd investigate more myself but the thing is a bit bigger than what I
    can handle right now in my tiny lab space.
  2. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest


    ** Old tape recorders never die - they just smell funny.

    ( Apologies to F. Zappa )

    ** Not very likely to be the AC transformer or a motor - unless the unit
    has a serious fault.

    More likely the smell is from a high power resistor in series with the take
    up motor to reduce torque in play & record mode.

    ........ Phil
  3. hath wroth:
    Likely candidates are
    - dust.
    - melting insulation.
    - boiling electrolyte belching from partly dried electrolytics
    - mice, rats, ants, or other insects or critters.
    - burning rubber idler wheels.
    - dried oil on the bushings (varnish).
    Anyway, it's difficult to tell from here. I would leave it unplugged
    until you have a chance to rip it open and look inside.
  4. It may contain phenolic paper circuit boards (orangish
    instead of the greenish fiberglass epoxy). These give off a
    very distinctive odor when components mounted on them get warm.
  5. Jim Stewart

    Jim Stewart Guest

    I love that smell.

    Reminds me of The Mill when I worked for
    DEC, or the inside of a telephone exchange
    building. Hard to find that smell anymore.

    Sorry you don't share my love for it...

    Try burning some incense.
  6. Guest

    It's not bad, but the ladies don't like it. My space-age 70s love
    shack is perfect except for that smell.
    Gack, that gets into everything, and they all smell nauseating. I
    guess I'm not such a 70s guy after all.
  7. Guest

    Very true, thanks, forgot about that.
  8. boB

    boB Guest

    DITTO !! In fact, there's another smell I like... The old ditto
    machine copies they made in elementary school. That and
    the smell you're talking about... Old military radios and telephone
    central offices.

    Another smell that takes me back is tuner cleaner...
    Takes me right back to high school days when I had to spray the
    buttons of my old blue box when phone phreaking.

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