Hi from Australia. Newby, just joined! I discovered this forum yesterday and read EVERYTHING, looking for possible solutions. Most impressed with the knowledge base. Here are my problems with my 244 Portastudio: With a cassette in the deck, when power in ON and no buttons are pressed, the tape moves forward at a seemingly normal speed but the counter goes backwards! When FFWD is pressed, the tape winds correctly and the counter goes forwards. However when STOP is pushed, tape reverts to seemingly normal speed, going forwards but the counter goes backwards! (I say ’seemingly’ because the capstan and pinch roller are NOT touching the tape, so it’s the take up reel taking up!) When REWIND is pressed, the tape goes slowly FORWARDS but the counter goes backwards. When PLAY is pressed, the tape heads and pinch roller move to the correct position and the tape appears to be going forwards at the correct speed while the counter goes forwards. However when STOP is pressed, the heads/pinch roller doesn’t retract and the tape reverts to moving forward with the counter going backwards. Interestingly, with NO cassette loaded but with the Cassette-In switch pressed, when PLAY is pressed, the heads/pinch roller engage but the take up reel goes to fast forward with the counter going forward appropriately. When STOP is pressed, heads/roller don’t retract and take up reel slows to rotating slowly and counter goes backwards! Without a cassette in, I can see that the idler is permanently touching the take up reel, which explains why the take up reel is involved in everything. When RWD is pressed, the idler wheel stays on the take up reel and doesn’t, in any mode, flip over to the supply reel. All belts and tyres are in excellent condition. I’m suspecting the M54410P (U501) controller IC, but I have a gut feeling it’s something simpler, as H and L voltages on the pins change while pressing buttons. These issues occurred suddenly, with no warning while doing some recording. I’m a retired musician with a 1970’s audio electronics trade qualification. Strange, indeed. Suggestions as to what to look for would be appreciated. I do have the full service manual in front of me (bought it in 1984 when I bought the machine!). Looking forward to some suggestions. Gerry.