Has anyone actually ever done it?

Discussion in 'TASCAM Analog Forum' started by motorlynx, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. motorlynx

    motorlynx New Member

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    Hi all, I have read thread upon thread (and not just here) regarding the possibilities of locking x2 syncaset 238's together but not once have I read of a success? Has anyone ever actually done it and what was the result? Did it work fine and up to all expectations? Did it exceed expectations? Was it a disappointment and not worth the exercise? I am about to attempt it and am after any spec of knowledge for interest sake or that can either save me time, money or damage. I have both machines and a tascam mts1000 midiizer (though the midiizer is in transit ATM) and have read I will need to make a specialised RS cable...which I will get done...somewhere/somehow. So there is a definite reason why I wish to know what outcomes other people have had. Cheers
  2. motorlynx

    motorlynx New Member

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    Well...I'm guessing no then. In case anybody in the future ever needs the information I will keep this page updated on my own progress. I have two 238's that I recently purchased, one is in fair condition the other not so fair and I have purchased two reel motors and two capstan motors plus of course two pinch rollers with the intention of refurbishing the decks. I wont be doing this myself, I am very lucky to have at my disposal an extremely talented technician who has many, many years in radio working on these for me....so I know the work will be done right. I also recently bought a MTS-1000 so I am set up as far as hardware goes. The PM-5MD cable is another kettle of fish altogether...I thought the MTS-1000 was rare! these cables are impossible to source for any money...one English company that was suggested on threads was apologetic because the knowledge to make these cables passed away with the man who made it for them...very sad. Anyway, the main reason I am getting this gear together is to record my original bands 4th album (90's heavy rock/metal genre). I badly want to capture the drums on cassette tape...call me whatever you like but its part of the esoteric nature of the project. When I do eventually get this gear functional and running on full capacity I will definitely post the drum capture unmolested here. I have very high hopes...I expect my ears to hiss, to wow my mind and cause my eyes to flutter... uncontrollably.
  3. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Well-Known Member

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    I can vaguely remember some fooling around with that with the synchronizer device maybe around a CES show when they were around Chicago but I did not get involved as I was fixing machines while the other guy fooled around with this. I do know it was attempted but the people that did it are now gone so I can not say for sure what the result was.
    I did see a Tascam 58 synchronized to a Umatic 3/4" machine with Star Wars video and the 7 channel audio at a show. If they can sync a 3/4" with a 1/2" Tascam then why not anything else.
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  4. motorlynx

    motorlynx New Member

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    Well, as promised I have gone ahead and tried to make this happen, only to hit a glitch that I don't know the answer to... I have posted this same question on another site and in case someone there knew the answer.....I'm hoping someone can help me

    Hi all, I know this is an old thread I hope that it still gets read. I have a Midiizer that seems to power up and work well. I have X2 238 syncaset machines. All have been hooked up via ACC2 ports using made up Pw5Md cables from pin details derived from this forum. The guy who made them for me is an old professional guru and I trust his work. As said, the Midiizer is not locking the transports of the machines. It does however successfully operate all other functions and separately can control each machines transport...but not locked together at once. Interestingly, when the Midiizer goes through the "learn tape machine functions" mode (the process just after stripping tape in the MTS manual) both machines do start and run together correctly in this mode...but only in this mode.
    In response to the boot up sequence of the Midiizer as discussed previously in this thread, the read-out does display the ACC2 serial hook up.
    The only thing I can guess as a potential problem could be that the made up Pw5Md cables are fully shielded...as in every wire has a shield, though only the correct pin is soldered/shielded/terminated. I cant really see how that would be an issue but I guess that's a question I must ask you guys?
    Has anyone else had this particular problem?
    Does anyone know whether the shielded pin/wire needs also to be shielded to the outside of the metal plug casing...or is that just ridiculous? I don't know I am running out of ideas?

    appreciate any help. Cheers [​IMG]
  5. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Well-Known Member

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    There are machines that are made to work with SMPTE synchronizers such as the 42 and 52, 62 decks. I have never read anything that the speed of the capstan motor can be controlled by an external clock signal- maybe I have just not seen it but so far as I can see on the 238 is if the external device can not control the speed of the unit it will only be accurate for a short time before it drifts off speed and you lose lock. Just because a device can stop and start the unit does not mean it also can control it's speed. That is a different level of design. I am just saying.
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  6. motorlynx

    motorlynx New Member

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    Thank you Skywave I really appreciate your reply, its great to know someone is on the other end here and willing to add their expertise. In this particular case the 238 is well documented that the midiizer can in fact control the capstan motor speed on up to X2 238 decks via the ACC2 port and be totally locked to the smpte that is sent from the midiizer. So, I am very confident it is possible...on paper. I am wondering whether the smpte code is being defeated from the midiizer in normal play somehow...since it obviously works in the special "learn" mode? I am guessing unless some one has had a very similar experience then a fix may be very hard to come across, Im not even sure how to test the Smpte feed. I suppose I will need to take it back the the tech guru and see if he can test its output?
  7. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Well-Known Member

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    Since I answered this and have the manual on my computer I went into the service manual schematic and there is no mention of a speed control externally and having been repairing these motors of their cheap chinese SMD caps. The capstan motor which is DD but not Quartz locked is going to drift some. The original design makes use of cheap ceramic caps that are known to drift with temperature and humidity. I replace the C2 with a Polystyrene which make this better. The motor is a good one as long as you do not have them build it in China or use the wrong SMD type parts.
    If your motor has not been recapped it should be with through hole types.

    OK, I downloaded the O/M and it does in deed have an external speed control but don't ask me how it does it as I never saw any wires hooked to the motor for this. The O/M say the serial port in the back does control the speed when the EXT switch position is selected. This may be where if you do not set it for Ext that you are making the error. I did not know about it either as the S/M I looked at says nothing about this. But it does say it i externally controlled.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
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  8. wkrbee

    wkrbee Active Member

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    I used to be involved with repairing Tascam products,and I can say "Yes" the MTS 1000 will lock two 238 recorders together.One common problem with home built cables is some of the critical signals,(the speed reference signal, for example, not being shielded from the rest of the signals.Tascam should be able to supply you with the correct wiring and shielding diagram.Can a 238 lock to the MTS 1000 when using the 238 as the Slave and the TC generator output looped back into the Master TC input?It should.If neither 238 will lock set up as a Slave after "Learn" mode,then the problem is either the cables or the MTS 1000.I'm also assuming-that bad word again-that you are recording SMPTE to track 8 of the 238.
    SKYWAVE,the 42,52,MS-16 et al used a 4KHZ.Reference signal for the correct Capstan Motor speed - Reference Osc.,Capstan motor FG coil and PLL -which could be controlled in the "Varispeed" mode or by an external synchronizer- ES 50.MTS 1000 through the Parallel port or Microlynx for example.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
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  9. motorlynx

    motorlynx New Member

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    Thank you for your reply wkrbee. Yes I am recording/striping to track 8 on both machines. I called Tascam in Australia, send emails to Tascam (japan or wherever the main office is) and emailed Tascam in United states and Canada. No one could help me regarding the cable diagram...except for sites like this, ( fully understand these are old machines but it does seem poor to me that they couldn't help an "ethusiasts" out...as I believe they could find them if they really wanted). Anyway I am digressing. I still haven't heard back from my tech guy who is adjusting playback levels internally, I can only guess he is having trouble as well. Skywave or Wkrbee, how important are these "SMD caps" and what function do they perform? are they purely speed control or are they level/volume involved? I was wondering due to the poor playback level of the strip smpte code on track 8 of one of the machines.
    If they need to be replaced what shoud I replace them with...is there a model number or brand I should get?
  10. wkrbee

    wkrbee Active Member

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    PM me with your Email address.I have the original-from Tascam -wiring diagram for the PW5 serial cable.The "SMD" caps.are on the capstan motor.Typical failure mode is the motor speeds up uncontrollably-pretty much a hard failure.You didn't answer the comment about trying one of the 238s connected as a slave and the T/C generator output looped back into the Master T/C in...
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
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  11. atom

    atom New Member

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    Motorlynx - can you tell me if you ended up getting everything to work? I also have two 238 decks and a MTS-1000 that I want to get all synced up. I'm willing to make my own cable if I can get the right parts. Finding a real cable is basically impossible. Maybe we can get this thread to include some info about how to get things synced up.
  12. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Well-Known Member

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    The SMD parts on the capstan motor controller are a 100% failure part- if you still have them it is wise to have them changed out as they will get you when you least expect it and as the leak they wreck the foil patterns on the PCB. I patch across them to get motors running if they are compromised. Parts- I use 105*C caps from good name brand cap makers like Nichicon , Wurth or the better Panasonic ones. The Bipolars are 85*C because they do not make them in a higher temp. These are thru hole parts not SMD. I never use SMD if I can avoid it. The C2 should be replaced with a Mylar .01 or I have used a Polystyrene in the past that stabilized the speed. Blowing on the board with a straw as that one do it yourselfer did just indicates the cheap ceramic disc cap was reacting to moisture and temp change- it is a total junk part which is why I get rid of it. After Mylar or Polystyrene the reaction is not there.
    Digital wise you could not have a better adviser than Wrkbee as he has lots of experience in this field.
  13. atom

    atom New Member

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    I have on hand two capstan motor boards that are brand new ready to be installed in both decks. I bought them years ago when one of the decks made the fast jet sound and determined that this was that part that needed replacing. I'm just very slow to move forward on some of the more involved repair projects. Although I already have a preliminary plan for the deck performance, I'm still left with figuring out the sync cable issue. I've considered taking a generic 15pin 2 row cable and altering the pinouts while running some shielded wires outside of the cable for the pins that require shielding. I'd much prefer a more elegant solution if possible, though. And even if I go that route, I still need to know the pinout so I can re-route the necessary shielded wires. Was hoping that this info had been found at some point and just didn't make it to this thread.
  14. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Well-Known Member

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    The guy who knows about these cables is wrkbee on this website. he was with Teac a long time and worked on the digital stuff a lot. I have only repair experience with these and leave the higher up playing around to others.
    New motor boards constructed with the same garbage parts are not going to be any help. The only motor boards that last are ones with Thru Hole parts not SMD parts. The boards they sell on E bay do not have the coils on the back to drive the motor so they do not work despite being over $100. I do not suggest buying them and just to fix the current boards with better through hole high grade caps that do not leak. SMD parts in any product are made for a very short life time- they are considered throw away parts. I never use them.
  15. atom

    atom New Member

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    Yes I understand and thank you for your replies. I'll take them into consideration when I dig in. I was hoping OP would chime in because this thread is specifically about these sync cables but I guess he's MIA. If anyone out there has some info about them that would be great.
  16. BRDTS

    BRDTS New Member

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    much!
    Yes, ANY two Tascam machines with acc2 ports can be synchronized with the midiizer or ats500.

    Yes....one of the wires in acc2 cables is NOT connected to one side of the silver acc2 connector. Which is a critical bit of info. I have eight or ten Tascam acc2 cables leftover from various sync projects and remember that part about the cable wiring. I might pull one out of storage to look.

    The Midiizer manual back area has the complete wiring schematics for acc2 cables. Including notes of which wire to not connect.

    Things to check would include NOT connecting acc2 to the master machine (during test) but just sending smpte to the slave.....observe if the slave indicates lock.....if not.....switch machines for a few minutes using the OTHER machine as slave.,..using again....only smpte out of master into smpte in of midiizer....smpte AND acc2 out of midiizer into slave....and see if it locks.

    In this scenario (no acc2 cable on master during test), pushing "play" on master sends smpte to midiizer.....midiizer needs a few moments to read the smpte...then sends/receives tach/smpte from slave...and then adjusts slave.....basically taking momentarily longer with no acc2 cable on the master....

    but this DOES let you narrow down who/what/where is communicating.

    Some acc2 port based machines must have the slave "manually" placed into external sync via front panel switch
    . But most acc2 port based Tascams automatically switch into slave mode via signals from the acc2 cable
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2021
  17. atom

    atom New Member

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    Hi thanks for the reply. Yes I understand that two 238s can be synced using the MTS-1000 which is why I bought them all. The information that I am looking for is the pinout for the ACC which I am unable to find anywhere, including the manual. Page 61 makes a very brief reference to an "exclusive cable" for the ACC ports called the PW-5MD, however there is no pinout to be found. There are pinouts for the 24 pin AUX connector and the 50 pin I/F 1000 cable.

    Would you be willing to sell me a couple of your ACC cables?
  18. Edward Brands

    Edward Brands New Member

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    Atom did you get the 238's synced up yet? If so I would love to know how...I been searching also that's how I ended up here.
  19. atom

    atom New Member

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    No, unfortunately the thread went silent again. I'm just trying to get my hands on a couple PW-5MD cables or a pinout and instructions on which wire needs to be shielded and swapped. I've been keeping an eye out for 15 conductor cable with shielding on all conductors since I think that would be more than sufficient. Just need to know which pins get flipped at either end for a proper sync connection and I'll be happy.
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  20. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Well-Known Member

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    wrkbee must be the guy as I have never seen such cables or had diagrams of them.