Is My 244 Portastudio Overheating?

Discussion in 'TASCAM Analog Forum' started by Resort Records, Jul 13, 2021.

  1. Resort Records

    Resort Records New Member

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    Gear:
    Tascam 244 Portastudio
    My 244 Portastudio was recently serviced and has successfully played through a dozen or so cassettes. [I'm archiving my library of 40-year-old recording sessions to digital files.] Unfortunately, it's now pooping out - on playback, it'll just quit. I can sometimes FF and Rew. Other times, those functions give up too. It looks like its trying, because things move a little, but strain and eventually fail.

    The cassettes are fine. I can turn 'em easily with a pencil.

    I'm wondering if it's heat related because it's quite hot here - especially in the studio - and, if I turn the 244 off for a while, it returns to normal, playing cassettes it gave up on before.

    Do the belts get 'slippy' at a certain temperature? Does the motor give up temporarily when it overheats? Should I wait until evening, when things cool off?

    Any advice is appreciated.
  2. BazzBass

    BazzBass Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    From:
    Down Under
    Gear:
    2488 Portastudio, DR40
    point a small fan at the heatsink on the back, if there is one that is, it's been decades since I've used a 244. Man, what lovely memories. Hope you get it sorted.
  3. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Well-Known Member

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    Chicago area
    Gear:
    Teac, Tascam, Sony
    Belt is the most likely issue if they are not recently installed with new. The lubrication in the capstan bearing and top capstan motor bearing could use oil. I do this when I service them. People that take short cuts and just put a belt on often times the wrong belt from some kit usually do not have a working deck for long- it needs proper servicing and all aspects of the deck properly taken care of. The AMSoil I have been using in decks including cassette capstan bearings have given me extremely good wow and flutter readings. It is a synthetic oil that doe snot dry out of break down. The power supply is right behind the transport and so there is no access to a heat sink. If you have a thermal problem it might be solder joints that are thermally broken- after a proper application of the right amount of Kester 44 on the power supply the deck will work to much better reliability. I ended up buying a case of 1 pound solder rolls as there is so much corrective soldering needed on these decks- they are all made with wave solder methods that would pass few tests if they were tested. I resolder deck so that nothing can break the joints I make near aerospace grade solder methods. Yes, I worked at Hughes.
  4. Resort Records

    Resort Records New Member

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    Gear:
    Tascam 244 Portastudio
    Thanks, guys!

    I pointed a fan at the 244 and got it up off the spongy leather stool it was on (which may have been impeding ventilation). Between this and taking longer breaks between cassettes, this reduced the incidents of failure to almost none and I was able to digitize the remaining tapes successfully and in pretty good time.

    Now, I'm both happy and sad to say, I can safely retire my trusty 244 for good. :'-(

    Yeah, so many good memories.
  5. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    From:
    Hukou Township, Hsinchu County, Taiwan
    Gear:
    DP-32, | 2A Mixer, A3440
    I found a battery/USB powered portable cassette player (with earbuds no less!) that gives you 16bit/44.1 kHz audio on the USB connection for dubbing cassettes. Cost $20. You can find them on Amazon and other sites.

    I realize that it only plays back 2 tracks at a time per a standard audio cassette, and in order to get the other tracks one has to flip the tape over, but it is a cheap backup alternative that would get you the audio from your tapes. You can very easily flip the tracks in a DAW and line them up.
  6. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Well-Known Member

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    From:
    Chicago area
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    Teac, Tascam, Sony
    If I had to do audio transfers with a Ion like Chinese transport with wow and flutter at .25%, I would just not want to waste my time when there are a lot of good decks that can be restored and work well as the last deck I did was below .028% with a good oiling and the right oil. There are a lot of 4 channel units that can do the job like 234, and most Porta Studios that use 4 channels. I would opt for a better deck as once the audio is in with large wow and flutter I am not sure the computer can fix that?
  7. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    From:
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    DP-32, | 2A Mixer, A3440
    RX8 can deal with bad azimuth and wow/flutter to a certain extent, but it's a thrash sometimes. Better to do the dub with a good deck as you say, rather than introduce an entirely new level of issues.