[sdiy] Debugging problem with 4-track

Jay Schwichtenberg jschwich53 at comcast.net
Sat May 26 02:36:16 CEST 2018

Did you put a cassette in it?


Might be it needs a cassette with the plastic write protect tab not broken out.


Good luck.

Jay S


From: Synth-diy [mailto:synth-diy-bounces at synth-diy.org] On Behalf Of Corey K
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2018 3:53 PM
Subject: [sdiy] Debugging problem with 4-track


I was hoping someone here might have some suggestions for me. 


I recently purchased a Fostex x18 4-track cassette recorder. Cosmetically it is in mint condition, and it came with the original box and power supply. When I plug in the power supply the green power LED illuminates. The play, fast forward, and rewind controls seem to work. So far so good, however, when I push the record button, the record LED does not illuminate. I connected a few different sources to the machine and raised up the input gain, but the level meters do not light up, and I can't hear anything from the headphones output...

I noticed something strange which might point to the problem: if I unplug the power supply (while the record button is depressed) the record LED and level meters light up momentarily. I wondered if there was a problem with my power supply, so I tried using an adjustable one. The machine is supposed to use a DC supply in the range 11-15V. When I set my adjustabe supply to 7.5v the machine actually seems to work correctly! But when I set the adjustable power supply to 12V (which is the same voltage as the original supply), the machine exhibits the same bad behavior I describe above.

What might be happening here? I'd love to hear any hypotheses. Seems like a problem with the power distribution system, but what would be the first things to check? (I have a multimeter and scope). Is this a case that might require recapping? What would be the best way to investigate this? Any ideas would be much appreciated.


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