Monday, May 23, 2016

Part 1, Eclectica Studio's MCI JH110B rebuild report May 22, 2016

By Tim Dolbear

Part 1,  ...and so it begins!

The first thing we needed to do was strip the unit completely. I removed the deck from the rack or "furniture part" and then removed all the circuit boards and motherboard. I then removed the rack mounting system so I could cut new pieces to use to mount the rack rails to the 'Furniture'.  I also removed the face plate from the deck to I could unscrew it from the rack rails, and also clean under the face plate.

In the picture you can see the white strips of wood which are the new pieces. The rack rails mount to this new wood and the entire part attaches to the square black frame, which then mounts into the furniture and is able to rotate allowing for access to the circuitry.

 I also mounted the Penthouse or 4-space rack that houses the 2 channels of In/Out circuitry.  Now it's looking like it supposed to...

And then I started on the electronics.

All the red IC sockets need to be replaced and all the Molex connectors need to be resoldered to fix any cold solder connections to the boards. The very first IC socket took me 30 minutes to remove, it shattered into 30 pieces...
I thought "oh no, this is going to take forever! I have 50+ red IC sockets to replace!"  But the next one took 3 minutes to remove and the rest took 2min to remove, clean the IC and replace. 

Here is a before and after of the first board done and the old sockets.

This week the head stack goes off for relapping, I swapped out the block, the black top of the assembly, so my good stack, which came with the JH110B had the nice block.  I had bought a 
head stack off of eBay simply for the nicer looking block. The heads are in almost perfect condition but JRF will optically align the head stack and if they feel they need relapping, they shall do that too.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Adventure of the Eclectica Studios' MCI JH110B 1/4" Mastering deck.

By Tim Dolbear

 Our new MCI JH110B 1/4" Mastering Deck has arrived!  The unit works but I want it brought back to spec and update all the things that a 1979 unit should have, and needs to have, updated and addressed.

Over the next month or two I will be completely refurbishing our new MCI JH110B. If you want to follow along.         Subscribe to my blog!

The unit was damaged a little in shipping, the wood supports that hold the Deck to the housing split and the unit bounced inside the rack bending a metal support holding the motherboard.  So that's the first thing I will be fixing. Since all the circuit boards need to come off for recap/socket replacement and so on, I will strip the unit and fix the supports so I can rebuild it as the pieces are recapped and fixed up.

This unit has the horrible Red IC sockets still on only about 1/2 of the motherboards, The ICs just fall out of them. The unit looks like it was maintained well and many things fixed in the late 1990's.

So new sockets, recapping and reseating the Molex connectors all need to be done. I need to also go through the Power Supply and clean every square inch of every thing. The unit works but I want it brought back to spec and update the things a 1979 unit should have and needs to have updated.

The 2 head stacks I have are both off to JRF this week. JRF had relapped the heads once before as their sticker and info are on them. The Erase head has a small chip out of the face, not where tape touches, If JRF decides its an issue we have a 2nd spare head stack we can pull parts from.

This is a picture of The Landcaster Opera House in Buffalo, NY. We believe this MCI 1/4" lived and worked here from 1979 until put into storage around 2000. The unit was then purchased by an engineer 10 years later who was going to restore it and never got time to. Now its here at Eclectica Studios in Austin Tx.