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An Easy Repair To A Walkman Tape Player

By on July 21, 2020
how to repair walkman








A German manager working close to my area brought his tape play for repair. As I click the play button the power light comes on and I could hear the motor spinning but there was no movement of the actual tape. From experience I believe this issue was a result of a broken belt but the question; what size is the belt?

aiwa walkman repair

The first thing to do is to take off the back cover and see what is going on inside this device.

aiwa walkman repair and fix

As I took the back cover off, I could see the tiny details inside the device. I took all the tiny screws holding the printed circuit down and I was about to pull it up, I noticed two soldering spots that were holding the board down to a coil.

I soldered these joints off and now I was able to pull the board out without any complications.

how to fix aiwa walkman

The first thing that came to mind when I saw this, where is the belt? I could see part of it still attached to main motor.

aiwa walkman motor

Here is a close up of the melted belt sticking to the motor shaft. That is a very thin belt and I do not think I have this size in the shop.

The first logical things to do are cleaning the entire melted belt and then think about the size of the belt and find replacement.

fixing walkman

After all the cleaning, I was able to find a belt; a little bit thicker than the original one but when I put it on and have it a try, the sound was loud and clear. As I explained this to the German customer, he did not like the idea of this thicker belt although it is working fine so he decided to keep this belt for now and later on he will order the original belt from Germany.

As we both agreed on that and as we are waiting for the original belt to arrive and be installed by me; until then, I can call this…

Mission Accomplished.

This article was prepared for you by Waleed Rishmawi, one of our ‘Master Authors’ and currently working in the Bethlehem area of Palestine repairing electrical and electronic equipment.

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Note: You can check his previous repair articles in the link below:




  1. Albert van Bemmelen

    July 21, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Probably belts like e-caps and other capacitors are the first deteriorating parts that cause malfunctioning in these devices. I once had a tapestreamer - model Wangtek 5150 EQ - had a rubber tape transporting wheel (like the capstan wheel transport used in cassette recorders) that became very sticky and destroyed some tapes in the proces. And in about a day or so afterwards those rubber transport wheels turned into a oily liquid fluid. Which made the tapestreamer useless. And also the Wangtek tapestreamer ISA slotcard controllerboard that had old preprogrammed PAL Firmware installed became erratic and was no longer recognized by the computer software. The motor belt of the streamer was still fine though! Finding a new replacement rubber tape transport wheel is sadly almost impossible. Like finding the tapestreamer firmware that was used to program the 4 PAL's with. Or information on how to fix these controller boards.

    • Waleed Rishmawi

      July 21, 2020 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks for your input. Have a blessed day

  2. Parasuraman S

    July 21, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    Well done! Replacing a belt in a Walkman is an intricate job! I have had to do such things several times in the past. Sometimes we may have to make it inside out to get to the broken pieces! It used to get stuck to nearby wheels and components too!

    • Waleed Rishmawi

      July 21, 2020 at 11:07 pm

      Parasuraman: thanks man. It was not fun to work on such tiny device but I am glad it worked out. Have a blessed day

    • Mike Retz

      August 4, 2020 at 11:57 pm

      Hi. As Walkman are becoming more popular belts and gears are becoming more available. I work on Salman's and the center gear is available now where at one time you had to repair the old gear with a salvaged unit.certain early Walkman can bring big bucks. I like the model Sony wm2 and have several that I like to play with.trying to figure them out can be a real challenge.but after you get one working the reward of doing it yourself can be extremely satisfying.look on the internet for parts from usa and japan.belts are pretty easy.look for packages of 100 belts for like 4.00 one is bound to fit or measure your old belt section with a micrometer.a place in Oregon or Washington had a lengthy list of exact models for pinch rollers belts idle wheels and cartridges for turntables.have a great day

  3. Lynn Blakely

    July 22, 2020 at 8:23 am

    Good Job Waleed: I have worked on reel to reel and cassettes recorders 30yrs ago. Some of the moters run at a constant speed,you may realize that the cross section of the belt is a determining factor. If the belt is larger it will increase the capstan speed. On some old Akai or Roberts it was necessary to replace a sleeve that fit on the capstan. We used expensive test tapes with a 1-khz signal on the tape using a frequency counter to check the speed. Some of you may remember Wollensak originally a German design, bought by 3M in the US. I bought one in 1962,then a couple of years later learned how to change the belt in one of those tube type recorders. I am happy to learn from those of you that post your experiences

    • Waleed Rishmawi

      July 22, 2020 at 8:52 pm

      Lynn: thanks man. thanks for sharing your experience as well. I am glad you are learning from these articles..that is an encouragement to keep going. thanks and have a blessed day


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