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Revived Antique Tape Recorder Ferguson FTR-100

By on November 7, 2020
Revived Antique Tape Recorder Ferguson FTR-100






ferguson tape recorder repair

This tape recorder was brought to me by my techie friend, who tried his best to revive. The complaint was no sound output, even though the tape mechanism worked very well in all the modes! It belonged to the father of a customer, who wanted to reuse it in fond memories. Evidently this was lying somewhere unused for many years. What attracted me was the condition of the Tape Recorder. There was not a single scratch on it! It might have been either used very carefully or never used after it was bought by that father!

I removed the Tape from it and pressed the play button and applied audio signal to the point where the head is connected and then at the volume control hot point. But absolutely no sound. Checked the speaker and found it to be ok. Downloaded the datasheet of CD7313 and TA7313 and checked again giving signal at the input pin, with the same result! I even removed the capacitor from the input and tried. But no sound still! Anyhow, since my friend had done the preliminary troubleshooting and even changed the IC CD7313 to TA7313, my next method was to remove the TA7313 and check both ICs for its function.

I made a test circuit as per following diagram using the breadboard and tested both ICS by injecting audio signal. Both were found to be perfectly working:

schematic for ferguson tape recorder

how to fix tape recorder

oscilloscope waveform

After having ensured that both ICs were perfectly working, turned my attention to the board. As the ESR of most of the capacitors were out, I disconnected all the wires from the board and took it out. I replaced all the electrolytic capacitors on the board, which has become more or less my most favourite work! Then after re-soldering the CD7313, inserted a headphone and I applied power from its adapter and touched the input point at the head level and got a ‘burrrr’ sound, indicating that the board was getting back its life. Then re-soldered all the points including the many SMD components, some of which just moved away when I applied heat, indicating that these were in such bad condition. After finishing that when I applied signal at the input, it worked very well.

Then reconnected the head input, mic, speaker and motor wires. Cleaned the head and pinch roller using IPA. Then loaded the cassette after doing a full rewind and fast forward. This was to ensure that the fungus/oxidized formations on the tape were cleaned by the brush built within. Then I played a standard cassette and aligned the head for peak but distortion free sound output. Then I played the cassette that came with the set and it worked very well fully; both A and B sides. After ensuring that it worked very well for a few hours, fixed the PCB screws and back cover and called my friend to come and collect. Some pictures:

how to repair ferguson tape recorder

how to repair and fix ferguson tape recorder

Mission accomplished and satisfaction got collected with a lot of excitement too!

This article was prepared for you by Parasuraman Subramanian from India. He is 70 years old and has more than 30 years’ experience in handling antique equipment like Valve Radio, Amps, Reel Tape Recorders and currently studying latest tech-classes conducted by Kerala State Electronics Technicians’ Association. He has done graduation in BBA degree, private diploma in Radio Engineering and retired as MD of a USA company. Presently working as Consultant to Hospital and other institutions.

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You may check on his previous repair article below:




  1. Waleed Rishmawi

    November 7, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Tender loving care repair indeed. that tape player got the best treatment ever. thanks for sharing. have a blessed day my friend.

    • Parasuraman S

      November 9, 2020 at 4:38 pm

      Many thanks!

  2. Albert van Bemmelen

    November 7, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    When they ever make devices that replace the capacitor functions by using coils that somehow store magnetic energy instead of storing electrons in caps we no longer need checking ESR, Capacity or replace these often bad caps. Until that time comes you are the best man for replacing those e-caps and fixing these devices!

    • Parasuraman S

      November 9, 2020 at 4:39 pm

      Many thanks!

  3. Yogesh Panchal

    November 7, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Antique repairing is subject of interest and patience.
    Good job! sir,
    I also have Philips two in one cassette recorder with bad pulley belt which is not available in the market now a days & i am also having collection of over 100 nos of cassette of songs in good condition with me but heavy hatred i have to scrap it.

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      November 8, 2020 at 4:42 am

      Maybe you can still buy a set of those belts from Conrad or other electronics company? I know they still do sell sets like these that help fixing your cassette player.

      • Yogesh Panchal

        November 8, 2020 at 10:55 pm

        I had planned to buy it from online but i have no idea about the size of belt & main thing is some plastic parts like switch knobs are become brittle and it gets easily cracked while handling. so i have dropped the idea.

    • Parasuraman S

      November 9, 2020 at 4:41 pm

      I have a lot of belts in my collection. Kindly obtain my email address from Jestine Yong and send me size of the belt.

      • Yogesh Panchal

        November 10, 2020 at 12:28 am

        Thank you for your kind offer but as i said i am not sure about the size of the belt and sample of belt which i have removed also missing and some Plastic Parts like switch lever caps ,Plastic screw mount are become brittle so i dropped the idea for repairing.
        Thanks again.

  4. babums

    November 7, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    Good technique used to find the fault.Thank you very much for sharing sir.

    • Parasuraman S

      November 9, 2020 at 4:42 pm

      Many thanks!

  5. Humberto

    November 8, 2020 at 11:58 am

    When I was studying in Secondary School, there was a kind of this Tape Recorder in my house. It was Japan made: SANYO

    • Parasuraman S

      November 9, 2020 at 4:42 pm

      Many thanks!

  6. Steve Payne

    May 30, 2023 at 5:55 am

    Just found one of these cassette players (in my Father’s garage - and he’s been dead 2 years), it’s had no TLC (apart from being in a plastic sleeve)

    It works perfectly, playing a cassette from 35 years ago (the translation of my Father on Danish TV) I’m in the UK

    Played it one last time - to record and convert to MP3

    They knew how to make electronics, in those days…


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