Sony WM-R2 & WM-F65 Walkman – March 2020

3 Mar

Haven’t posted on here for a while, but have still been working away on various projects.

I have repaired a bunch of old cassette/tape decks in the past few years and just finished up a WM-R2 which I think is Sony’s first recording unit in the Walkman range. Its pretty neat with 2x headphone jacks, a Mic in and stereo mics slapped on top This one was waaay more difficult to fix than the other decks I’ve worked on. Most Walkman’s are pretty frustrating to work on due to the size of the parts. This one however not only suffers from deteriorated belts (like most of them) but also cracked plastic gears…

You can see the problem gear below, the larger Black one with the gap in it.

Luckily someone makes new replacement gears for these, so once I got it all apart I could remove the old gear and replace it with the new one which is a different design and hopefully wont fail again:

I also fixed up a WM-F65 a while back which also has a mic input (but no builtin mics)

Messing with my Fisheye lens that I just got and don’t really know how to use yet:

Its alive!

18 Nov

After after making one board in reverse, trashing that, repeating and soldering all the components, the new circuit tested OK.

Now I need to fit it all back in the original case and mount the 4 controls for: tape/delay speed, wet/dry mix, number of repeats and output level

The original plan was to fit everything in to the battery compartment, which may have worked but it was a real tight fit. So I removed the builtin speaker and used that space. The battery door has the input and output jacks mounted on it.

This case was in the worst condition out of the 3 tape decks I bought, so I could paint it, but will more likely leave it as is. This project ended up being a bit of a mission after all my failed attempts.

Overall I’m really happy with it, it sounds really good and if you crank up the levels, it will self oscillate and go a bit crazy. I have about $60 in it. There is a guy that sells equivalent (more likely better!) ones, but they are around $1000 so I think I’ll stick with this.

If you want to see/hear what it does click here:

The audio is recorded through the camera mic so its not the greatest.

So-Cal Compton Throwdown – 27th October 2018

8 Nov

The last weekend in October was the So-Cal 2018 Throwdown.

Held at Centennial High in Compton C.A. there were loads of quality rides.

The owners and spectators were really friendly, had some amusing conversations ranging from Vanilla Ice hahah (I think I was the only white guy there…) to: would I be able to get their car in “Street Machine” magazine.. Good times.

Click the image for full size.


If those photos weren’t enough to put you to sleep, then there is some video here:


PCB’s for the Tape Delay project

4 Nov

Since the last circuit failed, Ive made some “proper” boards:

Last time I used this method was about 15years ago… If you photocopy (lazer) the circuit in reverse to some glossy paper, you can use a high temp iron to transfer the pattern to copper laminate board, once its on, soak it in some water and remove the paper

Unfortunately I only have a mini travel iron that wouldn’t output enough heat, so many of the tracks were weak.

Fixed up the traces that didn’t stick, with a sharpie:

Kitchen sink is always a good place for dangerous acids:

After the acid bath:

Clean the toner off and you’re left with some (slightly patchy) copper traces:

Not the greatest soldering, but its on there.


Tape Delay Project

3 Nov

Since I’m in LA and my Truck is sleeping in Georgia, I needed something to keep me busy.

I bought 3 old Marantz PMD-222 pro Tape decks, that were sold as not working/junk.

The plan is to build a analog tape delay effect. Ive got the tape decks working (so I have 2 spare now) and I figured out how to control the tape speed in both play and record modes. Ive also built a mixer circuit on some vero board


But… It didn’t work.

Im not really sure what was going on, I’m got an audio signal to the tape but no mixed signal output, Im guessing there is a mistake in my circuit. Do I cut the red wire? or blue?

I’ve given up with this approach and have etched some pcbs on copper boards… stay tuned.


Crenshaw/Skid Row/Downtown LA 2018

9 Jun

Just a bunch of photos from walking around exploring the city.

I like the lighting in this tunnel

Heaps of nice throw-ups around downtown.

By the time I realised this was on, it was sold out:

There is a huge homeless problem in LA, if you visit Skidrow its impossible to not be affected by it, I didn’t take any photos as it felt a bit weird since this was peoples homes. Also its probably not that wise to whip out a camera when people are struggling to eat. I didn’t feel particularly unsafe, but I’m not rushing to come back in the middle of the night.

Nothing strange to see here, Ferrari’s parked next to people living in tents.

I don’t get sick of this Californian blue sky.



History of Recorded Sound. April 2018

20 May

I visited a studio in Culver City California called “History of recorded sound”

Ive always been in to old analog music gear, so I was stoked to find this place.

There was basically 2 rooms. One set-up with all the recording gear and record lathes and the other for the instruments mic’s etc. Performers are simultaneously recorded direct to Vinyl and 1/4″ Analog Tape. Its really good to see people keeping this old art alive & using it to teach new generations.

I recorded a couple of minutes of live action, click here to see some shaky and unfocused video:


24 Jan

My steering installed on the ‘wrongside’

Probably one of the more difficult problems Ive had to solve on the truck is the steering linkage. First the Steering rack was touching the oil pan, so I had to put spacers on the engine mounts and grind a chunk out of the oil pan. Then finding a way to connect the steering column to the rack without going through my headers, required getting a specialised Universal joint from Unisteer that allowed for more than the standard 30 deg angle. I also needed to fabricate a small bracket to hold a rod end support. Some funky angles as you can see below.

But it operates smoothly and that’s the main thing.

The back end of the truck needs to be low (since the front will ride pretty low) but the chassis rails are in the way so we’ll cut them out, I’d like to do everything on this truck myself… but I left this part to a pro (Thanks Tony!)

The cut-off wheel wasn’t enough, I was struggling to watch as the gas axe came out and sliced though my frame:

With the chassis cut, Tony fabricated a couple of C-notches that would support a WW I tank and begun welding them in.

C-notches in and a lick of paint:

Change of topic. Here are a couple of shots from up the mountain in Colorado, we were really lucky with the weather and snow conditions.

This one was in Keystone village:

Los Angeles – January 2018

21 Jan

It was really sad to leave Georgia, it’s a great place and I got to meet lot of new friends, I’ll be back before long for certain.

I got a really cool Christmas present this year that I’m pretty sure most people won’t have ever tried. A good friend organised a jar of “Moonshine” for me. This is the genuine article brewed in secret, somewhere in Georgia. I had a bit of a cold so the first taste I had of it was mixed with hot water, lemon juice and honey. I think it really helped get rid of my cold. From what I understand its pretty illegal to transport it over state lines so it was transferred in to an old Gin bottle to get it up to California (lucky I did as my bag was searched at the airport, the Gin bottle was safe.)

The week just been was my first week at work, was difficult to get back in to it after such a good holiday but it helps that I’m working someplace exciting. My office is on the studio lot so there are lots of famous movie stars and musicians walking around. (Although I haven’t actually seen anyone I recognise yet!)

In typical fashion my friend Craig managed to show up within my first week of arriving in LA, was good to see him though! It always is bro.

I’m staying for the next month in a place called Westwood which is really nice and its under 30mins on the bus to get to work. I’ll have to find a more permanent (cheaper) place early Feb.

I’ll make sure I have a good couch so y’all can and visit me soon!

Cabin Fever car show – January 2017

21 Jan

Doug and I travelled back to Knoxville TN for the annual Cabin Fever car show. It was even colder in TN than it had been GA (-10 deg c)

Its a really impressive show held indoors with hundreds of cars and trucks, here are a few of the photos from the event (click to enlarge):

This little red truck was owned by a friend of Doug’s, it was actually his wife’s based on the “not his” sticker on the front window.

My Blower has a blower?!

This cab over truck was pretty cool, it along with a bunch of other stuff was for sale.