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I'm not familiar with this unit but the frequent cause of this problem is that the record/playback head is not retracted from previous use. Frequently caused by drive belt problems - loose, broken or off track. Try running the drive with the door closed and no cassette. This seldom is a problem that the owner can fix. Professional service is recommended.
Hi Julian, There is a lot that can go wrong with these miniature helical scan systems. When I had units like that I packed them off to Russ at New Jersey Factory Service and they were restored. I am not sure about parts like drums at this point but Russ is your best chance to get it working again. He has corrected CDRW and DAT as well as just about anything Tascam makes and he even fixed some Sony units too. I know him as the counterpart to the Chicago Factory Service facility when it was open. He was the Manager in New Jersey then. New Jersey Factory Service, Inc. 16 Chestnut Avenue Suite 103 B Emerson,New Jersey 07630 201-967-0060 Fax 201-967-0062 Mon- Wed 8-4 Thurs 8-3(July-Aug) Closed Fri Sat by appt.
A Technician usually has to get a tape out of a machine when this happens. In radio when I was Chief Engineer for several stations in Chicago I would send my defective decks to Russ at New Jersey Factory Service in Emerson NJ. He knows how to fix these units. New Jersey Factory Service, Inc. 16 Chestnut Avenue Suite 103 B Emerson,New Jersey 07630 201-967-0060 Fax 201-967-0062 Mon- Thurs 8-4 Closed Fri Sat by appt.
Dat equipment is readily available on Ebay and at sometimes unbelievable prices. Wouldn't you think manufacturers would stick to a format and stop inventing new ones just to sell more units and making perfectly good equipment useless. Pawn shops is a good place to find unused hifi gear also.
I just did a quickie search of The US Eby site and there are 1471 entries for DAT storage and player units. Some as low as $10 and dat tapes as low as a cent. Take a look, if Ebay scares you I can assure you there are more ripoffs happening in retail stores than on Ebay. I've been merrily saving a fortune on all types of equipment ever since it arrived in Australia. Buy the gear for next to nothing and do the work yourself, at least you'll know it's been done properly. There's even units which mount straight into your computer. DAT machine, editor and CD machine all in one. I might do like wise. I have a large collection of DAT tapes I picked up at an auction. HMMMMmmmmm.
There is a lock on the door mechanism. Unless the belts are good, the machine will not recycle to move the heads down far enough for the tape to be removed, so the door is interlocked to prevent damage.
Take the case off and push the door release and watch where the release lever hits a small nylon piece. You can pushit down with a pencil or screwdriver and the door will open. This white nylon piece will stay locked down if the blets are good and do not slip. They put the door latch in park allowing the tape to be inserted or removed.
Try to treat the belts with rejuvenator CaiKleen™ RBR Let them sit a while to get rejuvenated enough to not slip and the problem should be solved.