On a scale of 1-to-fun, this unit scores a giant… ugh.
For those unaware, this system is composed of a head unit with CD and tape player, AM/FM tuner, and amplified speakers. The tuner is a separate box from the head unit, and the amplifiers are incorporated into EACH speaker. They’re well known for the failure of the amplifiers in the four separate speaker cabinets.
In this case, however, the tape unit was ‘stuck’ with a tape in it, refusing to eject. The client had one simple request: Just make the tuner work. Easier said than done. To work on the unit on the bench required all three pieces be pulled. Of course, the wiring harness then became an issue, since numerous connections are required between the pieces just to test. A reasonable person would expect that pulling the tape from the unit would solve the problem, but such was not to be the case. Compounding the problem, the tape drive’s belt was broken, as well as one of the tape spindles. Replacing them did not solve the problem, and required further investigation. Luckily, we actually had the service manual for the unit, which allowed us to dive into it much deeper than most service shops.
In the end, it turned out that there were more points of failure in the setup – and the switch that signaled the rest of the unit to indicate a tape in the drive was also a point of failure. We did manage to get the unit working to the customer’s satisfaction – at a fair and reasonable price.