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GE 3-5259A "Blockbuster" Play not engaging. FF RW Pause-Fine


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#1 sheddk

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 02:49 AM

I just acquired the GE 3-5259A "Blockbuster" boom box and LOVE it! I am able to stream music through AUX IN and Tuner works great, all needles jump and knobs work, had static on VOL change and BAL but am hoping the fix I learned from this forum (compressed air) will continue to work. I am happy with all and even though I am not certain how often I will use the cassette player, it is eating away at me because every function except play (and REC) don't work. When the play button is pressed the cassette carriage is lifted up about 1/4 inch and after a couple of seconds the auto stop clicks in. I can lift the carriage a little bit more after play is pressed and the tape will actually play (sound and all) but the tape just bunches under itself (it is not collecting to other side) I have read that it could be a loose belt but also have seen many other posts that deal with capacitors or something and I am not sure what all that is. I can learn but wanted to know if what I have described is a common problem with a common fix or am I in waters too deep (for me...likely..). Thank You for any help in advance. Kelley.

#2 docs

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 03:03 AM

Welcome: If you have some static noise on the volume and other controls you need to use something called deoxit which is effectively a switch cleaner or contact cleaner as it is commonly called.
As far as the deck is concerned I would hazard a guess that the belts are in need of a replacement. Check the belts and if they are fine then I would suggest some manual movement of the mechanism to test if it is just getting stuck at some stage of the movement of the heads. This one should be an easy fix to get it 100% working.
Good luck.

#3 blu_fuz

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 08:19 AM

It's garbage, so I will take it off your hands :lol: .


Other members will chime in to help :yes:

#4 baddboybill

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 08:53 AM

I just acquired the GE 3-5259A "Blockbuster" boom box and LOVE it! I am able to stream music through AUX IN and Tuner works great, all needles jump and knobs work, had static on VOL change and BAL but am hoping the fix I learned from this forum (compressed air) will continue to work. I am happy with all and even though I am not certain how often I will use the cassette player, it is eating away at me because every function except play (and REC) don't work. When the play button is pressed the cassette carriage is lifted up about 1/4 inch and after a couple of seconds the auto stop clicks in. I can lift the carriage a little bit more after play is pressed and the tape will actually play (sound and all) but the tape just bunches under itself (it is not collecting to other side) I have read that it could be a loose belt but also have seen many other posts that deal with capacitors or something and I am not sure what all that is. I can learn but wanted to know if what I have described is a common problem with a common fix or am I in waters too deep (for me...likely..). Thank You for any help in advance. Kelley.


These decks plus AKA model Realistic SCR8 are known for having this problem...It may be a belt but the other issue is the mechanism that is lifting heads breaks and renders it useless.. There is a way to repair with JB weld and it holds very strong.. Member Bashngu knows these deck like the back of his hand..Yoy may want to try and PM him.. Good luck :thumbsup:

#5 teamstress

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 01:42 PM

Seems like a slipping belt. The Blockbuster is easy to work on. The front comes off, making access to the innards very easy.

#6 sheddk

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 09:18 PM

Thank you all for replies,

@ Docs, thank you for tip.
**Deoxit sounds like a contact cleaner I have used in the past but I will look for that specific brand. The belts are "intact" (not broken) but as far as tension, I just don't know at this point.
**Manual engaging (with a small screwdriver) does allow the cassette to play and it sounds good, I am lifting the carriage about 1/8 of an inch (further than the player lifts itself 1/4" aprox.) before the auto-stop clicks in, unfortunately this is where the tape is not retrieved by the other side of the cassette and bunches in the deck outside of the cassette itself, and its pencil time. I do agree that it is a roomy unit and easy to get to parts inside the box.

@blu_fuz, because you asked,
**If I lose all of my wits with this repair I will contact you for your shipping address and mail the unit too you before I do something stupid like drag it behind my car! :)

@Baddboybill, PM Bashngu.. Thank You for lead,
**I didn't see any pieces of what I would call broken parts, but I will look closer due to your advice, esp. since the part could simply break in two....JB weld, the smart mans 'duct tape' at least when 'duct tape' won't work. I will continue to dig a bit and will certainly order replacement belts, just in case...it's the cheapest and optimistic solution.

Again thanks for all replies...I was using this boombox as an investment to sell in the near future, my purchase price was right on...a little sweat equity for someone that had no idea what they had!! But now that this box and myself have spent so much time together I think she's a keeper for the long haul...even thinking about pulling out my neon paints to give the speaker grids and knobs a new coat; of course they are under my parachute pants and fish net tees, but who knows ...may come back one day, maybe. (no worries wouldn't ruin this box with neon paint and my horrible artistic abilities.)

#7 sheddk

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 09:21 PM

Thanks Teamstress
I hope belts will be the solution. I'll post progress for future record.

#8 trip2way

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:08 AM

Thanks Teamstress
I hope belts will be the solution. I'll post progress for future record.



Any luck? I'm only asking 'cause I'm interested in buying one for myself. Depending on what you discover with the "most" common issue I've heard of with this model, I may or may not pursue it.
Thanks!

#9 monchito

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 05:39 PM

yes as said before its a common problem with these decks ,,i did a fix on a test deck and got it to play ,,i remember bending the little metal clip that sits under the tape head to force the heads to move closer because it will engage play but the heads do not travel all the way as it should ..i basicly got it to work that way but other issues will arise ,,i belive the pause got a bit harder or would not desengage,,so up to now thats about the closes i got to get this deck to work :-) :-)

#10 k2j

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 08:44 AM

Bump.

Just picked up a SCR-8 with this issue....

play only engages the head up to the pause position.. tape counter doesn't spin so auto-stop kicks in.

If I figure this one out I'll try to do a fix-it writeup, but I'm still not 100% what is going on here.

Any help would be gratefully appreciated :sin:

#11 baddboybill

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 09:12 AM

Bump.

Just picked up a SCR-8 with this issue....

play only engages the head up to the pause position.. tape counter doesn't spin so auto-stop kicks in.

If I figure this one out I'll try to do a fix-it writeup, but I'm still not 100% what is going on here.

Any help would be gratefully appreciated :sin:


These are well known for this problem. There is a part that breaks that aids with the lifting of the heads. Member Bashngu had fixed mine using jb weld and it works great. :thumbsup: good luck!!

#12 k2j

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 09:59 AM

Thanks for the tip! That sounds about right for what I'm seeing so far. I'll be on the lookout when I get this opened up again later. :thumbsup:

#13 k2j

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 05:45 PM

Ok. Let me first just say I can see why no-one wants to tip their hat at the 'fix'. This is a complicated tape deck.

I was able to get the mechanism to lift far enough 'UP' to engage and play without fail by jamming a stick right above where the plastic lift guide goes.
example:
Posted Image

So with that in mind...I'm proposing to JB weld a washer to the back plating in this spot:
Posted Image

Any thoughts guys?
:sin:

#14 Classof1985

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 08:22 PM

I'm thinking about looking for the Realistoc SCR-6 and SCR-8 boxes so I'm watching this thread. Good luck on the fix ..

#15 JustCruisin

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:09 PM

I need to get the tape deck to play in my Blockbuster as well.. I have a parts deck from a SCR-8 that hopefully will aid in fixing my GE. I'll post up when I tear into it too!

#16 k2j

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:09 AM

Before I proceed on this, I'm going to replace the belts first on both my SCR-8 and Blockbuster. I'll try to get some on order today...

I really want to be 100% that it isn't belt related before I do ANY modding. Will definately update thread with any/all progress made.

Good luck JustCruisin and please let me know if you figure anything out. I'm sure I'm not seeing or missing something here.

#17 bashngu

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:15 PM

Your picture doesnt have enough light nor the correct angle to see if there is an issue with the spring as is with most that have this problem. Its been a few years since I have worked on these. But if memory serves theres a spring that pushes up (or should be pushing up) on the white round prutrusion that is below the wooden stick in your one pic. Your wooden stick is blocking what i need to see lol. Take a well lighted picture that shows that area clearer and I may be able to tell you what is wrong. When the plastic breaks it is not always very noticable. It can be a hairline crack which allowed the spring to pop into a different position and to the quick eye does not look like a problem. Look closely for a hairline crack in that black plastic where the heads are mounted. It will be on the right side. If I had worked on one a week ago i could be exact but its been too long and too many projects in between to remember specifically.

#18 trip2way

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:14 PM

I'm VERY interested in following what modifications/repairs get it to work. My personal interest is solely driven by my desire to possibly own one someday and if so, be able to repair it myself if needed. My biggest uncertainty is not having worked on one before and that makes me feel a bit uneasy. With feedback like I’ve seen so far in this thread, building up to owning and possibly repairing one doesn’t seem so far fetched. Keep us posted! :-D

Oh, and for anyone that has worked on these…I remember the cassette door wouldn’t open on my original Blockbuster and I had to pop the cassette cover off to get a cassette out…I recall it slide up and exposed the cassette tray and something could be manipulated to disengage the cassette. Brings back a lot of old memories… Possibly one of the quirks that made me get rid of it. In hindsight I wish I still had it. :sad:

#19 k2j

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:05 AM

I'm currently working on a GPX 990 which has the EXACT same deck/mechanism AND I think I'm on to a better fix. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Hold tight cause this weekend I intend to do a better photo and write-up of this one. It appears that lots of soft-touch boomboxes use this same design.

If my repair theory holds true this will be an easy fix -cross fingers :pimp:

#20 k2j

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:19 AM

Oh, and for anyone that has worked on these…I remember the cassette door wouldn’t open on my original Blockbuster and I had to pop the cassette cover off to get a cassette out…I recall it slide up and exposed the cassette tray and something could be manipulated to disengage the cassette. Brings back a lot of old memories… Possibly one of the quirks that made me get rid of it. In hindsight I wish I still had it. :sad:


Keep in mind that the cassette mechanism is old and probably very dirty too. You really need to disassemble the metal on metal sliding parts and clean/re-lube for it to work properly. Just fixing the 'popped spring' will only get you so far if its real gummed up in there. There are tiny and I mean TINY ball bearings hidden around to help with the sliding so if you get daring be very sure to work carefully and with a towel under your work!!!

I have also noticed that the pause mechanism on these are very weak and tend to stick in the engaged position. Haven't experimented much with that yet, but suspect wore out return springs and gummed up metal on metal slide mechs.

more laterrrrrrr

#21 bashngu

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 05:31 PM

I'm currently working on a GPX 990 which has the EXACT same deck/mechanism AND I think I'm on to a better fix. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Hold tight cause this weekend I intend to do a better photo and write-up of this one. It appears that lots of soft-touch boomboxes use this same design.

If my repair theory holds true this will be an easy fix -cross fingers :pimp:



Would love to hear your "easy" and solid fix for this if its the issue with the cracked spring housing. Of the 4 out of 6 I have been successful with they took 5+ hours each at least, to disassemble/fabricate/reassemble not to mention the overnight wait for the weld to set.

But being the type A kind of perfectionist idiot I am, I also was concerned about keeping things as original as possible. i.e. running a nut and bolt or screw through things to hold the spring where it needs to be was no a viable option for me.

A miracle cure would be great for all of us since it is a trend failure with these.

Keep us posted

#22 sheddk

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 02:26 PM

I have resolved my issue with the BLOCKBUSTER after a long break to regain my sanity. k2j is showing exactly what my issue was. The spring creates tension that "pushes" the carriage into the play position. I am surprised, because of the way they designed this, it worked out of the box. A very thin molded plastic piece has the duty to retain the spring pressure. Inevitably doomed to fail. Once the spring tension is returned...and I used a combination of glue and jb weld on the original piece, the machine works as intended. Thanks for all support. Kelley

#23 monchito

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:37 PM

can u show a pic of the fix???? :yes: :yes: :yes:

#24 k2j

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 10:09 PM

Here is the final write up. I don't guarantee that this will work for anyone else, nor do I expect it to work forever. BUT, so far so good on my beat-to-hell blockbuster! :thumbsup: Sorry this box is dirty, its just my lab rat


This mod requires 1 zip-tie:
Posted Image


Next, you want to clip about 3/8" off the end:
Posted Image


Then clip the 3/8" piece with a slope/diagnal (see below pic) this will allow the piece to wedge in place:
Posted Image



Here is the piece of zip-tie ready for placement:

Posted Image


In this pic, I have the box laying backwards top toward me, with the cassette door and aluminum cassette deck backing plate removed. The zip-tie end will be wedged between the spring and the upper screwed in plastic guide:
Posted Image


Better view of the placed tie -> just before I use a screw driver and press the tie toward the right and into the hole above the spring:
Posted Image


There, now its wedged in place - snug
Posted Image


Demostration of finished deck in play position.
Posted Image

That's how I did it. The zip tie is softish plastic so it allows the spring to still have a bit of play.

Cheers :beer2:

#25 k2j

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:28 PM

Hey all,

can anyone confirm if these are the correct belts for the blockbuster, scr-8 14-788 ?

SCA8.6
SCX5.1
SCY4.6

thanks

#26 baddboybill

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:46 PM

Hey all,

can anyone confirm if these are the correct belts for the blockbuster, scr-8 14-788 ?

SCA8.6
SCX5.1
SCY4.6

thanks


Correct :thumbsup:

#27 lilo777

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 02:35 PM

I have just acquired "new" Realistic SCR-8. It might be new (as in "never used") but it is broken nonetheless. The problem seems to be the opposite of what many people have - the cassette carriage is stuck in lifted position (although I do not think it is lifted enough for playing). I want to take a look inside. I tried to open up the box but it's not that easy. I removed 6 screws (four screws on the outside and two in the battery compartment) and the shell opens up a little at the bottom but the upper part of the box is still being held by something. Could someone give me a hint? I believe I need to remove the front knobs. I do not see any screws on them but they won't come off easy. Should I just pull them harder or there is some tick?

#28 JustCruisin

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 02:44 PM

I have just acquired "new" Realistic SCR-8. It might be new (as in "never used") but it is broken nonetheless. The problem seems to be the opposite of what many people have - the cassette carriage is stuck in lifted position (although I do not think it is lifted enough for playing). I want to take a look inside. I tried to open up the box but it's not that easy. I removed 6 screws (four screws on the outside and two in the battery compartment) and the shell opens up a little at the bottom but the upper part of the box is still being held by something. Could someone give me a hint? I believe I need to remove the front knobs. I do not see any screws on them but they won't come off easy. Should I just pull them harder or there is some tick?


Yes, you have to remove the knobs

#29 lilo777

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 03:28 PM

I have just acquired "new" Realistic SCR-8. It might be new (as in "never used") but it is broken nonetheless. The problem seems to be the opposite of what many people have - the cassette carriage is stuck in lifted position (although I do not think it is lifted enough for playing). I want to take a look inside. I tried to open up the box but it's not that easy. I removed 6 screws (four screws on the outside and two in the battery compartment) and the shell opens up a little at the bottom but the upper part of the box is still being held by something. Could someone give me a hint? I believe I need to remove the front knobs. I do not see any screws on them but they won't come off easy. Should I just pull them harder or there is some tick?


Yes, you have to remove the knobs


How? Just pull them?

#30 JustCruisin

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 03:31 PM

yup just pull.. i noticed the ones on my blockbuster are easier to remove than my SCRATE..