Sam Trenholme's webpage
This article was posted to the Usenet group alt.hackers in 1995; any technical information is probably outdated.

Pathetic Stereo Hack

Article: 7513 of alt.hackers
From: (Mr. Misanthrope)
Newsgroups: alt.hackers
Subject: Pathetic Stereo Hack
Date: 11 Mar 1995 15:18:25 GMT
Organization: Student Computing Facility, New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces
Lines: 54
Approved: not bloody likely.
Message-ID: 3jsf01$f1t@dns1.NMSU.Edu
Status: RO

Jeeez.. whatta damn pain...  Here's today's hack, it's not so much pathetic
as the equipment being hacked is pathetic.  okay, you see, i've got this
cheesy Fisher portable stereo in the bedroom.. had it for about 10 years
now, so I guess it's about time it gave up..   anyway, i'm playing a tape,
and suddenly.. no sound, just an awful buzzing noise... a quick look shows
that the motor isn't running.   So i open it up... the rubber belt (not to
be confused with rubber band. bleah) has broken.  I Krazy Glue this back
together and reassemble.. this works for a while, but Krazy Glue isn't very
flexable, and of course, the belt breaks again.  I need a new belt.  Rubber
Band... i dig up an assortment of rubber bands and find one that is roughly
the same size and tension as the belt.   alas, no rubber band worked,
either they were too tight and the motor would not spin, or they were just
right except that rubber bands are stretchier, so the tape runs at a
slightly irregular speed as the band bounces along.... the word
here is an understatment, basically this was impossible to listen to.

alright, dammit... we give up on replacing the belt.. time to replace the
entire tape deck... a quick rummage through the parts closet turns up the
previous walkman, which can easily be plugged in in the same place as the
portable CD walkman.... to make things even better, the power connectors
have the same polarity and size. this is too easy to be true... but it
works.... for a while..  then i remember why this walkman was scrapped inn
the first place... after about 5 minutes into the tape, the old and abused
motors of this little walkman dont have the strength to maintain correct
speed, so everything slows down and sounds horrible... this will not do.

more rummaging around for the previous previous walkman.. a nice little
aiwa unit that doesnt spin the motors at all.. it's also got flaky battery
and headphone connectors.... open it up and actually fix the flaky
connections.. just broken solder connections.. simple.. a quick check
reveals that the power connector is of opposite polarity, so a few cut
traces and a couple jumper wires and it too conforms to the cd player's
power supply.  tuner works fine, sounds as wonderful as it ever did; aiwa
makes good stuff.  tape still dead. turns out the motor is just Used Up.

it is, however, noted that the little rubber belt appears to be the same
size as the broken rubber belt.  removal of the good belt shows that the
length is the same... the thickness isn't. the walkman has a thin belt, the
big portable has a fat belt.   but they're the same length, so what the
hell..  put *this* in the portable, and the tape deck works again..

what a damn pain just to dig up a belt.... Hopefully it wont snap because
it's only half as thick as the original belt...

ObWhatIShouldHaveDoneInstead: should have just run speaker wire from the
component stereo in the main room to the little speakers in the bedroom..
I'd need some small pocket mirrors and some adhesive putty to make the
remote controls function, though.  and it's probably still too far out of
Erik Fichtner  (  []
 I bet one legend that keeps recurring throughout history, in every culture
 is the story of Popeye.

Back to index