Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

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johngirdwood
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Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

Post by johngirdwood » 23 Nov 2019 23:17

This is my first post ever and I appreciate all the contributions on this site which are all great and helpful. I just purchased my third Technics turntable and this one is a Technics SL-235 which is automatic and has a repeat function. I have two primary issues I'm trying to fix. Preface on the condition: I can set the needle on a record, it plays, and the tone arm returns automatically when the record is done playing and the "memo-gram" slider moves one notch as it should. All that works great and it essentially performs as if it were my Technics SL-B2. But, I'd like to use the full functionality of the machine.

Problem 1. When I press the start button, the platter spins and the tonearm rises but the tone arm doesn't move toward the platter. After about 10 seconds, the tonearm lowers and the turntable turns off.

Problem 2. The repeat function doesn't work. At the end of playing a record, the tonearm returns to the armrest and the machine shuts off. The memo-gram slider does move a notch (as it should) but there is no repeat function at all. Yes, I've tried this with the memo-gram set to all numbers and "R".

I've cleaned and oiled the machine well. I understand the basic concept of grease hardening. I don't see any broken pieces. When I first bought the turntable, I remember it "tried" to repeat a few times so I adjusted the automatic return position screw under the mat and I adjusted the other screw under the rubber cap which is by where the 45 adapter sits on top. Now, it doesn't even try to repeat.

Again, most of the functions work well but I'm trying to figure out what is wrong with those two specific functions that won't work. All advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated!

musicmn
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Re: Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

Post by musicmn » 24 Nov 2019 01:35

Hi, the issue is old dried up grease in the metal levers used for the repeat functions and cue functions ect. I know they they may look okay but believe me every sl 220, 230 and 235 I have ever worked on these lever were frozen or just about frozen from old grease. You need to remove these levers disassemble them and clean out all the old grease. Then use a good quality grease to lubrication as you assemble them. I like to use Super Lube brand grease in these mechanisms it's better then plain lithium because it does not dry up or turn hard from age and it stays where you put it. I have include a picture of the levers and the areas where they freeze from the old grease. The lever on the under side is usually the worst and it's used for the cuing control. IMO the entire mechanism needs to be remove and cleaned of all the old black graphite grease. At this age that grease is thick and contaminated from dust, dirt, grim, ect. And that alone will cause all kinds of issues with the auto functions of the turntable. But for starters remove and clean the metal levers to see if that fixes the issues you are having. Let us know either way I can help you along if you want to clean the rest of the mechanism.
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Technics sl 230 turntable 002 (Copy).JPG
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johngirdwood
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Re: Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

Post by johngirdwood » 24 Nov 2019 16:05

Thanks so much for the reply! I've cleaned those a lot and I guess I can clean them more if that would help. But, I did notice one thing while I was cleaning those spots: A missing spring! Do you know what this spring does - pointed at using the yellow arrow - and what impact its absence has on the autostart or repeat functions? Also, if it is an essential piece, how do I go about replacing it (including other options, like would a rubber band work at least to test?)? Thanks!
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Re: Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

Post by johngirdwood » 28 Nov 2019 15:36

Replacing the spring (that was missing, marked in the yellow arrow above) fixed both my problems! However, now I have a new problem: SL-235 keeps playing on repeat even when the "memo-gram" is on "0". Note: I've cleaned everything extensively including the memo-gram slider. The memo-gram slider itself appears to be functioning, i.e. when I start the turntable on "6" and it cycles through the record, the tone arm moves properly and the player repeats as it should, with the memo-gram moving to "5" and the player does that all the way through 4 more cycles until it reaches "0" just like it should. Regardless of whether I let it cycle through 6 plays or start the memo-gram on 0, it won't ever end. It treats "0" like it is "R" (which is meant for never-ending repeat).

Any ideas? Should I just clean that slider again or is it another switch I need to target to clean? Thanks!

musicmn
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Re: Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

Post by musicmn » 29 Nov 2019 00:30

Hi, it sounds like you are off by one notch on the memo-repeat wheel. If you can make out the picture I have here when the memo-repeat slider is at 6 then the lever that moves the wheel so the slider can count down should be in this position. If you are off by just one notch in the wheel the turntable will just repeat like you stated. In the picture the hooked lever is on the last notch in the wheel just before the large smooth semi round area that should be number 6 on the memo-repeat slide. I'm glad you were able to figure out that the spring was the issue with your other problem.
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013 (Copy).JPG
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johngirdwood
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Re: Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

Post by johngirdwood » 29 Nov 2019 13:52

@musicmn Thank you so much; you have been so generous with your time and help. I'm understanding your "correct notch" suggestion but I'm perplexed by one thing I'm seeing which prevents me from resolving the issue still. In your recent photo, which I'm presenting below as the left image, the hook is latched. In your prior photo, which looks exactly like my machine although I understand that is not in the "6" position, the hook is not latched. When I have my machine open and move the slider to the "6" position, the hook is not latched but it is set to the left (due to lever position) like the photo below on the right. Might this have anything to do with my problem of continual repeat?
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musicmn
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Re: Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

Post by musicmn » 29 Nov 2019 16:53

Hi, just disregard the picture in my last post that one was showing the hooked lever just about to grab the notched wheel to move it from 6 to 5 on the memo repeat. Here are a bunch of pictures showing the hooked lever and the memo repeat wheel when the memo slider is at zero. Notice the position of the wheel in the bottom three pictures it appears as if the hooked lever will drop into the first notch and turn the wheel. But is does not, the hooked lever rides up and over the first notch and rides on the smooth area on the wheel causing the wheel not to turn. I am going upload a bunch of pictures showing the position of the lever and the wheel when the memo repeat slider is on 6 in another post. I can't get all these pictures to upload on a single post.
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Technics SL 230 235 memo repeat set up 001 (Copy).JPG
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Technics SL 230 235 memo repeat set up 002 (Copy).JPG
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Technics SL 230 235 memo repeat set up 009 (Copy).JPG
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Technics SL 230 235 memo repeat set up 010 (Copy).JPG
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Technics SL 230 235 memo repeat set up 011 (Copy).JPG
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musicmn
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Re: Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

Post by musicmn » 29 Nov 2019 17:12

Here are a bunch of pictures showing the position of the hooked lever and the memo repeat wheel when the slider is at 6. With the slider at 6 the toothed rail that the wheel rides on is all the way over to the left. The hooked lever will now ride up and grab the first notch on the wheel and turn the wheel so the slider moves to 5. The large smooth area of the wheel is on the left side now. You might just have to sit and play with the position of the wheel for a while until you get it right. Hopefully these pictures will help.
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Technics SL 230 235 memo repeat set up 003 (Copy).JPG
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Technics SL 230 235 memo repeat set up 004 (Copy).JPG
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Technics SL 230 235 memo repeat set up 005 (Copy).JPG
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Technics SL 230 235 memo repeat set up 006 (Copy).JPG
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johngirdwood
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Re: Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

Post by johngirdwood » 29 Nov 2019 21:26

@musicmn Thank you so much for your persistence. It motivates me to see this through! I've checked my turntable against your images and I believe the memo-gram on my player is properly calibrated. I'm beginning to think the issue has less to do with the memo-gram and more to do with the player Stop function. I've recorded the short YouTube video below with my SL-235 on a glass table so you can see the underside. In this short video, the memo-gram is set to "0" and the record is playing fine (it is a 7" record on 33 rpm, oddly). Right after the video begins, I engage the "Stop" function by pressing the Stop button (slide it to the left) and you'll see the mechanism move the tone arm to the arm rest and then start back up again playing. The video ends with the album starting to play from the beginning (with about 1-2 seconds left in the video). Again, this is memo-gram set to "0" with the teeth in the gear appearing - on my close inspection - to align with those in your photos. This leads me to believe there is something preventing a true "Stop" function. Any ideas from the video?


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Re: Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

Post by johngirdwood » 29 Nov 2019 21:38

I'm also including a photo of my player below which I've been comparing to your photo here download/file.php?id=28703&mode=view to see if I can notice anything off with my setup. This is when I cut power after having pushed "Stop" with the tone arm sitting where it should in the Stop position on the rest... right before it would kick back on again.
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Re: Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

Post by johngirdwood » 29 Nov 2019 21:48

I don't know what this piece does but it is in a different spot on my machine than it is in your photo here download/file.php?id=28703&mode=view. It is directly under the anti-skate dial.
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Re: Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

Post by johngirdwood » 30 Nov 2019 00:11

FIXED IT!! Again, I want to thank @musicmn for giving me the feedback and encouragement to continue to pursue this resolution. Here's the scoop... My self-made spring was too tight! Here's the explanation of the photo below and the function of the machine. There is a black switch that moves back and forth on a repeat function. I've circled that in the photo below twice. When the Memo-Gram is on settings 1-6 and Repeat, the black switch moves back and forth and is engaged ('flipped'/'triggered') by the white plastic piece. You can see that circled in yellow. When the Memo-Gram is on setting "0" (i.e. shouldn't repeat) then the white plastic piece should NOT flip that little black switch.

As you can see by my red arrow, a spring that is too strong like the self-made spring I used as a replacement part will pull too tight and push that white plastic piece down farther than it is in the orange-circled image thus flipping the switch at all times (even Memo-Gram = 0) which sets a repeat in motion.

I've now replaced my faulty too-tight spring with a black rubber band (in photo) that has an ideal tension now allowing the switch to remain unflipped (Memo-Gram 0 on left) and flipped (yellow circle on right) depending on the setting. I knew the spring tension was important but I didn't realize my too-tight spring really disrupted the Memo-Gram and repeat functionality. Now, I know! Thanks again, @muscmn !
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Re: Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

Post by johngirdwood » 30 Nov 2019 00:16

Better photo of the switch circled.

Note the space between the switch and the white plastic on left, no space (flipped) on right
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musicmn
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Re: Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

Post by musicmn » 30 Nov 2019 17:08

Great news glad you able to fix it =D> . I really like these turntables and have serviced a lot of them over the last couple of years. And with a good cleaning and fresh lube and a nice cartridge they are better performers then a lot of the newer turntables being made and sold now. :D

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Re: Technics SL-235 auto start and repeat not working

Post by johngirdwood » 07 Dec 2019 16:56

Here is the player in action (before YouTube pulls for any copyright violations)


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