BIC 980- Tonearm drops too fast on to the record

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lanyc43
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BIC 980- Tonearm drops too fast on to the record

Post by lanyc43 » 09 Oct 2018 15:32

Hi all,

I have a BIC 980 Belt Drive automatically 6 records changer. Sounds and works beautifully.

Can anyone tell me/show me how to slow down to the speed in which the tonearm is dropping onto the record in automatic mode?
It seems like its less controlled than it used to be, a bit too "dropping" freely onto the record instead of lowering it controllably. I'm afraid its going to ruin my stylus when it hits the surface so fast.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

musicmn
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Re: BIC 980- Tonearm drops too fast on to the record

Post by musicmn » 09 Oct 2018 19:58

Hi, fist thing to do is to go to the library section on this forum and down load the service manual for this turntable. Go to page 12 and follow the instruction on how to slow the drop rate of the tonearm. Now if that does not work then go to the 960's manual area and down load the service bulletin for the 960. That bulletin explains in detail how to disassemble, clean and add new silicone damping fluid to slow the tonearms drop rate. If you have to go that route you will need a small amount of new 300,000 weight silicone damping fluid which is available online. I hope this helps.

lanyc43
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Re: BIC 980- Tonearm drops too fast on to the record

Post by lanyc43 » 11 Oct 2018 14:07

Thank you for that! I will follow up.. Best.

Doug G.
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Re: BIC 980- Tonearm drops too fast on to the record

Post by Doug G. » 12 Oct 2018 16:26

There is a much easier way to replenish the fluid. I have much experience with BICs and over the years, I discovered a simpler way.

Look at where the silver lift pin comes out of the casting. There is a small groove there in the casting around the pin. get some of the fluid on the tip of a small screwdriver or toothpick. Apply the fluid into the small groove all around the pin and on the pin above the casting.

The fluid will work its way down in between the pin and casting and damping will be restored, usually within a day. Gravity works it magic!

Of course, if you wish to become familiar with the mechanism and how the whole thing works, you can still do it the way recommended in the service bulletin.

Doug

lanyc43
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Re: BIC 980- Tonearm drops too fast on to the record

Post by lanyc43 » 21 Oct 2018 19:11

Thank you Doug. I would definitely try your suggestion as it sounds a lot easier for me. I was reluctant to open up the parts..
Thank you for that.
its the 300,000 weight silicone damping fluid I need, correct?
Best.

Doug G.
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Re: BIC 980- Tonearm drops too fast on to the record

Post by Doug G. » 22 Oct 2018 07:18

That's what I have been using. You could use 500,000 if you would like the descent to be extra slow. The range of rate of descent is pretty much the same as original with 300,000, however.

Doug

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Re: BIC 980- Tonearm drops too fast on to the record

Post by Doug G. » 24 Oct 2018 02:52

I have to add, too, that my simpler method is only for if the fluid presently in the bore is not contaminated (oil, grease, etc.). If the fluid IS contaminated, you will have to follow the BIC procedure and completely clean out the old fluid before replenishing with new.

Doug

lanyc43
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Re: BIC 980- Tonearm drops too fast on to the record

Post by lanyc43 » 03 Nov 2018 22:57

Thanks Doug. Just received the silicone in the mail and will apply and see...

On another topic if you dont mind, since you have experience with the BIC's :
I wanted to check my Anti-Skating settings so I bought a blank vinyl record as I saw on-line.
My tonearm slides fast towards the center once I lower it to the blank record no matter what I set my Anti-Skating settings to..
Do you recommend this type of "testing"..? Is it giving me true indication of what my Anti-Skating settings does ( or not ) ..?
I'd appreciate an advice.

Thank you,
Amir.

Doug G.
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Re: BIC 980- Tonearm drops too fast on to the record

Post by Doug G. » 04 Nov 2018 03:52

The first thing to do is make sure the anti-skate spring is present. There is a long, small diameter black rod that sticks up above the base plate at the rear of the tonearm. There should be a spring attached to the top of this rod and the other end attached to a small hook at the bottom of the vertical gimbal ring right next to where the tonearm wires go down into the chassis.

If this spring is missing, there will be no anti-skate force applied no matter where you set the control. If the spring is present, float the arm like you do when setting the stylus force. Move the arm toward the center without any anti-skate force dialed in. With the arm floating there, gradually apply force and the arm should be pulled out toward the outside.

I have used the blank record method before and while, whether it's an accurate method to use is another discussion, I have always been able to get the arm to stay in one spot.

Check for the spring and write back.

Doug

lanyc43
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Re: BIC 980- Tonearm drops too fast on to the record

Post by lanyc43 » 04 Nov 2018 20:34

I checked - no spring. ( Pictures attached ).
Thanks Doug for the accurate description.

Can one re-attach such spring? Can I buy one somewhere?

Thanks again,
Amir.
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Doug G.
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Re: BIC 980- Tonearm drops too fast on to the record

Post by Doug G. » 05 Nov 2018 09:39

Adam at South Street Service, AKA "Turntable Experts" has them. He even sells them on ebay. Adam acquired most of the parts when BIC went out of business.

Once you get the spring replaced, setting the anti-skate dial to about 75 % of the VTF setting gets it pretty close. See what you get with the blank record.

BTW, is the larger diameter VTF spring there? I don't see it in your photo. It should be right in the same area.

Doug

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Re: BIC 980- Tonearm drops too fast on to the record

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 05 Nov 2018 12:30

"Blank record methode" for adjusting AS is unreliable. At the end it means too much AS which also leads in bad tracking and damage of stylus and a record. If everything works on a serious turntable, you just set AS the same as VTF and you are done. Problem is if you have to find a new spring or someone has replaced it in the past, then dials on AS knob are not reliable if the spring has not original dimensions. Then it is smart to buy a test record.

lanyc43
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Re: BIC 980- Tonearm drops too fast on to the record

Post by lanyc43 » 05 Nov 2018 15:47

Thank you both for the information. I'll go look at "Turntable Experts" for the missing spring.
It has the VTF spring, I'll take a picture of it..
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Doug G.
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Re: BIC 980- Tonearm drops too fast on to the record

Post by Doug G. » 05 Nov 2018 21:12

You are good on the VTF spring. It's the only one in the picture. You only need the AS spring.

Doug

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