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Zenith MicroTouch 2G belt model - velocity trip sticking

Posted: 02 Apr 2019 03:11
by empireboy
I have a late 60s Zenith belt drive / idler model. X960 console.

The only issue I'm having, and it just started happening, is the stylus gets "stuck" near the end and won't trip. The stylus stays in position near the end of record or in the runout dead wax. It's like the tonearm index lever (part ref 88) is meeting a hair more resistance than it can handle when it encounters the trip link arm (part ref 101) and the needle gets stuck.

This is not my video, but someone posted a video on YouTube 8 years ago and the sticking issue he describes is similar to what I'm experiencing.

Please this video at the 35 second mark: ==>>

A.) I removed and cleaned the top trip pawl and bottom trip pawl (part ref. number 112 and 113) on the cam (they are now dry and move freely)
B.) I cleaned the trip link arm (part ref 101).

But after taking these cleaning steps, I still have the stylus sticking issue near the end of record. I bumped up the tracking force from 2 to 3.5 grams as a test to see if that was enough to trip and it wasn't. These are supposed to track at 2 grams.

There is another video where a 2g changer owner talks about the base of his tonearm getting gummy. I tried to remove the Tone Arm Yoke and Base Assembly (part reference 90), a cylinder at the base of the tonearm, but it has two set screws holding in place that don't seem to match up with any other set screws used throughout the turntable. I went through a number of screw drill bits (and types) trying to find a fit, but couldn't find the correct size/type for the mystery set screw dimension. So I couldn't get part 90 off to clean and lube it. Not sure if that is even the issue.

I noticed the underside of my chassis facing the cam wheel has "mini guide channel extrusion" in the sheet metal for the trip link arm to slide on as it moves toward the trip pawls. I wonder if that part of the chassis underbelly should be greased or oiled. Right now I don't have any lube on the entire trip mechanism (arm and pawls).

So it seems this sticking issue (probably a lubrication related cause, but am not sure) may be a common issue that crops up with these changers. It's probably something very simple -- as everything else works fine. If I manually move the arm to the leadout groove, it trips fine.

Any ideas on what the issue is and how to fix it?

Re: Zenith MicroTouch 2G belt model - velocity trip sticking

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 04:29
by empireboy

Re: Zenith MicroTouch 2G belt model - velocity trip sticking

Posted: 16 May 2019 00:19
by 1770_ron
Most Zenith turntables were made by Voice of Music. The V-M Audio Enthusiasts web site has much information about the various V-M models including the OEM Zenith tables.

Re: Zenith MicroTouch 2G belt model - velocity trip sticking

Posted: 16 May 2019 00:32
by circularvibes
I hope you didn't lubricate the trip pawl after cleaning it. I mean the one on the large cog. I do not know on your model, but any of these Voice of Music changers that I have worked on have sticky fingers on the cam and cleaning and keeping unlubricated caused them to work properly. Another possibility is the hole on the cog or the pivot it mounts on may still have some residue or a burr. Beyond that, I'd look for a slightly bent lever from the arms underside to the trip mechanism. My grandfather's Zenith console stopped being an automatic turntable for many years. Cleaning the finger on the top of the cam, accessible from under the platter in my case, it was working fully ever since. That was 3 well spent minutes over 20 years ago.