You MUST lubricate your capstan motor upper bearing/bushing often !!!
One of the major causes of capstan failure is lack of lubrication.
So make sure you've got the proper oil and use it every few months !!!
You can purchase the correct Oil at Athan Corp. :
Otari capstan Oil
Athan has not yet listed the Oils, but they ARE now available, so email him and ask....
email George at firstname.lastname@example.org
Instructions for Lubricating your 5050 capstan motor...
Otari 5050 series capstan motors are all slowly going bad...
usually lack of lubrication as noted above...
or just wear, but also over time, the drive coils can work their way off their
mounts and fall into the turning rotor of the motor, causing it to freeze up.
So if you begin to hear a ticking sound inside the motor itself - you can check this
by just spinning the capstan shaft by hand - DO NOT TURN THE MACHINE ON again!!!
You will immediatly need to send the motor to a good tech who then can see
if the motor coil can be reset in place, or replace the coil if it is damaged.
Running the capstan with a loose drive coil will at best cause severe
Wow and Flutter, at worse destroy your motor. And new replacement
Capstan Motors are expensive to find, good used ones also hard to find as
almost all used ones are worn out and need rebuilding.
Rebuilding a capstan motor costs about $ 350.00
Finally you need to excercise all the switches on your machine often !!!!
Switches like the speed switch, the servo pot/switch, the rear switches,
usually do not get much action... and they can get dirty, corrode, or
become Intermittent over time from just not being used. So just
switch each of the switches back and forth a few times every month.
If the machine has not been in use for a month, turn her ON
and tape the Tape-Break arm up in normal position with masking tape, and press Play...
This will set the motors in motion, excersise the Pinch Roller Solenoid,
and help keep your machine in good running condition.... without running tape on her.
Run her this way for 5 minutes once a month if she's sat unused for a while.
There are 4 basic versions of the Otari 5050,
and some variation in each basic version.... usually depending on how
many tracks the tape recorder has... 2, 4 or 8 tracks.
You want to AVOID the first version... pics shown below:
These early versions have the RECTANGULAR Record Ready buttons on the left
side of the electronics....
later (much better) versions have square Record Ready buttons.
The early versions had a poorly designed tape lifter system that
wears out quickly and will allow the tape to touch the heads
in the wind modes.... thus wearing out heads fast.
I've had to do various mods and such to get the tape lifters to move tape
off the heads, but these are hard to do and costly....
So just avoid the Otari MX5050 early versions.
Note there are many different model numbers that are all using
the early version transport...
Also as I recall ALL the early versions have mechanical Counters.