DA-88 / PCM-800

Highly Recommended Fan Modification

updated 10 October'97

Click here to read the notice about head life issues.


The Tascam/Sony digital eight track deck has fan cooling. The fan draws cool air into the machine across the electronics, which is good, but it can also suck dust in through the mechanism's tape-access "port" which can accelerate clutch and head failure.  Photo"0" shows dust that has collected on one of the two  switches that detects the tape cassette's status ( record / safe,  tape formulation and thickness, etc).  The two switches are located on far left left and far right  just at the entrance of the mechanism.

The modification consists of reversing the fan's direction (a purely mechanical task) and installing an external filter.  The proceedure is detailed below, but if you are squemish, routine maintenance should include vacuuming the tape entrance port at regular intervals (weekly or monthly). Use the high-velocity nozzle attachment (that long, flat thing with the rectangular opening) and place the nozzle just beyond the protective flap of the loading door and slide from side to side.

An even better method is to first remove the transport (four medium phillips screws), then separate the black plastic loading mechanism (four small phillips screws) and "assist" the vacuuming process by dusting with a half-inch artist's brush. (This proceedure will be detailed at a later date).  There a lots of places inside the chassis where dust and hair-balls collect...


In order to bring cleaner air into the machine it must first be filtered.  The filter is available from Digi-Key  800-digi-key.  Their part number is CR214-ND.  If  you like parts like I like parts, be sure to have a catalog on hand because there is a minimum.

BEFORE adding a filter, the airflow direction must also be changed.  To do so, unplug the machine. Remove the three screws on each side of the cover as well as the single screw on the cover's top/rear/middle. There is a black plastic extension rod that links the front panel power button with the switch in the rear.

( Photo 1 )

Gently pull the power button extension away from the switch until it pops off (Photo1).
Then, remove the two screws that secure the power switch subassembly to the chassis (Photo2).

( Photo 2 indicates all screw locations. )

There are four screws that secure the fan to a metal frame which itself has two screws. After all six screws have been removed, extract the fan, disconnect its power cable ( See Photo 3) and vacuum the dust that has collected on the blades. Flip the fan's direction, reconnect and remount with the power connection on the "inside."

( Photo 3 )

Mount the air filter to the machine's cover using pan head (the type that countersink) #6 screws ( Photo 4 ).

( Photo 4 )

For extra safety, paint the threads with nail polish so that the nuts don't come loose and get sucked into the power supply ( Photo 5 ).

( Photo 5 )

Be sure to clean and/or replace the filter from time to time.

I love feedback in the form of email.

Go back to the tape directory?

Go back to the main directory?