A good Walkman which runs on disposable batteries is a good thing to have. This was bought cheap on e-bay in the hope that it would be a simple repair.
The player was sold as faulty, citing wow & flutter. It was indeed sounding rather wobbly. Better see if I can get it going.
The seller had already replaced the drive belt. This is usually necessary with this particular model and is quite an expensive repair because of the unusual thin belts used, so that’s a plus.
The pinch rollers are another possible trouble area, as pointed out by the seller. Here you can see that the rollers and heads are in fine condition.
With the obvious things eliminated I had a good tinker with the controls, listened and felt the thing operating. I was looking for a consistent “beat” or timing of the problem. It was indeed fairly constant, with a bit of a pause occurring about thrice a second. This was consistent whether it was in play or fast wind; forward or reverse. That ruled out a pinch roller problem, which wouldn’t manifest in fast wind when they are not engaged. I also noticed that it was not related to the rotation speed of the tape spools, indicating that they were not at fault either.
Fortunately I have at my disposal a donor machine. This is a WM-EX560. Identical to the EX562 in every respect except for case colour. The EX562 would have been supplied with a remote control when new. The donor has an electronic fault and some damage from a battery leak at some point in it’s past, but is mechanically sound. I can take this apart to figure out what’s going on and pull parts from if necessary. The other important resource is the comprehensive service manual, which is available for free from the excellent HI-Fi Engine website.
In order to further investigate I removed the circuit board. Not a trivial task because it necessitated un-soldering a few things including the motor and solenoid. The service guide shows what needs to be done. Now the problem is evident. The large plastic gear with the metal disc is a clutch mechanism. At the 4 o clock position, if you look carefully, you can see that the gear is broken.
In close up you can see how the damage would cause the mechanism to snag as the broken section fails to mesh cleanly with the other gear. Fortunately the donor player had an intact clutch which was easily removed just by taking out the plastic cir-clip.
With the clutch removed from the donor you can see the complex gear arrangement and solenoid which are usually obscured by the circuit board.
When the clutch wheel was fitted to the faulty machine and reassembled all worked fine. You can see that internally the’562 is in great shape. The same is true externally. There is a very small dent in the metal lid that the seller pointed out. You don’t notice unless you are looking for it.
These Walkman are amongst the last to be made by Sony. They represent the state of the art for portable cassette. They are fully featured and well built. Astounding sound quality is achievable when used with decent headphones and well recorded cassettes.
I already have a working WM-EX662, which is identical except for the battery. It uses a rechargeable gum-stick style battery. This arrangement allows for a slimmer unit, but run time is compromised. External battery boxes were originally supplied with the ‘662 to screw onto the side and take an AA cell. I would like to use one, but now they are rare as hens teeth and cost a packet.
This EX562 runs of a single internal AA battery. The whole thing only cost £20, which is about half what a battery box for the ‘662 would have cost. A very satisfactory and cost effective solution to my run time problem.