Author Topic: Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2  (Read 4735 times)

culturejam

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Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2
« on: April 06, 2016, 09:41:46 AM »
This is Space Echo #2 for me, and just like the first one, I picked it up in non-working condition.

The mechanicals are fine. Motor is strong and the tape transport seems to operate normally. I haven't even had a chance to plug in a guitar yet, but the previous owner told me he gets dry but no wet output. That goes for both echo and reverb, so I'm thinking it is highly unlikely that the record head (or all playback heads) AND the reverb tank are both bad. So my theory is that it's "simply" a problem with the mixing. Now, that could turn out to be something really hard to find, but I'm hopeful that it will be relatively simple.

Right out of the gate, here are the main issues that I can see:
Tapehead assembly metal cover is missing
Mic input jack is missing
All of the tape bay thumb screws are missing (I have replacements)
One of the hinges is an ad-hoc "redneck engineering" replacement
Some of the chassis mount screws are missing
Front faceplate is bent

Most of that is cosmetic and can be fixed easily or doesn't need to be. On the plus side, it does have a fully working rear power cable door, which my other unit is missing (and they are hard to find and not cheap).

So this is the first of several posts on my progress. More pics to follow in a day or so after I've had more time to look it over and asses the weaknesses.



selfdestroyer

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Re: Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2016, 10:02:04 AM »
Actually looks a lot better than I envisioned. I'm really interested to see why signal is not passing. What ever the problem is, still looks like a fun project.

Cody

Martan

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Re: Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2016, 12:48:45 PM »
Hot damn, man! Good luck!

Leevibe

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Re: Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2016, 01:10:10 PM »
Subscribed

pryde

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Re: Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2016, 02:09:20 PM »
Eyes pinned open.
Looks awesome.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 07:27:59 PM by pryde »

TNblueshawk

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Re: Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2016, 02:28:48 PM »
Too cool.

How do you run up on these? Are you scouring the webz I guess or do you just get lucky? or?
John

Timko

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Re: Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2016, 02:42:20 PM »
I would imagine Craigslist would be a good place to find stuff like this.  I watch it a lot of odd guitars (70's Japanese and parlors at the moment).  In fact, I just pointed a local synth head to a guy selling an Arp Odyssey.  If you're patient and consistent you can find some amazing things there.

Morgan

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Re: Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2016, 05:29:58 PM »
Cool project!
Moderator at BYOC, still sometimes futz around with Leila Vintage Electronics.

Old Blog...

culturejam

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Re: Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2016, 06:53:17 PM »
How do you run up on these? Are you scouring the webz I guess or do you just get lucky? or?

First one I just saw for sale over at I Love Fuzz, and the guy happened to live within driving distance. So I sort of had the advantage over other buyers. Just worked out.

This one was a bit different. I posted some info about fixing up the first one at TGP, and this guy stumbled onto this unit. So he asked me for some tips, which I gave him. Then months later, he got in touch with me to see if I wanted to buy it. I had no intention of picking up another one, but the price was just too tempting.

culturejam

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Re: Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2016, 07:51:08 PM »
I have confirmed it: there is no wet output whatsoever.  ;D

So either the dry isn't getting to the effect side, or the output of the effect is not getting mixed back out. Obviously. ;)

A few more pics:

Tolex rip



Front panel lit up



Ghetto solution for missing thumb screws:



Tape head assembly sans cover:



Looking better already with replacement thumb screws (and now the tape is threaded correctly and not shiny side out):

artstomp

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Re: Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2016, 08:07:13 PM »
..hi culturejam...any chance you have gut shots or or trace of the RE201 you may want to share..its the only thing im missing on my data files...my friend won't ket me touch his precious Space echo...lol...tnx in advance

culturejam

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Re: Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2016, 08:11:57 PM »
The schematic is in the service manual, along with a functional block diagram and breakouts of all the PCBs. You can get it here: http://www.echofix.com/pages/space-echo-service-manuals

Here's a gut shot of my other unit (that works). If you want more, I can take some when I get this other unit cracked open this weekend.




artstomp

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Re: Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2016, 08:40:30 PM »
..oh that was cool..tnx...i definitely want to see more...can't wait to see your 2nd RE201 up and running in no time...good luck...tnx again, culturejam

culturejam

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Re: Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2016, 07:32:43 AM »
I got some time last night to do some audio probing. So far, audio probing has been my #1 use of a looper pedal.  ;D

So I know that the input signal is making it through the Echo/Normal switch to the main Echo Board (that's the name in the service manual) and the signal is reaching the record head. It's also going as far as the reverb driver input. So the input side of things seems okay.

I also blew out the Mode switch assembly with compressed air and hit it with some contact cleaner. No change in operation.

I'm starting to think the problem is the Mode rotary switch. I think this because it is this switch the determines if any output comes from the playback heads and the reverb sub-circuit. If the switch is dead, all you get is the input piped through preamp and then sent through the output buffer. The signal goes to the record head and reverb, but the playback heads and reverb output never get routed to the output if the switch is bunk.

Since there is no echo OR reverb, it seems more likely to be the switch. It's entirely possible that the reverb tank died AND the record head died, it just seems less likely.

Next steps:

1. Verify the reverb tank from Space Echo #2 is operational by hooking it up to my working Space Echo #1
2. If it's not working, hook up the known good reverb tank from SE #1 to SE #2 to see if it does work
3. Demagnetize and clean heads on SE #2, and replace with fresh tape loop (just good practice).

I'm sort of hoping that the tank and record head are funky, because those will be easier to replace than the rotary switch. I'm not even sure anyone sells a replacement, although I suppose I could possibly rebuild the existing switch. But man, the wiring arrangement on that thing is gnarly.  :o

selfdestroyer

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Re: Restoration Project: Roland RE-201 Space Echo - #2
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2016, 10:19:05 AM »
I'm sort of hoping that the tank and record head are funky, because those will be easier to replace than the rotary switch. I'm not even sure anyone sells a replacement, although I suppose I could possibly rebuild the existing switch. But man, the wiring arrangement on that thing is gnarly.  :o

Its seems crazy to think that but I thought the same way when I was reading your post. lol

Cody