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Monday, August 3, 2015

Beocord 9000: Restoring the Peak Program Meters with SMD LEDs

I recently successfully rebuilt the broken (4 missing segments) Peak Program Meter (PPM) of a Beocord that I had received for some TLC. Since this procedure was straight forward and had a nice result, we decided to also do it for the other Beocord 9000 I am working on, which still had an original PPM with all the segments working. I initially did not want to touch its PPM since I had never done one before, so like any good doctor I aimed to 'do no harm', while surgery was not absolutely necessary.

However, since the technology is the same as in the 7-segment counter display it is likely that some of the segments would have broken in the near future. So, while I still have it on my bench I think it is a great idea to do it now that I know how to make sure there are no issues in the near future.

Here are a few impressions of the procedure on this unit. Please, check for details in my original posts (post 1, post 2, post 3). As a fan of 'kaizen' I made a small further changes to the process by adding some glue to the restored plastic discs that hold the PPM covers down.

The original PPM still installed:

After removal:

Removing the covers by gently prying off the small plastic discs that hold them to the PCB:

Now they come off:

 This time I also removed the light guide for the scale illumination. It comes off anyway when one cleans the PCB with ethanol after soldering:
Now I was ready for soldering the SMDs in. This shows the green ones lined up for installation:
This shows them all installed and ready for testing:

At this point I usually do a 24 hrs test to make sure they are all o.k.

Now it was time to put the covers back on. So I clamped the covers and the light guide down and then recreated some resemblance of the small plastic discs by pushing the remaining stubs down with my soldering iron set to 200C. That just softens the plastic enough to be able to press it flat:

After this I put some small drops of Aleene's glue on the areas

and let them dry. This glue can be removed after soaking in ethanol for a while, so this is completely reversible.

I think this is a pretty good solution, at least for the Beocords since their displays are tightly held in place by the bezel that gets clamped over them, i.e. even if one of the spots came off, the covers would not be able to fall off.

Then it was time to install the rebuilt PPM. This required replacing the original current limiting resistors of the segments with larger values to account for the much higher efficiency of the new SMD LEDs. This shows the original resistors:
And here the new ones:

And after installing the PPM across the resistors.

Then I gave it a spin with a standard 1Vpp 1kHz signal at the inputs and the recording volume slider set to ~6. That gave me a nice full range on the meter. Beautiful these big segments!

That is it. All we need now is the rebuilt pinch roller that will soon come from Terry's Rubber Rollers. Then this baby will be ready for prime time!

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