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Beolover SyncDrive: DC Platter Motor Replacement for Beogram 4002 and 4004 (Type 551x and 552x)

Late Beogram 4002 and the 4004 (Types 551x and 552x), which have DC platter motors instead of the earlier synchronous AC motors usually suff...

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Beogram 4002/4004 Keypad Restoration

The combination of design and technology of the Beogram 4002/4004/6000 series is what sets them apart from all other turntables. A truly beolovely restoration of one of these brilliant machines involves bringing both the beauty of the design, and the electromechanical precision, back to their original state. One of the main points of visual degradation is the keypad surface.

Note! We do not recommend trying to restore your keypad unless you have a few spares for practicing (we went through this!...;-) as it is quite challenging and you may damage it beyond repair. Also most over the counter spray coatings will wear off much easier than the original coating.

The original clear coat on the keypad is excellent, much better than what you might find in a rattle can spray paint, but oil and friction from finger presses eventually do wear it away. The most frequently used keys, START/ON, \/ /\, and STOP/OFF will most likely be in this state, often much worse:

There are a few variations of keypad, the top two examples in the image below have darker plastic pieces and more sticky glue and are found on later DC models such as the type 551x and 552x. The later models have START/STOP buttons instead of ON/OFF and also do not have posts to align the top plates with the keypad, although sometimes they do have holes for the posts. Earlier AC models such as the type 5503 have light plastic pieces and the glue is quite brittle.

Removing the plastic pieces is quite easy on an early model such as the type 5503, normally the keypad surface will "click" off with very little effort, but the glue itself is more difficult to remove from the keypad frame. The later models such as the type 5513 have a kind of sticky glue that is very difficult to remove without heat, and even then it is not so easy to get the keypad off without bending it. Here we see the keypad with the plastic backs removed:

Once the parts are removed, the sticky glue used on the later models is quite easy to remove using a #17 X-Acto:

Once the glue is removed, we soak the keypad in acetone to remove the clear coat:

Underneath the clear coat, the steel surface is very shiny and so any replacement coating has to be both incredibly durable and also frosty and matte, such that the steel matches closely with the anodized aluminum top plates. 

The keypad black paint needs to be touched up from the X-Acto nicks and finger wear marks:

One improvement we can make is to paint the front base so that it does not reflect from the space behind the wood plinth:

Here is the keypad received back from being professionally coated, this new coating is more permanent - very durable and cannot be removed chemically (by cleaners, etc), and it’s also an excellent match for the frosty appearance:

Here it is “resting” on my 5503:

Next, we glue all the pieces back together:

And finally, we have the completed keypad, ready to be installed:

Although this coating is much more durable than the original and better than auto and spray paint, it’s still best to combine this restoration with the Beogram Commander remote control so that you don’t use the keypad as much.

In addition, the metal button contacts under the keypad can be cleaned using metal polish, which can help make them more responsive, and may reduce wear on the keypad. Here is what they look like before and after being polished:

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