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Beogram Commander Remote Control: Maybe This is the Final Version!..;-)

This is a follow up to my recent post about the redesigned Beogram Commander remote control board, which now works in both (DC-motor) Beogr...

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Beogram 6000 (5505): Installation of AC-Motor Version of Beolover Commander Remote Control

This post discusses the installation of the AC-motor version of the Beolover Commander Remote Control into a Beogram 6000 (Type 5505) that I just restored. These are the links to the initial three posts that discuss the initial condition of the unit, its functional restoration, and the restoration and exploration of the CD-4 channel pre-amplifier.

This Beogram 6000 has an original keypad that is in almost pristine condition:

An ideal case for installing the Beolover Commander! I developed it mainly as a way to protect the Beogram keypads. They tend to loose their coating if they are used with direct finger contact. So the best way to protect them is to not use them! The Commander allows full control of the Beogram without ever touching the keypad again. It even adds some more functionality: It has a programmable auto-repeat function and adds the 'spin the platter for record cleaning' that is a standard feature in later DC motor Beograms, but is absent in the AC motor versions.

This shows the the Commander system for the AC motor Beogram 4002 versions:

The Commander remote module is controlled via a paired Apple remote. The pairing function can be cancelled if so desired, or necessary for integration of the Commander into a larger remote controlled system. 

This is a summary of the Commander functions:

The main difference between the DC and AC motor versions of the Commander is that there is no keypad connector in the AC Beogram versions since their boards are mostly wired directly together. This means a connector needs to be installed on the keypad PCB before the Commander can be plugged in.

So the first step is the installation of this adapter. It is shown here:
The first step is to remove the keypad, flip it over, and then slide the PCB out. This is how the keypad looks flipped around: 

Unfortunately, the above picture shows the PCB already slid out partially. In its 'fully in' position, the alignment tab catches the machined groove in the aluminum profile to hold the PCB firmly in the proper position:
This tab is spring loaded, i.e. you can simply pull it up with your fingernails, and then slide the PCB out:

Before moving on with the process, it is a good idea to put the keypad into a secure location to make sure it does not get scratched accidentally.

For the installation of the adapter the PCB needs to be flipped over

On the left side of the PCB there are the wire terminals. This shows them magnified:
This is where the adapter needs to be installed. The first step is to create a 'corridor' free of solder through the center of all the wire tabs as shown here:
There are some wires that connect at the back end of these terminals as shown here:
Usually, there is no other way than to remove the solder from these wires when creating the flat area for soldering the adapter in place. After installation of the adapter these wires will need to be soldered in place again.
This shows the adapter soldered onto the terminals. It needs to be vertical relative to the PCB and the end of the white socket needs to be about flush with the boundary of the PCB. Like so:

I usually tack the adapter to the PCB on two of the terminals and make sure it is well aligned. Then I solder the remaining pads together. It is difficult to remove the adapter once it is fully soldered in. So better make sure it is in the right place before putting all that solder down.

The next step is the installation of the Commander board. This shows it from the bottom:
The part that connects to the main PCB is the narrow tab on the right side. The raised edge on the far right end aligns the board with the edge of the main PCB. The bolt hole on the left side is used to bolt it onto the main board using the threaded hole that is used for the right PCB screw of the main board. It is located between the two blue trimmers I installed for adjusting 33 and 45 RPM.
This shows the Commander board in place. The original PCB screw needs to be replaced with the included M3x14mm screw due to the added thickness of the Commander board.:
It is important that the black remote receiver is fed in between the the plinth and the enclosure next to the front alignment feature of the plinth.
Once the board is bolted in, the keypad can be connected with the included white jumper:
This shows the connection to the Commander board in more detail 
and this the connection to the adapter board
It is important to note that the installation of the white jumper needs to be done carefully, since it is easy to bend the filigrane contact pins inside the sockets. In other words, the connectors need to be aligned properly before they get pushed in. This shows everything from the top:
Now the keypad PCB can be slid back into the keypad profile:

The final step of the installation is mounting the auto-repeat indicator PCB under the screw that holds the keypad in place. Since this is a Beogram 6000 which uses the CD-4 indicator integrated in the RPM panel, I had to modify the little PCB by cutting out a corner with sheet metal shears. This opened a path for the light emitted from the CD-4 indicator LED under the keypad.

After this I put everything back together and tested the Commander system. I selected one of my favorite Bob James albums, 'Lucky Seven' from 1979 (Tappan Zee Records, Columbia, JC36056). Of course this album was thoroughly cleaned with a CleanerVinyl ProXL setup using a multi-frequency ultrasonic cleaner before listening! This shows the Beogram 6000 in action together with the nice cover of this album: 
Beolovely! Soon it will be time to return this Beogram 6000 to its owner in the UK.

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