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Is it possible to modify a Technics turntable for remote control with donor parts from another?

Jo Rogel

Apr 16, 2015
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I recently bought an early 80s Technics component system so I could make it easy for everyone to share music at the new office I began working at. The set included an SE-A808 amplifier, ST-K808 tuner/preamp, SH-R808 remote control and receiver, SH-8030 space dimension controller and an RS-M45 tape deck. I had to have a matching turntable, so I picked up a busted SL-Q303 turntable to fix up the next day.

We all work on MacBooks and have iPhones, so I bought an Airport Express for Airplay streaming. The office is in a former warehouse, so I think the early 80s metallic aesthetics of the set matches the industrial setting perfectly. It's been a hit and everyone is now sharing their favorite music and getting conversations going, so I'm happy.

SKQ4Yzq.jpg


sFf13Vv.jpg


On the SL-Q303, I repaired the loose chassis, added new feet made from PVC bushings and Vibrapods, polished the dustcover inside and out and replaced the cartridge and stylus with an Audio Technica AT90 kit.

4EmYThI.jpg


1xcgi0d.jpg


921oWyw.jpg


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Also, The platter mat was in bad shape and warped. I tried to bend it back into shape, which was a bad move. It tore in the center pretty badly. I didn't want to give up on it though, since finding a mat replacement for the SL-Q303 is almost impossible. I heated and pressed it, then glued it, and heated and pressed it again overnight. Now it's straight and is functional once again.

kYwftls.jpg


Anyhow, I got all excited about the possibility of controlling the SL-Q303 with the SH-R808 remotely, only to discover that it seems Technics only ever offered a remote control input on the SL-Q33. However, finding an SL-Q33 is almost impossible. They don't come up often on eBay in the U.S. and I can't find anything overseas.

My plan B is to source a remote control input for the SL-Q33 and modify the SL-Q303 so it can be controlled with the SH-R808. However, I was hoping someone here could help me determine whether this is feasible without the logic board from an SL-Q33.

I can find the input and order it or piece together the parts to make my own. I would just like to know -- is it possible to make this modification if I cannot source the logic board for the SL-Q33? Is it possible to send signals from the SH-R808 receiver and remote to trigger functions on the SL-Q303 through wiring?

Admittedly, I do not have experience working with electronics save for wiring and soldering, and I will be working with a local electronics technician to accomplish this. All I want to know is if it is possible to accomplish this if I don't have the board from the donor turntable.

I've included some screenshots of an SL-Q33 that someone on AudioKarma.org shared when they were restoring a turntable.

SL-Q33 Input for SH-R808:

14a.JPG


SL-Q33 Wiring and Circuitry:

54d3.jpg


r3ve.jpg


yjk2.jpg



Any insight is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

kpatz

Feb 24, 2014
329
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Feb 24, 2014
Messages
329
Is the turntable fully automatic? Meaning that, with the push of a button, it will turn on, move the tonearm to the start of the record, lower it, play, then lift and return the arm to the park position at the end of the record?

If it is, it should be possible to retrofit a remote control circuit to trigger the start/stop switch on the turntable.

If the tonearm has to be moved manually to start playback (manual or semi-automatic) you're out of luck as far as remote controlling goes.
 

Jo Rogel

Apr 16, 2015
4
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Apr 16, 2015
Messages
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Is the turntable fully automatic? Meaning that, with the push of a button, it will turn on, move the tonearm to the start of the record, lower it, play, then lift and return the arm to the park position at the end of the record?

If it is, it should be possible to retrofit a remote control circuit to trigger the start/stop switch on the turntable.

If the tonearm has to be moved manually to start playback (manual or semi-automatic) you're out of luck as far as remote controlling goes.

Thank you for your reply! I've been trying to get help with this project for a week and you're the first person that has taken time to help me out, so I appreciate it.

Both turntables are fully automatic and are very similar in most aspects, so this is good news.

The remote functions are pretty basic -- just start, stop and cueing. But it'd be great to be able to use all of the functions of the system available.

blog%2BSH-R%2B808%2BB.jpg
 

Gryd3

Jun 25, 2014
4,098
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Jun 25, 2014
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4,098
Thank you for your reply! I've been trying to get help with this project for a week and you're the first person that has taken time to help me out, so I appreciate it.

Both turntables are fully automatic and are very similar in most aspects, so this is good news.

The remote functions are pretty basic -- just start, stop and cueing. But it'd be great to be able to use all of the functions of the system available.

blog%2BSH-R%2B808%2BB.jpg
You would most certainly be in luck.
Ideally, and easily, you will retrofit a remote receiver into the turntable you wish to control by tapping into the buttons with it.
So, if there is a button 'on' the turntable, you can make it trigger with a button on the remote.

There are two ways of doing this:
Try to scrape the parts out of the old turntable to find the part that receives the IR signal and processes it ... or (and this would involve some learning)
You can buy an IR receiver, and wire it to a microcontroller like a PIC, or Arduino.
Every IR remote simply sends a code. If you do the microcontroller route. Simply use the microcontroller to 'learn' what code is for which button you want. This would allow you to use almost any remote with the turntable, and not just the one you linked in the pictures ;)
 

Jo Rogel

Apr 16, 2015
4
Joined
Apr 16, 2015
Messages
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You would most certainly be in luck.
Ideally, and easily, you will retrofit a remote receiver into the turntable you wish to control by tapping into the buttons with it.
So, if there is a button 'on' the turntable, you can make it trigger with a button on the remote.

There are two ways of doing this:
Try to scrape the parts out of the old turntable to find the part that receives the IR signal and processes it ... or (and this would involve some learning)
You can buy an IR receiver, and wire it to a microcontroller like a PIC, or Arduino.
Every IR remote simply sends a code. If you do the microcontroller route. Simply use the microcontroller to 'learn' what code is for which button you want. This would allow you to use almost any remote with the turntable, and not just the one you linked in the pictures ;)

Very cool! Can you help me clarify so I make sure I'm understanding correctly?

This is the receiver unit for the remote (yes, really -- a whole component just for the remote :D):

141443-technics_shr808_remote_control_unit_in_museum_condition.jpg

141447-technics_shr808_remote_control_unit_in_museum_condition.jpg



And I just bought the socket that connects the remote receiver to the turntable on eBay today (from a guy in Poland):

vdZtOlW.jpg


Do I still then need something else to receive a signal within the turntable?
 

Gryd3

Jun 25, 2014
4,098
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Jun 25, 2014
Messages
4,098
Very cool! Can you help me clarify so I make sure I'm understanding correctly?

This is the receiver unit for the remote (yes, really -- a whole component just for the remote :D):

141443-technics_shr808_remote_control_unit_in_museum_condition.jpg

141447-technics_shr808_remote_control_unit_in_museum_condition.jpg



And I just bought the socket that connects the remote receiver to the turntable on eBay today (from a guy in Poland):

vdZtOlW.jpg


Do I still then need something else to receive a signal within the turntable?
You most certainly do!
You have the socket, but only 3 wires, and we don't know what the wires 'do' yet.
So, if you have a turntable currently that accepts the remote control signals, you can open it up and do some research to find out where each of the wires go.
From there, you will either need to scavenge the control electronics, or make your own.

If.. the control electronics are able to be removed and transplanted from one turn table to another, your golden.
Otherwise, the DIY method will require a little more time, but would be much smaller
;) There are some additional details here https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/ir-communication

The DIY method may allow you to completely do away with the larger receiver box, and a tether to the turntable, and simply build it into the turn-table itself.

Do you have a preference?
Below is the current list of stages for the project.
You have the remote, and the Receiver/Decoder as well as the turntable.
Control Electronics 'might' be able be scavenged from a turn table that has that socket in it already.

IR Remote >
IR Receiver/Decoder >
Control Electronics >
Turntable.
 

Jo Rogel

Apr 16, 2015
4
Joined
Apr 16, 2015
Messages
4
You most certainly do!
You have the socket, but only 3 wires, and we don't know what the wires 'do' yet.
So, if you have a turntable currently that accepts the remote control signals, you can open it up and do some research to find out where each of the wires go.
From there, you will either need to scavenge the control electronics, or make your own.

If.. the control electronics are able to be removed and transplanted from one turn table to another, your golden.
Otherwise, the DIY method will require a little more time, but would be much smaller
;) There are some additional details here https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/ir-communication

The DIY method may allow you to completely do away with the larger receiver box, and a tether to the turntable, and simply build it into the turn-table itself.

Do you have a preference?
Below is the current list of stages for the project.
You have the remote, and the Receiver/Decoder as well as the turntable.
Control Electronics 'might' be able be scavenged from a turn table that has that socket in it already.

IR Remote >
IR Receiver/Decoder >
Control Electronics >
Turntable.

Thanks for taking time to explain that -- I appreciate it, and it makes sense. Looks like I have some homework to do.

The input that I purchased has a connector that originally plugged into the board for the SL-Q33 (you can see in this image below):

54d3.jpg


Unfortunately, the seller that is sending the input no longer has the board. Since the motor is attached to the board, I assume they were both tossed when the former failed. That means I definitely won't be able to get the original control electronics, so it'll have to be a custom solution instead.

As clunky and anachronistic as it is, I like the remote receiver since it's part of the whole set, so I do want to continue to use it (I love vintage audio -- apart from Technics gear, I also collect vintage Pioneer receivers, headphones and speakers).

It'll probably be a while before my next update since I have quite a bit to learn, but I appreciate all of the help and will definitely come back as I get things moving forward.

Thanks!
 

Gryd3

Jun 25, 2014
4,098
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
4,098
Thanks for taking time to explain that -- I appreciate it, and it makes sense. Looks like I have some homework to do.

The input that I purchased has a connector that originally plugged into the board for the SL-Q33 (you can see in this image below):

54d3.jpg


Unfortunately, the seller that is sending the input no longer has the board. Since the motor is attached to the board, I assume they were both tossed when the former failed. That means I definitely won't be able to get the original control electronics, so it'll have to be a custom solution instead.

As clunky and anachronistic as it is, I like the remote receiver since it's part of the whole set, so I do want to continue to use it (I love vintage audio -- apart from Technics gear, I also collect vintage Pioneer receivers, headphones and speakers).

It'll probably be a while before my next update since I have quite a bit to learn, but I appreciate all of the help and will definitely come back as I get things moving forward.

Thanks!
Well, if you want to use the vintage IR Detector/Decoder then you won't have to mess around with IR. That may be a good thing.
The step now would be to get your hands on some method of 'spying' or listening in on the wires that come from that board.
The first step you would be following the 3 wires from that plug to see where they go. Most likely, one of the pins will be ground. The other two pins may be data, or data and power.
If you can find out where the wires connect to the board, snap a close-up for us :)
If not, you will need some test equipment. The type of signal will dictate what type of electronics you will need to build a suitable Electronic Control. If you enjoy vintage, lets see if we can avoid using a microcontroller and make something with discrete components.
 
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