Taking Stuff Apart: Sony TC-800B Portable Reel-to-Reel Recorder

Today we have a Sony TC-800B to take apart. This is a portable Reel-to-Reel recorder is from the late 60's or very early 70's and is the same device that was used to record the watergate tapes. Unlike the TEAC 360S I took apart last week, this machine was very easy to take apart.

The one I came across even had a carrying case, you might notice that the handle is crooked. This thing was somewhat busted up, if you look closely you can see through the window in the case that the plastic covering the reels is cracked too:
TC-800B - Front

The reels:
TC-800B - Reels

Glamour shot:
TC-800B - Reels

There were just 4 or 5 screws to take off to expose the mechanical guts. Here you can see the pulley from a large motor to the right reel, and another pulley from the left reel to a counter. Also note the trench at the top where all the wires are nicely fed through. At this point there were just a couple more screws holding the whole assembly out of the case:
TC-800B - Inside

If you click this picture and look at the original photo you can see that there are 3 bars stacked ontop of each other. These were directly attached to the Play, Stop and Fast Forward buttons. The rewind button reset them:
TC-800B - Buttons

The pieces came off without much fuss:
TC-800B - Gutted

Taking it out of the plastic housing and flipping it over reveals the electronics half. I especially like how the PCB curves around the motor:
TC-800B - Circuits

I noticed that the 'O' in SONY on the PCB was raised in a strange way:
TC-800B - Sony

These came off easily, notice the switch in the bottom left:
TC-800B - Circuits

I got it:
TC-800B - Switch

And here is the rest of the harvest:
TC-800B - Harvest


  1. Will;

    We have a Sony TC-800 (w/o the B but looks much the same) and could use a source of belts. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Pls contact Malcolm at now-then@juno.com. Pls use subject line like 'Sony parts'



  2. Olá, você sabe onde encontro o manual de instruções do tc-800b?

  3. I havd one to for sale
    For make me an offer

  4. Thanks for the sharing of such information we will pass it on to our readers.

  5. hello
    I'm really interested for a tc-800b
    is there any?
    thanks from switzerland

  6. Hello.
    Bernhard, are you still interested in sony tc-800b?
    Sorry Will for using your blog like this.

  7. I am looking for some belts for the Sony tc 800b recorder.
    Anyone know where I can get some?

  8. I have TC-800 that stopped working (motor just gave up I think). Instead of repairing I'd like to buy working one since I have many tapes I'd like to copy to CD.

  9. I have a Sony 800B service manual

    1. Hello: I would be most interested in the Sony 800B service manual.

  10. You only take stuff apart?

    Do you ever use any of the parts or do the parts end up in a landfill ?

  11. You wouldn't happen to still have that carrying case from 10 years ago, would you? ...and bring yourself to part with it if you do?

  12. What is the point of this?
    Why not show how to trouble shoot and repair things?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Decommissioning the cloud: A self-hosted future

Using a JFileChooser to browse AWS S3

Taking Stuff Apart: Realistic Modulette-8