Taking Stuff Apart: TEAC 360S Cassette Deck

Usually I treat taking something apart like a puzzle.  It is strangely satisfying to have something come apart nicely without resorting to brute force and wire cutters.

This cassette deck didn't provide that satisfaction.  It got to the point where I was taking out every screw I could find hoping something would budge.  To make matters worse it was greased up in places so by the end it looked like I may have been working on a car instead of taking apart a piece of consumer electronics.

The reward were some swanky dB meters and a pile of switches, so it was certainly worth it.

As you can see, this was scrap so there was no guilt when it came to gutting it:
Teac 360S - Top

It had one of those wood sidings that I like so much at one point, but not by the time it got to me:
Teac 360S - Side

The bottom came off easy enough:
Teac 360S - Open Bottom

The top also:
Teac 360S - Open Top

This "caution" plate on the back seemed out of place and had a useless warning. Turns out it was just used to hide some extra ports which I suppose came in a deluxe model:
Teac 360S - Caution label

There were pulleys running all over the place for displaying some sort of counter:
Teac 360S - Counter pully

Here are the pulleys continuing on the bottom (they hook up with the picture above on the right side of the picture below):
Teac 360S - Counter pulley

This is the point I started getting desperate, this thing just wouldn't come apart and I started trying to pull off pieces which were still attached to other pieces:
Teac 360S - Trouble

After cracking it open I noticed this little reed switch. I was very happy to see one of these in there, they're apparently fairly uncommon since I hadn't seen one in anything else I've taken apart:
Teac 360S - Reed Switch!

More trying to dig things out:
Teac 360S - More trouble

Pulled out a large motor:
Teac 360S - Motor

These cassette deck mechanisms are always interesting to look at. You can see the timer pulley fully visible at this point:
Teac 360S - Casset mechanism

There were a bunch of springs, I gave up trying to figure out how they worked:
Teac 360S - Casset mechanism

The guts, it took some serious wire cutting to get them apart. This thing was a tangled mess, it's hard to imagine how long it would have taken to assemble one by hand:
Teac 360S - Guts

Jackpot, here are all the switches and slide pots:
Teac 360S - Switches

Not a bad haul. Here is the after shot, in addition to the switches and slide pots, there were a bunch of tiny bump switches that were scattered along the cassette mechanism, a solenoid, the reed switch, and some aluminum plates:
Teac 360S - Parts


  1. Awesome. I had the same experience with a teac 360s.
    I also have a second one that I will tear into soon.
    I did not know what the reed switch was and later treated it like a flash bulb. What are they good for? Also, the transformer I got was built well and had a black case that could pass for "finished".
    This teac was one of the coolest things I have taken apart in a long time.

  2. A reed switch is connects two wires when a magnetic field is nearby. If you look in the glass, you can see that there is just 2 thin pieces of metal inside that touch when a magnet pushes them together.

  3. Hi! Thanks for the pictures. I have one of these that looks brand new. I suspect the belts may have dried up and fell off. I would love to get it working again but it looks so sweet that I would hate to start taking it apart unless I know what to expect. The tip about the reed switch may prove helpful. (In the presence of a magnetic field the reads pull together as temporary magnets themselves completing an important circuit. Door/window alarm contacts all use these)

  4. Thanks for the pictures. I'm going to be taking one apart myself to get the VU meters for another application. Do you happen to know the electrical draw (uA, microamps) of those vu meters? Thanks again.


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