Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Fostex 280 multi track cassette recorder overview.

Fostex Four track cassette recorder for sale. it all works fine except for one problem with the transport mechanism. This is described in a video I have made using this unit and I advise you to take a look.
Fostex 280 multi tracker 480 px
Fostex 280 multi tracker
The Fostex multi tracker 280 is a four track cassette recorder and mixer that allows for simultaneous live recording or individual tracks that can be overlayed separately.

Although the Fostex 280 is a four track recorder it has eight inputs. This means you can record up to 8 voices on each of the 4 tracks.

The mixer unit is very good and each of the four tracks features an effective 4 band EQ, pan, volume and 2 aux controls. The switches send the signal between tape, track post and mute.

The controls to the right control the aux send and receives for the outboard effects. There are also switches and knobs that send the entire signal  to your chosen output. There are knobs for monitor and headphone volumes.

The tape transport controls are:
Arm track (4 selectors)
Memory buttons 2
3 auto find rewind forward buttons
Auto play
Auto rec
Punch in/out
Dolby select on/off
Pitch control (manual control that allows the tape to speed up or slow down).

Front panel
The front panel allows for 8 inputs, 2 headphone outputs and a punch in/out. I have never used this last socket and I have no idea whether it works or not.

The back panel is well featured with outputs including
4 separate track outs
Stereo out L/R
Monitor out L/R
2 aux sends
2 aux returns
power on/off
Serial port

Everything works well apart from the Stop button!!!

The fault on this unit is that when you press the stop button it causes the transport mechanism to stay engaged. Although this stops the tape rolling it does not disengage the roller and tape head. The counter then reads .E for error and sounds like cassette players do when the mechanics get stuck.

By gently pressing the transport Roller towards the tape counter the mechanism releases and allows the tape to be safely removed.

If the recorder is then switched off and powered back on again, it corrects itself and will continue to operate normally until you press the stop button again.

There is a fix for this because this is a common problem with these old Fostex recorders. I have put it in the video I have made explaining this problem more clearly.

Although I really like the mixer and format of this device but I don’t want to take the lid off because I don’t really understand electronics and leave these jobs to those who are qualified or confident in these things.

Perhaps this unit would be more use to someone with confidence in repairing old are recording equipment. I have used it largely as a mixer and tape output device for years and found it a good workflow device especially its in and output options.