Mohawk Midgetape - a series of portable tape
recorders manufactured by "Mohawk business machines
corp. Brooklyn 33. N.Y. ", USA.
It is known
production of 50-ies
of the four
models in the series, -
Midgetape 300 (1957),
Midgetape 400 (1958). and Midgetape 500 "Professional"
have three working models of the tape 44, 300 and 400.
Midgetape 44 began to produce
in the 1955 under the name
BR-1, and they were all assembled on vacuum tubes.
As accessories manufactured external amplifiers -
the following, transistors 300 and 400 models, there is
a built-in amplifier with a speaker, made in the form of
a removable module (Transistorized power amplifier 402).
It is located in the battery compartment, and takes
place, which in the model
took the battery power of the anode tubes. In Midgetape
500 "Professional" above the module of the amplifier
there is an indicator of a level of record.
the tape is very similar to each other, building and
kinematics are nearly identical. Dimensions of tape 220
x 100 x 55 mm. Weight 1.2 kg. The speed
of the magnetic tape 1, 7/8 inches per second.
Photos can be enlarged
Mohawk Midgetape 300 got me in
perfect cosmetic condition, but with a faulty engine.
Probably, this fact was the reason of its good
preservation. Apparently, when the tape recorder broke,
it did not repair, and removed on the shelf, not even
pulling the native original battery. In this form, with
the battery and it came to me. Thus, I was lucky twice,
because I was still rare and battery, which is specially
produced just for this series recorders.
Construction tape is very interesting. Kinematics is a
fairly simple, but provides a record - playing with a
stabilized rate. Fast forward not, and rewind is
performed manually, using the flip out handle on the top
Total in the scheme used six
transistors, three in a universal amplifier, one in the
generator, erasing, and two in the power amplifier
module. There is volume control, it is the same level
control recording. To connect a microphone with remote
switching using flat 6-pin connector. To connect the
headset uses a simple Bipin. Also there is a switch
recording modes - play. Enable - turn off the device is
made by steel lever, located in the edge. This lever is
not like our usual buttons and keys.
An electric motor in this design has electromechanical
stabilization. That is, there is a centrifugal
controller directly on the motor shaft, and the food is
carried out through a light bulb filament, which
performs the function of the electric stabilizer. In
addition, large diameter flywheel is used, almost the
entire width of the shell, connected to the engine belt
steel springs. These measures proved sufficient to
ensure really good, the stabilization of the speed and
uniformity of the belt. Lamp stabilizer also serves as
an indicator, and it made a special window on the side
of the shell. Traffic on the winding unit is transmitted
from the flywheel with a rubber belt. In all models
kinematics remained almost the same, but changes have
been made only in the design of bearings. Near the engine is a
box, which is located stabilizer - an incandescent lamp
and filter chokes. Steel plates located at an angle,
attach capstan bearings - flywheel, and the winding
Here is seen the engine with a
centrifugal governor on the shaft. Shaft rests in
contact. In the larger picture is clearly visible green
wire coming from the contact.
Both heads, universal and erasing, are made as a monoblock can type.
All the mechanics and body tape
iron. Metal is not spared, and it all looks rather
heavy. This important parts such as bearings, made very
high-tech. In the rear of the case is a compartment for
batteries and power amplifier with speaker. Amplifier
with speaker (12 ohm) is designed as a removable module,
and sold as an accessory. It is attached to the chassis
with two screws. In this four speakers contact module
pressed to the flat spring contacts inside the battery
compartment. In the amplifier module is a switch
accessible through a hole in the lid of the battery
module was working. He collected two transistors and two
transformers. Switch, built into the body of the
amplifier, opens the same time, the food chain and the
input signal. Structurally, the amplifier is made as
thoroughly as the entire tape, securely and reliably.
Very interesting tandem cassette, which has been
developed specifically for this tape. At that time there
was no single standard cassettes, and each producer
thought up the design. The advertisement of the time
Mohawk Midgetape engaged, as the first battery of the
portable tape recorder in the world. If you believe
this, then the tandem cartridge design could be first
used it on the
Midgetape. In the cassette tape is used
the usual width of ¼ inch, and the coils are located one
above the other. All the metal tape, and structurally
quite complicated. Cassettes available to me, calculated at
1 hour of recording time (30 minutes - side, at a speed
of 1, 7/8 inches per second), but were
released and others, at 1.5 hours.
Battery originally produced specifically for this series
recorders, has no markings voltage and polarity.
Apparently it was assumed that other devices using it
will not. In this connection, had to decide what voltage
apparatus. The specification indicates voltage 7 - 11 v. Further testing confirmed
that the 10 v device is working properly, and (+) is
located on the case. To demonstrate the work I assembled
a new battery of 7 AA batteries. Repair of the tape was
not very easy. Repair the engine failed, because the
defect was in the winding rotor. We had to rearrange the
engine of the same apparatus. Also need to replace
belt node winding. Main belt made of springs,
change did not have to, it eternal. It did not want to
make changes in the electric system design rarity, but
the desire to have a working machine to overpower, and I
replaced some dry electrolytes. The photo shows how I
kept the original form of electrolytic capacitors.
First, I carefully removed the interior ceramic liner,
then put them in the new capacitors are suitable size,
and filled all the epoxy resin. Capacitors have turned
very similar to the original.
the device is
It is known that in 50 years of Midgetape priced at $
249.50, representing a five-week earnings of the average
American, and is comparable to 4000 in today's terms. Issued also many
accessories, such as an adapter for recording telephone
conversations for $ 10.00, a microphone, under the
camouflage Wristwatches for $ 44.50, a miniature
microphone with a clip for $ 33.50. Tape recording for 1
hour cost $ 11.50. Tape 1,5 hours of recording - $
13.50. Amplifier module with speaker - $ 35.00. Mains
Power Adapter - $ 33.50. Automobile Power Adapter - $
19.95. The battery, designed for 12-15 hours - 2.60 $.
The battery, designed for 50 hours - $ 9.50. Leather
briefcase - $ 49.95. Shoulder Bag - $ 4.95. Thus, the
apparatus in complete set would cost about $ 500,
equivalent to 8 000 $ money today. The device has been
bought complete with three 1-hour cartridges, one of
which new, in packing.
I should add that
the most expensive
in the series was
which in 1959
was worth $
Information from the July issue
of "Tape Recording"
Mohawk Midgetape 300
and Mohawk Midgetape
Mohawk Midgetape 300
Mohawk Midgetape 400
The construction of all
types of recorders Mohawk Midgetape same.
Brochures (photo from Internet)