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RussianAudio recorders Televisions, video Tube radios NEW Other rarities My works


Mohawk Midgetape 300



Used Google translator

      Mohawk Midgetape - a series of portable tape recorders manufactured by "Mohawk business machines corp. Brooklyn 33. N.Y. ", USA. It is known for the production of 50-ies of the four models in the series, - Midgetape 44 (1955), Midgetape 300 (1957), Midgetape 400 (1958). and Midgetape 500 "Professional" (1959). I have three working models of the tape 44, 300 and 400. The first Midgetape 44 began to produce in the 1955 under the name Mohawk Midgetape BR-1, and they were all assembled on vacuum tubes. As accessories manufactured external amplifiers - speakers.  
      In 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 Midgetape 44 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. Otherwise, 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 cover.

     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 unit.

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 compartment.

     Output amplifier 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 recorder 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. Currently, the device is fully functional.

    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 Midgetape 500 "Professional", which in 1959 was worth $ 329.50 (without accessories).

Produce similar recorders "Lafayette Transcoder". Information from the July issue of "Tape Recording" in 1961.

Electric circuit Mohawk Midgetape 300 and Mohawk Midgetape 400

Operating Instructions and specifications Mohawk Midgetape 300 and Mohawk Midgetape 400

The construction of all types of recorders Mohawk Midgetape same.

Brochures (photo from Internet)



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