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1973 Ferguson Brochure; 8-Track

 
crustytv
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1973 Ferguson Brochure Link.

Some folk may find this of interest, the latest e-bay purchase, an addition to my brochure (link above) collection.

Maybe some of the items within, worthy of discussion. I was particularly pleased to see the 3713 being covered as I have this model in my collection. I also have the original sales leaflet (thanks Gary) that would have come with the TV.

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Topic starter Posted : 16/06/2020 2:21 pm
EmleyMoor
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Some interesting items and text in there. A little surprising they made mention of valves on the colour TV page, as, though they correctly stated they pioneered the solid state colour TV chassis, they didn't actually make it clear they'd never launched a model with valves. Still using them in black and white sets at this time, including 1400 chassis sets for those still needing 405 lines. An early Studio 6 music centre (model 3460 - I remember mine being a 3463 on its book and a 34634 on its back panel) and the 3366 radiogram which looks remarkably similar to my Ultra 6338, but includes FM stereo as standard and probably has a very similar radio/amp section to the Studio 6 is also notable. The cassette deck from the Studio 6 also makes stand-alone appearances.

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Posted : 16/06/2020 2:49 pm
crustytv
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I recently decided I want to get myself and 8-track and tapes for my period 70's room. Until now I'd been looking at the plethora of tat (unknowns, including prinzsound!) available on the 'bay'. However reading this brochure today has made my mind up, my quest is to track (pun) down the Ferguson 3440.

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Topic starter Posted : 16/06/2020 3:03 pm
Cathovisor
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@crustytv

So you'd not be interested in the surplus Akai recorder that I have, complete with in-built power amps to drive loudspeakers if desired?

A CR-81, if I recall correctly.

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Posted : 16/06/2020 5:05 pm
Cathovisor
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Posted by: @crustytv

1973 Ferguson Brochure Link.

Some folk may find this of interest, the latest e-bay purchase, an addition to my brochure (link above) collection.

Maybe some of the items within, worthy of discussion. I was particularly pleased to see the 3713 being covered as I have this model in my collection. I also have the original sales leaflet (thanks Gary) that would have come with the TV.

I have a complete 3457 Unit Audio, and the main bit of a 3454. Plus a 3270 radio/cassette.

 

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Posted : 16/06/2020 5:09 pm
crustytv
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Posted by: @cathovisor

So you'd not be interested in the surplus Akai recorder that I have, complete with in-built power amps to drive loudspeakers if desired?

Thanks for the kind offer Mike but i'll pass, especially after seeing the brochure with the Fergy 3440. This afternoon I thought I'd do an optimistic search of e-bay. Would you Adam & Eve it! There was only one on there, complete with speakers. Just how I like finding stuff as well, a non worker (no power) and a Buy It Now! How could I resist, T'was meant to be. I then went hunting for a few cheesy tapes ?. It will likely end up on one of my blog repairs if folk are interested. Must go check my data library cabinets to see if I have the service data.

Only 8-track I ever owned was in my Datsun 280ZX, that was almost 40 years ago now. ? 

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Topic starter Posted : 16/06/2020 10:34 pm
RichardFromMarple
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Thanks for uploading this brochure, I've not seen many if any 3820s since I've become interested in old TVs.  The 1525 chassis was probably the only large Thorn B&W chassis with six channel selectors, especially as many of their colour ones still had only four.

The later models using the 1600 chassis only had four channel buttons, but the market for large monochromes was contracting by the late 1970s.

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Posted : 16/06/2020 11:08 pm
crustytv
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My library even sometimes surprises me! All those years of hoarding collecting any data I could find, pays off. First I found an ERT sheet, I could have left it there as its fairly comprehensive. I then thought, "go on check in the manufacturers cabinet" there's reams of 70s audio in there, including the 3440. ? Now I have to wait ......

fer3440 1
fer3440 2
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Topic starter Posted : 16/06/2020 11:09 pm
Cathovisor
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You were clearly meant to have that, Chris - how fantastic! I look forward to reading about it in due course and checking on the 'Bay, that's the second one to have sold in the last month! Somewhere I have a few 8-track cartridges to hand as I have two recorders now: the CR81 and a very fancy GXR-82. There's a Slade cartridge that needs playing, you see...

I sent my sister a link to the new catalogue: she's very much into the domestic settings that these things were given.

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Posted : 16/06/2020 11:10 pm
crustytv
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Posted by: @cathovisor

There's a Slade cartridge that needs playing, you see...

Ooo "nah yer talkin!", I was a big fan back in the day. My "bruvver" (9 years older) got me into them and he took me to see Flame. Noddy's voice, like ripping flesh! But then moves you to tears on "How does it Feel". Almost bought the soundtrack cartridge this evening. 

p.s.
Slade-esq spellings deliberate in case anyone thinks I've lost it.

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Topic starter Posted : 16/06/2020 11:14 pm
Cathovisor
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@crustytv

Now, I don't know if you listen to Sounds Of The 70s on Radio 2 on a Sunday afternoon, but as this week sees the birthdays of two of the band members (Jim Lea - 71, Noddy Holder - 74) they played How Does It Feel - I seem to recall some modern artist saying it was one of the best songs ever written, with the film critic Mark Kermode calling Flame "the Citizen Kane of rock musicals".

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Posted : 16/06/2020 11:19 pm
RichardFromMarple
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I heard some 8-track cartridges can be temperamental these days due to some of the perishable components inside.

I'm not sure if the quad ones were sold over here, they have a niche because they were made to a standard format and had true quad rather than any matrixing.

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Posted : 17/06/2020 11:18 am
crustytv
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Posted by: @richardfrommarple

I heard some 8-track cartridges can be temperamental these days due to some of the perishable components inside

I believe the cartridges suffer from felt pad fatigue, these are still available and fairly simple to replace. I bought a batch in anticipation of this possibility. 

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Topic starter Posted : 17/06/2020 11:47 am
Cathovisor
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@crustytv

I read that too, and problems with the foil that triggers the track change as well.

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Posted : 17/06/2020 12:20 pm
RichardFromMarple
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@crustytv I heard it was the pads and rubber rollers inside which can deteriorate in time.

@Cathovisor Supposedly the foil strips can come unglued in time, I assume this was the problem you had.

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Posted : 17/06/2020 11:22 pm
hamid_1
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Thanks for posting the Ferguson brochure. I actually have the Ferguson 3440 8 track player / radio pictured in it, as well as the Ferguson 3821 (1500 chassis) black and white television.

I remember 8 tracks being around in the 1970s but never owned any or had any interest in them at the time. It wasn't until 1988 when a friend gave me a player and a couple of tapes for repair, then my interest was sparked. One of the tapes was "Motown Chartbusters III" 8X-STML 11121 - I really liked the music and quickly bought a copy for myself from a junk shop, and an "Amerex" stereo music centre with BSR turntable, 8 track player and AM/FM tuner to play it on. Back then, 8 tracks were unloved, found in the back of junk shops and car boot sales.

Fast forward to 1997-98 which was when I acquired the Ferguson 3440. 8 tracks had mostly disappeared by then. I scoured the car boot sales in vain. Asking sellers if they had any 8 track tapes or players usually resulted in a blank look, so I started carrying an 8 track cartridge and showing it to stallholders who looked like they were the right sort of age to have owned them in the past. This jogged memories and brought results. A couple of people said they had some at home, so I visited their homes after the boot sale. One person was local to me and had the Ferguson machine, the other had a Sharp RT-811E recordable deck which I also bought. This was long before ebay.co.uk became the easy way to buy such things.

See an archived page of some of my 8-track machines and tapes on the Wayback Machine .Copy and paste these links into the Wayback Machine box without the quotes//homepage.ntlworld.com/hamidk/8-tracks.htm" and "http://homepage.ntlworld.com/hamidk/8trakdex.htm"

The Ferguson 3440 served me as a mini entertainment centre at work for a few years. It attracted some attention from other workers who remembered the cartridge system and the music, as well as from those who had never seen one before.

If you've bought the one on ebay listed as dead, doesnt power up, I'm sure it will work without much effort. The dial lights are filament bulbs - they may have blown, making it look dead. I seem to recall that the radio dial only lights up when radio mode (AM or FM) is selected. The Ferguson 3440 was made in Japan like most 8 track players, so obviously not made by Thorn. I wonder if it was made by JVC, who would go on to make VHS machines for Ferguson.

Most likely you will need to repair the tape cartridges at some point. The weak points are the foam pressure pads behind the tape. Ampex cartridges - the commonest type in the UK - use foam pads. I use draught excluder and Scotch Magic sticky tape to make my own replacements. The RCA / Lear Jet cartridges have a copper spring with felt pads glued on, like cassette tapes. These rarely give trouble.

The other weak point is the foil splice that joins the two ends of tape together. This also triggers the automatic track change. The foil can come unstuck, causing the tape to 'break'. I have a roll of Scotch aluminized sensing foil which was purpose-made for sticking onto recording tapes. Unfortunately I've no idea where to get more of this special foil tape from. Back in 1990-1991 I met another 8-track enthusiast called Bob Tarzi in a secondhand shop in London (Music and Video Exchange in Notting Hill Gate). Bob supplied me with the Scotch aluminized foil tape, essential to repair broken or missing splices. He had some at home, not in the shop (he was actually just another customer). He moved house and I lost touch with my only source of this valuable commodity. To conserve my remaining stock as much as possible, I usually stick some ordinary splicing tape (cut to size from a video tape splicing kit) behind the foil splice on the 8-track tape. This reinforces the original foil splice, making a breakage less likely.

Quadraphonic 8 track tapes did exist in the UK. I have a few of those too, plus a Radiomobile quad car player and an American RCA home player. The latter is designed for 120v 60Hz and plays slightly too slow here on 50Hz AC. The quadaphonic tape cartridges have a slot moulded into them which switches the player to quad mode. Otherwise, they will fit into and play in ordinary 8 track players but you'll only hear 2 of the 4 channels. This usually means some instruments or vocals will be missing.

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Posted : 17/06/2020 11:31 pm
Nuvistor
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I only saw a few 8 track players, what struck me was the simplicity of the mechanics compared to Compact Cassette decks.

If I remember correctly the track change involved the head assembly moving up and down. The Clarke and Smith Talking Book tape player used by the RNIB used a similar head moving mechanism to change tracks, this was manual not electronic though. On theClarke and Smith machines there was a button to press, when the bell rang that was track 1, then count the presses to get to the wanted track, 1 to 6.

They use CD’s now or did last time I had involvement 10 years or so ago.

 

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Posted : 18/06/2020 9:31 am
Cathovisor
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Posted by: @hamid_1

The weak points are the foam pressure pads behind the tape. Ampex cartridges - the commonest type in the UK - use foam pads.

That has struck a degree of terror into my heart. Some time ago I embarked upon a massive transfer project from cassette tape to PC - some 250 cassettes, mostly of vintage Alan Dell shows which were recorded on a good quality machine and with a good FM tuner feeding it.

I soon learned which tapes stood the test of time; TDK came out top, BASF Chrome next. Near the bottom came Memorex, but far and away the worst was Ampex. I cannot get a single Ampex tape to play in any of the machines, and they're all top-quality 3-head twin-capstan machines that I'm using. I have wondered if something more agricultural is needed, but fundamentally I think I'm into tape baking and a shell swap with those.

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Posted : 18/06/2020 10:01 am
RichardFromMarple
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Thanks above for filling me in about the 8-track specs.

I remember reading that it was fairly easy to use an in car 8-track player connected to a stereo if you can source a 12v CB power supply.

I've heard some tapes from the mid 1970s had long term storage problems due to the ban on using whale oil in the coatings. Manufacturers took a time to find a suitable replacement, some better than others.

 

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Posted : 18/06/2020 11:38 am
hamid_1
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Posted by: @cathovisor
Posted by: @hamid_1

The weak points are the foam pressure pads behind the tape. Ampex cartridges - the commonest type in the UK - use foam pads.

That has struck a degree of terror into my heart. Some time ago I embarked upon a massive transfer project from cassette tape to PC - some 250 cassettes, mostly of vintage Alan Dell shows which were recorded on a good quality machine and with a good FM tuner feeding it.

I soon learned which tapes stood the test of time; TDK came out top, BASF Chrome next. Near the bottom came Memorex, but far and away the worst was Ampex. I cannot get a single Ampex tape to play in any of the machines, and they're all top-quality 3-head twin-capstan machines that I'm using. I have wondered if something more agricultural is needed, but fundamentally I think I'm into tape baking and a shell swap with those.

Surprisingly I haven't had problems with the actual tape becoming unplayable in an 8 track cartridge - and I must have over 200 of them. The main issues are the foam pressure pads decomposing, sometimes turning into a sticky tar-like substance, and the foil splice coming unstuck. Both of these things can be fixed. This has not affected every tape. Most are still playable without needing any repairs. The Motown Chartbusters 3 tape in my collection must be over 50 years old (the album was released in 1969) and it still plays. So I wouldn't panic.

I don't know how many of my 8-tracks were actually made by Ampex. Only a few are definitely branded Ampex but most of the other "Made in England" cartridges use the same shell design as the Ampex-branded ones. They may have been made under licence by other companies. I just referred to them as Ampex since they all seem to share the same common design: foam pressure pads and a shell that clips together with 5 plastic hooks on the bottom. The RCA and Lear Jet types are less common; they have a copper spring instead of a foam pressure pad and they are usually riveted together.

There's yet another type made in the USA by Columbia / CBS. Example from my collection here These were popular in the late 1970s and are held together by 3 clips on the top. The foam pads always seem to be good on these late-issued 8-tracks.

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Posted : 22/06/2020 1:00 am