DCC130: Caps, belt, battery, and charger

So, I happened to find a DCC player for sale here in Norway, which is pretty uncommon. It’s a Philips DCC130 and it just arrived in the mail.

First of all, based on DRDCC’s videos, I understand I should replace the SMD caps on this model, so I’ll be looking into that. I’ll probably replace the belt too since I have to open it anyway, if I can find the right belt.

The player did not come with the charger. It does have the original Ni-Cd battery pack, which is of course dead. There is some very slight battery leakage or corrosion on the plus pole of the battery, but fortunately it has not messed up the battery compartment.

The player requires a 5.5 V power source, which I do not have. I used a universal power adapter set to 6 V to test. 5 V did not work. I only tested very briefly (a few seconds with an analogue tape and a few seconds with a digital one) for fear of stressing the electronics too much with the higher voltage. The tapes played fine.

My first question is – does it matter if I use a 6 V power adapter? Does the player have sufficient regulation so it will tolerate this? If not, I will source a 5.5 V 2 A power adapter from somewhere, and solder on the right plug if necessary. I see there are some on eBay.

For the battery pack I have not decided yet. Is there an easy way to replace the Cadmium cells with modern Ni-MH AA cells? Or perhaps the way to go is the 3D-printed battery case for 18650 lithium cells.


As a Patron of the DCC Museum, you can order an 18650-based replacement:

@Jac Do you know what input voltage the regulators can take? I don’t think any part will die of 0.5V, but I could be wrong.


If you need 5.5V and you have 6V you can always use a diode like the 1N4001 to lower the voltage by 0.6V.


Better hurry: on thursday, DCC museum will have sales, everything half price!

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I think you misunderstood, the 50% discount only applies to all of our :minidisc:.

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Oh I understand, you mean the DCC music store, on which you can buy and download PASC-encoded music. :musical_note:

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OK, so I have made some progress with my DCC130, and now it feels like I’m pretty close!

Turns out the charger was not an issue after all. It worked fine with 5 volts once I tested again later. I might have done something wrong on the first test, or perhaps I misunderstood how the player worked.

I proceeded to replace all the electrolytic capacitors, and the belt. The headphone volume was uneven on the left vs right side before replacing the caps, after the replacement it sounds good.

Two or maybe three of the caps had leaked very slightly, but only within a couple millimeters around the components, so I don’t think any collateral damage.

The last remaining issue is now: It plays great on side B, but on side A I get dropouts. More on some tapes than others. One tape is unplayable on side A, no sound at all. Another has only very occasional dropouts, and yet another has more consistent dropouts every few seconds. All tapes I have tried seem to play well on side B. Both sides work well on my other DCC player.

I tried an analog tape, and I kinda think the speed is uneven on side A, but not on B? Hard to tell for sure. I don’t have any tapes with test tones nor any wow & flutter meter.

What’s the likely cause of this? Bad pinch roller on one side? Is one half of the head gone bad? Bad capstan motor? Lack of lubrication on some moving parts?

I do have an analog cassette player that can record, so I’ll try to record a test tone off my computer and see if that makes it easier to tell if there really is any speed variation. But it will still be just a subjective listening test since I can’t measure it.

I might also try to swap the original motor belt back in, in case I got a bad one.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated!

I would start with the pinch rollers, you should replace them anyway to avoid them eating your tape.


Do we have any documentation on how to replace these pinch rollers? They seem hard to get at, sitting all the way back there near the hinge of the lid.

I checked the DCC Museum video “Replacing the Pinch Rollers on every Digital Compact Cassette Player”, but it does not cover the portable models.

They’re an unusual size too, as pinch rollers go. Are replacements even available?

Not sure, but @drdcc will surely reply soon.

We have not made a video about this topic.
You would have to remove the lid to gain access I believe.
The metal pin in the middle of the pinch rollers can be removed and it will come out.

I believe there is some discussion going on about replacement pinch rollers, but we do not have any new ones yet. Just used. Hope that this will change soon, but still unclear at this moment.


Oh ok, then it would advise to clean them with isopropanol alcohol on a cotton swab.

If the unit plays at least one cassette on side A without dropouts, it should be mechanical problem like pinch roller or head misalignment. The tape head is fixed for both sides A and B but I had one DCC170 unit that has misaligned head that resulted in no sound on side A. After I adjusted the alignment screw it plays both sides perfectly.


Just FYI, the 6V from the adapter, rather than the 5.5V from the original charger, shouldn’t really be an issue, at least not from my reading of the DCC130’s schematic. The zener diode at D10 should clamp the incoming voltage on the DC power jack to 5.3V anyway, and there’s a DC-to-DC converter and switching regulator circuit after that which generates the rest of the voltages to run the system. So it ought to be able to cope with a mere half of a volt difference. :slight_smile: (Trying to substitute a 9V or 12V adapter, on the other hand, would not be a good idea.)


I tried swapping the two pinch rollers, and there is no change; it’s still side A having problems and side B working fine. So I guess the pinch rollers is not the problem.

@Easy-Rider interesting idea about head alignment.

I checked the service manual and it looks like adjusting the head requires a special tool, a “head adjusting jig” and a “check bar”. Did you have access to this tool, or did you do it just by trial and error? Is that advisible, or do I risk just making it worse?