Electronics, Flea Markets, Tape Players

Century Sound AW-838 – Audio Tape Winder

An interesting audio tape winder caught my eye and I decided to buy it. It looked old and dirty, but was hoping I could still get it to work, despite heavy corrosion visible on the battery terminals.

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I was lucky that my first tape player was a double cassette type. It was easy to rewind one tape while listening to a different one. Used crayons but not that much. It would have felt really special to have one like this back on the days 🙂

The device is called “Century sound AW-838 Rembobineur de poche pour cassettes audio”:

During my research, I also found this was sold as “Audio Pocket Winder Kontakt AW-838”.


The device did not work, which I tracked down to heavily corroded battery terminals.

Battery terminals were really corroded and rusty. I used vinegar to remove the battery corrosion and washed the terminals down with IPA.

The leaf terminals close to the motor compartment can be lifted by opening the motor compartment. But I was not able to dislodge the terminals at the bottom. I could try to force but was afraid of breaking the thin retaining plastic. As the corrosion deposit was not electrically conductive, I just scraped the bump until I reached shiny metal. Followed by applying a thin layer of sewing machine oil to try to slow down corrosion in the future.

Interesting to note that the screws of the motor terminal had a bit of glue attached at the bottom, to prevent them from unscrewing due to vibrations. Nice touch. As I won’t use this, I did not reapply glue when putting them back, in the hope to preserve the plastic posts longer.

The black spots (paint?) on the exterior of the battery lid were stubborn to soapy water, but came out very quickly with IPA.


The mechanism is very simple but it was noisy. I realized there was no sign of lubrication so I added a bit of silicone grease to the plastic mechanism, and a dab of oil onto the motor shaft.

It works!

The small red thing acts like a switch – turning on the motor as the tape is pressed against it. Below, I am holding the tape at an awkward angle to see the mechanism in action:

Century Audio AW-838 – In action

Few more shots with it cleaned up:

A refreshing repair 🙂 easy and rewarding.

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