Sony M-430 Microcassette-Corder Troubleshooting
Sony Microcassette-Corder won't turn on
You can't get your Sony Microcassette-Corder to turn on.
Pause slider engaged
If the Pause slider is engaged, meaning pushed downward in the direction of the arrow next to it, the recorder prevents the tape from being played or recorded to. Make sure that slider is slid all the way towards the top of the device. If the device still won't turn on with the slider disengaged, proceed to the next step: checking the batteries
If the recorder wont turn on, the batteries may be completely out of charge. Try replacing the used AA batteries with fresh ones.
Corroded battery terminals
If you've replaced the batteries and the recorder still won't turn on, check to make sure the battery terminals (the small springs and metal pieces) don't look corroded. Even a small amount of corrosion may not let the charge from the batteries flow. You can remove corrosion from battery terminals with a small amount of water mixed with baking soda.
When new batteries do not revive your microcassette-corder, the problem may be more serious. The issue could be a bad motherboard or broken connections on the motherboard. Remove the back cover and inspect all solder points where main components connect to the board - especially the battery connections. If all soldered connections are intact try replacing the motherboard to bring your device back to life.
Device won't record any sound
The Sony Microcassette-Corder will not record any sound to the tape.
Incorrect cassette position
Before doing anything, make sure a tape cassette is correctly inserted into the compartment. Hold the cassette so that the exposed tape faces you. Insert the cassette into the lid with the exposed tape still facing you. The cassette lid should close completely.
Insufficient space left on tape
Look at the cassette and verify that a sufficient amount of tape remains to record on. If space remains on that side of the tape, either side A or side B, the spool on the left hand side of the tape should have more tape wound around it. Thus, if more tape is located on the right-hand spool not much room is left to record on. Simply flip the cassette over and insert into the cassette lid. You should be ready for plentiful recording!
Missing cassette tabs
Small rectangular tabs are located at the top of the cassette on the sides. Breaking off these tabs prevents the tape from accidentally being recorded to.
Make sure that the tabs are still there. If they have been broken off, simply place a small piece of Scotch tape over the holes. The cassette should be ready to be recorded on.
Checking the batteries never hurts. Make sure that the batteries are fully charged batteries by replacing them. If this doesn't fix your microcassette-corder, keep reading, there are more possible solutions!
Contaminated recording head
If the microcassette-corder performs all functions except recording and playback, the small metallic head that is responsible for recording sound to the tape may be contaminated. Follow the instructions from the maintenance section of Sony's manual to clean the head.
If you have tried everything above, the problem may be a broken microphone. If you can play and hear previous recordings but not a new recording, the microphone might very well be your problem. Remove the back cover and inspect the solder points where the microphone connects to the motherboard. While the cover is off, look over all other connections to make sure that the problem is not elsewhere. If all soldered connections are intact try replacing the microphone to restore recording capabilties.
No sound coming from speakers
You can not hear any sound coming from the Sony Microcassette-Corder.
Incorrect microcassette-corder settings
If no sound can be heard from your microcassette-corder, make sure all settings are correct. First, make sure that the volume is turned up completely. Next, ensure that the tape spins when played and that you have not played all of the tape on the current side. If some sound can be heard through the speaker but it is very faint, proceed to checking the batteries.
When you have checked all of the settings on the recorder and only faint sound or no sound at all can be heard, the batteries may be at fault. Make sure the batteries are inserted correctly, according to the diagram in the bottom of the compartment, and are fully charged. Replace them if needed.
If you have tried everything above with no luck, it might be time to break open your microcassette-corder and verify that all electronic components are functioning. Remove the back cover and inspect all solder points where main components connect to the board - especially the speaker. If all connections are intact, you can try replacing the speaker.
Recording sounds distorted in playback mode
The tape sounds distorted and does not play at a normal speed when in playback mode.
Incorrect TAPE SPEED switch setting
In order for a recording to be played back correctly, the TAPE SPEED switch must be set to the same speed used during recording. If the recording does not sound right, and you don't know what speed was used during recording, try both speed settings to see which one matches the original speed and makes the recording sound correct.
Malfunctioning mechanism deck
If neither tape speed settings work properly, the mechanism that controls the movement of the tape may be faulty. In order to fix this problem, you can try replacing the mechanism deck.