ELBOW: The new Walkman Cassette player?

24th March 2017

It’s a concept piece and so you can’t buy it just yet but I couldn’t resist including it. This is a new mobile cassette player that features modern technology and a compact form

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A typical cassette player uses a capstan and a pinch roller to drag the tape along a magnetic head at a constant speed. Additionally, separate pulleys rotate the take-up and supply reels to manage the tape. As tape relocates from one reel to another mechanic clutches, belts and springs adjust the speed to both pulleys. Alternatively, capstan and reel pulleys can have separate motors. All of this results in quite a complex device and takes up a lot of space.

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In ELBOW, a single pulley is used to drive the tape. To maintain constant playback rate, tape speed must be tracked by optical sensor and used as a control parameter for motor adjustment.

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ELBOW’s most prominent feature is the biaxial arm. It rotates in two directions – upward motion enables the insertion of cassettes, while sideways motion allows manual switching of the playing direction. In a way, the biaxial ar mimics a tonearm of a vinyl record player.

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The control wheel has a triple function. On the initial position, the device is off. Turning the wheel left plays the cassette and increases the volume. Turning in the opposite direction fast forwards the cassette, with a gradual increase (the more you turn, the faster the motor goes).

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The device has two connections: a standard 3.5mm audio plug and a standard mini-USB port for charging and transferring audio fro the cassette to a computer.

A small pin pushes into the back lid, enabling attachment to clothes an other textile objects.

To learn more, click elbow.co.nf