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Louie, Technician
Category: Recorders and Players
Satisfied Customers: 12306
Experience:  25+ yrs. experience in the field and 5+ yrs. online, down to component level.
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I have an old Panasonic Microcassette Recorder RN-109. The

Customer Question

I have an old Panasonic Microcassette Recorder RN-109. The only reason I care about making it work is that I have a cassette with my grandparents' voices on it from 1991. Appears to be working, but can't get any sound. Any thoughts? And if no ideas on how to fix it, how else might I recover the voices on this old cassette? Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Recorders and Players
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

Hi Susan and welcome to JustAnswer,

Thank you for the question and your patience. Should you still need assistance for information purposes only...

Initially, will it work using a MONO earphone plugged into the MONIT (8Ω) jack?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have a mono earphone to try. The only headphones I have are earbuds, and the jack(?) is too large for the recorder.
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

To my recollection, this particular model has a built-in cut-off switch in the MONIT (8Ω) jack. Plugging in a fitting MONO earphone would then serve as both an attempt of a fix and as a test by process of elimination.

Would you be comfortable trying 'something' that would fit; say cotton bud ? The idea is to 'jar' the cut-off switch into action. This is the only easy user doable attempt as all others would be internal; a hardware issue.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you explain what you mean by a cotton bud?
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

Cotton buds or cotton swabs; Please click HERE.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I cut off the cotton end of a Q-tip, which fits perfectly into the jack. I gently pressed it down and felt something "give." No sound, though.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I wonder if Best Buy would have some type of adaptor that would allow me to use my current ear buds? Would the monaural earbud be about 1/8"? Do you think if I could find either the earbud or adapter I might hear the sound, indicating it's a speaker issue?
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

To my recollection, yes; something like 3.5mm. But that would only be a test / try fix.

If not corrective, then an alternate approach to/for a player might be more to your advantage than internal repairs.

And a means of converting the contents of the microcassette to a digital / MP3 format that can be saved/played in a phone and computer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Found an old mini jack/headset in a drawer. No luck. I'm bummed. How in the world will I ever listen to this? The recorder has been in a box for 20+ years. Worked when I last used it, but I guess it just got old and quit.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Maybe I can find an old recorder on ebay, cheap.
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

Susan, any microcassette player would work with the tape inside this Panasonic. There are online offers for 'used' (but functional) comparable if not similar purpose player/recorder.

Please click HERE and HERE.

With the earphone jack working, then it could be used to connect to the LINE IN jack (blue) of a computer and record in real time the contents. This recording then can be saved as a .wav file or (converted) into an .MP3 file.

The end result would be a one (1) time use microcassette player, a 3.5-to-3.5 cable and a perpetual electronic copy of the tape's contents.