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I am the owner of an Epson HX-20 laptop computer. It runs well except for the builtin cassette drive which doesn't seem to work reliably. After carefully disassembling it I found that the belt seems to be quite loose, possibly because of the age.

What is a good replacement for the defective drive belt? How can I find out the dimensions of the belt so I can find a replacement? The maintenance manual is silent on the dimensions of the belt and I don't think that the original still has the same length it had when it came out of the factory.

  • Do you know if the tape was produced by Epson? Probably it uses some other brand. Maybe inspecting the components could give you an idea. – Paulo Garcia Apr 19 '16 at 20:46
  • @PauloGarcia That's a good idea. Let me have a look. It's a micro-cassette drive if that helps. – fuz Apr 19 '16 at 20:48
  • Also check old dead floppy disk drives for belts. You might get lucky and find one that is the right size. – user12 Apr 19 '16 at 20:54
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In my experience, just about any rubber band can be used, in a pinch, to replace a belt as long as you make it snug, but not too snug. I'm talking about those centimeter or more wide rubber bands they use on newspapers and the like. I repaired a VCR using the rubber band around a stalk of celery. Again, these are for "in a pinch," and you might be able to find a brand new belt online. Lots of online electronics stores sell belts.

As for finding it's size, use a piece of string, or a length of dental floss (non-waxed, if you have it), and wrap it along the belt's guidepath. That will give you the linear length of the belt. If the beltwheels contain flanges, you can use those to gauge the thickness of the belt. If the wheels have rounded impressions around their diameter, make sure to get a rounded belt!

Of course, it would be best if you can get an equivalent belt from a "for parts" drive. However, realize that those parts are ALSO as old as the original equipment, and are just as likely to fail as the original part.

  • If they're the thick rubber bands, they're probably okay. Any of those smaller ones will probably break fast. One thing I would suggest if you need smaller ones is some hair ties for a young girl (for ponytails/pigtails). These are small diameter (on the order of a couple of millimeters) and rather robust. – user6464 Oct 7 '18 at 11:57

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