Sharp CE-152 Tape Recorder

Cassette Recorder

The CE-152 was a mono cassette recorder manufactured by the Sharp Corporation of Japan (Osaka) in early 80s. It was an extremely streamlined mono tape recorder, which was 3 cm in thickness and came in an organiser style protective case.

The purpose of this cassette recorder was to store data programs, when used in conjunction with the Sharp programmable range of calculators. It was therefore an exceptionally portable unit measuring only 115 mm × 31 mm × 187 mm, and weighing 624 g.

This tape recorder had a full set of tape control functions, including fast forward, rewind, cue, review, pause, stop, and eject, and a three-digit counter provided the tape position information.

It was equipped with a 50 mm diameter permanent magnet loudspeaker, which had an 8 Ω impedance, and provided an output of 0.5 watts.

The circuit design consisted of µPC1305C integrated circuit manufactured by the NEC Corporation. This was a single chip tape recorder solution, which reduced the component count considerably, and provided a very high quality audio reproduction.

This unit does not have a built-in mains transformer, however, there is a DC socket for powering the unit with an external 6 V supply. The battery compartment of the unit houses four AA sized dry cells.


Application

Sharp CE-152

This tape recorder was for recording digital data on a cassette; however, it is also a very useful general-purpose audiocassette recorder.

The rotary tone and volume controls were extremely useful to increase compatibility as a data recorder with other computers of that era. If you have a ZX81, BBC Master, Commodore, or any of the 80s home computers, then this unit should work well with it. I used it for recording data from a ZX81 and it appears to work well.

Cost / Price

The unit saw moderate production runs, as its application was for use with the Sharp range of programmable calculators. These usually appear on eBay a few times a year. A working one in good condition would be worth around ten British pounds or possibly more depending upon condition.

Common Issues

The 6 V DC brush motor usually wore out. The symptoms are uneven speed of the capstan drive.

You might also find a few with a burnt circuit because the centre pin for the external power supply is negative and many of the so-called “engineers” do not bother checking first before connecting the power.

History

Side View

I bought this on eBay for £4.50, and it was in a right state with labels stuck all over it, battery terminals rusted, and motor worn out. It was also completely dead showing no signs of life. You can see how it looked in the “original condition” section.

I like repairing and renovating vintage electronics products and researching how something was made. I remembered seeing this in magazine adverts back in the 1980s so I was curious to have a look inside.


Specifications

Sockets
  • Mono channel
  • Automatic erase bias
  • 6 V DC Motor
  • Earphone jack socket
  • Remote control socket
  • Input microphone

This Article Continues...

Sharp CE-152 Tape Recorder
Sharp CE-152 inside Look
Sharp CE-152 Tape Transport
uPC1350C Audio Amplifier IC
Sharp CE-152 PCB
Sharp CE-152 Chassis
Sharp CE-152 Motor Drive
Sharp CE-152 Circuit Diagram
Sharp CE-152 – Original Condition
How to Clean Battery Terminals
Servicing the Sharp CE-152
Cleaning the Drive Belts
Data Cassette Mod for ZX81
6 V Power Supply – Sharp CE-152
It is Nice Again – Sharp CE-152