Philips crazy Ski Slope Cassette Deck

Publicerades den 1 maj 2021
As unusual cassette decks go - the 1970s Philips changers are some of the oddest.
00:00 Intro
04:18 The ‘Repair’
26:05 First Demo
30:13 Prices & History
32:38 More Demo
36:39 Wrap Up
38:22 Credits
Additional Links
Akai Auto-reverse video
Bi-colour Tapes from
It’s very likely one reason the tapes didn’t always locate perfectly in the mechanism is because I was using short custom-wound tapes. As these have less tape inside...they will also have less weight than the average C90. When I ordered them I had no idea the tolerances in the machine would be so fine with regard to tape weight. My intention was to use the short lengths to demonstrate the continuous tape recycling feature activated by the tape end sensor...without having to wait for a full length tape to reach the end. In addition most new cassette shells are a bit rougher and more angular than ones from back in the 1970s - they'd be more smoothed off with rounder edges, and as a result they'd be far less likely to get caught up against the sides of the cassette well.

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Q) Why are there comments from a week ago when this video has just gone live today?
A) Patrons usually have early access to videos. I'll show the first version of a video on Patreon and often the feedback I get results in a video going through further revisions to improve it. e.g. Fix audio issues, clarify points, add extra footage or cut extraneous things out. The video that goes live on youtube is the final version.


  • I don't know if you've ever worked with it, but you may try polyurethane round belting. you buy it by the roll and just cut off the length you need, heat the ends to melt them and stick them together. I see they make a 2mm size, maybe smaller.

  • Well done, not everyone has the ability and patience to get a peice of mechanical equipment up and running again. I have never seen a tape deck like this before and enjoyed not only seeing it work but also watching you fixing it as well.

  • Wasn't this machine meant for all the stores that wanted to keep playing music endlessly? I think I remember that the ELA colleagues had various strange devices on offer with which continuous sound could be achieved .....

  • Very interesting. It is hard to imagine the assembly line, or assembly system used to construct that all. The exterior and facia, looks relatively ‘cheap’ or simple, by today’s standards, but the inside is to me - astounding. Cassettes gave me many years of discovery and pleasure: so I really enjoyed this whole production.

  • Brilliant design at that time using the law of gravity 😀👍

  • What a contraption it was :) I have never came across anything like it. The first auto-reverse I had was Sony with dual motors playing forth and back without moving cassette, just by changes of direction it played.

  • Fascinating stuff. Where do you find the old magazine/newspaper ads? I've not had much luck on Internet searches.

  • Neat considering I have a 90's walkman that can just switch sides of one tape with out taking it out.

  • Worth it.

  • I miss your cartoon skits.

  • Seeing that advert from Cave's took me right back to when I actually bought my Revox A77 from Fred Cave himself for £285.00 in the early 70s. The shop was on the road going onto Richmond Bridge and the general store, run by his sister, was round the corner on the high street. My other half worked part time for her. Fun times! I later enjoyed my cassette tapes on a Nakamichi player.

  • Very cool seeing this old machine in action! Thanks for the video!

  • The beginning of this video with the mechanical tape flipper is wicked - were there units that just used a double head (or move one up and down) and reversed the tape - it would seem a simpler solution.

  • hmm reminds me of somthing later in tech..early alpine cd for car took four cds..but when it changed would eject with holder and change to next one then reload itself...found this out while driveing...stick shift shifter was three inches away from unit

  • Lol, Humperdink, what a name aha.

  • it's utterly brilliant and bonkers 1970's 👍🏻

  • I was speculating on price as the video played.. and I was guessing 2 grand (US).. and low and behold.. 1800 (US).. Just WOW.. It's a rather complicated Goldberg Machine, so I imagine the manufacture of this little gem was a nightmare. Thank you for sharing, it's a really neat device.

  • Reminds me of my older brother who, back in the day, spent many hours dismembering such devices to see how they worked!

  • Ah yes, another Dutch invention nobody needed, but still used XD (yes, the music cassette, just like the CD and DVD are Dutch inventions - they were actually created in my birth place, Zwolle.. You're welcome) I love seeing this incredibly complicated machine. Don't forget this was 50 years ago, they did something pretty complicated with limited resources!

  • I have that Sony PS-F9 u got there but I the gears broken 😭

  • LMFAO! *I forgot all about putting tape on the cassette notch to record over it!* HAHAHA! AWESOME>

  • So a different version of "8-track"?!?

  • Wow! So amazingly complex compared to us now in the digital age where the complexity consists of, well there's a one and there's a zero 😊

  • Seems to be good for recording longer stuff.

  • What an expensive toy you got there

  • There must be an ancient remote control out there, where an arm comes out to push the button on the TV itself.

  • SEnewss recommended this video. I watched the entire thing. Good stuff sir.

  • Hello Techmoan. Nice Video. I love it. Which Camera did you use?

  • Thanks for sharing that Tape deck knowledge. I've never seen or heard of that model and I have worked in electronics for almost 20 years. The last tape deck i bought was a Sansui dual tape, with auto side play and a programmable com panel where you could pick any song on any tape that cues up to be played and it worked great. unfortunately CD's came out the very next year which relegated the tape player to the back shelf.

  • I'm dating myself here, but I owned one of these whilst in college. I actually worked well.

  • "what do you do for living?" "I'm a musician" "Oh really? What instrument do you play?" "I play the Philips"

  • This is so wonderfully Heath-Robinson. Love it!

  • For such a simple idea that sure is a complicated mechanism on the inside. Just shows how hard it was to automate some things purely with analog technology.

  • In Germany the Phillips Screws are called "Kreuzschlitzschraube". Maybe they didn't use it because nobody in Germany and Austria knows the word Phillips Screw

  • No Idea how I got here, but what a funky machine.

  • Here's a trick I used to do in the 80s when working for a repair shop. If you can't hook the belt over, then cut it and thread it through. Join the ends together with a tiny drop of superglue. Carefully join the ends absolutely square with each other, and it has no effect on the operation, and the join will likely last longer than the rest of the belt.

  • So much engineering went into this :D and all they had to do instead was using Spotify

  • No wonder they were expensive back then, could not be any more complicated. Was really painful to watch.

  • Interesting how technology has moved on. Some may look back at this with nostalgia but damn! Are you not glad we moved past these mechanical monstrosities? :)

  • My god you chose some hideous music to represent the artists on those tapes...aside from a couple Neil Diamond tunes, those dudes put out horrific noise....

  • I almost bought one of these from a fellow squaddie in BAOR 1970/2ish. I decided against it because I didn't want to wait for 5 sides of some other artiste's music to play before I could hear the B side of my first cassette. Noisy clatter at changeover wasn't reassuring.

  • Literally a second before you showed the answer (white sticky 'gum') I wondered, "How is he going to remove that bracket without it flying off and into the infinite insides of this thing? Well done!

  • do something....

  • couldn't they just invent some sort of rotating tape head or whatever you call it (the bit that reads the tapes)?

  • I'm just so glad we're over this BS...

  • . . Over here in the Colonies it was sold under the Ampex nameplate . .

  • Both sides of neil can be heard if you have 2 head cleaners lol

  • How many gigs of music does it hold?

  • this is awesome I would have loved this as a kid back in the day. constant jams with an awesome trick. I love it

  • Fantastic piece of modern history. Thumbs up for the repair job.

  • Fascinating! Never knew they existed! Back in the mid and late 70's I used to take automotive cassette and 8 track players that had one channel of the amp burnt out, nad I would solder a wire across the head to get both channels though the one side. Add one of the ol' Spark-O-Matic "Power Booster" amplifiers, bridge the inputs and crank it up! Ah, the days of wild and mis-spent youth!

  • Funny, I stumbled on to this video and to be honest had no interest in this type of video but it became addictive. I couldn’t help but to keep watching to see if you could get it going. For something being so simplistic in appearance it was certainly not simplistic in internal design. Thanks for the great job on this video. It is truly amazing how far we have come since this player was introduced. Interesting to look back on the technology of my childhood. Great video, Thanks.

  • hahaha, thanks for the laugh tonight, hahahaha, stop, stop, hahaha.................

  • might be your greatest video (and that's saying a lot)

  • Made back the year I breathed, yet grew up reel to reel in a real world lol.

  • But on this, this is a typical bit of dutch design, totally bonkers but it kind of is a bit genius too...But they always take the windmill mechanical long way round do phillips...The logical place to start with auto revense is changing the polarity on the motor not this heath robinson weirdness...that said I want one now as its so seventies all it needs around it is pineapple and cheese on a stick shaped like a hedgehog and some car keys in a bowl.and a lot of slutty swinger

  • You need to get down to the BBC and audition as the new john've got a radio voice...So just say on your next video and now heres teenage kicks by The Undertones for me...will ya...

  • What was the target audience for this? Number stations?

  • Philips and Phillips? I never knew they were 2 different companies. Being used to special "Nintendo" and "Sony" screwdrivers for proprietary screws, and then having Phillips screwdrivers, I always assumed that it was a standard from Japanese electronics. Mind blown!

  • What Cassette is being used at 33:30... I've never seen one that looks like a min- Reel to Reel.. that is kool.. ( as far as cassettes go).. I was in the Hi-Fi industry in the 70-80's.. never seen one of these work.. thanks for the video.

  • This is a perfect example of overengineering.

  • Nice analog YT playlist.

  • Wow! What were they thinking?

  • First 26 minutes can be skipped.

  • Man, there's just something very nostalgic and charming to see cassettes spinning in the cassette tray.

  • How far does one think one could throw that old nightmare?

  • I know nothing about electronic anything, but These videos are so entertaining! just wanted to let you know others love this channel, too!

  • Wow, did I actually invest 30-minutes of my life watching a guy fix an old cassette recorder with an odd "ski slope" flipper? Damn right I did! I need a life! 🙄

  • I'd love to see the assembly process of that old intricate equipment.

  • can you imagine how many hours of research and creation went into that cassette player? amazing people

  • Wow what a cool hobby you have. It amazes me the complexity of these old devices, and how easily it would for something to stop working.

  • Love this guy for breaking the video up

  • TIP: Try to buy some dentist probes and hooks. They really are great for doing this kind of mechanical micro movements. They look simple but their design is really clever, something you only realize when you actually use them. What's more, they are made from some hardened steel, yet remain flexible within reasonable limits. At least, I've never broken one, not even when you pull or push hard.

  • scheiß die Wand an... sind dass viele Kabel :D

  • you just HAVE to love analog engineering of those times... modern digitalism is so cold.

  • What an intriguing machine. It’s been a long time since you could find that sort of complexity... hand-assembled at that... in a consumer device. Nowadays everything is solid-state and highly modular, so they can simply be popped together by assemblers and sent on down the line. Amazing.

  • This was designed with smokers in mind

  • Interesting device. Never knew that existed!

  • I just love how the mechanics of a 50 year old cassette desk still get people stumb.. I was lucky enough I got one on my bedroom when my parents got a Technics double cassette player. Two years later we were actually one of the first people that got a CD player. Great, but CD's were very rare in those days. About 18 months later it was more common and to get people to buy cd's instead of tapes, you got bonus tracks on the CD..

  • I really enjoyed watching this. I have fiddled around with cd/dvd (replacing lasers) and minidisc players (elastic bands). The process is very absorbing, but failure is frustrating. Kudos for persevering as that old mechanism is quite something.

  • Can it record continously with the ski slope installed?

  • I've got a vague memory of an early VCR having an autochanger similar to this.

  • Can remember seeing this on a ship that I was on back in the early 70s, I had the next model, had a much better sound

  • Why do cassette's need turning over? The exposed tape, is just upside down, the reverse of the tape is never exposed?

  • Imagine a world where this had been popular and then add in audiobooks, theyd be 1, 2, 3, ... 6, and then side B. As i remembered you fliped before the next tape, thatd be like listening to a audiobook on CD with mix turned on (and that idea i kinda stole from a comedians joke who said exakt that, but more that he accedentally did it so it was cunfusing, "Ahh, wait dident you die?")

  • *Trying to code* *Sees a crazy Ski Slope Cassette Deck* Right what's all this than

  • Really interesting, thank you. Terrific ingenuity, always impressed by such things.

  • James may soundalike

  • I can just see the look of dispare on the face of the local repair shop owner, when someone brought one of those things in for a service!

  • Amazing. Your patience and the creativity of the designers. Also the evolution til now with the worlds music everywhere in mobile phones.

  • It’s like a Goldberg loony tunes mechanism 😂

  • It's ridiculous. I love it.

  • So fun to watch. If I was on a mission to mars,I’d want you along for the very least,we could pass the time being nostalgic.

  • Awesome of you to preserve this weird mechanism’s function eternally on the internet

  • Using white tack on that clip was a stroke of brilliance. Clips are born to eject into limbo.

  • dam, i really just watched all 40 mins.

  • So much over kill in that thing. It literally doesn't need that many gears and or wheels.

  • 1300$ equivalent. ohh my!