Bad heads on RL02: Worth replacing

Chris Zach cz at
Mon Dec 16 21:57:29 CST 2019

Well, I did check the head pretty thoroughly before installing it: One 
problem was there were dirt particles that were not coming off so I used 
the tip of a tweezer to loosen them up. Note I do this to watch dial 
faces from the 1870's (oddly enough also porcelain) so I'm pretty 
careful and am not making major scratches into that ceramic head.

But I did a finger check, it's smooth.

I'm wondering if the problem is the leading edge of the head is angled 
down or something: From the debris on the leading edge it's looking like 
it is digging into the pack. Not sure if this can be adjusted, or even 
what adjusting the head would be like.

Interesting. I'll check the pack next weekend for damage before trying 
it in the good RL02 to see if it has any more errors on the disk.


On 12/16/2019 7:23 PM, dwight via cctalk wrote:
> The head likely has something on it that you missed. Use your finger to feel the head. Your finger is quite sensitive to tiny roughness. Of course, clean your finger oil off before putting it back in. Make sure that first landing area is smooth and flat. Almost all of the head needs to have the cushion of air. With things stationary, look at how the head comes down on the surface. The larger part needs to be parallel to the surface. Most heads have a slight curve on the leading edge to help trap the air.
> Dwight
> ________________________________
> From: cctalk <cctalk-bounces at> on behalf of Chris Zach via cctalk <cctalk at>
> Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 3:07 PM
> To: CCTalk mailing list <cctalk at>
> Subject: Bad heads on RL02: Worth replacing
> So one of my RL02 drives (bought on Ebay years ago) is eating RL02
> packs. Makes tings, then the disks have errors in my other RL02 drive.
> Took a bit to figure out which drive was eating what, but I'm 100%
> certain it's this newer drive.
> So pulled the heads. The top one had significant gunk on it, the bottom
> one a bit. Pics below.
> Top:
> Bottom:
> With alcohol and lintless swabs I managed to clean both of the heads up.
> Top:
> Bottom:
> Then put them back in the drive and mounted a scratch pack. With finger
> on the load/run I let the drive spin up and when I heard tinging I
> immediately spun down. Hopefully I didn't trash my scratch pack.
> Top head has gunk, bottom one had a few flecks, but looks pretty ok.
> Top:
> Bottom: (picture didn't upload)
> Obviously the head is crashing, any idea why and if it's worth replacing
> the head or should I put this drive out for parts? Yes I cleaned the
> RL02 pack before putting it in.
> Never dull.
> CZ

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