How to measure worn or lost belts for replacement.
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How to determine size of a lost turn table belt
How to measure the size of a turn table belt
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Need to determine dimensions of a worn or lost belt?
Belts break, stretch and wear over time. Belts are hard to find these days, but I am proud to be able to offer a wide range of belts covering at least 90% of all flat turn table belts.
To determine the original dimensions for the belt you need, measure below explained factors of your exisitng belt (or turn table!) and compensate for wear. All details explained!
3 items of measurement data is needed to purchase a new belt:
1: Belt length in inches (- total lenght of the belt, which is the length of space it takes when the belt loop would be extended to a straight line)
2: Width of the belt - in inches (millimeters - please convert to inches)
3: Thickness of the belt - in inches (millimeters please convert to inches).
The measuring process to determine original belt dimensions:
1. To measure a belt length, determine first whether the belt is worn, broken or stretched. Follow corresponding instructions to measure the length. If your belt has been lost, precede to measuring a lost belt.
2. Once the physical length of your belt has been determined, calculate the belt's original length from your measured length, to compensate for wear.
3. Mesure width and thicknes.
4. Order the new belt to original specifications.
HOW TO measure and determine the length of belts:
For worn belts: If the belt is still intact and your turn table still working to some extent: Take belt off - have it available. Check if the rubber material has softened. If the case: the belt does not return to it's orgiginal length, when stretched. If having a deteriated belt: preced to the instructions on how to measure a lost belt. Otherwise: Pull belt to straight line (as illustrated in above image) without putting pressure onto the belt, as not to stretch it. Measure the inner length in inches and double the measured value to get the total lenght of the belt. Precede to size calculation as below.
For broken belts: Check for missing pieces by trying to install it. If the reminders are much shorter than what would fit, pieces are missing. If missing pieces, see below instructions for measuring missing belts. If the belt appears long enough to fit: Check if the rubber material for deteriation. If the rubber material has softened and the belt stretches when pulled, precede to the instructions for lost or broken belts. If the belt has been determined to be sinply broken: Simply measure the total lenght of it and precede to instructions on how to calculate the belts original lenght
For stretched belts: If the belt has fallen off and does not fit because it is too large, then the rubber material of the belt most likely has deteriated. Check if rubber softened, or if the belt stretches when pulled and does not return to it's original length. If so, please precede to the instructions below for lost or broken belts.
HOW TO measure belt LENGTH of turn table belts that have been lost, or can't be emasured: Wrap a piece of 20 to 24 ga hookup wire (to give most accurate readings as thin as possible) tightly around both the platter drive surface, and the motor pulley. Make a half-twist to mark the length, or twist wires together to a circle. Take it off to measure length with a ruler. You have just measured the total length of your belt. Precede to the instructions below on how to calculate the belts original length
HOW TO measure WIDTH of belts that have been lost or broken: Find the pulley of your turn table motor. Measure which width would comfortably work with the pulley. On turn tables that hve been used for a long time wear marks may reveal the width. On pulleys that have guides on their tops and bottoms: the belt needs to be smaller than the distance between the top and bottom guides to allow for up/down travel. The guides are only needed when speeds are changed to prevent the belt from slipping off. During normal operation these are not needed, as the pulley's rounded drive surface centers and holds the belt at center when in motion.
About THICKNESS of turn table belts that have been lost: Most belts are 0.020" thick. The heavier the platter, the thicker the belt needs to be. The thicker the belt the more careful length has to match, as a lenght to tight otherwise will overload the motor. If a motor is overloaded it results in slowing of the unit below normal speed and motor damage will result if continued to be used over time.
IMPORTANT Before ordering !!! Purchase a belt that is actually 3-5% shorter than the measured one. The measured length of your belt has to be compensated for wear and stretching, as the size of a new unstretched belt is desired and not the length of a worn one. Belts usually stretch between 3% and 5 %. Please be aware, that if the rubber material has started to deteriate or begun to soften, the belt will stretch considerably more than a worn out belt. These belts usually stretch when pulled - not retutrning to their original size when released. If the case, do not measure the length of the belt, rather use instructions above on how to measure a lost belt.
I also urge to avaoid to usage of belts shorter than 5% of the measured length, as it will oveload the mechanism and likely will damage the motor!
HOW TO calculate the original belt size from the measured size to order the correct belt: 1) Take the measured lenght and multiplifiy it with 0.95 The resulting value is the shortest length your belt can be. If using a shorter belt there will be too much load on your drive motor and likely will wear it out. This should be especially avoided on turn tables with DC motors. 2) Take the measured lenght and multiplifiy it with 0.97 The resulting value is the ideal length your belt should be. This would be also the ideal value for measurements taken where a belt was lost. It is not unusual to have to compromise the length at times, as exact calculated belt size values are sometimes not available.
I urge to avaoid to usage of belts shorter than 5% of the measured lenth, as it will oveload the mechanism and likely will damage the motor!
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