Introduction: How to Repair / Service Your Sharp Optonica RP-114H

So this is how I ended up repairing and servicing my Vertical turntable, the Optonica RP-114H.

I purchased this from someone who claimed it was serviced and fully working.

I'm not the whining type, so when it turned out it wasn't serviced at all and even had a bunch of problems straight from the beginning... I took it as a challenge to get it working instead of giving up on it.

So this is gonna be a step by step recap of all the things I stumbled upon and how I tackled every part of it.

Since it took lots of work to put together this instructable I really hope it will help you in the best possible way. If you think it helped please feel free to make a donation to show your appreciation, like offering someone a coffee to say thanks is always a nice gesture. 🙂

Thanks for all the nice feedback I've got during the years

Step 1: Table of Contents

• 2: Flutter and wow + new belt
• 3: Low/no sound on a channel
• 4: Skip track not working
• 5: Setting needle drop down point
• 6: Tone arms out of sync
• 7: What and where to grease/oil
• 8: Adjusting speed 33.3/45rpm
• 9: Mods (continually updated)
• 10: Upgrades and replacement parts
• 11: Thanks

Step 2: Flutter and Wow

So... I hooked the player up to my receiver and the first noticeable thing was this awful flutter that made everything sound like someone was singing through the blades of a spinning fan.

In the end this was an easy fix in my case.
I just had to oil the spindle of the drive motor.

• Picture 1

To do this... You have to release the seven Philips screws holding the back cover in place.

• Picture 2&3
Once removed you can see the motor situated in the lower right-hand corner.
unhook the belt from it.
the motor is held in place by two Philips screws, so just release these two and hold the motor with it's back facing down and the spindle facing up. Now drop some suitable oil (in my case some ptfe Teflon penetrating oil)
And give it a few spins with the flick of your fingers, or if you're comfortable around electricity you could even stick the plug in the socket (you do this at your own risk and I take no responsibility for whatever stupidity you may expose yourself to) to start it up and give it a run while it sits vertically to make it lubricated all the way down to the bottom of the spindle.

This solved the problem with both the flutter and wow in my case... But there was one more thing that made me concerned. That was when I were going to reattach the drive belt... It seemed like it was way smaller than it should be.
So I measured it and it was 47 millimeters too short of course.

This is because people seem to mix this up with the RP-114V which has a smaller belt than the RP-114H
and there's a bunch of other players who uses the smaller sized belt. so if you see in a description it will fit any of these players, it won't fit your RP-114H:


• Picture 4

Replacing the belt might seem hard, but no cables need to come off in this procedure. You just might have to loosen some zip-ties to make the cables more loose. In my case since the belt wasn't broken, I just lifted the belt off the motor before proceeding to unscrew the platter seen in pic.4.

• Picture 5&6

Now remove the two lower screws seen in picture 4 and the two upper screws in picture 5

• Picture 7

Gently pull the metal bracket (which is holding the platter) backwards until you get enough space to unhook the belt from the platter.

Insert the new belt all the way around the edge of the platter and then mount everything back in reverse order.

• Picture 8&9

Now use an O-ring tool or something similar to pull the belt over the motor spindle.

You can also stick in a string of paper behind the belt and pull the belt with the paper string if you don't have anything else (thank you Nick Adams for that tip)

The measurements you'd like to go for is
217mm diameter or
681mm total length of the belt or
340mm folded in half.
5mm wide and
0.5mm thick.
here's a link to a company who sells the right one
Sharp RP-114H belt

Step 3: Low/no Sound on a Channel

The next problem I ran into was no sound on the right channel of the B-side.

This is most commonly caused by a relay (called RY101) on the circuit board which switches the R&L channels between the A and B side tone heads. so only one of the heads will deliver sound through to the receiver.

This relay however has a tendency to oxidate when not being used. and it is mainly the B-side connectors that are affected, since when not under load the B-side connectors stay open while the A-side connectors are closed. This lets air in so it starts to oxidize the surface of the connectors for the B-side channels.

• Picture 1
The relay is found in the upper right corner of the circuit board and is named RY101
You need an exacto knife to pry the clear plastic cover off from the relay.

Some people suggest using 2000grit sandpaper... but since I didn't have any lying around I went for a strip of regular paper.

• Picture 2

Here is a good way to tackle this.
First cut a 6mm wide strip with a pointed end. then stick it in from the right to the left under the B-side contacts. Now when the paper is in place you need to turn the player ON and then press the "A/B" button so the B- side is active followed by "Play" then "Cue" to make the arm go out to start position without dropping the needle.
Now the relay has clamped down the paper strip. I then gently soaked the strip with deoxidation sprayand began dragging the strip back and forth to dissolve any oxide.
Then I pulled the strip to where it was dry and added a few drops of contact protect spray, did some more rubbing again.

• Picture 3
Now you see in this picture that the A-side contacts is reached by putting in a 3mm strip with a wedge shape, place the tip to the right when guiding it through the contacts, it's the easiest way through. press the "A/B" button so the A-side is active followed by "Play" then "Cue" to clamp the paper strip. Do the same as before with deoxit and contact protect.

• Picture 4
Now you should be all set.
If you against all odds still have problem with the sound, it could be either of resistor R134 or R135 which also affects the L&R channel, these are two 10k resistors. replace to see if it helps.

• Picture 5 & 6
If you for some reason don't get the relay to work or just want to switch it out for something more modern, then you could buy a relay called G6A-274P-ST-US-DC12

• Picture 7
The pin out is pretty much the same but the positive and negative pins are switched to the outer pins so it won't fit on the main board.
I used litz wire to hook it up to the board and it worked like a charm.

• Picture 8-10
If it happens to be a dead cartridge as one of mine later died. There's no replacement cartridges for these players.
But fortunately these cartridges are based on the "AT3600L Audio Technica Stereo Turntable MM Cartridge". Just take the cartridges apart and replace the rectangular metal pick-up from the AT3600L. These are secured with a small screw and a drop of glue so just gently pry them apart from their housing after removing the screw.

• Picture 11-15
I also replaced all wires to the cartridges with litz wire.
Just Google and you'll find out the benefits of litz wire.

Step 4: Skip Track Not Working

when I had solved the flutter/wow and no sound problem, it was time to listen to my first record!

Everything sounded good and I felt so positive :D
for about 30 seconds that was...
I pushed the "FWD" button to skip a track, the arm was lifted from the record and began traveling over the record not stopping at all. It just went to the end and then traveled all the way to it's resting position... What the ....!

Luckily this was one of the easier fixes... but still annoying enough.

Power ON the player, push eject to open the door, then press the "FWD" button twice to make the tone arms travel out into stylus replacing mode.

• Picture 1,2&3
Now gently remove the needles from the cartridges and make sure they are completely clean.

• Picture 4
Then have a look at the lower end of the cartridges. you can see two holes in the picture. These holes are where the IR-LED and the IR-sensor are situated. I sprayed some isopropyl spray into these holes and blew them dry with some compressed air.

This fixed the track sensing problem.

Step 5: Setting Needle Drop Down Point

At this point, I had accepted that this player would probably disappoint me a couple times more before I could just sit back and enjoy listening to it.

So I put on a record to play both sides and then repeat. the A-side played fine, it switched to side B without a problem.
But when it was supposed to repeat side A over again, it just went outside the edge and dropped the needle outside the record. so I started to adjust the drop down position.

!UPDATE! With some experience, you could start off by opening the lid and look on the left inside of the lid. There should be a sticker there with a warning text and a mirror like finish at its lower part. When these players were new they had a plastic protective film covering this sticker and it was often missed as in my case. After 40 years this protective film becomes kind of dull and hinders the mirror surface to do it's job of reflecting the light from the cartridge sensor and it will cause the player to miss where the edge of the record is.

•Picture 1
You do this by first releasing the two screws holding the front lid cover in the first picture.

•Picture 2
Now put a record in, then push "Play" followed by "Cue". Now turn off the power then you release the locking screw seen in the second picture. after that you can move the cradle freely along the wire.

• Picture 3
Now adjust the needle so it sits just in the center of the startup groove.

• Picture 4
repeat the procedure for side B, it's a bit harder to see the needle and where it is actually situated, but opening the lid manually on the backside (see picture) with the power off and peeking into the crack on the left side of the lid will let you see just enough to get a hunch of how it's sitting.

• Picture 5
After this you should just check when the tone arms go back to their resting position.
when in rest position, the top of the arms is supposed to be able to swing freely in both directions at least noticeably

• Picture 6
If the arms go too far and pushes against the side of the wall you have to adjust the end switches on the worm gears.

If the arm is hitting the side wall you need to rise the end switch to be actuated earlier and vice versa if you think it has too much space in between the wall and the arm.

Step 6: Tone Arms Out of Sync

So, now I thought everything was gonna work out perfectly...
of course it didn't!

I could play side A and then side B.
But whenever it was gonna repeat side A it just dropped the needle outside the records edge again.

• Picture 1&2
I started suspecting the belt for the B-side motor to be the culprit, since the former owner had replaced it with a regular rubber band.

• Picture 3,4,5
I used some small pliers to snap the delrin(nylon) bearings out of their sockets. then I swapped the B-side rubber band with the original small square belt on the A-side to see if the problem was shifted... it was, so now I knew the rubber band was causing the arms to go out of sync.

• Picture 6
The worm axle has a flat washer on each side plus a flexing copper washer in one end

I replaced both rubberbands with original square belts and now the player finally worked as it was supposed to!

I can not emphasize this enough, the main problem when the tonearm on side A is dropped outside the record is due to the square belt slipping on side A's brass pulley on the alignment motor. This causes the A arm to be outrun by the B arm.
To test if there's any slipping you just have to gently stop the black worm gear with your finger and see if the brass pulley on the small dc motor slips on the belt. Do this on both sides and the motors shouldn't be able to spin at all if you stop the worm gears from moving.

• Picture 7
of course I looked up the measurements of the original belts and here's the specs:
Ø 28 mm x 1.2 mm
Audio Cassette CD DVD
Square Rubber Drive Belt (Ø Internal)

Step 7: What and Where to Grease/oil

So here I'll just list every spot I've greased or oiled to get my player as quiet as possible. you can use whatever lube you prefer, I just use what I prefer. No judging.

• Picture 1
I use ptfe grease on the worm wheels

• Picture 2
on the linear axle I use either ptfe oil or grease

• Picture 3&4
on the left side there's a copper locking plate which makes a squeaky noise when closing the front lid if not greased properly, so I put on some ptfe grease or oil on that one.

• Picture 5,6&7
The pressure cup which holds the record in place is another source of rumble and cracking noises, make sure to take it out and lube it, I went for ptfe oil on this one.

• Picture 8,9&10
all motors need their lubrication, in my case I used ptfe oil as usual.
to get the oil into the linear motors I just put the player on it's respectively side and let the oil travel down the spindle just like with the drive motor.

Step 8: Adjusting 33.3/45rpm

• Picture 1

Here's how you set the speed.
On the circuit board there's two potentiometers named
"VR106" for 33.3rpm adjustment and
"VR107" for 45rpm adjustment.

Put a piece of paper with some tape on the inside of the drive platter.
and measure the speed with your phone.

I used this app
RPM Meter
Here's an alternative for IOS
Strobe tachometer

Step 9: Mods (continually Updated)

• Picture 1

Added a plastic spacer on the cradle which the record rests in while the door is open. when you close the door the cradle is pulled in to make room for the record to spin freely, with these spacers the cradle will be even more out of the way so it won't scratch your precious records.

• Picture 2-5

Decided to make the look of my player a little more up to date with a coat of plasti-dip. And it's a good preserver since it's just to peel it off if I'd like it to be back to original again.

• Picture 6-15

This is the most convenient mod and at the same time the most time consuming one yet. But it's nice to be able to control the player from my phone via broadlinks IR-blaster. I won't go into detail more than that I bought an 8 channel ir receiver and 8 relays which I built a controller out of which I then hooked up to the buttons on the player.

Step 10: Upgrades and Replacement Parts

Here's a list of things you can buy such as upgrades or replacement parts

LPGear Conical tip stylus
LP Gear STY-124 stylus for Sharp RP-114 turntable

LPGear Elliptical tip stylus
LP Gear replacement for Sharp STY-124E

Drive belt
217mm diameter or
681mm total length of the belt or
340mm folded in half.
5mm wide and
0.5mm thick.

Linear square belt
Ø 28 mm x 1.2 mm
Audio Cassette CD DVD
Square Rubber Drive Belt (Ø Internal)

Side A/B relay

2x AT3600L Audio Technica Stereo Turntable MM Cartridge + Diamond Stylus

Step 11: Thanks

Finally I'd like to thank two YouTubers who helped out a lot with their videos of how to restore this player.

they are:



Nick Adams

Since it took lots of work to put together this instructable I really hope it will help you in the best possible way. If you think it helped please feel free to make a donation to show your appreciation, like offering someone a coffee to say thanks is always a nice gesture. 🙂

Thanks for all the nice feedback I've got during the years