1972 Seeburg SPS-160 Jukebox Repair Journal
by Chad Hauris, Retro Electronics and Audio Lab, Midland, TX. 9/17/07
Please click the photos for larger views.

We first went to look at the SPS-160 in the field, thinking a simple repair might fix it as it is a later model machine and possibly less likely to have as many age-related problems. It would accept selections from the keyboard properly, scan, and pick up the record, but immediately reject it. We were not able to fix the problem in the field so the owner brought it in to the shop.

Front view of the SPS-160.
SPS-160 operating, front view.

SPS-160 with decorative panels removed.
Here is the machine with the decorative front panel removed. The top slides off and then the front lighted panel lifts up and off. A lever under the top part releases the top, which folds down to gain access to the amp and control center.

Repairing power switch wiring in the SPS-160
Rewiring the power cord and power switch. A new grounded power cord was installed.

Seeburg SPS-160 control center.
Here, the decorative panel is folded down to access the control center. The amp is behind the control center, and is accessed by swinging the control center out. We discovered that someone had loosened the fuses in the control center! We re-installed them and the machine began to select normally. We also replaced the 15-amp transformer fuse with a 5-amp for better protection. The fluorescent bulb was bad so it was replaced too.

Inside of control center.
Here is the interior of the control center. Someone had removed one end of the fuses on the circuit board from the fuse clips, causing the machine to not pick up records.

SPS-160 amplifier.
Here is the amp. We replaced two capacitors which showed high ESR...all others appeared O.K.

SPS-160 amp.
Here are the two new small capacitors.

SPS-160 mechanism.
Here is the mechanism, where there was another problem. The contacts in the reversing switch were not making good contact, causing the motor to intermittently slow down and sometimes stop due to arcing at the contacts.
We were able to provide more contact "follow through" by slightly bending the metal backing piece behind the offending switch leads. DANGER! There is 120 volts on these contacts. Don't adjust without unplugging machine! These contacts must be handled very gently as this switch is difficult to replace.

Seeburg SPS-160 record storage rack.
SPS-160 record rack.

Old fluorescent ballasts in SPS-160.
We usually automatically replace fluorescent ballasts in jukeboxes as the old cloth-covered wire often deteriorates from intense heat produced by the ballasts. These ballasts all initally did not appear to have any heat damage and had plastic insulated wire so we decided to test them to see if they would work OK...however the large ballast quit working and became extremely hot during a test so we knew we needed to replace it. We also replaced the small ballasts for the smaller lamps.
The old large ballast is a starter-type and we replaced it with a modern rapid-start type so some re-wiring was needed for it to operate properly. (The small white ballasts will not light up the larger 36" tubes such as the one the large ballast was connected to.)

Re-wiring the new ballasts.
Here is the new wiring for the new ballasts.

New ballasts installed in SPS-160.
New ballasts installed.

SPS-160 keyboard.
SPS-160 keyboard. Seeburg was the first company to come out with a completely digital control system, using number codes to select records instead of letter/number matrices and mechanical memory systems. The first record in the rack is numbered "100/200" for side A/side B instead of the old A1/B1 code, and the last record is 179/279 instead of U8/V8.
These machines use the same Tormat core memory as their predecessors, but the mechanical keyboard switch matrix has been replaced by an electronic circuit (the "black box" and "grey box"). The selection circuit worked perfectly with no problems.

SPS-160, dark view.
Dark view. The woofers are located in the base under the center lighted panel, and horn tweeter are located in the upper panel.


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