Adding Remote Control To Retro Turntable May Not Be Worth It
If you collect enough junk for long enough, it all just starts to come together. Years ago I found the Sony PS-FL1 drawer turntable. It was one my first posts for Retro Thing. It's a fairly conventional spinner of platters, with the cool powered drawer making it extra special. The PS-FL1 is connected to the rest of my somewhat more modern stereo, but it's the only component without a remote. There were a few remote control turntables here and there over the years, but for the most part you had to get all interactive with your platters.
There is a solution. On the back of the PS-FL1 is a jack for adding remote control - sort of. You may remember that in the provincial days before agnostic universal remotes, some manufacturers forced you to buy their components exclusively in order to remotely control any of them. None of the components had their own remotes, but by connecting special umbilical lines between one manufacturer's components, you could control them all wirelessly. This meant that you had to chose your main amplifier carefully, as it would likely be the nerve center that allowed remote control of all the other components.
Sony found an even more galling route (as they often do). Not only do you have to buy all Sony brand gear, but you also have to buy the special RM-44 remote control component. Connect all of your Sony goodies to the RM-44 through difficult-to-source cables, and then you can use the included remote to run the whole party. Not only does this force you to invest heavily in Sony components, but you also have to buy what amounts to an expensive dongle to unlock features that should have been there in the first place.
I'd be more infuriated if I hadn't paid only $5 for the little box a few weeks ago (see what I mean about all this stuff eventually coming together?). The difficulty will be ad-libbing the cables to connect the RM-44 to the turntable. What will I get for all that trouble? What red carpet features will suddenly be at my command? I'll be able to start and stop the turntable, and lift the tonearm. A miracle! Though it doesn't sound like a lot, that actually is kind of cool. If I had the appropriate Sony tape deck, it would synchronize with the start and stop of the turntable for making car tapes of LP's... woo!
I do sort of want to do it, but am not looking forward to duplicating that special cable. I also probably don't need another large-ish remote on the coffee table that only really does three things. There may not even be room for the half-component-width remote receiver, but I'm still tempted to stage this reunion between the turntable and remote that haven't met in 25 years. Actually it would be pretty awesome (or should I say "rad"?) to find the other pieces and put together an example of a rather nice 80's integrated audio system. Then I'll hang a Nagel print over it all, and catch the latest Miami Vice. Ooh! This one has Phil Collins in it!