Too Stupid to use a (Onkyo) Tape Recorder. Help?

I can’t believe I can’t figure out a tape recorder. I haven’t used one in awhile but didn’t they typically have record buttons, and you either hit them or hit them in combo with the play button and that made the spindle start rolling and it would record from whatever source it was set up to record from?

This is an Onkyo TA-RW244/144 dual cassette player. It does not have anything that leaps out as a record button. (Machine definitely claims to be a recording device, though). There are one set of controls for the two players, and the right-hand one is marked PLAY/RECORD while the left-hand one simply says PLAY.

I’ve actually got the INSTRUCTIONS with me, so I’m R’ing the F’ing M and it isn’t helping. Instrux say that after loading the tape in r.h. side and setting up source and picking Doly and resetting the counter and whatnot to hit a button marked •/II

(I did that, an orange light momentarily blinked, tape did NOT start rollling)

next instruction says “While observing the peak level indicators, adjust the recording level” and the instruction after that pertains to how to go back and play back what you presumably recorded, so the assumption seems to be that the •/II button makes recording take place.

“Well, you’ve just got a broken tape deck, dude”, you may be thinking. I would go with that explanation except that I’ve got two of these suckers (yeah, for a total of 4 places I could insert a cassette tape, not counting orifices belonging to the designer of this system) and I’ve tried both of them.

Last time I recorded a cassette tape, the tape spindle had to be in motion for recording to take place. The tape rolls under the record head which does magnetic things and yadda yadda by the time it’s being rolled onto the takeup head it’s got stuff on it.

It’s my Dad’s (I’m all digital myself) and I’m here doing the Christmas visit thing. He says he can’t figure it out and would I mind helping since I’ve got all this geek cred, etc? Hmmph.

I hate to ask this but, does the tape need to be rewound?

All the nice brown stuff is on the lefthand side. And although it has a loop-de-loop and a normal setting there’s no provision for “only go from right to left side”. And it’s set to normal not loop-de-loop.

Is the tape new? I have old tapes that will no longer play for more than a few seconds. I suspect from exposure to large extremes of heat/cold.

The button you describe is a record/pause button. When you press it, you’re “arming” the recorder and can set the levels. To roll the tape and actually record try pressing “play”.

Online User Manual and Guide for Onkyo TA-RW244

A bunch of stuff about setting levels etc. finally leads to:

That was it.

That’s not how the directions describe it.

Pfui. Thanks.

I feel silly and annoyed at the same time.

FWIW, the instructions continue on the next page to steps 9 and 10.

Not on my Dad’s physical paper instruction manual. The step immediately following the misleading one describes how to moderate the recording input levels and then how to go back and playback what you just recorded.

At no point does it say to press the play button in order to begin recording.

That’s odd, because I took my quoted passage from my paper copy of the manual to this exact same model. Perhaps it got revised at some point.