Sony Walkman WM-FX20 Teardown
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Background and Identification
The Walkman WM-FX20 is a portable cassette player released by Sony in 1991. It is made from black plastic and is slightly larger in all dimensions than a standard compact cassette. The WM-FX20 also doubles (triples?) as a portable AM/FM radio and an alarm clock. You can identify this Walkman model by looking for the model number “WM-FX20” printed on the bottom of the device. You can find the serial number for the player inside the cassette bay.
All audio on the WM-FX20 is output via the headphone jack on the top of the case. You can change the volume of the output using a small dial nearby. When the Walkman is in cassette mode it can play all three major tape types: normal, chromium, and metal. In radio mode, you can listen to both AM and FM stations and set presets for your favorite channels. While the AM antenna is built-in to the device, FM functionality actually relies on using a plugged-in pair of headphones or an audio cable as the antenna.
This Walkman is powered by two AA batteries which you can insert in a small compartment on the back of the case. If you’re not traveling with the WM-FX20 you can also power it with a 3 Volt DC power adapter (see the manual for more specifications). The most common issue with cassette players is that the drive belts inside will fall apart after some time. Luckily, this Walkman is not too difficult to open, and the belts are easily accessible as shown here on iFixit or in this WM-FX20 belt repair video.
- Support for Type I (normal), Type II (chrome), or Type IV (metal) tapes
- AM/FM tuner
- Built-in AM antenna
- FM antenna uses headphones
- Displays the time
- One custom-set alarm (can be heard without headphones)
- 3.5 mm audio jack
- Play button
- Stop button
- Rewind/fast-forward buttons
- Volume dial
- Mode switch (tape/clock or radio)
- Tape type switch
- Clock mode button (for setting the clock and alarm)
- Alarm on/off button
- Alarm stop button
- Two AA batteries
- Barrel-type DC power adapter (3 V, center pin negative)