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Re: [ARSCLIST] Cassette surgery -- paging Dr. Hess
This is what I was looking for. Thanks. I had an instinct this is the fully proper way to go. I
think the brain surgery works maybe 80 or 90% of the time but I don't want to be stuck in the 10%,
not with these tapes. I have just the tape transport for this job.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <arclists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2006 8:20 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Cassette surgery -- paging Dr. Hess
At 07:32 PM 1/29/2006, Tom Fine wrote:
Hi Richard Hess:
I ask this on a public forum because I bet I'm not the only one who can learn from you. If I'm
asking for a trade secret, I apologize.
I have here a pair of cassettes in the molded-together housings (not the screw-together housings)
which need to be transplanted because they do not play even with a Tascam tractor-drive transport.
I am relatively sure it's the old worn out skid pads or warped housing problem, not a tape
problem. I pulled a little tape out to look at it and it's not sticky, oozy or flakey. I
fortunately have some C-0 screw-together cases.
How would you proceed? complete brain surgery or splice and hand-wind into the C-0? If the latter,
any tips to make 90 minutes of tape go faster?
Shameless plug: It's one of the trade secrets archivists learn at my seminars. They get to
see/touch/etc the equipment and get inspired to make their own. Oh, and did I mention that the
next seminar is 9-12 May 2006? We have room for four and two places already have placeholders on
But, I'll give it away.
(1) I use a cassette machine that has been modified to wind tapes. Mine is a Tandberg TPR-101 but
any top-loading portable unit that you can unceremoniously saw out the right side (or the left) of
without breaking anything will work.
(2) Get the end of the tape out of the old shell -- if you have to smash it, OK.
(3) SPLICE the ends of the tape (not the leader unless you're sure that the old splices will hold)
onto the leader of the C-0 (cut in the middle)
(4) Hold the broken shell and wind into the new shell. If the old shell is really broken, anything
that the tape can spin on like a piece of aluminum with a round pencil in the middle will work.
(5) Splice the other end to the leader of the C-0. You never open the C-0 nor have parts flying
this way and that. I charge for 9 minutes of time as a flat rate to do the swap. I usually get it
done in that or less.
I do NOT reshell cassettes unless I'm doing the transfer. I do NOT want to warrant the splices
I do NOT like the thing that uses drill power. Drills are too powerful and even on their lightest
slip clutch settings can do nasty things.
One of the big headaches are the old RCA carts http://www.richardhess.com/tape/rca_cart.jpg If the
tape is in the middle I sometimes have luck spooling it on the A807 and sometimes not. I once did
it on an APR-5000 and the shiny reel spindle (like an Ampex) had so much loss and got so hot it
started to melt the hub.
I generally wind these by hand if they are at all obstinate.
I also maintain an 8-track player for finding the splice before pulling the tape out of an
8-track. No foil meant winding the &**&%^ 20-minute 375-foot 8-track by hand!
Oh, and the Revere cartridges get loaded into cassette shells (don't be fooled by the 0.25 leader,
the tape is 0.15). But here's the quiz: what machine do I play them on and why?
I actually received one of those to transfer where the tape had been repaired by KNOTTING it - a
square knot...or maybe even a granny knot.