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[AV Media Matters] implementing vault, save old equip.

On the topic of acclimating media archives to a new storage facility:
And a bit on keeping older equipment going.

For some time, I have advocated to our groups with tape archives, to condition
rewind their tapes, then seal them in a bag with a dessicant (silica gel)
pouch, in a low humidity tape lab, then move them to the storage area.

This was proposed because we used a lot of tape with belt seals on the reels,
and some computer tape in plastic shelf boxes,  which would prevent individual
media from quickly releasing its moisture to the new dehumidified area.  After
some time to stabilize, and remove as much moisture from media as possible,
you could renew the dessicant pouches, and recondition those first used for
later reuse.  Has anyone else seen this done?

[We as an industry should have been doing more than we have in the past, but
management does some risk taking, :-) ] Now, we see some around here are
paying the penalty of shedding media.

The problem of dry air circulation around stored media would apply to film
cans, photo file folders, 4 and 8 mm tape, and even CD jewel boxes, etc.

Thus, I think it is a systems problem that has not been addressed adequately.
I know that NASA Kennedy Space Center has been recopying archival tapes from
launches because of near beach inadequate storage of past years led to tape

There is a National Archives Act requiring government, and government
contracts to preserve their archival data properly.  That is the act that NASA
started paying attention to, but there were lots of tape problems before that
effort got underway.  I have not heard in a couple of years, if that effort is
being kept up.

Another solution, for backup of data is to copy to newer media and technology
that stands a chance of being replayed at later dates.  But, that is the ever
recurring problem, what transport is going to be around in 10 or 20 years or

Thank goodness for those shops keeping up old drives of various types.
Locally, there is one commercial venture for old hi fi and high end audio
equipment repair and resale.

For years, I have HAD to keep older drives going, and have found many ways to
substitute newer parts, belts, drive wheels, etc. to keep out of production
recorders going.  You have to look around, and see what parts of modern VCRs,
computer drives, etc. can be adapted, or other available hardware like belts,
O rings, etc.  Luckily, tubes are readily available for many types from
Antique Electronics Supply in Tempe AZ, and others.  Magazines in hobby
electronics and amateur radio, like "QST" advertise sources of old parts, and
there are magazines devoted to old tube equipment in radio which often
includes many audio or AV tubes.

Even NOS (new old stock) parts are kept by the Tempe folks, and many tube era
components such as high voltage power supply capacitors are still available
from Cornell Dublier and others.  Tempe folks told me they have a network of
1000 folks nationwide, scouting for old Radio-TV shops that go out of business
with stocks of old parts.

Heads can be relapped, and there are international sources for new head
restacking, or the used market may yield machines with useable heads.

The low useage hours of  instrumentation recorders in smaller labs means a lot
of those are surplused with near new heads.  Once I got a pair of surplus Bell
and Howell instrumentation machines, each with only ten hours on the heads!

Has anyone on the list seen anything on using silica gel packets and any
cautions re tape or film storage with it?

Stuart Rohre
ARL:UT Analog/Digital Recording Lab

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