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RE: [AV Media Matters] Recovery of AV media in flood disaster

Yes, yes,
I should have mentioned this was based on instrumentation and audio back
coated but Gamma Ferric Oxide tapes.

Good points by others on newer tapes and film.

Lots of good chemistry coming to light here.  It sounds like the small format
tapes are risky in a flood environment.  That all metal non ferrous master is
looking better and better!

I should also have pointed out that before we did our own process, we tested
it on an identical recorded test tape, made on new stock, to refine our steps.

Later, we got accesss to the NASA procedures used for Shuttle solid rocket
booster recorders, and then for the Challenger tape.  Early in the shuttle
expendable booster program, recorders were carried to monitor performance of
the solids, and then the recorder was recovered from the spent rocket casing
after Atlantic ocean impact.  Marshall Space Flight Center developed a similar
method to the ARL: UTX method of instrumentation tape recovery from salt water
environment.  1/4 inch tapes from Aircraft voice recorders can be handled by
these methods as well, even after one week submerged.  (Time to recovery of
the "black box").  IN ALL CASES, rinsing is always done with DISTILLED WATER
Besides Chlorine treated water, there are other chemicals added to tap water
such as Flouride, and Chloromine.  Chloromine is known to affect dialysis
equipment, thus must be a strong chemical agent.

It probably behooves us all to test for catastrophe before choosing any new
media format, or back up our work to the best degree, if we have to use a
small format subject to the failures outlined.

Stuart Rohre

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