- November 2, 2011 at 8:12 pm
I have a Sisyphean task in front of me; dubbing off old umatics from 1982 onto DVD. Halfway thru the stack of tapes, I got a large batch of them that are plain unplayable because of oxide shedding. I’m stopping to clean the heads every 90 seconds or less, and one of the turn-arounds for the tape is collecting shreds of emulsion just like the stick they swirl around in the cotton candy machine. Only you can’t eat this cotton candy. I get audio okay, but I keep losing the video due to head clogging. I’m running with the lid off the top of the deck and the circuit boards swung up out of the way, so the threading mechanism is visible.
I’m looking for some easy way to continuously clean or wipe down the tape as it is coming out of the cassette, before it hits the wrap around the head assembly. What I have right now is the nozzle of a shop vac, clamped to a mic stand with 2 Lowel clamps, the hose tip placed a half inch from the oxide side of the tape, just as it is clearing the first optical sensor block. Running this while in play mode, I can get a snowy image to come in and out, better than nothing at all, but it’s hit and miss. Do you think some kind of sponge pad with alcohol or acetone would work better?
My next step after this is to take some of the written-off tape and try baking it. But I need to know what temp and time to cook it at.
Any other Rube Goldberg tricks to clean the tape before it hits the heeads and gums everything up?
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