03-18-2023, 03:57 PM
Sunk Sunk is offline
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Apologies if this is the wrong forum, but I don't know where else I should post this.

I noticed that a couple of tapes in my collection are slightly damaged and have "wavy" edges, as far as I can describe it. See the attached photo to understand what I mean. Would playing this tape cause damage to my VCR?

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03-18-2023, 05:23 PM
themaster1 themaster1 is offline
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Damage i don't think so, they certainly will track bad. The waved part on the tape is for audio and synchro i believe read by the AC head. As an experiment i'd try to put some scotch tape on the opposite side of the reel only to unwave it (but i think it's a desparate move, tedious and delicate... Did i forget time consuming ? ). Whom doesnt try never suceed i guess
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03-18-2023, 07:38 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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I'd say the primary damage risk would be if the tape is shedding oxide and other coatings. That assumes it is otherwise in OK condition.Tracking could be a big issue and linear audio could be in bad shape. The crinkle could also extend into the video scan area which would not play properly either. Does the crinkle extend through out the tape or just near the ends or where it was partly rewound?

You could try the tape in a "disposable" VCR before you put it in one used for real work.

There are services that may be able to recover the tape content if you cannot or don't want to give it a try.
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03-18-2023, 09:14 PM
timtape timtape is offline
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The tape appears to be stretched at both top and bottom edges but especially the bottom edge where the picture control track lies. Tapes stretch more easily at the edges, creating a frilled or bunched effect.

The problem is we can no longer rely on tape "back tension" to make the now stretched tape edges press reliably against the A/C head. We have to find another way. There are possible solutions but AFAIK they require specialist techniques and/or components. If the recording is a one off and valuable, Specs Bros might be worth consulting http://www.specsbros.com/

I wouldnt play the tape in a machine of dubious condition as this sort of damage is usually caused by just that, playing a tape in a faulty machine. I would only test play a valuable but damaged tape recording in a machine known to be in excellent condition, and even then be vary careful in doing so.

Last edited by timtape; 03-18-2023 at 09:43 PM.
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03-19-2023, 07:55 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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In the days of analog audio tape including cassettes good tape-to-head contact was often assured by using pressure pads. (However, the better reel-to-reel machines generally relied on tape tension and undamaged tape.) The tape loading/wrap mechanism of VHS and Video8 does not lend itself to easy automatic used of pressure pads (would have to be manually applied)but it might be worth a try as a last resort to recover a tape with crinkled edge.

Agree that any VCR used to test the tape should be in good mechanical condition. Condition of electronics for image formation is secondary.
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