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Thread: QIC cartridge tape belt residue removal advice

  1. #1

    Question QIC cartridge tape belt residue removal advice

    I posted this question on tapeheads.net, hoping to hear from some audio tape restoration specialists there.

    I posted some interesting pictures of the residue there, so it might be worth a look.

    http://www.tapeheads.net/showthread.php?t=39125

    However, if anyone here has any feedback on this topic, I'd love receive that.

    Thanks always,
    -AJ

  2. #2
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    I'm sure that the audio tape folks will tell you that you need to bake the tape. It's a time-tested procedure.

  3. #3

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    Can you bake tape when it is in the cartridge? Even at an elevated temperature, can the humidity get out of the tape without the cartridge melting/deforming? Or are you thinking in terms of a specialized rig to blow warm, dry air through the head access opening? Or removing the tape from the cartridge before baking?

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    I've seen people bake umatic cartridges so a QIC tape shouldn't be any worse off.
    = Excellent space heater

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    I'd think that anything that has active air circulation and good thermostatic control will do the job. I believe that Al uses a food dehydrator. My own rig is custom-built. The minimum magic temperature for tapes seems to be about 58C for a few hours (or days).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uniballer View Post
    Can you bake tape when it is in the cartridge?
    Yes, i've done a few hundred of them. I use a commercial food dryer, pop the plastic cover, remove the band, and
    unroll the tape so that it is not under tension. then put the bottom plate and reel on the metal rack. 24hrs at the
    same temp Chuck has recomended.

  7. #7

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    Al just described my exact process as well.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for these suggestions, everyone. I've read up on tape baking, and so this is what I was planning on doing if I saw any sticky-shed syndrome signs off the dull side (maybe combined with Al's suggestions of Tyvek on the bollards and/or pin by the read head.)

    This tape has no signs of that, however, only the foreign residue left from the band where the band was in contact with the tape for 25+ years.

    To be more specific, only about a 8-inch section in the place/position where the tape was sitting for 25+ years is affected by this, not the whole tape, and the residue is only on the sections where the belt rests against the tape read surface wound on each of the reels.

    If the tapes were stored rewound all the way, this problem would not matter, because any residue would be before the "data start" single hole mark, and only on the leader, where there is no data.

    However, if the tapes were stored where the tape position is where the data is written, then this is a problem. This is the exact case of the tape I use as an example above.

    Interestingly enough, nobody has responded yet on the tapeheads.net forum.

    So, then, maybe the baking will cause the residue to drop off and away, or become soft enough to be easy to wipe off with a Q-tip. Of course, I would have to lay the tape in the dehydrator in such a way that the affected sections are not wound around either of the reels, so that the residue is freely exposed.

    Any additional thoughts from this group before I pursue that idea?
    Last edited by firebirdta84; March 18th, 2015 at 10:12 PM.

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    Are you certain that the residue is from the belt, or, more likely, that the belt has removed oxide?

  10. #10

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    Chuck,

    This is an EXCELLENT question...and quite frankly, before you asked, I hadn't even considered the belt removing the oxide as an option. So, I suppose I would need a really high-grade high-power stereo microscope to see whether these are raised spots or depressions, in order to really tell, but here's what I can determine with the meager tools that I do have.

    Using a 60x magnifier and light attachment to my iPhone, I see this image of beginning edge of area of the tape affected by the belt contact. We really can't tell, and a side profile of the edge of the tape is useless with this low quality magnifier, as it has no depth to see whether these are raised areas or depressed areas.
    Tape With Belt Residue Edge.jpg

    Now, thanks to you and others on a previous thread on this forum, I got myself some Kyread SDF-130A solution. I've applied this to the area of the tape right on the edge of the area affected by the belt.

    On the magnified shot, the kyread solution obscures the mark left by the belt, but I can still just where it begins with the naked eye. I've marked the delineation here:
    KyRead on edge of band residue2.jpg

    And then, this is more how it looks with the naked eye under regular lighting.
    KyRead Context.jpg

    And then, I applied the Kyread to the belt itself, in the area where it was against the tape. The Kyread doesn't seem to have anything special going on in the area where I would expect that "data line" could be.
    Belt with Kyread.jpg

    Of course, all of this doesn't mean that the pulling away of the oxide still didn't happen, and can affect it in a way that the Kyread doesn't display using this method, but it's encouraging that this stuff might just be residue on the tape itself, and the magnetic signal is still under there intact.

    As always, I love the responses here. This is a great discussion for me.

    Thanks again,
    -AJ
    Last edited by firebirdta84; March 19th, 2015 at 01:04 AM.

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