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Old August 25th, 2007, 02:46 PM   #1
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Tape Salvage

Hello, I was wondering if anyone knows of a service for recovering HD from a miniDV? Or if anyone around here owns or uses a HD deck.

For more information please read here:

http://www.hv20.com/showthread.php?p=14451#post14451

Feel free to share if you have any additional information. Thanks a bunch!
Ron
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Old August 25th, 2007, 03:52 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ron Sanders View Post
Hello, I was wondering if anyone knows of a service for recovering HD from a miniDV? Or if anyone around here owns or uses a HD deck.

For more information please read here:

http://www.hv20.com/showthread.php?p=14451#post14451

Feel free to share if you have any additional information. Thanks a bunch!
Ron
Ron,

You did not mention the camera model, but since you are linking to an HV20 forum, I'll assume that is what you are using.

There are no decks for the Canon cameras that shoot HDV (HV10, HV20, XLH1, XHA1, XHG1) and all. You have to use one of these cameras to capture with.

I have no idea why that specific tape does not work, but it could of course be defective. The best you can do in to run a cleaning tape through your camera and make sure it is very clean, (run it a couple of times) then retry the capture. If it still does not work, look for someone in your area that has one of the other Canon cameras and have them attempt it. If that does not work, you may be out of luck.

If you research here in the Long Black Line Forum, you will quickly learn that mixing tape brands is not recommended. Pick one brand and stick to it. Some tapes are dry lube (like graphite) and some are wet lube (like light oil) and they "DO NOT MIX!" Pick one and stick to it, buy in bulk to save money and keep from running out when you need more and can't get them.

Let us know what you find out.

Best of Luck---Mike
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Old August 25th, 2007, 04:09 PM   #3
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Ron,

You did not mention the camera model, but since you are linking to an HV20 forum, I'll assume that is what you are using.

There are no decks for the Canon cameras that shoot HDV (HV10, HV20, XLH1, XHA1, XHG1) and all. You have to use one of these cameras to capture with.

I have no idea why that specific tape does not work, but it could of course be defective. The best you can do in to run a cleaning tape through your camera and make sure it is very clean, (run it a couple of times) then retry the capture. If it still does not work, look for someone in your area that has one of the other Canon cameras and have them attempt it. If that does not work, you may be out of luck.

If you research here in the Long Black Line Forum, you will quickly learn that mixing tape brands is not recommended. Pick one brand and stick to it. Some tapes are dry lube (like graphite) and some are wet lube (like light oil) and they "DO NOT MIX!" Pick one and stick to it, buy in bulk to save money and keep from running out when you need more and can't get them.

Let us know what you find out.

Best of Luck---Mike
Thanks Mike!

Yes as you guessed, I'm talking about tapes recorded with the Canon HV20. Thanks for the info, I definately will just stick to one brand tape from here on out.
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Old August 25th, 2007, 04:20 PM   #4
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Ron,

If you can't find someone local to help you, let me know. You could send it to me and I could attempt to capture with my XLH1 and HV20.

Good Luck!

Mike
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Old August 25th, 2007, 04:37 PM   #5
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Wow thanks for the offer!

Could work anyhow since it was shot in Ft Myers beach so it'll be about as humid! :)
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Old August 25th, 2007, 08:13 PM   #6
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Hi Ron...........

This reminds me off "the bad 'ol days" when the 1/2" computer tapes we recieved from some of our clients had been kept in less than ideal conditions.

What we used to do (and if this works with 1/2" tapes it will work with any tape) is load them up on the BIG tape cleaner we had, which was positioned at one end of a pretty substantial desk. At the other end we had a pulley clamped to the worktop. We ran the tape over the cleaning head, but instead of letting it spool straight onto the take up reel, we looped it all the way along the desk, over the pulley and then back to the take up spool, a distance of oh, 10 feet in total. Set the cleaner to "ultra slow" and let her go.

This allowed the tape to:
a. Get cleaned
b. Get dry (if it was slightly damp)
c. Get to temp (they were always way too cold)

I reckon with a bit of ingenuity you could rig a similar system (perhaps a tad smaller, of course) to get these tapes back into "the land of the living". Just don't experiment with the ones you need tho' - it could take a couple of wrecked tapes to get it working.

This really does sound like a humidity problem which is only going to get fixed by getting them dry.

Worth a thought.

CS

PS. A good place to start with this is to drop into your local friendly camera service shop etc and see if they've got a trashed Mini DV camera with a functioning tape mechanism. A decent techie should be able to get access to the tape transport mechanism allowing a tape loop to be exported then re - imported having been suitably dried. Should cost peanuts and certainly ain't rocket science.

Last edited by Chris Soucy; August 25th, 2007 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Addition
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Old August 26th, 2007, 11:34 AM   #7
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... and certainly ain't rocket science.
Wow.. it does seem a little over my skill level I think. Remember that I'm just a homerecording enthusist. ;) These tapes have been sitting my house now for almost a month at around 72F. They are probably as "normalized" as I think they are capable.

Thanks for the info
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Old August 26th, 2007, 03:08 PM   #8
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Hi Ron..

Well, it would be nice to think so, but if you can't read 'em, they ain't.

The problem is that magnetic tape, by it's very nature, will hold any moisture trapped between those two layers of impermiable substrate FOR EVER if the surfaces are not exposed to the open air. Mini DV cassettes, as you will have noticed, are practically air tight (deliberately), the gap between the exit point to the re - entry point is so small that there isn't a hope in h**l moisture on either of the surfaces has a chance to evapourate whilst being played/ wound etc.

Ergo, if you can't find a way to get the tape surfaces exposed to a drying air flow, it is extremely unlikely you will ever be able to read the data. The other downside is that the longer they are left with a higher than normal moisture content (especially at high temperature), the more likely it is that something rather green and nasty will decide to take up residence and just keep on growing.


CS
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Old August 26th, 2007, 04:38 PM   #9
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Rewinder and a hairdryer!

Ron,

Another thought. If you send it to me and I can't capture it, I have a rewinder that goes forward and back. I could run it through numerous times with warm air from a hair dryer blowing into it. That could dry it out.

Maybe you have a rewinder too, but you would not want to use your camera for that.

Mike
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Old August 26th, 2007, 09:24 PM   #10
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Good idea Mike...

Might just do the job!


CS
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Old August 26th, 2007, 10:26 PM   #11
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Hi again.....

Thinking how to make this a tad simpler, I've just been playing with one of my Mini DV cassettes. If you don't mind some brain numbing tedium, I think there's a way of drying these tapes without the rocket science.

To make it work you will need:
Some adhesive tape (electrical is easier to remove)
A metal/ plastic "thingy" (specs later)
A flat bladed screwdriver
A hair drier or other forced air heating device (not a paint strip gun!).
The patience of Job.

If you look at a Mini DV cassette, underneath where the tape spools are (holding it so the tape cover door is at the top, the REC/Save tab at the bottom), on the LHS adjacent to the tape cover hinge, you will find a small plastic lever. If you push this lever down, it will allow the tape cover door to be opened. Once opened, tape it in place from the body of the cassette to the section with the directional arrow on it.

The door is now taped wide open and you have access to the tape. Now, returning to the underside of the cassette, between the spools but closer to the bottom of the cassette you will see a "tombstoned" rectangular cut out in the cassette body. Inside is a plastic lever which, when engaged (by something resembling a screwdriver tip but preferably short and plastic so you can tape it in place for the entire procedure - else grow a second pair of hands) and pushed down towards the bottom of the cassette, it will disengage the spool locks.

Ok, you're in business. If you now set up your heater thingy such that it is blowing away from you and directly across the tape (we want to dry both sides) you can now simply insert your flat blade screwdriver into the LHS spool (if it's rewound) and wind away, making sure the tape really gets a chance to dry before dissapearing back into the cassette.

You COULD use a small electric driver to make life easier BUT you must ensure the spool lock thingy cannot dislodge else you'll snap the tape (I've just experimented and an ordinary small "notice board" type flat headed thumb tack taped in place works a treat, if a bit fiddly to do).

Enjoy.


(Can't wait to hear how this works out!)

CS
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Old August 27th, 2007, 12:23 PM   #12
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Ok, I think this is more up my allie. Thanks for taking the time to think through this for me.


Question.. would it matter if I did say, 25% of the tape then rewind to see if its working? If I had to guess, this seems like it could take 1-2 hours or more per tape doing it by hand.

I'll give it a go tonight and let you know how its going. I feel better now knowing that there could be hope! :)
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Old August 27th, 2007, 03:10 PM   #13
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Hi Ron......

Seems like a good idea to me - be a shame to spend all that time only to discover it doesn't work.

Got my fingers crossed!

CS

PS. Tip of the week: Max out the air con in the room/ area where you're going to do this for an hour or so beforehand, tho' keep the tape (and yourself) as warm as possible. This will ensure the Relative Humidity is as low as it can go and aid evapouration from the tape surface.

Last edited by Chris Soucy; August 27th, 2007 at 04:15 PM. Reason: Addition
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Old August 27th, 2007, 04:26 PM   #14
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Seems like a good idea to me - be a shame to spend all that time only to discover it doesn't work.

Got my fingers crossed!

CS

PS. Tip of the week: Max out the air con in the room/ area where you're going to do this for an hour or so beforehand, tho' keep the tape (and yourself) as warm as possible. This will ensure the Relative Humidity is as low as it can go and aid evapouration from the tape surface.
Sounds like a plan, I'll keep you posted

Thanks!
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Old August 28th, 2007, 11:49 AM   #15
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So last night I used some bent 12 guage wire to hold the reel lock open as well as the tape cover door. I set the tape high on a shelf and unwound roughly twelve feet of the tape (six feet away and back. I then used a hair dryer on it for a bit, and then left it out in the air for about an hour. (maybe this was a bad idea?)

I then wound back up the tape to give it a whirl and it didn't work. It acted the same. The timecode didn't roll, the screen was blue, and I could only see the footage when I FF or RW scanned.

I tried this method thinking it would work better with more of the tape out of the enclosure closer to what your first recommendation was. Tonight, maybe I'll just use the hairdryer and slowly wind the tape.
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