One of those tape break days at
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The Long Black Line
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 03:49 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Kamloops, BC Canada
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One of those tape break days

Don't try this at home unles you have no other option . . .

Let me set the scene so to speak . . .

I was driving in a blinding snow storm to shoot an accident. It was -15 and traffic was backed up for miles. I drove on the wrong side of the road to get to the MVA, dragged out my back up camera a DVC Pro 400, as my JVC 100 was in the shop, go to shoot and the lens has condensation on the inside - it's all fogged up.
I bring out my back up to my back up a trusty Canon ZR500. It works great as I get the shots of the wrecks, ambulance, fire trucks and the cops as well as an interview.

Drive my frozen self back the 50 miles to town to feed to an FTP site. I called on the way back and sold the story so I was covered. Put my mini DV tape in a deck and got this squeal then an error message, yes the tape was gone. It had snapped and was now inside the cassette.

Not wanting to loose out on a sale I undid the tape case and used a knife to splice the tape and then used scotch tape on both sides of the tape to fuse it back together, put the cassette back together and laughed as I captured the viz I thought was gone for good.

Now that's a use I'm sure Scotch had not intended their product be used for.

I played it back in the 500ZR and it eventually asked me to take the tape out and it still works fine. I was afraid I'd toast the heads on the camera but I got lucky - the shoot was worth more than the camera so I took the risk and did I already say I got lucky???


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Old February 28th, 2007, 04:28 AM   #2
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Location: Eugene, Oregon
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You Did Indeed Get Lucky

Putting repair tape on both sides, so it will pass under the heads, is a good way to ruin them. It's best not to use spliced tape at all, but if you do, it should be only on the side that is away from the heads. Make sure you know which side that is, when the tape is pulled out and wrapped around the guides and head drum, on a long pathway. If you've been able to re-record what was on the broken tape, I'd retire it permanently. There must be a type of splicing tape that is made specifically for this purpose and I'm sure it would work better and last longer than the ordinary clear tape you used.

Last edited by J. Stephen McDonald; February 28th, 2007 at 04:29 AM. Reason: to restructure line-spacing
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Old February 28th, 2007, 06:41 AM   #3
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I'd like to add also that the 1st thing I'd suggest for anyone after inititally repairing a tape (btw, mini's are the most evil with any repair procedure), is to hand turn the take up hub (I use a fairly large phillips screwdriver) so the splice far enough where rewinding the tape doesn't pass over the head it's rewound to the beginning... then make a working dupe & use that for any capturing. After all is well, toss the repaired tape.

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