The tape in an 8mm cassette broke. One section is loose, but the tape on the other spindle has wrapped to the spindle and I can't loosen it.
About 12 inches of tape was split along the length. It's a zig-zag tear. The starting point of the magnetic tape that's wrapped on the spindle might be 1mm or 3mm wide... even under a soft workbench lamp, it's not easy to see.
Since the length of tape I'm trying to loosen probably isn't its full width, I can't just look for a straight edge along the full width of the tape, in the same way as I would look for the start-point on a roll of masking tape.
Keeping my fingertips away from the tape (skin oils), I gently prodded at the tape with my jeweller's screwdriver, making sure the spindle was held right-side-up so that if I managed to find the starting point and loosen it, I'd be sure to be pushing at it in the correct direction.
Then I tried pushing the tape using the clean edge of a pencil erasure.
The tape's not budging and I'm reluctant to poke harder at it, with the tip of a straight pin, for instance. I might damage tape beneath it.
I'm trying to think of a non-intrusive way of coaxing that end of tape loose so that I can pull it free, towards splicing and repairing the rest.
If you have solved this problem, how did you do it?
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These show clear close-ups of the posts around which tape must be woven when everything's being reassembled.
But first I need to coax that broken tape into unwrapping from the spindle.
What I would do (as I've done lots of these kinds of repairs before):
1. Buy a blank tape of the same format, length & size (for replacement parts).
2. Remove both source & takeup reel spindles from their bad housing.
3. Most reels these days are single sided, so break off the other side (watch you don't cut yourself or leave jagged poking sections).
4. Using 2 posts as anchors, MANUALLY spool from one reel (the one where the pinch was, but now is no longer because of the backing being removed) to the other, maintaing good tension. This will take a LONG TIME.
5. Make sure you straighten/flatten out the pinched areas when re-tensioning.
6. Remove ending leader from the (now) empty spool, undoing the spool snap
7. CAREFULLY, open the housing on the spare tape, remove the reels and take off the leader from the empty reel there (the same way as previously done).
8. CAREFULLY, attach the original/recorded tape's open leader to the empty spool and re-snap-on the snap to affix it to the reel, making sure it lines up nicely.
9. CAREFULLY, replace the reels back into the SPARE tape housing and re-close & secure with screws.
10. Wind the reel at least once all the way forward & backward to re-set the tension again.
11. To make things work as perfectly as possible in the new housing, you may want to repeat 6, 7 & 8 on the remaining old reel (now temporarily empty if you've stopped at the end of a FFWD or RWND). That way, you have ALL NEW & matching material (with the exception of the tape itself).
If the tape won't allow removal after removing the backing, you will have to SPLICE the tape! That is a lesson for another day...
This cassette shell is in excellent condition, I just need to mend the broken tape. It's a home video, so I want to salvage what's on the tape.
The cassette shell is disassembled, I'm holding the spindle, and trying to decide on the safest way to start the tape unwrapping from the spindle.
Once I get that end free, I'll crop both ends, splice them, connect them, and record the video's contents to the computer.
(and that video was 'good' because of the clear close-ups showing the detailed parts of the cassette's interior)
If it allowed that kind of pinched-up-under-the-remaining-spool effect like you have been talking about, then it is NOT in excellent condition! That is indicative of bad housing or bad tape machine guides & pinch rollers, or BOTH.*
You don't need to salvage the shell, just the tape (unless the cassette has some special artwork or something, in which case: take a picture of it). DO NOT splice unless you have the right equipment (un-demagnetized straight-edge razors, splicing block with holders, and SPLICING TAPE - NEVER use regular tape!) and understand clearly what needs to be done and what to watch out for. Do everything you can to keep the existing tape intact, even if it has some ruffling.
*BTW, you will want to double-check your machine to make sure it is in good condition. Use a test tape that you won't mind getting ruined.
That old camcorder was someone else's, and it ruined a couple of tapes the same way before they stopped using it. Now I'm trying to fix the tape.
(As far as I know, the camcorder's play heads or posts near the play heads were unaligned.)
I've got the splicing tools, and I don't see that the tape has been twisted or wedged between the tape spool and the spindle wall.
The tape, though broken in a jagged way, seems to be settled on the outside of the tape spool.
Now I'm not sure how it's situated. Maybe you could post a picture...