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  1. Member
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    Mar 2016
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    South Australia
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    Hi all

    A customer recently brought in a stack of VHS tapes and upon viewing them, have found that most large areas of mould on them.

    Its the first time i have seen something like this and am at a loss what to do. I dont own a tapechek (and cant afford one at the moment) and I have watched videos of people on youtube who have made their own...which slightly frightens me. But if thats what people suggest i do, then I will attempt it. By the way, how would i remove mould from an 8mm tape though? I only have 1 camera as a player.

    Thanks for your advice.
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  2. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
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    Yank in Europe
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    Return the tapes and ALL of the customer's money and RUN AWAY.
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  3. Member
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    You know, deep down, that was what i was thinking...but wanted to see if anyone could provide any new or recent info

    Thanks though for your comments hech54.
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  4. Member
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    If half of the tapes have mould and the others are not showing any signs of it, would you return them all or just the mouldy ones?
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  5. Member hech54's Avatar
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    I'd return them all. Apologize profusely and tell them you cannot risk your equipment with moldy tapes. Tell them that equipment is getting harder and harder to replace and you cannot risk it.
    Even if your equipment is mediocre....so what.....they are still hard to replace. I hear VERY hard to replace in Oz.
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  6. ask him a copy of his last payslip and take 40% as fees
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  7. The advice to not transfer this is probably the correct advice.

    However, there are one or two tests you might want to perform.

    First of all, is the mold across the entire width of the tape, or is it only on the outside edges? I have never received moldy videotape, but I have received dozens of 16mm film reels that were almost crusted with mold. However, it was only the outside edges. Once I unrolled a few feet of film and found that the mold was not on the image area of the film, I made sure the film was tightly wound and then used a stiff brush and brushed most of it off while running a vacuum cleaner right next to the brush. I then lightly dampened (note the word "lightly") a cleaning cloth with isopropyl alcohol and wiped in a circular motion to remove the remaining gunk.

    If anything remained, I figured it wouldn't come off during transfer.

    Now, this was of course movie film, and cleaning a projector is a whole lot easier than cleaning a VCR, and the damage done from a little dirt was going to be minimal because all old film sheds to one degree or another and projectors are designed to tolerate it.

    Finally, if it were me, and if I decided to proceed after doing this cleaning, I sure as heck would not put it on one of my good decks. I have an old $30 VCR that doesn't have any features one would normally want for doing video transfers. I'd use that.
    Last edited by johnmeyer; 15th Apr 2016 at 10:34. Reason: added "made sure film was tightly wound"
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  8. Member
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    If you vacuum, make sure you have a HEPA filter and tight fittings. The last thing you want to do is blow mold spores all over your lab (or house!) Wear a ventilator mask with appropriate filter whenever you handle the media. I've dealt with mold-induced bronchitis and it is no picnic!
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  9. Member
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    Thanks everyone for your advice. I decided to not take the risk. One tape was literally covered in it, whilst many others had varying degrees of tiny spots starting to appear to large areas covered.

    The tapes were returned to the customer today with my apologies.
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  10. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    Was the customer from Brazil?
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  11. Member
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    Originally Posted by johns0 View Post
    was the customer from brazil?
    omg! Lmao!!!
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  12. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by johns0 View Post
    Was the customer from Brazil?
    I'm nice to the guy, but that made me laugh too.
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  13. Member
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    Originally Posted by johns0 View Post
    Was the customer from Brazil?
    What are you trying to say? That he might have had real concerns and he was sincere in his quest for knowledge?
    Is he gone?
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