I have come across a set of tapes that I don't think have been played since the 80s. They have been stored under controlled conditions and there is no sign of mold, etc. A few of them just barely budge in any of my players. In fact, I'm pretty sure I blew a motor in one VCR trying to advance the tape. I tried transplanting the tape to another housing with no luck. The tension doens't really feel that unusual on manual advancement. Any ideas for a recovery here? Also anyone have recs on a rwd/ffwd machine?
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The tapes sound like they have absorbed moisture over the years and have become sticky. Might need to "bake" them which involves usually using a fruit dehydrator to cook it and drive off some of the water. This is most common for tapes from the 80s and before. Can you actually fast forward the tapes at all or are they completely stuck?
Ampex 189 by any chance? That's the only VHS stock I have encountered with soft binder syndrome. You might try moving the reels to a different shell to isolate the problem. If it is sticky tape, then you need to incubate the reels for about 16 hours at 135 °F. Also, clean the guides in the cassette shell and your VCR to remove any residue.