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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Search Comp PM
    Hello! I'm attempting to archive a collection of U-Matic tapes and I'm having trouble pinpointing the exact issues with the one I've attached a clip for. Tapes were kept in museum conditions, only played once. All of my capture specs, for the most part, are listed in my profile.

    This particular tape is a Sony U-Matic KCA30 Tape that was Recorded on 7/30/1977 and played on 7/31/1977. My U-Matic VTR has been thoroughly cleaned and plays back other U-Matic tapes in the collection just fine. I had similar, albeit far less severe issues with the previous tape in the collection that was also a Sony KCA30.

    I understand many of these U-Matic cassette tapes suffer from SSS so I'm curious to know if this tape requires more baking, if it requires cleaning, or if it is just degraded beyond capture. I've noticed the Scotch High Energy UCA30 & 60MIN tapes are far less problematic than the Sony KCA tapes we have which is worrisome because a large portion of this collection are Sony KCA tapes. Are these more prone to issues?

    Any insight into this particular issue would be so amazing, thank you so much
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  2. Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Republic of Texas
    Search Comp PM
    Offhand, it does not appear to be a simple tracking or dropout issue. Best guess is that the tape is either having sticking issues when unspooling from its hub, or one of the hubs inside the cassette is not turning smoothly. What I saw in the clip was commonly a symptom of tape not passing across the heads at a constant speed.

    Fast-forward and rewind the tape a few times, then try playing again. Get everything unstuck.

    Good luck.
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  3. Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by filmboss80 View Post
    Offhand, it does not appear to be a simple tracking or dropout issue. Best guess is that the tape is either having sticking issues when unspooling from its hub, or one of the hubs inside the cassette is not turning smoothly. What I saw in the clip was commonly a symptom of tape not passing across the heads at a constant speed.

    Fast-forward and rewind the tape a few times, then try playing again. Get everything unstuck.

    Good luck.
    I did notice when the tape was unspooling from the cassette it looked like it was wobbling along the tape path. If the spools are having trouble spinning inside the cassette, should I clean the insides of the cassette thoroughly? Additionally, if they continue to stick, would that require some kind of lubricant for plastics?

    Thanks so much for the excellent info 😊
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