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What type of splice tape do you use on VHS video tapes?


Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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I'm not really sure it was ever intended that anyone would splice VHS. If it peels apart you may end up filling the head gap with glue from the tape, which would be bad. The solution here is to probably respool the two halves you need into new cassettes, taking extreme care not to introduce dust or to create static while spooling the tape quickly, which will selectively erase parts of the magnetic pattern and cause fixed dropouts.

Really the splicing tape ought to be the same width as the tape. Do you have a half-inch splicing block to do it on? Alignment will be tricky otherwise. Make sure you're sticking it onto the non-signal side. Tape lubricants may make it hard to do.

You'll get a long period of broken mess as the splice rolls gradually past the head drum. The splice will be hit by the head at least seven or eight times, creating multiple opportunities to pick up the edge and peel the joint apart.

Whatever you do, you'll want to capture it immediately to an archival format and never touch the original tape again.

I had some long, interesting conversations about archival handling of VHS (which would apply also to other composite formats) and how they'd be best captured.

P

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Actually, there WERE VHS splicing tape kits sold by Leader in the USA.

It was aluminized mylar tape and had a splicing block that looked like a 1/4 inch audio tape block. 

Forget about a seamless splice as far as a coherent image goes. You will get a control track glitch and image roll.

Use a mylar tape, demagnetize a pair of scissors (or use aluminum ones)  and lay the tape across itself where the splice is supposed to be.  Cut both tape ends simultaneously without losing alignment (or buy a splicing block).  Let the outgoing edge of the splice slightly overlap the incoming bit of video tape. 

The overlap MUST be in the direct that the heads spin;  you should get the concept.

If you do this NEVER reverse the splice over the spinning heads;  i.e., don't scan or search over the splice but hit rewind and let the tape fully retract into the case before rewinding.

Also, never leave a gap with the adhesive peeking through;  you will be sorry.

This splice is intended for a ONE TIME transfer of the tape, not an archival fix.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/174510297798?hash=item28a19fd2c6:g:ZroAAOSwOgdgAHhe

Oh yeah... CLEAN your VHS deck after you run this tape.  Oxide will undoubtedly be loaded up in the heads...

Edited by Frank Wylie
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Thanks for all the help!

I've only got got 16mm and 35mm splicing blocks. Spicing VHS is pretty complex. With the rarity of good VHS decks I wonder if the risk is worth it?  Maybe what I'll do is just make the two halves of tape into two separate tapes. I've got lots of old VHS I can take apart.

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1 hour ago, Brian Drysdale said:

The only video tape format I've heard of being able to be physically joined, so as to have a usable edit is 2 inch Quad.

No doubt, somewhere, there has been a video tape format that runs at a high enough linear speed in order to this, but it hasn't lasted.

 

VERA! But you needed a soldering iron.

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11 hours ago, Brian Drysdale said:

The only video tape format I've heard of being able to be physically joined, so as to have a usable edit is 2 inch Quad.

No doubt, somewhere, there has been a video tape format that runs at a high enough linear speed in order to this, but it hasn't lasted.

 

God I hated that "developing fluid", which was basically powdered iron suspended in a Carbon tet, Perchloroethylene  or some other nasty, carcinogenic suspension. You had to paint it on the edge of the Quad tape and the iron particles would align with the recorded sine wave of the control track.  I that manner, you could make a cut on each tape segment that would (sometimes) not cause a complete image roll when you spliced it back together again, but I was never great at it.

The very first job I got in TV involved transferring the entire Hammer Film and API Film libraries from quad to 3/4 U-Matic (what a waste of time; the quad looked better!) for a late night "spook show" at midnight.

The General Manager bought the quad for pennies on the dollar because no one else wanted to deal with the quad and the 1 inch C format library was about 5X the cost.

Quad could actually give you quite a nice image when everything was lined up proper and nice. 

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8 hours ago, Daniel D. Teoli Jr. said:

How was the Quad tape compared to state of the art VHS?

That's really comparing apples and oranges, Quad was a broadcast VTR format with a quality close to that of live TV, while state of art VHS is no where near that. Preservation is an issue with both. http://susanetheridge.com/crisis-in-videotape-preservation/

Edited by Brian Drysdale
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On 10/8/2021 at 12:09 AM, Brian Drysdale said:

That's really comparing apples and oranges, Quad was a broadcast VTR format with a quality close to that of live TV, while state of art VHS is no where near that. Preservation is an issue with both. http://susanetheridge.com/crisis-in-videotape-preservation/

 

Wow...Great article!

Like the article said, in the old days they shot live broadcast to 16mm film to preserve it. I see 16mm kinescope films on eBay once in a while.

Kinescope - Wikipedia

16mm ad: TRUE TEMPER TOOLS- 60's vintage KINESCOPE ABC-TV network ad SUPER RARE! | eBay

Why don't they just copy to M-Disc / BD-R?

That is as good as it will get unless they put it on quartz. I don't know how much better video tape is than audio tape. But over time much of the 1/4" tape goes south with oxide shedding.

719px-Oxide_shedding_from_reel_tape_D.D.

Oxide shedding from reel to reel tape. Amount of debris from (2) 7 inch vintage tape reels ran on a Revox B-77 tape deck.

I guess they got the problem of finding working machines to do a transfer. Reminds me of looking on eBay to buy used bulbs for some of my Zeiss film editors / projectors. 

Photo: D.D.Teoli Jr.

Crazy machine. Has 2 levels for reels!

http://susanetheridge.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Ampex-7800-Type-A-1-1024x682.jpg

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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