Tape Usage

Tape Usage

Contributor: Harvey Taylor
Company: Gyyr
 
Pictured is a normal VCR tape transport compared to one with tape oxide damage (insert).

Pictured is a normal VCR tape transport compared to one with tape oxide damage (insert).

Recognize the picture? What may appear like a surrealistic scene of a future city from a science fiction novel is in reality a TLC1800 transport covered with tape oxide.

The problem? The customer probably used a non recommended video cassette or overused the video cassette. Eventually the tape began shedding iron oxide particles from excess contact with the video heads. Being in the Gyyr Service Group for 15 years, I have seen this situation many times and brings up the title subject that I discuss in almost all training sessions.

Most Gyyr models have the auto recycle feature. This means a tape can be inserted into the unit and put into record. If left unattended or not overridden by the alarm feature, the tape will record beginning to end of tape over and over again.

One extreme example was a customer with four units installed in an attic in 24 hour mode that were left running unattended. After approximately six months an incident occurred and the recordings were checked. Not only were the transports full of oxide deposits, the video heads were completely worn!

The operating instruction manuals in all GYYR VCRs have MAXIMUM tape pass or usage recommendations. I can’t say enough how customers should try to stay within those parameters.

Here is a tip I have shared with many customers and want to share with you. Most applications today use 18 hours (using T160 tapes) or 24 hour record mode and change the tape daily.

  1. Buy 31 tapes. (Make sure to use recommended brands!)
  2. Number each cassette with a day in the month.
  3. Write the current date on the number one cassette.
  4. Use the corresponding numbered tape on that particular day in the month.
  5. After one year, retire all tapes and replace with 31 new tapes.

Using the above process means a tape is used 12 times which is well within the maximum 20 pass parameter for 24 hour mode listed in the operating instructions manual.
Occasionally I talk with customers who have sent in a unit with well over 25,000 hours (about 3 years) and the video heads are still useable! Invariable they all say they stay well within the MAXIMUM tape pass parameter. So if you want video heads to last longer and reduce chances of a tape clog and missing a recorded incident, CHANGE THAT TAPE.

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