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Vintage Television and Video Vintage television and video equipment, programmes, VCRs etc.

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Old 18th May 2019, 7:13 pm   #1
samjmann
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Default Philips N1700. Exchange of cassette tape.

Hi all,

Can any one advise me if it is possible to use modern VHS tape to 're-tape' and old N1700 tape cassette. I appreciate that the start/end detection is quite different and the start/end foil would have to be spliced onto the new VHS donor tape.

From what I recall early VHS tape was low coercivity, and when modern VHS tape is used on early VHS machines, odd picture artefacts result. So I was wondering if this would be the case for a CVC/VHS change.

Looking back at old posts on the forum, people have commented on the fact that early video tapes lose their surface lubrication properties and drum to tape friction rises as a result. There is a consequent rise increase in drum noise. The tape in the cassette I've seen is full of creases from end to end, so I suppose there is nothing to be lost..

Thanks for reading. Cheers - SJM.
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Old 18th May 2019, 7:31 pm   #2
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Default Re: Philips N1700. Exchange of cassette tape.

I have done this successfully in the past, using "high grade" tape, though I am sure ordinary grade (probably the only sort now available) will do. To fill a N1500/1700 cassette I used nearly two VHS tapes. The splices must be good, and "straight" not diagonal.

in use the "modern" tape glides through the N1700 mechanism and FF/Rewind are virtually silent...
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Old 18th May 2019, 8:43 pm   #3
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Default Re: Philips N1700. Exchange of cassette tape.

Thanks for the reply Robert. The E180 would be the best choice I would have thought. The E240 tape was very thin and more likely to jam. Some VCR's were prone to this, the Philips VR6460 (Their first VHS - I think), and some Sony Beta's also suffered with highly polished upper drums, and the resultant drag effects.

Regards, SJM.
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Old 18th May 2019, 11:43 pm   #4
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Default Re: Philips N1700. Exchange of cassette tape.

The VR6460 has a Panasonic head assembly and a very much proven Panasonic mechanism. The VR6560 was the parallel model with Philips' first VHS head and mechanism, but I never heard of this problem. Maybe it was Grundig? They had very strange decks, I think some were even lacking the grooves on the upper head drum.
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Old 19th May 2019, 12:06 am   #5
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Default Re: Philips N1700. Exchange of cassette tape.

Yes I forgot to say it was E180 tapes I used.

Some of the early VHS decks were distinctly "unhappy" with the E240 tapes; they had never been designed for this and I think there were back tension issues. I cannot comment on the earlier Panasonic decks, they were never my favourites, and yes the early Grundig decks did not have grooves on the heads.

I made a number of recordings on the N1700 machine with it's "new" tapes and they were excellent; the N1700 had a luminance performance that was hard to beat when they were working well.
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Old 19th May 2019, 11:21 am   #6
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Default Re: Philips N1700. Exchange of cassette tape.

I thought both VHS and Beta used high bias (Chrome) tape from the start because of its better performance. Apparently SVHS used an even higher grade tape than VHS.
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Old 19th May 2019, 5:22 pm   #7
samjmann
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Default Re: Philips N1700. Exchange of cassette tape.

I came across five VR6460's that did not play thin tape. They were all within the first year warranty, and had worn head tips too. A replacement upper drum cleared all the problems, but a check of back tension showed that they seemed to be set 'high' from new.

With regards to SVHS tape that was of higher spec than standard VHS. I used it a few times on standard machines, there was a noticeable improvement in picture quality.

The Grundig V2X4 super machines had grooveless upper drums, and yet the VR2020/22/23 all had groves. The tape would have been the same across the system. Grundig must have thought that the tape friction to be so low it didn't warrant the horizontal grooves. Philips must have thought different!

Regards, SJM.
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Old 19th May 2019, 6:34 pm   #8
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Default Re: Philips N1700. Exchange of cassette tape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyball View Post
I have done this successfully in the past, using "high grade" tape, though I am sure ordinary grade (probably the only sort now available) will do. To fill a N1500/1700 cassette I used nearly two VHS tapes. The splices must be good, and "straight" not diagonal.

in use the "modern" tape glides through the N1700 mechanism and FF/Rewind are virtually silent...
Yes Bobbyball we have spent many an hour replacing tape in N1700, Beta and V2000 cassettes haven't we?! And yes, the results are nothing short of stunning. The difference is easily as good as if comparing a pristine condition top of the line machine with an early generation one in bad condition (of any format). It's a shame that such high grade tape formulations were not available while those formats were still current.
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Old 19th May 2019, 6:48 pm   #9
Maarten
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Default Re: Philips N1700. Exchange of cassette tape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samjmann View Post
I came across five VR6460's that did not play thin tape. They were all within the first year warranty, and had worn head tips too. A replacement upper drum cleared all the problems, but a check of back tension showed that they seemed to be set 'high' from new.
Interesting! I wonder whether Panasonic machines of the same era showed the same problems, or that Philips on the same deck set the back tension higher than Panasonic for some reason. I never heard of Panasonic machines not working right with E240 tapes, though I had a customer who was told to avoid E240 tapes when she bought her (Panasonic) video recorder.
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