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Old 5th Jan 2019, 5:52 pm   #1
Gordondav54
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Default Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Hello all
I found a reel of 2 inch quadruplex video tape at my dads house. He has no idea where it came from or what is on the tape.
Are there any rich enthusiasts not too far from Farnham in Surrey who might be able to play it? Just hoping it's a lost copy of Dr Who!
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Old 5th Jan 2019, 7:29 pm   #2
red16v
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Are you convinced its video tape rather than a multitrack audio tape? Do you have any photos of the reel or box you can show us?
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Old 5th Jan 2019, 8:05 pm   #3
Gordondav54
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Hello red16v and all
Yes I'm sure it is video. See the pictures. The box says Memorex Video and the damaged leader part of the tape had wear bands across the centre part, about 1.5 inch I would guess, where the spinning head has been running with the tape stopped. Bands about 1/4 inch wide each side do not have this wear. Also the tape is 'oxide out' but I don't know if any audio machines require this so that might not be relevant.
There are hand written numbers on the box but no indication what they mean, and 'Tape Full' so I expect there is something on it.
Hopeful!
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Old 6th Jan 2019, 10:42 am   #4
John Caswell
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

I used to work with someone who did transfers from format to format.
His name is Graham Dawson and he was based in the Weybridge/Addlestone area.
He definitely had 2" Quad machines.
I regret I do not have any contact details any longer but it might be worth search on the various sites.

John
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Old 6th Jan 2019, 12:24 pm   #5
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

It looks like video tape to me, I note the reel is not quite full? Do you know it's provenance?

I live close to Farnham and I do have an Ampex Quad machine in the collection, that's the good news. The bad news is mine has not worked for some 15 years and would need several days of expert attention to get it into a play state, oh and a supply of compressed air.

There are firms (google) who do transfers at a price, Owners of Quads guard their head hours fiercely as the head replacements are near impossible to source.

Good Luck.

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Old 6th Jan 2019, 1:41 pm   #6
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Quad tapes were expensive so original programmes were usually written over with another programme etc etc. Sometimes a 16mm film kinescope copy was made before erasing the tape but the film copy was never as good as the original video recording.

Without a fully working Quad playback machine it's probably still possible to at least identify the contents using a 2" multitrack audio tape machine (in excellent condition!) playing only the relevent outside audio track. Tape speed was usually 15ips I think.

Mods, shouldnt this thread be in the TV and video section?
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Old 6th Jan 2019, 5:54 pm   #7
Lucien Nunes
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

I think Paul Marshall has a working quad. Like Brian's, mine has not worked for a couple of decades and would require much more than a few days to get it running.
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Old 6th Jan 2019, 9:11 pm   #8
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

I do indeed have operational quad. Willing to run it through the machine but the OP will have to come up to the 'frozen north' near Lincoln!

Best regards,

Paul M
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Old 6th Jan 2019, 10:39 pm   #9
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

It's very unlikely that a random reel of 2" will have anything interesting on it. 2" technology was extremely expensive which is why lots of vintage programmes were wiped rather than being archived. I suspect this is a length of tape which has been saved after a full reel snapped or was damaged.

Of course, it would be interesting to lace it up and have a look.
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Old 6th Jan 2019, 11:19 pm   #10
Gordondav54
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Thanks all those who have posted.
A great idea to play the audio track. I don't have access to a multi track audio machine but Brian has offered an empty reel so I am thinking of modding a standard reel to reel machine to handle the wide tape and rig an audio head until I hear something, hopefully the Dr Who theme tune!
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Old 7th Jan 2019, 12:29 am   #11
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

You would do better to put it on a 24 track 2" machine. You don't want to put it through a lash-up and crease the tape, which would be grounds for a Quad man to refuse to play it, given the ghastly consequences of head damage.
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Old 7th Jan 2019, 1:24 am   #12
PaulM
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

I have to agree with Ted - a damaged tape is really not something that you want to put through such a machine. I've been there . . .

Until you actually run a tape it's a complete unknown and you can never say never about any recording until you try it. I don't do many, but I usually first run an unknown tape through the machine with minimal head-to-tape penetration to unravel any 'spoking' and also to listen for clues on the audio. There's still quite a bit of 'interesting' material out there and you have to be careful as something really valuable could be in jeopardy.

Best regards,

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Old 7th Jan 2019, 11:38 am   #13
red16v
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Quote:
Originally Posted by TIMTAPE View Post
Quad tapes were expensive so original programmes were usually written over with another programme etc etc. Sometimes a 16mm film kinescope copy was made before erasing the tape but the film copy was never as good as the original video recording.

Without a fully working Quad playback machine it's probably still possible to at least identify the contents using a 2" multitrack audio tape machine (in excellent condition!) playing only the relevent outside audio track. Tape speed was usually 15ips I think.
15.625 ips for UK spec machines.

You could try ringing 'Charles' at the BFI. They have and hold an extensive archive of quad tape material (much of it ex-ITV) and as you will see from their web site they have extensive facilities at Berkhamsted. If you can 'big' your tape up as a find of potentially interesting material they may play/transfer your tape for free?

Charles is a good, enthusiastic chap so do not hesitate to call him, details on the link below. You might even find your day trip there behind the scenes very interesting!

Let's face it, Quad was a professional format and only broadcasters and facilities houses could use it so I would have thought it possible there may be some interesting material on your tape.

https://www.bfi.org.uk/archive-colle...ital-transfers
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 6:12 pm   #14
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

It may certainly contain some "missing" UK TV. A well-established (since ~1988) organisation called "Kaleidoscope" will also be able to help with viewing and recovering the material on this tape. Their website is "TV Brain" and they can be contacted by the link at the top of it.

https://www.tvbrain.info/
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 6:19 pm   #15
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
It's very unlikely that a random reel of 2" will have anything interesting on it. 2" technology was extremely expensive which is why lots of vintage programmes were wiped rather than being archived.
It makes me wonder if the OP's father worked in the TV industry* and used this tape to compile a showreel of his work, or if he rescued it from a skip somewhere (two episodes of Dad's Army were saved in this way) - it could have been thrown out if the tape became too worn out and full of dropout to be of broadcast standard and taken home as some kind of souvenir or an ornament.

*It's not unheard of for broadcast staff members to have taken home copies or samples of their work on Quad VTs to act as "showreels" for future employers, that's how David Bowie's performance of "Gene Genie" on TOTP was recovered, when a camera operator - John Henshall - who worked on it had a few Quad tapes he used as showreels were examined:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan...shire-16150178
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 9:36 pm   #16
Gordondav54
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Thank you everybody who responded with such fascinating information. I have decided not to risk damaging the tape myself. Phew! My dad knew some TV folk but it think it more likely the tape came from a junk sale about twentyfive years ago. He couldn't resist buying tape recorders in particular, they just had to be very cheap.
I am looking into the suggestions made and will report back to you all.
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Old 11th Jan 2019, 6:25 pm   #17
Gordondav54
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Hello all
I have done some more research and now think the tape could have been used on an Ampex VR1500 or VR660 machine and probably not a Quadruplex. So referring to my first post I should be asking; ‘Are there any enthusiasts not too far from Farnham in Surrey who might be able to play these tapes?’
The links below show details of the specific information shown on the reel and the box. I’m not sure the information is consistent.
The reel shows ‘Memorex 75V ENL 72B’ a reference I cannot trace at all (photo 2 below). The box data ‘Memorex 97V SK7620B W2’ leads to a Memorex catalogue of 1967 (Photo 1&3 below). Here (page 31) it shows a playing time of 128 minutes which is not in agreement with 15.625 i.p.s. needed for the Quadruplex machine which would give only 31 minutes of playing time.
I notice from pictures of the VR1500 machine from ‘LabGuy's World: 1963 Ampex VR-1500 Two inch helical scan consumer VTR’ that the tape is wound oxide out on the supply reel which might explain why this tape is oxide out. Link – Alternatively the Ampex VR-660 seems to be the other way around, oxide out on the take-up reel! Isn’t research absorbing.
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Old 11th Jan 2019, 6:34 pm   #18
Lucien Nunes
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Is there any reason to think that the reel is original to the tape? Surely the wear marks are fairly conclusively quad in origin?
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Old 11th Jan 2019, 11:58 pm   #19
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Now I'm no expert on tape, I'm a camera person.

But it may be that if you "dust" the tape with a VERY fine iron or iron oxide you might be able to see the magnetic tracks and determine if it is quad, helical, linear audio by the direction of the tracks.

This technique was used for manually editing quad tapes and you had to cut it in the correct place!!

Attached is a picture of a Quad splice machine that I have in the museums collection. Unfortunately it is missing some parts, but you get the idea.
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Old 12th Jan 2019, 12:02 am   #20
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

I see the words "Scott Free" on the box. That got me thinking...
...Mike Scott was a popular presenter (and producer) at Granada. "Scott Free" would have been an obvious vehicle/title for his talent and a quick Google returned this:
http://boggenstrovia.blogspot.com/2015/03/


On Monday at 6.30pm Barbara Kelly asks the question in Criss Cross Quiz, with Monday being a Coronation Street evening with All Our Yesterdays preceding at 7pm. Mrs Thursday loses an hour at 8pm with the reason being British Summer Time, right on time at 8.55 is the main evening news from ITN. After that at ten past nine, there's No Hiding Place with Detective Chief Superintendent Lockhart considering whether to prove another colleague wrong, but another man with a free brief is Mike Scott in Scott Free at 10.05pm.

Of course I may have just added up 1+1 and got 5
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