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

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Old 23rd Mar 2019, 5:36 pm   #41
andrewferguson
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

I think the reason that the seller didn't show the back of the reel is .... because it is exactly the same as the front (gold, with 'Scotch' printed on it and no stickers or labels).

The tape came in a container that has two labels on it. I've uploaded photos of both the container and the two labels to Imgur (this gets around file size limits on the forum, but I can compress and attach to a subsequent post if required). I've noticed that the 'ripped-off' label contains sections labelled "High Band", "Color" and "VTR" so the case is likely video (obviously no guarantee of the tape, though). There's a yellow label on the box with the Cat Number '400-2-4950 R150C102', which online sources indicate to be 3M video tape. The seller did say that it came from a college, so I think that the idea of it being used for longer audio recordings is less likely, but still possible. I have emailed the seller to see if they know anything more about the tape, and will update here if I hear back.

Is it worth looking for wear markings on the tape, or checking for the presence of sticky-shed? The end of the tape is currently stuck down with something very non-professional (leaving a sticky reside when I try to peel it off) but I can get it off if need be. I don't have an empty reel; would I need to unspool much to get to any sticky-shed?
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 10:44 pm   #42
andrewferguson
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

A quick update, I have just got a message back from the seller. It seems the tape is from the late 80s, so the chance it contains something missing is very slim, but it could still have something interesting on it and it would be neat to find out.

Quote:
The college was Ravensbourne college in SE London where I was a student at the time in the late 80s. They had these 2" tape machines installed but they were hardly used and they decided to skip them and the spools as it was ancient tech even then, and the machines requires a source of compressed air as well as electricity. I have no idea what's on the tape, probably just test signals or recordings made by students.
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Old 26th Mar 2019, 9:49 am   #43
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Just for info. Ravensbourne College re-located next to the Millenium Dome and is still an important source of training for people wanting to enter the broadcasting industry. It was multi-discipline so not just engineering (floor managing/vision mixing etc too) and I think they used to have many exercises involving doing complete productions as training exercises. I suspect it's likely to be things like that that might be on the tape?

As a final exercise each year they used to do a complete day of broadcasting including live studio broadcasting, films, pre-recorded programmes etc and even the live continuity between it all so quite a challenging day for the students. This excercise was broadcast 'live' across London, I presume from a temporary low power set up at Crystal Palace, it even continued when DTV was introduced and I think they were given a temporary mux by the pertinent authorities. I'm not sure if they do that nowadays.

I do have a contact there, but since they no longer have the kit to replay your tape there wouldn't be any chance of replaying it. In the event you decide to 'skip it' you could do as I have and turn the reel into a centre piece by making it into a clock. In fact mine is a Scotch reel too, but it is the 'take up' reel and is very similar to yours but has a thin black foam liner under the face of the top surface - Scotch introduced that feature as it supposedly gave better protection from edge damage of the tape. Good luck.

PS. The tape box makes an excellent tool box, and if you wind off the tape and twist together several lengths of it you can use it as an emergency tow rope - honestly!
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Old 26th Mar 2019, 10:22 am   #44
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Quote:
PS. The tape box makes an excellent tool box, and if you wind off the tape and twist together several lengths of it you can use it as an emergency tow rope - honestly!
Videotape generally makes very good "string" and is excellent for tying up plants in the garden.If you leave the the ends of the knot flapping in the wind it acts as a bird scarer.The oxide soon drops off leaving the tape clear. Peter.
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 1:07 am   #45
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

The 2" Quad machines were removed from Ravensbourne in the early 1990's and left out in the rain at the Wharton Road site in Bromley. Some keen Engineering students raided the chassis for what they thought would be useful souvenirs.

Tapes were kept in a library, I had some 1"C tapes that had sticky labels on the spool and box. They were a five digit number, preceded by HC/----- (Presumably for Helical C format). Looks like your tape has escaped the cataloguing process.

Quite often copies were made of manufacturers' test tapes, so students could get practice of VTR/ATR alignment without risking damage to the expensive original articles. These would be clearly labelled.

It is possible you could have an early recording of the work of some now-famous TV director, producer or fashion designer. Ravensbourne's Chislehurst site was well respected for Art, Fashion and product design. But I wouldn't get your hopes up!

Kind Regards,

SR
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Old 28th Mar 2019, 10:41 pm   #46
andrewferguson
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Quote:
Originally Posted by red16v View Post
you could do as I have and turn the reel into a centre piece by making it into a clock
You're not the person who sold me the tape through ebay, are you? The seller had an identical tape which they had kept, and turned into a clock.

Stuart, thanks for the info about the tape's (potential) background. Very interesting to hear.
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Old 29th Mar 2019, 10:00 am   #47
red16v
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

No, I'm not the person who sold it to you.

Whilst my reel is also a dull gold in colour, it is a take up reel designed for use on a quad machine - it has a protective foam layer underneath the upper side of the reel, and being a take up reel it has no tape on it. I snaffled it when we got rid of our last quad machine, an Ampex AVR2. The clock mechanism I put in it is quite small and discreet, I think the overall look is very attractive to my eye.

The top surface (flange) of your reel looks like this:

https://bid.walkerauctions.com/m/lot...current_page=0

The top flange of my reel looks like this:

https://bid.walkerauctions.com/m/lot...current_page=0

Underneath the raised flange on my reel, that I hope you can see, is a thin foam layer to protect the edge of the tape.

Last edited by red16v; 29th Mar 2019 at 10:12 am.
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 9:08 pm   #48
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Back to the original Quad tape. I took the tape to James Perrett who has a multitrack audio machine. He ran it through for me on both 16 and 24 tracks. This confirmed no real audio present except the tone already mentioned above.
There was a quiet whirring noise on most tracks which could be the passing quad tracks, approx 09 degrees to normal audio of course. Now a clever person could estimate the angle of the tracks but analysing the phases of the noise, maybe or maybe not. Discuss. Thanks to all who have helped with this enigma.
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 8:52 am   #49
cheerfulcharlie
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordondav54 View Post
Back to the original Quad tape. I took the tape to James Perrett who has a multitrack audio machine. He ran it through for me on both 16 and 24 tracks. This confirmed no real audio present except the tone already mentioned above.
There was a quiet whirring noise on most tracks which could be the passing quad tracks, approx 09 degrees to normal audio of course. Now a clever person could estimate the angle of the tracks but analysing the phases of the noise, maybe or maybe not. Discuss. Thanks to all who have helped with this enigma.
Just a clutch of a straw here but....

in the old days of editing they used a 'developer' to show up the control track of the tape on a microscope, so that they could edit with a blade in the right place. This developer was basically fine iron oxide powder suspended in a solvent.

I was just wondering that if you have no access to a machine, you might be able to 'look' at the tape with this stuff for distinctive patterns such as of course the control track.
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 10:50 am   #50
peterpixel
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Hi cheerfulcharlie,see posts 19,28 and 29.Bests regards,Peter.
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 9:06 am   #51
red16v
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterpixel View Post
Hi cheerfulcharlie,see posts 19,28 and 29.Bests regards,Peter.
A random thought, could you try and make your own developer? Some rusty water, or rust particles in a solvent of some sort? Apply to a small area with a cotton bud?
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 10:38 am   #52
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Carbonyl iron, the active ingredient, is readily available.
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 11:16 am   #53
stainless
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

"Ampex flakes" , as it was colloquially known!
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 9:00 pm   #54
jamesperrett
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

I've just put up some sample audio files from a section of this tape. One is the control track while the others are two adjacent tracks with the video signal on them. These were recorded from the 16 track head (if I remember right). You can find the files at

https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...-G?usp=sharing

The machine was set to run at 15ips which I understand is slightly slower than the speed the Quad machine would run at.

Last edited by jamesperrett; 21st Apr 2019 at 9:07 pm. Reason: added tape speed.
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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 3:15 am   #55
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Default Re: Quadruplex 2 inch tape

Listening to the three tracks I cant make any sense out of them. A thought: Could it be an instrumentation and/or digital recording?
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