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Vintage Tape (Audio), Cassette, Wire and Magnetic Disc Recorders and Players Open-reel tape recorders, cassette recorders, 8-track players etc.

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Old 24th Nov 2020, 11:08 am   #1
Martin Bush
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Default 8 Track pad material

Good morning all

As you will now from other threads, I have started listening to and refurbing 8 track cartridges.

I am having fun and have found that I can get pads from ebay, but I wonder whether they are the best material and also whether there is an alternative.

The type I have been buying are felt and self-adhesive like the ones you find in cassettes. I find them easy to fit and I stick them to a strip of card and slot them in - I do this as the dead foam pads that fall apart as soon as you touch them seem also to be stuck to a strip of card.

I am asking about alternatives as:

* The felt pads cost a fair bit (although they seem to be of good quality)
* I am unsure if they are deep enough to work effectively
* I wonder if the felt is kind to the lubricant on the back of the tape (although I have had felt pads in at least one old cart, so they have been used in the past)

Any ideas or experiences will be most welcome.

Martin
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 12:30 pm   #2
McMurdo
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Default Re: 8 Track pad material

youtuber Technomoan buys it by the roll, I can't remember what it is exactly, draft excluder or something but I'm sure you'll glean what he's got if you scour the videos.
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 12:44 pm   #3
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Default Re: 8 Track pad material

Yes, Draft Excluder is a common cheaper alternative to the expensive Pads.
I have used it myself.

Although, there are many different types of Excluder out there, and not all
are suitable, so you need to get the right type.

Another method is Sponge cut into a Pad of the right size, backed with a
piece of Sellotape (Other Brands are available). So the Tape slides along the
shiny side of the Sellotape backing.
I have used this method as well with successful results.


There is plenty of information on line about repairing Cartridges.




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Old 24th Nov 2020, 1:15 pm   #4
Martin Bush
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Default Re: 8 Track pad material

Cheers chaps.

I've seen and read a fair bit online about 8 tracks now and I think what I am doing is OK. There's the odd bit of advice and video out there that I am not convinced by, hence me asking a trusted source

I could try sponge crafted to fit and with a suitable tape layer such as splice tape or magic tape, although I am not sure how well it would stick and worry it may get pulled off.

Draught excluder is a good one - I will have to go and take a look in person at B+Q etc to check dimensions.

Does anyone know how close to the back of the tape the pad needs to be? The felt pads I am using are a considerable way off, but the tapes seem to play fine.
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 2:00 pm   #5
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Default Re: 8 Track pad material

Study the original pad. You will see that the tape actually slips on a transparent piece of plastic with the sponge below it. I always keep and reuse this transparent film with any sponge I replace. The pad would rub all the graphite off otherwise, leading to the tape jamming up!

For the same reason, you don't want anything too thick in there. The 8 track head penetrates some way into the aperture.

I once tried using some of those felt pads for sticking under appliances to protect furniture. The were too thick and slowed the tape down!
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 2:36 pm   #6
Martin Bush
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Default Re: 8 Track pad material

Cheers Ben.

I will seek to do that from now on. I think my only concern is getting the film to stick to the sponge - any tips on how to do this?

So far, when I have opened a cart I have found that the simple act of trying to get the old foam out results in them instantly crumbling and I've swept the lot into the bin lesson learnt...

In the meantime I have just opened up a cart into which I placed the felt pads (which are sold as 8 track pads) and have added a strip of splice tape on top to see how it adheres. The cart itself is a slightly duff one which I am happy to sacrifice if it goes wrong.

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Last edited by Martin Bush; 24th Nov 2020 at 3:04 pm.
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 12:32 am   #7
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Default Re: 8 Track pad material

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bush View Post
Cheers Ben.

I will seek to do that from now on. I think my only concern is getting the film to stick to the sponge - any tips on how to do this?
A tiny dab of glue. It's not that important if it doesn't stick too well, as the actual 8 track shell keeps it in place quite well, I find. It also helps to experiment with the size of the sponge. You don't want it bulging too much. I also make a slight notch in the centre to accommodate the cart shell (between apertures for sense and playback head).
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 9:02 am   #8
Martin Bush
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Default Re: 8 Track pad material

I tried some splice tape and it seemed to work well - I will keep an eye on it.

What didn't work was trying to repeat the process in a second cart and then knocking the tape spool onto the floor... I now have a cart to rewind by hand!

The duff sound I was experiencing on one of my carts seems to be due to it not sitting quite right in the player. If I move it just a degree or two the sound improves. No idea how to remedy that one.
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 4:06 pm   #9
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Default Re: 8 Track pad material

The hub generally has a cine centre allowing the bulk of the rewinding to be done on a reel-to-reel.
Graham
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 4:09 pm   #10
Martin Bush
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Default Re: 8 Track pad material

I used to have a reel to reel deck, but moved it on. I do have a load of tapes but all of the reels are full.

I think I will have to improvise.
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 5:38 pm   #11
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Default Re: 8 Track pad material

Those party hats with a felt(ish) covered foam structure are quite good*. The tall, black Guinness ones spring to mind.

*Not the whole hat!
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Old 26th Nov 2020, 11:00 pm   #12
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Default Re: 8 Track pad material

A long time ago at work I used to use Kapton tape for soldering issues. It is a thin adhesive backed tape with a very smooth and shiny outer surface.

Ebay has many suppliers at very reasonable prices so it would be no great loss if it does not work out.

Al
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Old 27th Nov 2020, 12:57 pm   #13
Martin Bush
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Default Re: 8 Track pad material

Thanks Alistair.

I will add that to the list as I am trying different things.

So far I've tried...

Felt pads, no covering (yet)
Felt pads with splice tape (this comes off I have found)
Ebay bought foam pads with a built in covering (I suspect this is draft seal)

I have also now started saving the strips that come off the existing pads.

I think one of the key things here will be adhesion and I will keep experimenting. I can try glue but I think I need to ensure the tape layer stays flat and smooth.
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