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Old 4th Sep 2018, 3:47 pm   #1
Mr Thunderbirds
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Default 3 inch reel to reel tape

Hello All-

I'm hoping some experienced vintage fans may be able to help.

I recently purchased a pristine Benkson HR-408A mini reel-to reel recorder as used on the TV show Thunderbirds. They are pretty rare I think, and to find one where the plastic and chrome hasn't degraded is rarer still.

One problem is there are no reels. Does anyone know where I may be able to source a couple of 3 inch (76mm) reel to reel spools for it? Ebay has some second hand ones, but given the condition of the recorder it'd be a shame not to try to track down a couple of reels in as near pristine condition as possible.

Any leads gratefully received

Alex
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Old 4th Sep 2018, 4:25 pm   #2
barrymagrec
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Default Re: 3 inch reel to reel tape

You may find someone with old unwanted reels from standard 8mm film, if the 50 foot reels from the labs have been spliced onto a larger reel.
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Old 4th Sep 2018, 6:56 pm   #3
Mr Thunderbirds
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Default Re: 3 inch reel to reel tape

Thanks for that, Barry. Worth a try yes. Plenty of new or nearly new 5 inch, 7 inch and 10 inch reels to be had! 3 inch seem rare!

Cheers,

Alex
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Old 4th Sep 2018, 9:59 pm   #4
emeritus
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Default Re: 3 inch reel to reel tape

3" Standard 8 cine spools are very different in appearance from 3" tape spools. The cine spools used by Kodak in the 1970's were grey, solid on one side and with (AFAIR) 6 apertures on the other side so you could see how much film was present, and with a slot extending down to the core to facilitate attachment of the end of the film. By the late 1980's the spools were black, and solid on both sides, with a threading slot on one side only. If you are desperate and can wait a few weeks, I should still have some surplus 3" cine spools somewhere, but the house is a bit chaotic at present as we are having some building work done. While cine spools will work, it seems from your original post that you are looking for authentic tape spools.
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Old 4th Sep 2018, 10:14 pm   #5
jamesperrett
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Default Re: 3 inch reel to reel tape

Leader tape was often supplied on 3" spools although later it was supplied on hubs. There are some 3" reels of leader tape at https://www.splicit.com/Reel-to-Reel...100-p/lt25.htm (and possibly other places - that was the first one I found).
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Old 4th Sep 2018, 10:22 pm   #6
Mr Thunderbirds
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Default Re: 3 inch reel to reel tape

Quote:
Originally Posted by emeritus View Post
3" Standard 8 cine spools are very different in appearance from 3" tape spools.
Yes, on reflection, and after some googling it seems cine spools are very different in appearance. Clear authentic tape spools are what Im
after. Thanks for the reply though

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesperrett View Post
Leader tape was often supplied on 3" spools although later it was supplied on hubs. There are some 3" reels of leader tape at https://www.splicit.com/Reel-to-Reel...100-p/lt25.htm (and possibly other places - that was the first one I found).
Thanks for that, James - its a good lead if youll pardon the pun. Ill check out some other suppliers too.
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Old 4th Sep 2018, 10:38 pm   #7
Half a Mullard
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Default Re: 3 inch reel to reel tape

I think the leader tape spools look right. This is a 3 inch tape spool from my own collection which looks very similar. From memory they were not uncommon at the time so hopefully a couple will turn up.
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Old 4th Sep 2018, 11:29 pm   #8
captainpugwash
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Default Re: 3 inch reel to reel tape

Good evening Alex,
I have found one reel with some tape on it. You are welcome to it free of charge.
I know you are looking for two but this could be a starter for ten,well,two anyway
If you are interested,pm me your address and I will get it off to you.
Kind regards,
David
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Old 5th Sep 2018, 6:07 am   #9
suebutcher
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Default Re: 3 inch reel to reel tape

The three inch size was used for "letter tapes", which came in boxes designed for posting. I may have a spare.
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Old 5th Sep 2018, 7:37 am   #10
Edward Huggins
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Default Re: 3 inch reel to reel tape

There were both 3" and 3 1/4" sizes.
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Old 5th Sep 2018, 8:44 am   #11
emeritus
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Default Re: 3 inch reel to reel tape

I have seen whipping twine in a yacht chandlers that was wound on clear plastic standard 8 - sized 3" spools, but these have solid sides with a radial threading slot.
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Old 5th Sep 2018, 10:57 am   #12
Neutrino
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Default Re: 3 inch reel to reel tape

I have three 3 tape spools and one 3 inch tape spool.
  • Grundig TPD7
  • Scotch Onefive Special
  • Emitape 3
  • Emitape 3

These are probably over 50 years old but have been kept in their boxes.

Price: 2 each plus 1.26 for Royal Mail large letter second class postage.

If these are of interest to you PM to me with your address and state which ones you want.

David
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Old 5th Sep 2018, 11:56 am   #13
Mr Thunderbirds
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Default Re: 3 inch reel to reel tape

Thanks all for your helpful replies.

I appreciate your help - the offers of reels and the information around what they are called and possible alternative sources.

Desperation brought me here, having failed to find examples in as new condition to complement by pristine recorder. Accordingly, having posted here, this morning I found half a dozen 3 inch Emitape reels from the '60s in unused condition on Gumtree.

Sincere thanks for all your help once again.

Case closed - I think!
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