----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Richter" <[log in to unmask]>
> Jeff Brown wrote:
> > Given the mechanical fragility of the base material in VHS and Beta
> > video tapes, is it possible to manually wipe mold from such tapes
> > rendering them unplayable?
> > And what does anyone think about the chances of success of removing the
> > head drum from a video transport and building in some sort of fabric
> > pad system?
> For VHS, I'd suggest modifying a commercial rewinder rather than
> tampering with the VCR. That is not only because of the cost of the two
> machines but more because there are fewer other parts to be munged by
> the debris.
> Given the tolerances in the hardware, there's little chance that anyone
> without experience and calibration equipment could work on the head
> assembly and leave the result workable.
> The above might also be viable on Betamax, but the hardware is all but
> unavailable today and my experience with it is too limited to offer even
> the little confidence I have with VHS. In addition, Betamax tapes and
> head assemblies have proved far more fragile in my experience than VHS.
As well, since videotape consists of (AFAIK) a plastic base and a layer
of magnetic material (usually metal oxides?), it would seem that any
mould on the tape would be "eating" some sort of surface contaminant
on the tape, rather than the actual tape. Does this have a "side
effect" which can "un-bind" tape and oxide?
Steven C. Barr