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Ben:

Excalibur makes a model that was customized just for baking takes for 
the FBI. It has a fairly precise digital control, is programmable, and 
can run for days if need be without turning off (a very important 
feature). You have to ask for this model though, they don't make it 
available on-line.

http://www.excaliburdehydrator.com/

Their units are made well, can fit any diameter and width reel of audio 
or videotape, and are not expensive. I've been using one for about six 
years and am very happy with it.

When I bake tapes I also suggest to slowly ramp up and down the temp at 
start and end. That way you don't shock the tape. 5-8 degrees every 20 
minutes or so from room temp to baking temp. I prefer to bake my tapes 
at a conservative 126F. 8 hours is not a long time, as Richard points 
out - a longer bake time is a good idea. I usually start to ramp my temp 
up late afternoon or early evening, let the tape bake overnight and in 
the morning slowly ramp down the temp, then transfer later in the 
afternoon after the tape is totally cooled down to room temp. This is 
for any tape width 1/2" or under.

Also Ben, understand that this is only a temporary fix. After 5-7 days 
the tape begins to go back to the same condition it was in before you 
baked it.

Regards,

John Schroth


On 8/19/2012 4:03 PM, James Roth wrote:
> Thank you, everyone.
>
> Only, where do I get an oven that circulates air?
> Is that not a convection oven?
> I don't  know any regular kitchen over that circulates air.
> Maybe I've lived a sheltered life.  LOL.
>
> OY!!
>
> Ben
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Richard L. Hess
> Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2012 3:57 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] AMPEX 407 TAPE
>
> Hi, Ben/James,
>
> If you use 54 C most plastic reels survive well. Get a set of convert-a-trays and use spacers to hold the 7-inch reels flat in the dehydrator.
>
> The claims at the end of the patent provide the gist of it.
>
> I was talking to some folks at a major repository with climate-controlled storage and they are still getting by with baking tapes for 8 hours or less. Many of us receiving tapes that had been stored "in the wild" vs. "in captivity" see baking times of 24 hours as common. It surprised the good folks at the archive when it came up in our discussion.
>
> In my opinion, one of the worst things you can do to a reel that should have been baked is unspool it prior to baking. This creates problems for reels that have acetate tapes inside a layer of need-to-be-baked tape and there is no good solution for it. Fortunately, you may be lucky unwinding the tape that needs baking as the acetate tape is closer to the centre of the reel and the outer wraps did not have the higher pressures that the inner wraps would.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Richard
>
> On 2012-08-19 2:24 PM, James Roth wrote:
>> Hello again,
>>
>> I have one more question about baking audio tape.
>> Should it be indirect heat and how far from the filament (heat source) should the tape be?
>> What about the plastic reels?  These are 7-inch reels holding Ampex 407 tape.
>>
>> Maybe I should try baking an empty reel at 130 degrees Fahrenheit before I try to bake the tapes in the reels.
>>
>> Please comment ASAP.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Ben Roth
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of James Roth
>> Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2012 1:05 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] AMPEX 407 TAPE
>> Importance: High
>>
>> Dear Richard,
>>
>> Thank you for answering my email.
>>
>> No, I did not bake it.  I did not know about baking tape.
>> Please tell me in what I should bake it, at what temp and for how long?
>>    
>> Also, what is "SSS"?
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Richard L. Hess
>> Sent: Friday, August 17, 2012 5:41 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] AMPEX 407 TAPE
>>
>> Ben,
>>
>> Did you bake this tape prior to attempting playback?
>>
>> This is classic SSS where the mag coat pulls off.
>>
>> The reason it happens closer to the hub is there is more pressure there.
>> Please folks, don't try and play known SSS tapes without baking.
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> Richard
>>
>>
>> On 2012-08-17 5:08 PM, James Roth wrote:
>>> Greetings everyone.
>>>
>>> I'm having some trouble with peeling Ampex 407 tape.
>>> The magnetic coating on the inner 100 or so feet is peeling like crazy.
>>> When I play it, the static electricity causes the tape to cling to the layer just next to it (still on the reel).
>>> It's not crackling - just peeling.  The tape is from around 1977 and was kept in a fairly cool/dry place.
>>>
>>> Ben Roth
>>>