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How to recover data from old reel to reel tape recorder??


jko

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I just found an old reel tape with a recording I made decades ago.
It might be damaged but if not, does anyone know a shop in CNX who could transfer it to a thumb drive?
Thanks for any leads!

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If you can find someone with a deck, there's a handy tool, not expensive and about the size of a pack of cigarettes.  Behringer U-Control  UCA202.   It has the red and white jacks for audio, also a USB output.  Then use Audacity (free program) to capture to your PC or laptop.    I'm doing it right now and it's dead-easy. I just found some audio tapes  of my kids when they were little... heard my grandmother's voice for the first time in decades. :-)    

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9 minutes ago, hyku1147 said:

https://www.bing.com/search?q=recover+data+from+reel+to+reel+tape&qs=n&form=QBRE&sp=-1&pq=recover+data+from+reel+to+reel+tape&sc=1-35&sk=&cvid=8AD728D9555049CA99B9E80120E4C9AA

 

Alternatively, a layman could project the tape on a screen, then film it with a good camera phone. Subsequently, one could process the recording with a video enhancing program.

Might only be a sound recording.  Like the old tape recorders for recording lectures.

He didn't mention "video" recording. 

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You might have to do what's called 'bake the tape', which is a process used on old magnetic tape reels that have say around for years, without being rewound.

 

You can look it up, it's not difficult, but it needs to be done correctly. It involves an oven.

 

After that, it's a process of finding someone who has a compatible reel to reel player, and some simple audio gear.

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There’s a good service called A2J in the Palladium Shopping Center at the corner of Ratchadamri and Rajprarop Roads, Pratunam area.

 

The phone number of owner Jack Sakol Sae-Tia is 086-600-3561.

 

His email is [email protected]

 

He has successfully recovered music for me from old cassette tapes, so I would think he could recover material from reel-to-reel tapes.

 

You can tell him that Ajarn Bob recommended his service, if you’d like.

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There are several companies around the world that will digitally archive, just about any type of tape, reel to reel, cassette, Betamax (yes I had one), VHS, 8 MM film , etc.  One is called Legacy box.  You can search and find a few others.  Some may be based in your home country and you may be more comfortable sending your tape to them.

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I am a retired sound recording engineer living in CNX. The first thing you need to know is the type and speed of the reel to reel tape which will determine what type of player you can use. There were many formats but I would logically expect it to be a home recording. The most common were speeds of 7 1/2  and 15 inches per second  but some domestic machines recorded at 3 3/4 Ips.

The next thing you need to determine is the track configuration as there are mainly two domestic formats single track bi directional and two track bi directional. The format depends to an extent on the age of the recording. Single track means the recording is mono and occupies a bit less than half of the 1/4 inch tape width. You can reverse the tape by turning it over and play another mono track in the opposite direction.

 

If it is stereo it will most likely be two track in one direction and two running in the opposite direction. The right track configuration is important. Examine the box or the spools for information about the format of the tape as it was usually marked somewhere - but not always by home users however.

Once you can locate the format information it will refine your search for someone who can play it for you.

Age and humidity will affect the tape but don't go baking it until you know if you can play it on something.

I do not know of any organizations in Thailand who could help you but you might get some more advice from the National Film & Sound Archive in Canberra Australia.

www.NFSA.gov.au

There may be a similar organisation in your home country as well but it might require some detective work to find them. You might also try contacting local radio stations and ask for their engineer. Once you know the format of the tape they might be able to point you to someone here who can play it for you.

I do not have any reel to reel equipment here as it is all in the NFSA museum in Australia and it was professional which is a different format any way.

If I can be of any further help please contact me.

Regards

 

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3 hours ago, hyku1147 said:

https://www.bing.com/search?q=recover+data+from+reel+to+reel+tape&qs=n&form=QBRE&sp=-1&pq=recover+data+from+reel+to+reel+tape&sc=1-35&sk=&cvid=8AD728D9555049CA99B9E80120E4C9AA

 

Alternatively, a layman could project the tape on a screen, then film it with a good camera phone. Subsequently, one could process the recording with a video enhancing program.

A "reel tape" – short for "reel to reel tape" – is normally an audio recording on 1/4" magnetic tape; home videos were mostly 1/2" cassettes (Philips VCR, CVC, U-matic, Beta, or VHS) apart from some few very early video-recorders in the 60'ies and early 70'ies.

 

To OP @jko: Depending of the tape brand, the tape's magnetic coating's binder material might have suffered from humidity in air. Mainly Agfa, Ampex, and Scoth (Scotch magnetic recording tape) suffered from this if manufactured from late 1970'ies and during the 80'ies, also called "sticky-shed syndrome". Also other consumer brands might be affected.

 

There is however a cure available: Baking the tape in a (convection) oven at low temperature – but don't use the same oven, as you have used for the Xmas turkey...😉

 

The sticky tapes caused huge problems to both music and TV/video industry.

 

You can read more about it, and the baking trick, on Wikipedia. You can find more detailed descriptions by using Google-searching.

 

PS: I'm from music business, and unfortunately I know the sticky-shed syndrom a bit too well...🤨

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I'd like to sincerely thank all those folks who responded with useful suggestions to this post. This is Thaivisa at its best, and it is a hugely valuable resource of advice and information to everybody living here, or planning to come here.

 

The tape is an audio recording, dates to 1969, and it has endured decades of climate variations. It may therefore not be recoverable. I will post a message here if I succeed.

 

Meanwhile, renewed thanks - very much appreciated.

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