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  #1  
Old 10-11-2017, 08:16 AM
8 Track Hack 8 Track Hack is offline
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Radio Shack Super Tape

Has anyone had any experience with this tape?
I am having an issue with this tape flipping inside out. I have only had this happen twice to my 8 tracks and both times it was a SuperTape cartridge.
Is there something wrong with the shell itself that is making the tape flip over? It is the strangest thing.

The tape below it in the picture played fine several times and then all the sudden, it flipped over as it was changing tracks. I had another blank Super tape that flipped over as well before I got it recorded, so I took it apart and rewound it to another hub. I haven't used it since then.

Has anyone seen this happen and figured out why?

Thanks,
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File Type: jpg Radio Shack Blank Tape.jpg (64.6 KB, 30 views)
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2017, 12:28 PM
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Robert1 Robert1 is offline
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Regarding the Realistic / Supertape, those are garbage tape, unfortunately, Radio Shack sold millions of them & they are abundant. there are several problems with these tapes. the biggest problem is the shedding of the oxide & the lubricated back coating.
the back coating would flake off as the loop is moving, thus leaving flakes & deposits all over the tape pack as well as all over the inside of the cartridge shell. you could also see the deposits at the openings in the front of the cartridge on the bottom of the cartridge shell. these deposits also end up on the head & the capstan. they even saturate the pinch roller to the point where they no longer grip the tape while playing, causing the tape to "drag". this also eventually leads to uneven tape packing as well.
i have seen this on every N.O.S Realistic / Supertape i have ever used. i ended up having to re-record using different brands of tape, and dumping the spool in the trash (where it belonged).

anytime i get a Radio shack tape (n.o.s or used), the first thing i do is dump the tape off the spool & wind fresh new cartridge tape on the spool.

if you want to do 8 track recordings, do NOT use any of the Radio Shack branded tape or Certron tapes. the only good thing on those tapes are the shells.
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2017, 09:00 PM
8 Track Hack 8 Track Hack is offline
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Good to know. I haven't noticed the flaking off of anything at this point, but I only 3 of these and one is still in wrapper. What I don't get is why and how is the tape flipping over inside out while its running?
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Current Equipment for the Office:
Pioneer RT-707 RtoR, Pioneer HR-100, Sony TC-228, RCA Vibra Mark 8 tape player, Slyvania ET-3752 (Both Sony TC-228 Clones), SuperScope RT-840 Receiver 8 track (back from the dead), ERC 8250 8-Track, Pioneer SX 636, Sansui 9090DB Receiver, Marantz 2230 Receiver, Marantz PMD520 Cassette, Akai CR-81D, 4-KLH Model 17 speaks, Zenith Allegro 2000 Speaks (bought them new when I was 14.)
  #4  
Old 10-12-2017, 02:05 AM
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nitroengine nitroengine is offline
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Check to make sure the tape is threaded correctly in the cartridge, and make sure the pads are good and true with the tape. Also check the foil splice (I'd replace it anyway if you haven't yet), the ends of the tape should come together squarely. I would also iron or splice out any creases that exist.

I haven't had any Realistics shed oxide or graphite yet at least not excessively, but I have had them produce dropout filled recordings fresh out of the package. It seems that most (but not all) Realistic blanks produce poor recordings. I do have a few that did turn out nice and I do have one (a blue 60 minute) that I play often. I'd make a test recording before dumping the tape, but don't expect too much. I would only buy them if you can get them cheaply.

I've had some Certrons shed graphite really bad. It seems to be mostly the ones that have a black label with sliver lettering. I've gotten acceptable results out of other Certron blanks.
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Last edited by nitroengine; 10-12-2017 at 10:09 AM. Reason: wording
  #5  
Old 10-12-2017, 09:52 AM
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RockSolid87 RockSolid87 is offline
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I have a few of the red Realistic tapes. I've not tried recording on them yet, but what was already on there from the previous owner sounds better than some Ampex and Maxell LN I've tried. My deck isn't a cheapie either.

So all of the Realistic tapes regardless of model are shedders?
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  #6  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:42 PM
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Robert1 Robert1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8 Track Hack View Post
What I don't get is why and how is the tape flipping over inside out while its running?
It is most likely that the tape has a bad segment in it causing it to "Scew" as it is leaving the tape pack & twisting around before it approaches the front of the cartridge. it is most likely because of poor slitting when the tape was made. quite often, this problem appears near the sensing foil. the best thing to do is to run the tape to the point where it starts to "flip", & visually inspect that part of the tape. if it appears to have signs of folding, just cut out that section where it has folded & re-splice. however, i still stand by my opinion that the tape is not worth the time trying to repair it.
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  #7  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:49 PM
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Robert1 Robert1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockSolid87 View Post
So all of the Realistic tapes regardless of model are shedders?
Yes, Especially after several plays. they also start developing dropouts which also get worse over time.
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  #8  
Old 10-12-2017, 09:39 PM
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62vauxhall 62vauxhall is offline
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The flipped tapes I've encountered have all been pre-recorded store bought titles. No idea who the manufacturer of the actual tape was. But I have not noticed the flip most often being close to the splice, it could occur at any spot.

Because they are pre-recorded, I don't cut the folded tape out and splice together. Instead, I flatten out the fold and put maybe two inches of splicing tape behind it to prevent it from flipping again. Stiffening up that section, as it were.

From what I've read, Supertape could have originated anywhere but I seem to recall Ampex mentioned as being a likely or frequent supplier.

And the red cartridges aren't Supertape, just the blue ones.

As far as shedding goes, I've not seen it yet on an 8 track. Sometimes the tape wants to stick to itself or the back coating ceases to do it's job but the only residue I've seen after reconditioning is graphite on the pad's surface layer.
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File Type: jpg IMG_3505.jpg (59.3 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by 62vauxhall; 10-12-2017 at 09:45 PM.
  #9  
Old 10-13-2017, 01:05 PM
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Robert1 Robert1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62vauxhall View Post
From what I've read, Supertape could have originated anywhere but I seem to recall Ampex mentioned as being a likely or frequent supplier.
Up until a certain point, Ampex only made open reel tape for Radio Shack. They never was a supplier for the back coated cartridge tape for Radio Shack. the tape that was used in Radio Shack Carts was most likely from a independent manufacturer up until Radio Shack bought that manufacturer. After that, Tandy, Radio Shack's parent company, bought that tape manufacturer & made the tape "in House", Under the Radio Shack brand.
The tape used the same formulation as the previously manufactured tape. this is really oddball tape as it does not have the same properties & coloring as tape from other manufacturers. Memorex, On their last production runs, used this same tape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 62vauxhall View Post
And the red cartridges aren't Supertape, just the blue ones.
they are still, essentially, the same tape, with different lengths & a different color cartridge shell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 62vauxhall View Post
As far as shedding goes, I've not seen it yet on an 8 track. Sometimes the tape wants to stick to itself or the back coating ceases to do it's job but the only residue I've seen after reconditioning is graphite on the pad's surface layer.
I have seen it a lot in just about every Radio Shack tape i ever had, as well as the Late production Memorex & the Certron carts with the black & silver label
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2017, 01:01 PM
8 Track Hack 8 Track Hack is offline
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Thanks for the input.
This last tape that did this, I took out of the wrapper and popped it apart and replaced the splice and new pads before I recorded on it. Recorded it on my Akai CR 81D and it sounded great. At about the 4th or 5th playing, it flipped right before it changed tracks, and I yanked it out and the splice was right in the middle of the cartridge inside out. Really strange. I haven't popped it apart to see whats going on yet.
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Current Equipment for the Office:
Pioneer RT-707 RtoR, Pioneer HR-100, Sony TC-228, RCA Vibra Mark 8 tape player, Slyvania ET-3752 (Both Sony TC-228 Clones), SuperScope RT-840 Receiver 8 track (back from the dead), ERC 8250 8-Track, Pioneer SX 636, Sansui 9090DB Receiver, Marantz 2230 Receiver, Marantz PMD520 Cassette, Akai CR-81D, 4-KLH Model 17 speaks, Zenith Allegro 2000 Speaks (bought them new when I was 14.)
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