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Other Tape Any analog format other than cassette or reel to reel; 8-track, Elcaset, microcassette, VHS, etc.

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Old 11-14-2017, 11:05 AM
Tom41 Tom41 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 20
Microcassette without erase head

I recently discovered my old answering machine from the 1990s. It recorded both outgoing and incoming messages on a Microcassette. No cue tones or anything; it relied on an internal RAM chip to remember where the messages were recorded on the tape and fast forward to the right place.
The slight snag of this is that if the power went out, it would completely forget where your outgoing and incoming messages were recorded, and you'd have to re-record the outgoing message again!

The interesting thing is that it didn't seem to have an erase head - only the record/playback head and a pinch roller. I suppose the newly recorded signal would oversaturate the tape and remove any old recording that used to be there. I distinctly remember in 'silent' portions of the tape though, you could turn the volume up and hear faint traces of the old messages and such that had been recorded over.

I'm assuming the answering machine was designed like this for cheapness; after all it only recorded telephone-quality audio.

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