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Old 07-20-2010, 07:38 PM
Giles Larsen Giles Larsen is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1
Question Endless Loop Tapes

Hi everybody,
I am a musician using a Tascam 424 to create compositions using endless loop tapes and vocal arrangements. I recently purchased a 488 because I was interested in adding to the complexity of the songs with four more tracks, but was disappointed when I realized the 488 won't play endless loop tapes.

I assume this is because the 488 has a dual capstan? If so, does anyone know of any way to modify the 488 to allow endless loop play, or any modification that can be done with the tapes to allow it?
Old 07-21-2010, 12:15 AM
390FE's Avatar
390FE 390FE is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Western NY
Posts: 6,203
Well I am going by memory of what the old endless loop Answering Machine Cassette Tapes looked like. So far the only things I can remember about them are.

1) They have a metal sensing foil in the tape so the Answering Machine would stop at the end of the loop & be ready for the next incomming call.

2) And this is one reason why SOME tape decks would NOT/could NOT play these endless loop cassette tapes. While looking at the face of the tape the LEFT hub section was just a hole for a plastic alignment stud from the Answering Machine to go in & that hole in the tape usually was too small for the spindle of a regular cassette deck to fit through. The catch is that some cassette decks had a spring loaded spindle & those decks would sometimes allow you to load a endless loop cassette tape into the transport.

Another problem is that some cassette decks have a tape motion sensor built into the transport. This sensor can be placed on/in BOTH take up spindles of the cassette deck & if EITHER OR BOTH spindles are NOT turning the deck shuts off to protect the tape & the deck. The problem with the endless loop cassette is that it ONLY HAS 1 HUB (The Right side one). Thus ANY cassette deck that has the tape motion sensors I was talking about WON'T play the endless loop cassettes.
Now the sensor(s) in the transport can be either mechanical OR electrical.

NOTE: There are some car stereo cassette decks that had problems with the portable CD player cassette adaptors due to their tape motion sensors & thus special adaptors had to be made to properly "FAKE OUT" the transports to make them think an actual cassette tape was in there so you could use the adaptor to listen to your portable CD player.

Here is a little test you can perform. Turn on your tape deck and open the cassette door. Press play (Note: If the transport doesn't start then there are switches in the transport that sense when a cassette is installed & may even have a switch on the door, all those would have to be "FAKED OUT" if this is the case. I know as I have a few decks like this & they are a pain to clean the pinch roller & capstans on because of it & also because of the tape motion sensors) and see if ti starts playing & then stops after a second.
If it stops then the transport has a tape motion sensor & all you do to fake out that motion sensor is to turn with your finger the LEFT spindle after you press play. The deck should stay playing as long as you are spinning that Left spindle. Once you stop spinning that Left spindle the deck will shut off.

Hope this helps.

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