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Re: D1 Control Track/RF Problems

 I have been following this thread and thought I would ask a few tape
questions since it seems to be the general consensus that this might be a
tape problem.  One question is whether anyone has noticed any difference
in this problem when the relative humidity has been different.  Relative
humidity has a relationship with the tape and the head to tape contact and
performance.  It sounds to me like the new tape may have different
abrasivity than the former product, perhaps lower, and while this could
reduce head wear it could also effect head contact and effectively reduce
rf output.  Has anyone noticed a higher or lower tendancy for head clogs
in general and also do the drums and heads seem to be cleaner or dirtier
than the former product when doing routine cleaning.  Do the heads seem to
be cleaner and does the tape path seem to be cleaner than it used to be.
The cleanliness of the heads and tape path could be a good clue to what
is going on. Also has Sony made claims about this new stock's performance
- if they have said that you will get more head life I think that it is
very probable that this is what they did and the root of the problem.  
I would not be surprised to hear that if you raised the humidity that the
problem would disappear, particularly if the RH is low  in the machine
room normally -
say around 30%.  Try to get a small cold humidifier and keep it in the
environment near the machine and hopefully the tape as well to try to
get it acclimitized, and go to Radio Shack and get one of the
temperature/ RH meters to moniter what is going on as a before and after
test. They are not super accurate in the absoulute sense,
but that is not
necessary, just get a general before and after reading.  I would not be
surprised to hear that if you raised the RH perhaps by 20% that the
problem would go away. As I suspect you realize, do not go too high either
- I would say stay below 70% at the absoulutely highest and be carefull to
not get condensation which will vary by temperature.  Increasing the RH
will give you a "squarer envelope" from the head as well as more  RF
output - AND it will probably
shorten head life too,but not that much.  

Jim Lindner
The Magnetic Media Restoration Company