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Q. I've had an intermittent problem for a long time with my Sony 250-A tape deck when using the thinner tapes which takes the form of sharp, static-type pops, mainly in the left channel, with a variable rate of repetition, sometimes several times a minute and sometimes several times per hour. The more often the tape is played, the more frequent the pops. I have another Sony tape deck which does not exhibit the pops even though it is used with the same audio equipment as the 250-A.
A. Clean and demagnetize the heads and all other metal objects contacted by the tape. The head shields should be well grounded. Perhaps a good earth ground from the tape deck may help. One reader had success in solving a similar problem by having a grounded bit of metal foil in contact with the moving tape.
Q. I have a Magnavox receiver which powers a stereo turntable and a tape player, and I would like to add a cassette deck to tape through it internally. The man at Radio Shack said I would have to have the receiver modified, but was hesitant to say what it would cost. If I have it modified, could I record everything internally including the phonograph and the AM radio?
A. Unless there is something special about the Magnavox circuitry, this should be relatively simple. It is necessary to take the signal from across the Magnavox's volume control and feed it into the tape machine for recording. The signal is taken across the hot and ground leads of the control and is usually of sufficient strength, at this point, to drive the tape recorder. The cost of having this done by a technician should be approximately $10 to $15.
Q. What is the proper procedure for using a demagnetizer? I first position the tool, apply power, gradually withdraw the tool to about five feet from the heads, then turn the power off.
A. The proper use of a demagnetizer consists in turning it on at a distance of several feet from the unit to be demagnetized, bringing it very near the unit and moving it in a rotary fashion. Then very gradually withdrawing it from the unit, and shutting it off at a distance several feet away.
Thin Tape Troubles
Q. I use both Scotch 1/2 mil and 1 mil tapes. On the 1/2 mil tapes I have noticed a bending of the edges, the folding of one edge onto the top of the other. This deformation is a gradual process ranging from a slight frilling of the edge to the pancake effect.
My tape deck is kept clean, and nothing seems out of alignment.
A. It is probable that the tape guides are not correctly mounted or not of the proper dimension. Beyond this I can only suggest that you consult the manufacturers of either the tape or the tape deck.
If you have a problem or question on tape recording, write to Mr. Herman Burstein at AUDIO, 401 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19108. All letters are answered.
Please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
(Source: Audio magazine, Jun. 1977, Herman Burstein)
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