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Do’s and Don’t’s of tape handling

Filed under: storage-care-handling — 2006-03-08 by Richard L. Hess — Last Edit 2006-03-10 by

MINIMUM Tape Handling Requirements Checklist

This checklist is not a complete guideline. It contains only those items that experience and testing show will have an immediate or severe effect on magnetic tape. Failure to adhere to the items on this list may cause premature loss or deterioration of magnetic tapes and should be considered misuse of the medium. These are minimum handling requirements that summarize good practices.

DO LIST

  1. Familiarize yourself with proper techniques for the care and handling of magnetic tapes.
  2. Learn and use correct procedures for operating equipment.
  3. Handle tapes gently.
  4. Keep tapes in protective cases when not in use.
  5. Keep tapes vertical when not in use.
  6. Make sure machine alignment is correct before use.
  7. Clean tapes before use if they show any evidence of dirt or contamination.
    Caution Mold/Fungus can be hazardous to your health-wear a mask.
  8. Ensure that the tape is properly seated in the machine before use.
  9. Wind tape at low speed (library wind) entirely onto one reel after use.
  10. Leave analog audio tapes on the take-up reel after use (tails out).
  11. Secure tape ends on open reel tapes
  12. Package tapes adequately for protection before shipment or transport.
  13. Use only new tapes when recording a tape for long-term storage.
  14. Break off or activate the record protection tab of cassettes.
  15. Inspect tapes for damage or contamination before use.
  16. Clean tapes before use if they show evidence of dirt or contamination.
  17. Seek experienced help as soon as possible in the case of a disaster.
  18. Protect both tapes and machinery from dust and debris
  19. Keep tapes in as stable and uniform an environment as possible.
  20. Acclimatize tapes before use if they are hot or cold.
  21. Store tape in a cool and dry place. See ISO 18923 and AES 22-1997.

DO NOT LIST

  1. Do NOT touch tape surfaces with bare hands.
  2. Do NOT put pressure on reel flanges.
  3. Do NOT stack or place objects on top of unprotected tapes.
  4. Do NOT force tapes into cases or machines.
  5. Do NOT drop or throw tapes.
  6. Do NOT splice any portion of a video tape.
  7. Do NOT place tapes on or near sources of magnetic fields.
  8. Do NOT play or spool tapes that are dirty, contaminated, or wet.
  9. Do NOT play or spool tapes on a dirty, misaligned, or malfunctioning machine.
  10. Do NOT store tapes in a basement or other area subject to dampness or possible pipe leaks.
  11. Do NOT expose tapes to food or beverages.
  12. Do NOT expose tapes to temperature extremes.
  13. Do NOT expose tapes to water or high humidity.
  14. Do NOT expose tapes to UV light, including the sun, for extended periods.
  15. Do NOT attempt to clean tapes contaminated with adhesives, fungus, or unknown substances unless you have the necessary experience or training.


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