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Thread: I'm upset, can someone help?

  1. Default I'm upset, can someone help?

    Ok, i just spent a day filming some stuff that was quite important to me. I've just got home and it appears that the dv tape/film has maybe snapped, and has retracted into the plastic dv casing/housing. I'm gutted. This is the first time this has happened to me. Does anyone have any advice on possibilities of retreiving the footage from the tape.

    Please and thanks.


    Don't worry folks, i found a DIY splicing guide somewhere on the net. 10 mins later i was at Tesco getting some scotch magic invisible tape. I followed the guide well, and after fiddling with the dv casing for about half an hour (after splicing) to fit it back together, i was ready to rewind the tape and try to capture it to the pc.

    It worked a treat. 100% result. I'm well chuffed, and kind of happy with myself for getting it done properly, when yesterday, i didn't even really know what splicing was, and i'd never opened a dv tape.
    Last edited by barryzola; 07-08-2006 at 07:04 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006


    Nice one, I would have had a nervous break down and cried like a girl.

  3. Default

    Now comes the important but harder part...why did the tape break to beging with? Did you bring the camera from a warm moist environment onto a cold air-condtioned one?

  4. Default

    Well, i'd been out in the sun for most of the day on Thursday getting footage. At about 7pm i got back home. At about 10pm (after a few drinks) i decided that i'd have a nice leisurely watch of what i'd recorded in the day.
    I hadn't forwarded or rewound the tape from the position of the last clip that i recorded during the day. I pressed rewind to go back to the start and it basically stopped trying to rewind almost straight away (i think) and i took the tape out, then couldn't actually see the tape in the dv casing.

    The camcorder was hanging around my neck for a while after i finished filming during the day, so maybe the fact that there was a bit of shaking and stuff didn't help? Or maybe your idea could be right? I've no idea really. I'm just thankful that i managed to get the footage back. It really cheered me up.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    Glad to hear everything worked out ok for you. I had the same problem trying to rewind Hi 8 tapes to get them transferred onto the computer using a Canon V75Hi and it managed to pull the tape out completely of one of the reels. I took the tape apart (it seemed like 20 screws, 15 plastic bits and bobs, springs, three levers and a few cogs etc) and managed to get the tape back into the reel but that's as far as I got, so can I ask you where you found the guide on the net, maybe I might be able to complete job? For rewinding my Mini DV tapes I bought a tape rewinder from Hama and it slows down the rewinding or fast forwarding as the tape reaches the end, something which I think most camcorders don't do, and so you get a pulling or jerking motion at the end and this is enough to yank it out of the reel. So a tape rewinder is definitely worth the money and will prolong the life of your camera.

  6. Default

    I can't remember the site/sites that i got the info from, but i used google and entered something like "snapped dv tape fix".

    What i did was saved some of the info to notepad, then tried to follow the main instructions. To be honest, it sounds like your tapes are a bit more complicated than the dv ones.

    This is some of the info i've still got in notepad (i think that the first bit is aimed at your type of tape?):

    Splicing the Tape
    Make sure your hands are clean and free of oil.
    Before you splice, cut a three or four inch strip of splicing tape and stick it to the Formica block (These are 2X5" bits of formica glued to the top of the table near the splicing block.). Use a razor blade to cut the strip into "tabs" 3/4 in. long.
    Place the tape in the splicing block back side up (that's the black side of the tape with Ampex 406) with your mark over the diagonal notch. The tape will stay put because of the way the block is grooved. Using the notch as a guide, cut the tape with a quick motion of the razor blade towards yourself. Pull the separate pieces of tape out the ends of the block and repeat the process at the other splice point.
    Place the two pieces of tape you wish to splice in the block so the ends butt together but do not overlap. Use the point of the razor blade to pick up one of the precut tabs of splicing tape and set it in the block across the splice. Rub the back of the splicing tape until it sticks. Remove the spliced tape from the block by pulling up smartly at both ends, the tape should snap out without wrinkling. Set the splice on the raised portion of the block and rub on the back of the splicing tape until all of the bubbles are gone. You may wish to use a hard object for this if your thumbnail is not up to the job.

    GAP BETWEEN THE TAPE ENDS. Any exposed sticky stuff is bad, as it will make the tape hang up on the reel. This is often caused by a difference in the way the two pieces of tape are cut. The Revox will stop when it encounters such splices.

    DV - You can splice the tape yourself. Find a professional audio supply place and get a quarter inch tape splicing kit. You may have to trim the tape a bit with an Xacto knife--I don't know if it's slightly wider or slightly narrower than DV tape; if it's slightly narrower, that's cool. Make sure you splice it on the back (shiny) side because you don't want the tape running across your heads.
    You can also do it with ordinary Scotch tape (the "invisible" kind). Pull out the offending part of your DV tape, cut out he bad part, overlap the two ends and make another cut so you'll have ends that butt up together evenly. Lay the tape down on a flat surface, tape the ends down with a piec of tape half an inch or so away from the cut, to hold them in place so you can tape the cut ends together. Trim the excess tape very closely with an Xacto knife and thereyago. THEN, copy the tape from one deck to another because it's not a good idea to run a splice through your deck lots of times--you can get by with it a few times, but eventually it may stretch and/or break.

    Also i saved:

    For cases where the tape actually has snapped, salvage the material on either side of the break. In most instances, the tape will have wound itself back up inside the cartridge. So, the cartridge itself will need to be disassembled.
    Most VHS, VHS-C, Hi8, and DAT tape cartridges, as well as some audio cassette cartridges, are held together with tiny screws. This makes the process fairly simple, requiring only a Phillips micro-screwdriver. Some audio cassettes, mini-DV and other tape cartridges use a snap assembly, requiring you to figure out which side to press to open the cartridge.
    When you've got the cartridge open, it helps to have a good tape close by for reference on re-assembly. For video formats, take special note of the spring for the shield and the tape path through the cassette.
    On the broken tape, it might be best to load each half of the tape into its own tape cartridge. It's not worth splicing the tape, since the material won't flow smoothly on playback. The best bet is to use splicing tape to attach the recovered tape to the reel. If you can only find Scotch tape, just make sure the Scotch tape can't escape the reel and damage the head of your machine.

    I hope that any of that info will help, at least a little bit. What i made sure that i did was to have a "good" unbroken tape, opened next to the one i was working with so i could be sure that when i put it back together (eventually) it was in the proper working assembly. Remember (i dont want to insult your intelligence, i'm sure you already realise this) that you only need to get it to play once so that you can get it captured to pc or whatever. Take it easy.


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