Author Topic: utterly off topic request to identify vintage tape type  (Read 819 times)

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Offline blackdalek

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This could be very difficult, but I'm trying to identify a kind of tape which went out of use 35 or more years ago.

This is doubly difficult because I don't actually know what the tape's intended purpose was... could be computer data, could be video, could be anything... All I know are the rough dimensions.

I first came across these tapes at school when the school library was throwing them out with a load of other out-dated equipment.

From what I remember, they consisted of tape (perhaps 1 inch thick) in a plastic cassette.
I am fairly sure there was only 1 spool inside, so must have fed into some kind of reel to reel machine?
They had large storage cases similar style to an audio cassette jewel case except they were square and much larger.
The approx size of the cases was about 5" x 5" square x 2" high. Black plastic back & sides. Clear plastic lid and spine.

I don't recall much about the actual cassette itself except vague memories of pulling foot after foot of tape out of it (because I was a destructive youngster and knew nobody wanted it). The tape was shiny and looked like video tape.

Anyone know what these could have been. I can't find anything on Google search that looks even remotely similar.

Good luck ;)
« Last Edit: 15:09, 18 February 18 by blackdalek »
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Offline arnoldemu

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Re: utterly off topic request to identify vintage tape type
« Reply #1 on: 16:17, 18 February 18 »
8 track tape?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8-track_tape

mentions tape cartridges which seem to match what you're saying.
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Offline Chinnery

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Re: utterly off topic request to identify vintage tape type
« Reply #2 on: 18:34, 18 February 18 »
You could try going through Techmoan's videos on Youtube. He has reviewed all kinds of odd cassette formats:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5I2hjZYiW9gZPVkvzM8_Cw


Offline ComSoft6128

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Re: utterly off topic request to identify vintage tape type
« Reply #3 on: 18:35, 18 February 18 »
Hi Blackdalek,

30(ish) years ago I was a sysop in a Local Goverment department here in Glasgow. My main task was to ensure that our IBM AS400 ran efficiently, or sometimes just ran at all. Backup was provided by what looked like very large cassette tapes, perhaps these or something similar is what you found?

Cheers,

Peter

Offline remax

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Re: utterly off topic request to identify vintage tape type
« Reply #4 on: 22:39, 18 February 18 »
8 track tape?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8-track_tape

mentions tape cartridges which seem to match what you're saying.


That's what i thought too... Standard backup media in the early days...

Offline blackdalek

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Re: utterly off topic request to identify vintage tape type
« Reply #5 on: 00:26, 19 February 18 »
Mystery solved!
It definitely was not an 8-track. This was square in shape.
I had also posted the same question and facebook and my uncle came up with the answer.

They were old VCR format video cassettes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_Cassette_Recording
The image bottom right shows the jewel case I described with a CD for size comparison.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: utterly off topic request to identify vintage tape type
« Reply #6 on: 10:25, 19 February 18 »
Really, I never knew there were more VCR formats like this...

Offline blackdalek

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Re: utterly off topic request to identify vintage tape type
« Reply #7 on: 14:30, 19 February 18 »
Really, I never knew there were more VCR formats like this...

Yes, 35 years ago was the first time I ever saw video tapes like this and apparently was also the last time I ever saw or heard of them.

I had tried to find out what type of tapes these were a few years back but never had any success...
I began to think maybe they weren't video tapes at all. (I was about 8 years old at the time so what would I know?) ;)

Then yesterday someone's comment on facebook about old tapes prompted me to search again. Now I can finally sleep at night knowing I didn't imagine the whole thing :P
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