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Old 06-05-2014, 11:34 AM
 
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I have a couple of questions. I found some old cassettes from the 70's and 80's. They were used as personal correspondence between my mother and grandmother. I haven't gone through all of them yet. There has to be at least a 100 of them. I've checked out about 10 of them and 2 broke. Can they be saved? And where do I go to get them fixed and transferred to cd?

If they were just old music cassettes, I would toss them. I want to save these since there is so much family history recorded on them. I just have no idea where to go or who offers services like this.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:56 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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How to Fix a Cassette Tape - YouTube
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:58 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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Trapped on tape: Transferring audio from cassettes to your computer

You can do this yourself or I'm sure someone will do this for you for a fee ... look on craigslist.
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ouijeewoman View Post
I've checked out about 10 of them and 2 broke.
What broke? The tape or the housing?

Before trying anymore make sure the tape reels freely spin, you can use the tip of your finger or a pencil. After long storage like that the first little bit of tape tends to stick to itself. After you know its free exercise it a little and FF and rewind.


Quote:
And where do I go to get them fixed and transferred to cd?
This is relatively easy to do yourself. You only need a tape deck with some kind of external output like a headphone jack or RCA jacks*. You plug the output into the MIC jack on your computer, then use something like Audacity to record them to file.

*If it's RCA jacks they make RCA to mini jack adapters.


RadioShack Gold Series Audio Y-Adapter : Y-Adapters | RadioShack.com


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Old 06-05-2014, 08:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
What broke? The tape or the housing?

Before trying anymore make sure the tape reels freely spin, you can use the tip of your finger or a pencil. After long storage like that the first little bit of tape tends to stick to itself. After you know its free exercise it a little and FF and rewind.




This is relatively easy to do yourself. You only need a tape deck with some kind of external output like a headphone jack or RCA jacks*. You plug the output into the MIC jack on your computer, then use something like Audacity to record them to file.

*If it's RCA jacks they make RCA to mini jack adapters.


RadioShack Gold Series Audio Y-Adapter : Y-Adapters | RadioShack.com



It was the tape that broke on one. On the other tape, a lot of the tape came out and almost got stuck in the player.

I don't know if the tape player I was using will work for this. It's an old boom box from the early 90's. I'll check out the info you all provided. I hope it's something I can do myself. These kind of projects make me nervous. I really have no experience doing this kind of stuff.

I have a Mac computer, about 7 years old, will that be compatible with the mini jack adapters?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:51 AM
 
37,072 posts, read 38,297,253 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ouijeewoman View Post
It was the tape that broke on one.
You can fix that, there is plenty of tutorials. Also keep mind you can usualy take the reels out of one cassette housing and put them in a newer one. The newer ones usually have screws, not so much with the older ones.

Quote:
On the other tape, a lot of the tape came out and almost got stuck in the player.
Carefully wind it back in using your finger or pencil.

Quote:
I don't know if the tape player I was using will work for this. It's an old boom box from the early 90's.
The important hing here is that has auxiliary outputs, if it doesn't ask around amongst your friends. Even a Walkman will work. Whe they re really old like that get some isopropyl alcohol and clean the inside of the deck with some q-tips. Just the head and rollers that are shiny metal.


Quote:
I'll check out the info you all provided. I hope it's something I can do myself. These kind of projects make me nervous. I really have no experience doing this kind of stuff.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. As long as you don't hit the record button you should be good.

Quote:
I have a Mac computer, about 7 years old, will that be compatible with the mini jack adapters?
No reason it shouldn't, the software I linked too however is not for the Mac and I can't help you there.
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Gulf Coast Texas
26,219 posts, read 14,100,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
What broke? The tape or the housing?

Before trying anymore make sure the tape reels freely spin, you can use the tip of your finger or a pencil. After long storage like that the first little bit of tape tends to stick to itself. After you know its free exercise it a little and FF and rewind.




This is relatively easy to do yourself. You only need a tape deck with some kind of external output like a headphone jack or RCA jacks*. You plug the output into the MIC jack on your computer, then use something like Audacity to record them to file.

*If it's RCA jacks they make RCA to mini jack adapters.


RadioShack Gold Series Audio Y-Adapter : Y-Adapters | RadioShack.com

Most desktop computers have a LINE IN connector on the sound card. This is preferable. Laptop only have the MIC input, but you can buy a USB sound card for pretty cheap with the LINE IN option.

MIC inputs are for really low level electrical audio signals that come from microphones. It is very easy to over drive them with a feed from a boom box and have distortion on your recording.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:28 PM
 
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I'm back with another question. I watched the video to repair the cassette tape. My tapes don't have screws! Can I still fix them? Is it necessary to take the reels out? I checked out a couple more repair videos but the tapes all had screws. Also, there were some comments about using nail polish instead of glue. Which is better?

I have a neighbor who does this kind of stuff but I really don't want to bother him at this time. He's on the list for a heart transplant. He does not need to be bothered with my problems and ineptness.
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,851 posts, read 51,335,478 times
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Just get a couple of cassettes that do have the screws and transfer the tape between them. I used to do that all the time. You just pry/snap the case without screws. Whats the nail polish / glue question? To repair tapes that have broken I had a little splicer, but when it wasn't handy and I just wanted to transfer a tape, I would align the two tape ends, drop a bit of scotch tape across, then use either mustache scissors or a #11 xacto knife to cut the spliced area narrower than the rest of the tape. In a year, the scotch tape might have oozed and created a problem, but once the transfer was done, so what?
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Just get a couple of cassettes that do have the screws and transfer the tape between them. I used to do that all the time. You just pry/snap the case without screws. Whats the nail polish / glue question? To repair tapes that have broken I had a little splicer, but when it wasn't handy and I just wanted to transfer a tape, I would align the two tape ends, drop a bit of scotch tape across, then use either mustache scissors or a #11 xacto knife to cut the spliced area narrower than the rest of the tape. In a year, the scotch tape might have oozed and created a problem, but once the transfer was done, so what?
Can you splice them without taking the cassette apart? Sorry, I meant to say nail polish instead of scotch tape, not glue.
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