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Author Topic: Help identifying manufacturer of Hi-8 tape  (Read 669 times)

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Offline anr

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Help identifying manufacturer of Hi-8 tape
« on: January 04, 2017, 07:01:31 AM »
I wonder if I might seek help in identifying the maker of the tape in the photo.  It is of a sealed video module from a crashed aircraft.  It is meant to be a TDK, because at the time they didn't use a clear leader tape, which the system sees as a break and outputs a fail warning.  I'm writing a book on the accident, which occurred in 2004.  One USN officer, and 6 UK Navy officers died.  Many thanks in advance.



Offline John Willett

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Re: Help identifying manufacturer of Hi-8 tape
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2017, 08:26:11 AM »
If it's supposed to be TDK, then I would send the picture to TDK and ask them to confirm.

It doesn't look like any Hi-8 tape that I have seen, as none have the "90" in that position and style.

However - TDK may have made a special version for these machines and sold directly to the manufacturer.  As it's an aircraft "black box" the cassette case may have been slightly different from consumer versions with internals to stand up better in case of a crash.

Was this photo taken at the time of the crash?  It says: "if any red shows do not attempt to remove cassette" -and red clearly shows.  I assume that this means that the module was damaged in the crash and the cassette must only be removed by a specialist to avoid any further damage.

If it's a recent photo, it worries me that the accident was not fully investigated, as the cassette is still inside.

Offline anr

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Re: Help identifying manufacturer of Hi-8 tape
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2017, 09:23:44 AM »
Thank you John.  I now have feeling it is a Sony E6-30HMEX tape, but not 100% sure.  I've posted a query on their site, which says the current equivalent has a clear leader. 

The photo was taken by UK Navy accident investigators after the wreckage was recovered from the Arabian Gulf after a mid-air in 2004, 3 days after the invasion.  The tape had been immersed in salt water for 3 weeks as recovery was too dangerous.  The outer reels were badly damaged.  About the last 10 minutes of video are missing, 1 minute of audio.  The unit is "sealed" in the sense it is splash proof, the main concern being hydraulic oil and salt water.  It is not a crash proof accident data recorder ("black box"), but a mission recorder, designed to be pulled out by the observer when they land.  It contains the only recorded data of the crash (officially that is, as the US refused to release their recordings).  This is the only image, as it happens to be the only one in the investigator's report.  The UK won't release any more information. 

I'm afraid there wasn't much care taken by the original investigator, who just took it out and stuck it in a Hi8 machine.  It was only many months later that the cassette was sent to specialists in New York and a different interpretation of what was said emerged.    Many thanks again.

Offline John Willett

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Re: Help identifying manufacturer of Hi-8 tape
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2017, 10:37:53 AM »
I'm afraid there wasn't much care taken by the original investigator, who just took it out and stuck it in a Hi8 machine.  It was only many months later that the cassette was sent to specialists in New York and a different interpretation of what was said emerged.

Interesting - when it clearly says not to remove the tape if red shows - and it does.

Doesn't say a lot about the competance of the investigator....

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Re: Help identifying manufacturer of Hi-8 tape
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2017, 03:35:05 PM »
Thank you John.  I now have feeling it is a Sony E6-30HMEX tape, but not 100% sure.
I have a feeling that you are correct.

You can buy one of those tapes off ebay and compare?
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Online TheMetalist

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Re: Help identifying manufacturer of Hi-8 tape
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2017, 08:20:21 PM »
Trying to read the tiny and blurry text on the tape and it sure looks like 'Hi8 Metal-E Cassette E6-90HMEX'.

But looking at the design of the tape I find a Sony ProMP Hi8 P5-90HMPX looking very much like your picture except for the gold print (if not an illusion).

Perhaps they changed the design at some point.



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Offline anr

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Re: Help identifying manufacturer of Hi-8 tape
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2017, 07:36:19 AM »
Many thanks for the replies.  Much appreciated.  Looks like the answer is Sony E6-90HMEX.  The important things (for my purpose) are (a) It's Sony, not TDK, and (b) it has a clear leader.  So the operator will have some explaining to do if/when it gets to court!

 

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