A Halle's Service, Inc.
Phoenix, Arizona
est. 1964

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There has been a lot of discussion regarding changing brands of MiniDV tape. The issue seems to be lubricants.

Lubricants are normally added to the binder to reduce friction as the tape passes through the mechanism. The lubricant is added to the binder and remains in the tapes "pores", similar to water in a sponge. 

MiniDV tapes use Fluorine based lubricants, and there can be significant differences in their molecular structure between brands. These structures are very stable and do not normally react, chemically, with each other when mixed. 

However, the issue gets unpredictable when the lubricants become contaminated with various foreign substances that can emerge within tape transports, and are subsequently chemically/physically altered from their original formulation.

This can easily occur anywhere along the tape path, within a tape transport, where a deposit of some type of debris accumulates and assimilates some of the lubricant from the surface of the tape. This produces an amalgam of debris and lubricant and when another lubricant formulation is introduced,  can create a new concoction.

There is a possibility that a complication will develop when different types of contaminated lubricants are allowed to mingle together, but currently, we have no test data to substantiate this issue.

The best way to prevent this condition is to ensure the tape transports are cleaned thoroughly and often. This can be done with a cleaning tape (made by the manufacturer of your equipment only). Experience indicates a 10 second cleaning every15 to 25 hours should be sufficient. 


extracted from Maxell Technical Bulletin

Courtesy - Halle's Service, Inc.

Last modified: March 31, 2007