Tape Pancakes, Oh No!

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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#1
I ordered about 25 additional titles on tape without realizing they are on pancakes. :eek::rolleyes:

Would somebody kindly please explain to me in excruciatingly clear, idiot-proof, step-by-step detail:

1) What are the brand and model of the highest quality 1/4” reels I should buy, and from where can I buy them?

2) What tools do I need to disassemble the halves of the reels and then reassemble them?

3) Is there a video example that I can watch to show me how to do this so I don’t wind up with thousands of feet of quarter-inch tape on my floor?

Thank you!
 
Last edited:

RogerD

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2010
3,440
99
48
BiggestLittleCity
#2
May 25, 2010
969
226
43
SF Bay Area
#3
I buy reels (blank and prerecorded) on pancakes all the time. Not difficult if your machine is horizontal (which I hope your 820 is).

Just need to be careful. Key point, don't just take a pancake out of its bag without having a surface

1. I don't buy the best (Myles has listed some custom reels that are $100 or more). If I need new 1/4" or 1/2" reels, I normally get them at Splicit, near Portland. They are around $32 a reel including a nice white box (which you will also need if the pancake came in the usual fold up container. I would buy one more extra reel to do the transfer and for any future transfers. They are the same quality as you get buying new tape with reels. ATR makes slightly fancier ones for about double the cost.

2. I just take apart one metal reel, so I end up with two plates. Normally you need a small number 1 blade screwdriver and a #1 phillips head screwdriver and take apart the reel. There are three screws and collars. I hold the collar steady with the blade screwdriver and turn the screw with the philips head. Save the screws if you ever want to reassemble the reel.

3. I am assuming the tapes you bought are tails out. If they are heads out, then you will need to follow the directions but put the pancake and reel plate on the supply reel and transfer to a new reel. Saves one step.

5. Now this is how to transfer the pancake to the new reel without having to take apart and reassemble 25 reels.
Put one empty side near the front of the bag holding the pancake and carefully slide the pancake out onto one of the reel plates.
Then mount the reel plate with pancake on to the take up side of the machine.
Line things up and then carefully remove the tape holding the pancake together to check if the pancake is facing the right way.
Then put the other reel plate on top of the pancake and lock the two pieces together with your recorder hub lock.
If the pancake is facing the wrong way, carefully flip the two reels over so the pancake is facing the right way and lock it in place.
Then thread the tape to the supply reel and rewind the tape.
Next, take the two reel plates and the now empty hub off the take up side and replace with a new intact reel. You can save the hub or give it to your dog.
Finally thread the tape again and wind back onto the new reel.
Put a little hold down tape to hold the tape onto the new reel.
Remove and repeat step 4 until finished.

Someone else may have a youtube.

Larry
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,590
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Beverly Hills, CA
#4
Thank you very much, Larry! I really appreciate it!

Are these the ATR reels you’re talking about?

098F692B-5D2D-4481-9CD3-D9FD8BE074B0.png
 

dcc

VIP/Donor
Nov 4, 2012
277
94
28
Continental Europe
#5
Hi Ron,

I guess that you have pancake plates for your A820. I always buy my tapes in pancakes and transfer them on 12 inch reels I purchase from Feinwerktechnik (www.tonbandspule.de). These are the best reels I know. I believe that they have a US distributor (Soren if I am not mistaken) and they also have an Ebay store.

Just put the pancake on the plate and spool it into a reel. Once done, replace the the plate by a reel and you are done.

Kind regards,

dcc
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,590
1,003
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Beverly Hills, CA
#6
I like this plate to reel trick so I don’t have to manually disassemble and reassemble 25 reels!

I have to see if the tapes are tails out or not.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,590
1,003
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#8
Thank you, Gian!
 
Jan 20, 2019
47
12
8
New Jersey (U.S.)
#10
A lot of these newfound, "master tape reels" on the market seem just like bling intended to create a boutique product for the sake of a cash grab.
Honestly, there'd be no difference using 35 year-old Maxell "M&M" reels or...if one bought a collection of Ampex 456 and simply threw out the sticky shed stock wound on them. The ATR reel, in fact, looks like the 10 1/2" Ampex reel from the '70s and '80s.
 
May 30, 2010
15,433
667
113
Portugal
#12
A lot of these newfound, "master tape reels" on the market seem just like bling intended to create a boutique product for the sake of a cash grab.
Honestly, there'd be no difference using 35 year-old Maxell "M&M" reels or...if one bought a collection of Ampex 456 and simply threw out the sticky shed stock wound on them. The ATR reel, in fact, looks like the 10 1/2" Ampex reel from the '70s and '80s.
We still can get used Ampex 406 10.5 inch, 1/4 - Reel-to-Reel Tapes Audio Mastering spools from ebay at GBP 14 and drop the tape - I got a few tens while they were being sold at around GBP12!
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,810
959
113
E. England
#14
Ron, you KNOW you wanna go digital. Just a Tablet to get into trouble with.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,590
1,003
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#15
Stick with pancakes at ihop. They suck (PITA) for tape handling....I messed one up once. Talk about a rats nest of tape !
I didn’t realize these tapes were coming on pancakes!

Christian, were you able to use this plate to reel spool-off trick, or did you have to disassemble the reels to sandwich the pancaked tapes, and then reassemble the reels?
 
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Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,590
1,003
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#16
Ron, you KNOW you wanna go digital. Just a Tablet to get into trouble with.
But then I would face the Herculean task of figuring out whether I prefer MSB or Lampi.

No Marc, no computer will ever be connected to my system. I am quite sure I’m going to have enough trouble with tape.
 

dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
837
82
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#17
Ron, if you want to send me the pancakes and have the reels shipped to me I will assemble everything and ship them back.

I have done hundreds of these.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,590
1,003
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#18
Ron, if you want to send me the pancakes and have the reels shipped to me I will assemble everything and ship them back.

I have done hundreds of these.
That is very kind of you, I appreciate it!

But since my machine will lie flat I assume the plate to reel spool-off method will work fine.
 

dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
837
82
28
#19
That is very kind of you, I appreciate it!

But since my machine will lie flat I assume the plate to reel spool-off method will work fine.
Yes. Just do it in library rewind so it goes slowly in case there is an issue.
 

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