Sunday, 23 September 2007

How nerdy is that?

I think I've just earned myself extra nerdy-points, here's how. Living, as we do, in the Neolithic, we still use a VCR to record TV programmes we would otherwise miss. There's little enough worth watching on the box, so it's a shame to miss the few things that don't make you just lose the will to live.

So the other day, being awake, we noticed that a particular tape was consistently rejected by the VCR. We put it aside and today I decided to investigate. Easy answer, the tape had broken and was now completely wound onto one spool.

Being the sort of bloke I am, I fetched a screwdriver and took it apart. It was no surprise that various small bits of plastic fell out as I opened it up, but I figured I should be able to work out how it all went back together once I'd sorted out the broken tape.

It was clear that what had parted was the join between the clear leader tape and the dark recording tape, but I decided against joining it back together with sticky tape. I think these things are subject to quite a bit of stress when the rewind unexpectedly hits the end. I dismantled the empty spool, discarded the leader and clipped the real tape directly into the spool. A bit of a bodge, as I'm pretty sure the factory uses a special tool to spring open the slot, while I just shoved it in. Anyhow, it seems firmly enough held.

Poking around, it wasn't hard to see roughly how it works, but I was left with one small L-shaped piece that had fallen out when I sprang the 2 halves apart. I resorted to Google, where I quickly found http://www.howstuffworks.com/vcr.htm. Although the photos didn't really help, the text, describing what happens, did, particularly since I knew that my mystery component had originated in roughly the middle of the cassette.

I dropped it into place, screwed the thing back together and stuck it in the VCR, where it would happily play, so that's fixed. So I'm a happy bunny, pleased with myself for fixing something that was broken. So let's not even think about the fact that I spent a small amount of my precious Sunday fixing something of zero effective monetary value.

3 comments:

ArcticFox said...

Right... hang on there just a goddamn cotton picking minute....

... or more appropriately.....

....rewind!!!!

Firstly.... Yes "howstuffworks" is a brilliant resource for pretty much whatever you need to know.

Secondly, you are not allowed to leave us in so much suspense about what was actually on the pigging tape once you'd managed to put the frikking thing back together??????

Thirdly - well done for fixing it... it's so easy in our "disposable" age to just wing everything in the bin and start over. I am on a mission to buy loads of those reusable "jute" shopping bags so I don't have to use carrier bags!!

Top marks.

FoX

Rob Clack said...

Ah yes, sorry. What was on the tape? Not porn or anything like that, just a prog about the British Museum's terracotta warriors exhibition. Fascinating to watch, but not riveting to blog about.

ArcticFox said...

Nevertheless - It's important for a person like me to get the full scoop on the situation.

As long as it's something that you enjoy watching then all is well and good.

I actually thought, perhaps mistakenly, that somewhere around the beginning of the tale, it seemed as if it were a mystery tape and that it had been around for a while, and as such you'd forgotten what was on it. I was quite looking forward to you finding out what was on it and the relief that you'd rescued it from the scrap heap.....

Thanks for sharing though.

FoX