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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » The Afterlife   » Anyone here familiar with Cartrivision? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Anyone here familiar with Cartrivision?
Jesse Skeen
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1496
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Aug 2000


 - posted 03-20-2005 05:46 PM      Profile for Jesse Skeen   Email Jesse Skeen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Kind of a shot in the dark here, but about a year ago I got a Cartrivision videotape machine, which was the first consumer videocassette format launched in 1972. The machine I have was built into a console TV system, then removed for later use. Although the guy I got it from said it worked, upon receipt the motor wouldn't spin up. I managed to find another motor and replace it, which works but now it won't thread the tape, and I stupidly broke something else when searching for the answer to that problem so I'm afraid to touch it now. Is anyone here familiar with these or know of anyone reasonably close to Sacramento who might be able to give me some help (for a reasonable price of course?)
I don't know how many working machines are still around today, but I have a tape of Richard Nixon's resignation recorded live off the air that I'd like to see. There was even a pre-recorded tape showing how to operate the Cartrivision system, though I don't have that one. I wonder if anyone's successfully transferred that to DVD or any other somewhat current format.
Here's a link to more info on Cartrivision for anyone who's interested: http://www.labguysworld.com/Museum017.htm

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James R. Hammonds, Jr
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 931
From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 03-21-2005 04:17 PM      Profile for James R. Hammonds, Jr   Email James R. Hammonds, Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I know a guy who can fix it for you, but after he does, anything you play back through that machine will have his logo in the nottom right-hand corner of the screem [Big Grin]

Ok, seriously, I have nothing.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6867
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 03-24-2005 05:17 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Another useful obsolete video formats site.

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Stephen Furley
Film God

Posts: 3050
From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 04-19-2005 12:31 PM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
The tape formats are listed with Obsolescence Ratings as follows:

Extinct: Only one or two playback machines may exist at specialist laboratories. The tape itself is more than 20 years old.

Critically endangered: There is a small population of aging playback machinery, with no or little engineering or manufacturing support. Anecdotal evidence indicates that there are fewer working machine-hours than total population of tapes. Tapes may range in age from 40 years to 10 years.

Endangered: The machine population may be robust, but the manufacture of the machinery has stopped. Manufacturing support for the machines and the tapes becomes unavailable. The tapes are often less expensive, and more vulnerable to deterioration.

Threatened: The playback machines are available; however, either the tape format itself is unstable or has less integrity than other available formats, or it is known that a more popular or updated format will be replacing this one in a short period of time.

Vulnerable: This is a current but highly proprietary format.

Lower risk: This format will be in use over the next five years (1998-2002).


Interesting that something which will be around for five years is considered to be a format with a future. U-matic managed about thirty years, and Quad over twenty. Even Super-8 film, one of the most recent formats, has managed to survive for 40 years, and IMAX is now 35.

Another site:

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8253
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 04-20-2005 02:18 AM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tim Stoffel who runs Quadraplex park in Reno has quite the massive collection. Playing with the quads is quite a feat in itself-kinda like running changeover 70mm machines: just something you'll never forget.

One should check out the Yahoo VTR and AMPEX forums and talk with these old VTR "tape handlers", for a bunch of them are just like us "film handlers" in FT - perfectionists in their trade.

There is one format that was left out in that one site, and that is the 1/4" inch open reel format.

AKAI originated the 1/4" inch reel format for portable use. The tape, even though looks like regular audio tape but of the difference being of the highly polished CR02 oxide surface as we see with the VHS/Beta tapes. If one used audio tapes in these machines, quality will be much lower and the rotating heads will definitely suffer of quick wear due to the coarseness of the oxide base of the audio tape.

Here are two picts of the 1/4" reel format. One of them is my Roberts 1000 in video mode and the other showing the only two AKAI/Roberts 1/4"inch home deck machines: The one on the left is the AKAI VT-700, and the right is the Roberts 1000(AKAI-VT500). the 1000 had a price tag of over $1300.00 with a B/W camera and a special BW TV/monitor, since the unit could only be hooked up to a monitor by a special 8-pin video baseband cable. Being a quarter inch tape, thes AKAI's weren't part of the EIAJ forum being of a special format.

1-  -

2-  -

...and also, there is the extinct "VX" format of Quasar/Panasonic of the mid-70's.

This is my first VCR, the VR-1000 "the Great Time Machine" that I purchased back in the summer of 1977. Thing weighs in at 45 lbs and the 2hr tapes had a $34.99 price tag on the box.

1-  -

One has to do a search on the Cartrivision concept. It was a beginning of an idea that never took off commerically.
..Monte

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Stephen Furley
Film God

Posts: 3050
From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 04-20-2005 03:36 AM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've used an Akai quarter inch portable; I didn't know that they made non-portable versions.

I can think of quite a few other formats, there was the Grundig SVR system, based on the Philips 1500 and 1700 series, but with the playing time extended further. Then there was the Sony CV2100ACE half inch machine, which were widely used in London schools in the '70s, similar to the EIAJ machines, but the oxide was different, and the tape ran faster, 11.5 ips. There was a PAL colour wersion, the CV5600P, but I never saw any mention of an NTSC varient. These machines could record both the 625 line and 405 line standards, though I doubt if many of them ever did 405. I did make a recording from a 405 line signal once, just to try it. The longest tape which Sony made for these machines was the V-32, which ran 40 minutes, and cost over twenty pounds, a lot of money in the early '70s. 3M made a 60 minute tape, but it was on a thinner base, and sometimes caused problems. Sony also made an endless loop tape, which ran about five minutes I think. It was similar to an 8-track audio cartridge, but a length of tape had to be pulled out and threaded through the machine. The lubricant drom the back of the tape found its way onto the heads, and the thing generally jammed after it had run through few times.

I quite liked the Philips V2000 system; it was better than VHS, but was introduced too late.

Somebody, I think it was National, before they teamed up with Panasonic, made a 2/3 inch machine, which took a cartridge with only one spool; the take-up spool was permanently fixed in the machine.

Formats I've used, in some cases only once, and a long time ago:

Sony CV2100
Half inch EIAJ
One inch Ampex
One inch IVC
Quarter inch Akai
Philips LDL-1001 half inch reel to reel
Philips 1500
Philips 1700
Philips V2000
One inch 'C' format
Two inch Quad (at the very little used half speed version)
Two inch IVC 9000
Betamax
VHS
U-Matic
M-II
Betacam (Original oxide version and SP)
Video 8

I'm yet to get my hands on any digital format. The media department at the college where I work uses DV-Cam, but I've never used it.

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Jesse Skeen
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1496
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Aug 2000


 - posted 04-20-2005 01:59 PM      Profile for Jesse Skeen   Email Jesse Skeen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've got one of those Quasar machines too, but don't know if it works- I've never been able to find any tapes for it- there were a couple on Ebay last week but someone else was bidding on them and I didn't want to get into a bidding war not knowing what was on them.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8253
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 04-20-2005 06:48 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Jesse Skeen
I've got one of those Quasar machines too, but don't know if it works- I've never been able to find any tapes for it
..I've got 14 of these tapes... 2-60min (black label), 4-100min (blue label) and 8 of these red 2hr tapes.

This unit is that extinct VX format I mentioned earlier. This unit was in storage for a long time. The unit still runs,but there is no video.

I've been thinking of selling this unit and tapes off to any collector who might be interested, yet would like to see if I can get the video going to really "ante' up the selling price.

The Roberts 1000 was a thrift store purchase for 30 bucks and it had the video cable to go with it. I converted the video cable to have one end with RCA A/V plugs on it due to the machine is a baseband unit with no RF circuitry. Unit only does B/W.

The tape I purchased from a video collector who had some of these quarter inch video tapes on hand..a bit pricey-10 bucks for that5inch reel, which only lasts about 22 minutes with tape speed of 11.5ips.

The audio stereo tape recorder section of the Roberts works with no problems.

-Monte

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16091
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-20-2005 07:22 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I can understand why someone would want to collect and restore an old quad machine, 1" type C or early D format stuff or old broadsact equipment but not that stuff Monte. What for and why? This is right along the lines of the CED stuff......

Mark

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8253
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 04-20-2005 09:34 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wooooo..Marko...CED stuff! Good ol' RCA's 'comeback' to Laserdisks...but with a stylus.

Definitely wouldn't touch that stuff, even though the styli's are still available when doing a search.

Actually, I've had nibbles on that VR-1000 VX machine from the obscure video collectors, for they love anything that was unique and can be fixed to made to work.

-Monte

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System Notices
Forum Watchdog / Soup Nazi

Posts: 215

Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 05-22-2006 08:58 PM      Profile for System Notices         Edit/Delete Post 

It has been 396 days since the last post.


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Peter Mork
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 172
From: Newton, MA, USA
Registered: Jun 2002


 - posted 05-22-2006 08:58 PM      Profile for Peter Mork   Email Peter Mork   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jumping into this discussion late, but I did have a machine once. It's now at my brother's and not workable. He claims he will repair it someday, but I'm not holding my breath. I too have a bunch of tapes I'd like to look at again. It was bought in the 80s from someone selling off a lot of unwanted gear. Worked reasonably well, but it only recorded every third video field, which made everything originated on film play back with a slightly jumpy look.

There are still unused machines - the works without a cabinet - which turn up on Ebay now and then. Only this week I bid on one, but didn't win, so there must be some interest out there.

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Jesse Skeen
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1496
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Aug 2000


 - posted 05-23-2006 02:31 PM      Profile for Jesse Skeen   Email Jesse Skeen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Go to http://www.labguysworld.com/VideoFiles.htm to see the instore demo tape for Cartrivision- LOVE the music on it!

Still haven't gotten mine to work- I've pretty much given up on it til I can find someone in the area who can come look at it.

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Peter Mork
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 172
From: Newton, MA, USA
Registered: Jun 2002


 - posted 05-24-2006 12:48 AM      Profile for Peter Mork   Email Peter Mork   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Right! Jolly good luck with that! There may be no specialists out there, but I bet if you try you can find someone to take a poke at it just for laughs. (You might raise their interest if you mention it's all transistors, no ICs, thus relatively simple to work on.)

If and when I ever get a working machine in my grasp, I will post and let you know.

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System Notices
Forum Watchdog / Soup Nazi

Posts: 215

Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 08-28-2007 11:48 AM      Profile for System Notices         Edit/Delete Post 

It has been 461 days since the last post.


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