Re manufacturing blank DCC

Why don’t we get together and order new blank DCC cassettes from the few blank cassette manufacturers like National Audio?
That’s the magic in DCC - it based on the analog compact cassette. I know it is not economical, but who said that DCC is economical?

It’s not that easy. DCC tape can’t just be regular Ferro tape like the many types of tape that are manufactured today.

The coercitivity must be low enough that the tiny DCC heads can change the magnetism of the particles on the tape, which means it has to be a chrome(like) tape; however, the chemicals that are required to make chrome tape and the side products of chrome tape production are now banned in most countries as far as i know.

Also, the size of the magnetic particles on DCC tape must be very small because DCC recorders basically use 96 kHz signals to record information, and the tracks are very small. This is why manufacturers used the same formula as video tape to produce DCC tape.

So the bottom line is: There will probably never be new DCC tape.

I expect to do some research in the future to try and make regular Ferro or chrome or metal audio tape work with DCC, possibly by changing the recording format. But the heads are of course also a problem: the only source of DCC heads is existing recorders. Unavoidably, the number of existing DCC recorders “in the wild” is dwindling; people may still have some in their attics but are likely to throw them away when they find them; after all, with capacitor leakage and belt deterioration, they simply die of age and those who still have a recorder but aren’t using them, are probably also those who aren’t aware that our group exists and that almost all DCC recorders with aging problems can be repaired.

=== Jac

3 Likes

I have an idea, to cut the VHS video tape close to 3.78 mm and set it in the ddc box, I think it could work. It can only be a bias problem. If anyone can tell if they have tried something similar.
The tape is a standard videochrome tape: chromium dioxide- or cobalt- doped ferric-oxide, 3-4 µm thick in a total tape thickness of 12 µm. As in analogue cassettes, the tape is 3.78 mm wide, and is bi-directional.
Like this Cutting and writing a VHS tape

We thought of that too, and we expect that it would work. No need to adjust the bias or anything; DCC tape was literally made from the same tape stock as video tape.

The problem is that you would need to cut the tape with a high amount of precision, over a long length. That means you probably need a purpose-built machine for it.

I also thought of modifying a DCC mechanism to use e.g. the tape from a miniDV cassette or a DAT cassette. I think those are 4mm. Unfortunately I also think they use metal tape which probably won’t work.

The bottom line is: These seem like simple solutions but they present many practical problems related to mechanics, and though I do have some knowledge about (and am interested in) those operations, I don’t have a workshop with high precision cnc tools or whatever. And I think my time is better spent solving problems that are related to electronics and programming.

===Jac