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How to debug VHS tapes?

(22 posts)
  1. Aris

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jul 10 2009 14:17:32
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    What are the most effective ways to treat old VHS tapes to remove bed bugs, without compromising the quality of the tapes and without having to put the tapes into storage for 18 months?
    I'm assuming someone will mention Vikane gas.
    What are the other options?

  2. Aris

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Jul 15 2009 12:20:13
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    The response to this question has not been very encouraging.

  3. angie

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Jul 15 2009 12:28:20
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    Sorry you havent been helped yet. Sometimes it takes a while for someone to answer. I had several VHS but I did have to store them in the garage. It was winter and the cold did help me alot. I honestly do not know a way to safely clean the tapes, I cold storaged mine and dealt without the movies for a while. Sorry, no words of wisdom. good luck!!

  4. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Jul 15 2009 12:43:49
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    The thermal folks told me to remove them from the house so heat didn't damage them. As a result, I'd be concerned about using heat (thermal remediation of the structure, thermal chamber treatment, Packtite, etc.) to treat them.

    I removed mine from the house for treatment. I put them in large bins. I stored those bins outside in a non-climate controlled environment in southern California for 8 months. Partway into month 9, when I figured any bugs alive at that point were either adults or late stage nymphs, I tossed DDVP strips in each bin for a week. I then opened those bins one at a time outside to let the fumigant outgas (dear God, I'm an English major. When did I start talking like this? Off label use, fumigant outgassing . . . the mind, it boggles), and brought them back in. My VCRs aren't hooked up (and haven't been since treatment) so I can't tell you if they were damaged.

    But honestly, I probably just would have done without them for a year or so. It sucked a couple of times to be without them that long, but I managed.

  5. Aris

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jul 17 2009 8:23:35
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    buggyinsocal - 1 day ago  » 
    Partway into month 9, when I figured any bugs alive at that point were either adults or late stage nymphs, I tossed DDVP strips in each bin for a week. I then opened those bins one at a time outside to let the fumigant outgas ... and brought them back in. My VCRs aren't hooked up (and haven't been since treatment) so I can't tell you if they were damaged.

    My concern with that approach is that we haven't heard yet whether DDVP may damage VHS tape. With the reports of DDVP being corrosive to certain other materials, I'd be afraid to take the chance of using it.

  6. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jul 17 2009 9:27:54
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    Then your best bet is probably to put the items into sealed containers and put them into storage for 18 months.

    There really are limited options when it comes to some materials. Heat and corrosive chemicals are going to be especially damaging to certain items, and when Vikane isn't available, storage is pretty much the only option left. I haven't heard of anyone else successfully using anything else on items like VHS tapes.

  7. de-selftreat

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jul 17 2009 9:42:15
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    Or if there are some that you 100% need, you could take those out of the place where you're storing the others and open them up with a screwdriver and see if they have BBs in them, which you cd then physically remove. I think once the case is open it'd be easy to see. To be thorough it'd take lots of time, so I can see you wouldn't want to do it with all of them.
    Movies are all on DVD (or torrents) anyway.

  8. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jul 17 2009 9:47:20
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    Seal them in ziplocs and starve the things.

    I have read and heard of the Vapona corrosive effects but never found if that was the solid or the gaseous form.

    Jim

  9. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jul 17 2009 9:48:00
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    I didn't suggest inspection only because I know how many old VHS tapes I had before treatment. I ditched most of them, keeping only the stuff that wasn't available on DVD and wasn't likely to be easily downloadable or watchable online. But inspecting all of those? Sheesh. My eyes would have given out on me if I tried to inspect them all. (And also, when I was in the throes of bed bug panic, inspection alone wasn't going to give me peace of mind.)

    Inspecting the handful of tapes that you absolutely can't live without for that period of time is also an option, if you trust your inspection skills. Given how small and clear unfed nymphs can be, it wouldn't be my first choice for dealing with them. And if you're talking about a lot of tapes, then I would be worried about fatigue making the inspections less accurate. But if it were just a handful of tapes, that could work.

  10. cilecto

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Jul 19 2009 13:12:10
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    I'd say bag the tapes for 2 weeks (so any eggs will hatch) then pace yourself and do only 1-2 at a time. Use a surface that where you can spot and trap any escapees. The only sensitive items in the cassette are the tape reels and tape. The housing (sans tape) can be soaked in soapy 120-degree water and rinsed or just replaced with a fresh one.

    Please tell us how this all turns out

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  11. Desparate

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Jul 21 2009 0:40:09
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    Our PCO told us to put the tapes in large clear plastic bags with a HotShot No Pest Strip, seal the bags and place them outside of the house during the thermal treatment. Then after a week or so he will return and have the dog check the bags when opened. We are getting ready to do that in prep for the house thermal.

  12. anobid

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Jul 21 2009 12:39:11
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    I guess there must be a BETA way!!!!

  13. Aris

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Jul 22 2009 1:23:38
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    Desparate - 1 day ago  » 
    Our PCO told us to put the tapes in large clear plastic bags with a HotShot No Pest Strip, seal the bags and place them outside of the house during the thermal treatment. Then after a week or so he will return and have the dog check the bags when opened. We are getting ready to do that in prep for the house thermal.

    Please, PLEASE, come back afterward and let us know if the exposure to the HotShot No Pest Strip had any effect on the image quality of the tapes.

  14. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Jul 22 2009 17:11:33
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    Hi,

    I will check to see if my VCR still works. If it does I will try a few things in London to see if there are a few other options.

    I must confess I had seen the title of this thread a few days ago and the concept has been vexing me ever since.

    I did have fun sketching a way to convert infect VCR tapes to PC using a converter and isolation chamber. It may actually be the best thing to aim for and I am sure other may be interested in it as a service (now before anyone says it, the video format in the UK is different to the US so I am not fishing for business).

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

  15. Aris

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Jul 23 2009 13:52:35
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    David,
    I've been converting old VHS tapes to digital format for several months (totally unrelated to possible bedbug infestation). Alas, doing it well, capturing the optimal image quality, has turned out to be a much more difficult and time-consuming undertaking than one might assume. I wish it were as easy as just sticking a tape into a machine and pressing the 'convert' button. (Although, now that I think about it, I could convert the tapes to crappy quality files relatively quickly, watch those digitalized recordings for the time being while the old tapes are in storage for 18 months, then get back to doing high-quality conversions after the 18-month waiting period has passed.)

    As for others' suggestions of deconstructing individual tapes to inspect their entrails, well, I don't want to take the risk of damaging the tapes that way (and besides, I have something approaching 100 tapes that I would have to go through ... ).

  16. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Jul 23 2009 14:04:15
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    Pesky PAL vs. NTSC issues.

    Someone I took a class with in grad school had a VCR that played both formats. I'm not sure if it also played the French format. And since everyone seems to be largely abandoning VCRs in favor of DVD players (often region free ones) and/or DVRs, I'm not sure how easy they would be to find.

    My guess would be at this point that you'd have to get a professional quality one which is going to be expensive.

    buggy
    (proud owner of an old school VCR that she wants to get fixed because it's better than anything short of professional grade that you can buy now so she can play the handful of VHS her tapes that aren't available on DVD or by download yet.)

  17. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Jul 23 2009 14:51:45
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    Hi Aris,

    I know what you mean but this is something new I saw that does not compress the video before it arrives at the PC, link below:

    http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?moduleno=224587

    I know its time consuming, I still have a massive vinyl collection that needs to be converted and some of them have never been played before as they are extremely limited edition records and unreleased artists white labels.

    I am not a fan of ipods and MP3 because the compression looses so much of the sound quality. In fact I used to have a revox reel to reel audio unit with some amazing doors tracks the sound quality of which was so much more meaty and bassie than vinyl or CD.

    Oops in danger of going OT on this one but music is a passion of mine as well although I don't get as much time to listen as I would like.

    Still trying to find time to check the VCR at home to see if it still works.

    David

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bedbug infestations in domestic and commercial settings. The patent numbers are GB2463953 and GB2470307.
  18. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Jul 23 2009 15:38:46
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    David,
    Look into products such as the Zoom H2 by Samson. It will record files into .wav in stoopid high quality.

    I set it up to record an old cassette my brother in law uses at Halloween. Easy as pie. Pssst, it is a concert bootleggers dream gadget

    $200 or so.

    Jim

  19. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Jul 23 2009 15:58:32
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    Yeah Jim but I bet its 120Volts and not 240V although some of my antique medical apparatus collection is 120V so I have power converters around somewhere.

    If anyone is looking for hot and rare boots of Prince material drop me a PM.

    David

  20. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Jul 23 2009 16:01:36
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    Actually David it is a little hand held recorder running off 2 AA batteries. Y'all got 240 V versions of those?

    Check it out....Great for interviews too for archiving.

    http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodid=1916

  21. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Jul 23 2009 16:08:46
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    OK Jim, sold me on that one. I will get Terry to source me one, shame I dont get enough time to go gigging anymore.

    David

  22. cilecto

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Jul 23 2009 17:05:24
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    spideyjg - 1 hour ago  » 
    David,
    Look into products such as the Zoom H2 by Samson. It will record files into .wav in stoopid high quality.
    I set it up to record an old cassette my brother in law uses at Halloween. Easy as pie. Pssst, it is a concert bootleggers dream gadget
    $200 or so.
    Jim

    Alternative: Behringer UCA-202 external (USB) sound card ($30 USD) + Audacity software (donation or free).

    To stay on topic, I had the Behringer near my bed during my BB episode last summer. It went in "the tank" (5 gallon plastic paint bucket) with naphthalene. Opened it later and found nothing.


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