Tape Storage and Handling
To extend and enhance the reliability and
performance of magnetic tape reels, cartridges,
cassettes, and their respective units, you should adhere
to the following rules:
Store tape reels, cartridges, and cassettes in
dustproof containers whenever they are not in use.
When the reel, cartridge, or cassette is mounted
on or in the unit, keep its storage container closed and
free from exposure to dust and dirt. Periodically inspect
containers for dust and dirt contamination.
Store reels, cartridges, and cassettes in an
electromagnetic shielded cabinet elevated from the
floor and free of contaminants. See figure 9-3 for an
Do not use the top of equipment as a working
area. Placing reels, cartridges, or cassettes on the top of
electronic equipment may expose them to excessive
heat, electromagnetic radiation, or contaminants from
Use adhesive stickers that can be removed
without leaving a residue to identify the contents of
reels, cartridges, and cassettes.
Do not erase labels on adhesive stickers with a
rubber eraser; the particles from the eraser may come in
contact with the tape.
Magnetic tape is sensitive to environmental
changes in temperature and humidity. To prevent
problems caused by changes in environment, do:
Store reels, cartridges, and cassettes in the room
where they are used; storing tapes near the unit reduces
handling and the effects of variations in environmental
Maintain constant temperature and humidity
ranges (65° to 85° Fahrenheit or 18° to 32° Centigrade
with 40 to 60 percent humidity).
Condition new tapes, or tapes from other
systems, to your computer room by keeping them in
your computer room for a 24-hour period before use;
also condition tapes removed from your computer room
upon their return, and before their reuse.
Human handling of magnetic tapes can itself cause
tape and unit problems. Magnetic recording surfaces
are delicate and sensitive to dust, airborne
contaminants, and the oils, acids, and other
contaminants contained on human skin. DO NOT
handle the metallic oxide surface of magnetic recording
media, in particular the usable recording surface
between beginning-of-tape (BOT) marker and
end-of-tape (EOT) marker.
The contaminants contained on human skin are
harmful to both the oxide coating of magnetic tape and
the precision mechanics of the unit using the tape. All
surfaces of the unit should be cleaned thoroughly
following handling. In addition, clean magnetic tape
units periodically, as specilized in the units technical
manual and/or Planned Maintenance System (PMS)
Maintenance Index Pages (MIPs) and Maintenance
Requirement Cards (MRCs).
Magnetic tapes, particularly tapes on open reels,
require several maintenance actions.
maintenance actions are cleaning, certifying,
degaussing, stripping, and splicing.
CLEANING. Do not clean magnetic tape by
hand. A special machine is used to clean tape. The
tape cleaner performs two functions:
It shaves the oxide side of the tape with a series
of razors to remove any loose oxide and embedded
It then wipes down both sides of the tape with a
cleaning solution to remove any remaining oxide
particles or contaminants
Tape cleaners do not alter the flux patterns stored
on a tape; however, cleaning tapes on which
information is stored is not recommended. Tape
Figure 9-3.A magnetic media storage container.
cleaners will reduce the static charge buildup on