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Now that you've finished chapter 2, you should be able to (1) describe the physical properties of magnetic tape, (2) recognize the four most common magnetic tape errors, (3) recognize the four causes of tape failure, (4) describe the two methods for erasing magnetic tape, and (5) use the proper procedures for handling, storing, and packaging magnetic tape, tape reels, and tape cartridges. The following is a summary of the important points in this chapter.

The three BASIC MATERIALS used to make magnetic tape are the (1) base material, (2) the oxide particles, and (3) the binder glue.

ANALOG and DIGITAL are the two basic types of magnetic tape in common use.

BLEMISHES OR COATING FLAWS ON DIGITAL TAPE can easily ruin the data or the computer program stored on the tape.

SIGNAL DROPOUT, NOISE, SKEW, AND LEVEL are four types of tape errors. Dropout errors are the most common.

OXIDE LUMPS accumulated on the tape cause most dropout errors. Other causes are dust or lint on the tape, or missing oxide coating on part of the tape.

MAGNETIC TAPE FAILURE has four main causes: (1) normal wear, (2) accidental damage, (3) environmental damage, and (4) winding errors.

IDEAL TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY RANGES for using and storing magnetic tape are 60 to 80F and 40 to 60% relative humidity.

ENVIRONMENTAL TAPE DAMAGE caused by excessive temperature or humidity includes the following: (1) tape deformation, (2) oxide shedding, (3) head-to-tape sticking, (4) layer-to-layer sticking, (5) dirt buildup, and (6) excessive tape and head wear.

WINDING ERRORS can cause tape pack deformation. The four most common types are: (1) cinching, (2) pack slip, (3) spoking, and (4) windowing.

The TWO PARTS OF A TAPE REEL are the hub and the flanges. The tape should be wound on the hub. No part of the tape should be touching the flange sides.

ERASE HEADS AND TAPE DEGAUSSERS are two methods for erasing tape. Degaussers are the fastest and the most reliable.

Rules for HANDLING MAGNETIC TAPE are (1) always hold the reel by the hub, not the flanges, (2) never touch the working tape surface, (3) replace warped or damaged reels, and (4) mount reels and cartridges properly.

Rules for STORING MAGNETIC TAPE are (1) wind tape properly on the reel hub, (2) store tapes vertically, (3) keep storage area clean and at proper temperature and humidity levels, and (4) store tapes away from equipment that generates stray magnetic fields.

Rules for PACKAGING TAPE FOR SHIPPING are (1) support reels by their hubs, (2) use reel bands, (3) pack reels in containers vertically, and (4) keep tape cartridges in their shipping cases.

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