Storing magnetic tapes: best local conditions?

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jfaughnan

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May 3, 2005, 1:47:04 PM5/3/05
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I have about 15 Hi8 analog tapes (family stuff). I'm transferring them
via a 3 foot S-video cable from my SONY Hi8 camcorder to my Canon
Optura 50. Thus far I am pleased with how smoothly this is going. It
takes two mini-DV tapes to copy a single Hi8 cassette.

When I am done, and after I buy the new 20" G5 iMac (out today!), I
will begin producing DVDs from edits of the mini-DV tapes. In about 6
years, when 100 terabyte stores with offsite affordable backup become
commonplace, I expect to create server archives of lossless output from
the mini-DV tapes.

I will, of course, retain my original analog tapes and I will retain
the mini-DV tapes. Both will be stored offsite with copies of the DVDs.
I've considered a safe in my garage, but temperatures will vary from
-30F to 100F. Probably not good!

Are there environmental conditions that will extend the shelf-life of
magnetic media? I'm not hoping for 100 year lifetimes (not feasible
sadly), but I'd like to get 10 years of storage on the mini-DV tapes
and as long as possible on the Hi8s (some of those are 7 years old
now).

Suggestions anyone?

thanks!

john
jfau...@spamcop.net

meta: jfaughnan, jgfaughnan, videotape, camcorder, archive, backup,
storate, environmental control, lifespan, longevity

PS. Before posting this I searched the usenet archives on this topic. I
didn't see a recent posting, but this is a good discussion on archiving
to DVD and alternatives:

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/rec.video/browse_frm/thread/b294cf18cb9ce82a/0e1e506e17e30885

Steve McDonald

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May 4, 2005, 3:18:56 AM5/4/05
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I keep my Hi-8 cassettes stacked on edge in a box under my editing
desk, with a cloth over them to keep out dust. The temperature in my
house never goes beyond the range of 55 to 75 degrees F and the humidity
is generally at a medium level. Some of them are 16 years old now, but
they all play back faultlessly, so far. I use many of them for bits of
footage to fit into new edited projects. The main floor of an occupied
house is usually better than a garage, basement, attic or outbuilding
for maintaining moderate levels of temperature and humidity. What is
comfortable for you, is also best for the tapes.

If you want to keep copies of them off-site for protection against
fire loss, you might have a trusted friend loan you part of a drawer and
you could return the favor. Unless both your houses burn on the same
day, you should be covered. I've got copies of half a dozen very
important productions stored at the houses of two friends. I put them
in ziplock bags and prefer to seal them on dry summertime days.

Steve McDonald

C.J.Patten

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May 4, 2005, 12:46:39 PM5/4/05
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You can buy fire-proof boxes or safes too - put some dessicant packs inside
to keep moisture down.

I have a basic "Sentry" brand box I use for really precious documents (and
rings... "preeeeecccciousssss..."). They have ones designed for safe storage
of magnetic media during a fire, like floppies and tapes. (other boxes may
get too hot inside and the media may melt)

C.

"Steve McDonald" <bigroc...@webtv.net> wrote in message
news:10404-427...@storefull-3116.bay.webtv.net...

jfaughnan

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May 5, 2005, 1:53:50 PM5/5/05
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CJ and Steve, these are good thoughts. I end up with:

1. Purchase fire-proof Sentry brand box and place dessicant packs
inside.
2. Store Hi-8 cassettes stacked on edge.
3. Consider sealing in baggies on a very dry day.
4. Store box at the home of a friend or family member in a main air
conditioned living area.
5. Attach the location of the items as an addendum to one's will and
estate papers.

I think the trick with a friend is they have to be a pretty darned good
friend, but I doubt there's an affordable commercial climate controlled
offsite alertnative. If one lived in San Diego the garage might be a
good option; but Minnesota garage climate can be fierce.

PS. I liked CJ's "preeeecccciouusss".

john
meta: jfaughan, archive, storage, video

Paul Rubin

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May 5, 2005, 1:59:44 PM5/5/05
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"jfaughnan" <jfau...@spamcop.net> writes:
> I think the trick with a friend is they have to be a pretty darned good
> friend, but I doubt there's an affordable commercial climate controlled
> offsite alertnative. If one lived in San Diego the garage might be a
> good option; but Minnesota garage climate can be fierce.

Something wrong with a safe deposit box at a bank?

John Faughnan

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May 5, 2005, 11:54:25 PM5/5/05
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We do have a safety deposit box, but it's not large and it's pretty
full of documents, etc. Banks in our area are mostly trying to get out
of the SD business -- it's just a hassle for them. The boxes aren't
expensive, but they're pretty small and very hard to get. Our tapes
wouldn't fit. Still, it's been a while since I checked for a larger box
and it is worth checking again. Thanks!

john

Paul Rubin

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May 6, 2005, 12:42:42 AM5/6/05
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"John Faughnan" <jfau...@gmail.com> writes:
> We do have a safety deposit box, but it's not large and it's pretty
> full of documents, etc. Banks in our area are mostly trying to get out
> of the SD business -- it's just a hassle for them. The boxes aren't
> expensive, but they're pretty small and very hard to get. Our tapes
> wouldn't fit. Still, it's been a while since I checked for a larger box
> and it is worth checking again. Thanks!

You could use DVD's instead of mini-DV. They might take less space.

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