Advice for tape drive repair / maintenance

Jules Richardson julesrichardsonuk at
Thu Dec 28 12:21:52 CST 2006

Gordon JC Pearce wrote:
> Many many years ago, one of the regular contributors to Television 
> magazine described how he'd managed to wreck the casing of a TV set he 
> had in storage by leaving it with the PVC mains cable coiled up on top 
> of the polystyrene cabinet.  It seems the plasticiser leaches out of the 
> cable, and attacks the polystyrene.  I wouldn't be surprised if it 
> attacked other plastics.

It's common on old boxed Acorn hardware; I've found a few where the mains 
cable has steadily oozed its way through the polystyrene packaging.

> Incidentally, if you use expanded polystyrene wall insulation, this is 
> why you need to wrap up mains cables in polythene (which isn't 
> attacked).  Otherwise the PVC jacket goes brittle and crumbly...

Interesting, I didn't actually know that - but I got into the habit of putting 
the mains cables of aforementioned boxed Acorn stuff into bags as I figured it 
would *probably* stop further disintegration (of the packaging; I'm less 
worried about the cable as that's easy to replace!)

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