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Development of a Subminiature Tape Recorder

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This paper tells why, when it was decided to develop a subminiature magnetic recorder, tape was selected i preference to wire as the recording medium. The design goals set for the pocket-sized recorder and the reasons for them are discussed, as are the major mechanical and electronic problems and the solutions ultimately arrived at. One of the aims was the widest possible utilization of standard components rather than special parts, as the latter would entail high tooling costs. Also, -compatibility,- which would permit the small -Tapette- reels to fit on standard home or studio recorders for loudspeaker reproduction or for transfer purposes; this was considered of major importance. The entire unit-including the stacked reels which hold two hours of tape-occupies a space of 6 1/2 in. x 4 1/2 in. x 1 1/2 in. and weighs only 2 lb. The strategic placing of Mumetal tabs and the use of filters to minimize motor-brush has is explained. The postage-stamp-sized resistance-capacitance-coupled amplifier and associated audio components are described and the reasons for each choice given. The final result is evaluated to see the extent to which the original design aspirations have been fulfilled.

JAES Volume 3 Issue 2 pp. 91-96; April 1955
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AES - Audio Engineering Society