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Wire recorder speed of wire
Wire recorder speed of wire
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Old 21st July 2019, 02:32 AM   #1
neazoi is offline neazoi  Greece
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Default Wire recorder speed of wire

Hi, I want to find out why wire recorders worked at that high wire speed?
Wikipedia states "Compared to tape recorders, wire recording devices have a high media speed, made necessary because of the use of the solid metal medium. Standard postwar wire recorders use a nominal speed of 24 inches per second (610 mm/s), making a typical one-hour spool of wire 7,200 feet (approx. 2200 m) long."

Why does the solid metal medium require greater speed?
What if I lower down the speed, what will happen?
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Old 21st July 2019, 03:50 AM   #2
escksu is offline escksu
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I don't exactly know why. But my guess it because the wire is stainless steel. Its a good magnetic material due to high iron content. If its recorded at low speed, the recorder head could affected the magnetic field of post recorded signals. This is analogue so field strength is just as important.
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Old 21st July 2019, 05:23 AM   #3
PRR is offline PRR  United States
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Solid iron shorts-out the magnetic fiels of the higher frequencies. Making high freqs "long" by using a high speed makes this loss tolerable.

"Tape" is usually understood to be iron (oxide) *particles*. Since they don't quite touch each other, high (small) frequency loss is less.

Also wire is cheap and compact. (Mass produced industrial product not much thicker and much narrower than tape.) Using a lot of it was not a big cost. Conceptually the high-freq response of "wire" could be improved by sintering teeny particles of iron(oxide) into (or onto) a "wire". That would be expensive and fragile, or need massive development of ceramic(?) binder to make it robust (but expensive).

Lower speed does the same as in tape: reduced high frequency response and output. Nothing "bad" happens, it just gets too dull to be called "good sound". (And the best wire recorders were not all that great anyway.)

Tape improved so much that for decades all long-time logging work was on tape. As slow as 1ips, but large reels, many tracks, auto-reverse. Could log days of airplane or police radio traffic. This is now vanishing because my $39 cellphone with a $10 card can record 56 hours of speech, and any kind of hard-drive or large flash storage can hold centuries of sound.

Last edited by PRR; 21st July 2019 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 21st July 2019, 08:19 AM   #4
JonSnell Electronic is offline JonSnell Electronic  United Kingdom
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Many years ago, a company called Ditchburn made a voice recorder using an aluminium platter with a steel band around the outside next to stationary heads.
VOX made a copy machine based on multiple playback/record heads with a similar record player style platter. This quickly moved onto tape with ferros material that has a better frequency responce at higher frequencies, allowing for slower speeds for similar response times.

Research is still ongoing with high speed media using polarized electrons and a piece of wire. Seagate have spent a lot of time perfecting the transmit and receive "heads".
The only restriction is the speed of electron flow and of course the Earth's gravity and magnetic interference.
Won't be long though.
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Old 21st July 2019, 08:27 AM   #5
eduard is offline eduard  Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escksu View Post
I don't exactly know why. But my guess it because the wire is stainless steel. Its a good magnetic material due to high iron content. If its recorded at low speed, the recorder head could affected the magnetic field of post recorded signals. This is analogue so field strength is just as important.
Hello,
Unless it is 430 stainless steel stainless steel will be not magnetic.
Greetings, Eduard
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Old 21st July 2019, 08:50 AM   #6
JonSnell Electronic is offline JonSnell Electronic  United Kingdom
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Stainless steel is non magnetic and therefore of no use as a medium. Correct Edward.
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Old 21st July 2019, 02:30 PM   #7
lcsaszar is offline lcsaszar  Hungary
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Probably they could not produce a recording head with narrow gap width, therefore high speed was necessary to maintaing good HF (3 to 4 kHz? it was used as a dictaphone).
I suppose the head wore out quickly.
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Old 21st July 2019, 04:55 PM   #8
neazoi is offline neazoi  Greece
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRR View Post
Solid iron shorts-out the magnetic fiels of the higher frequencies. Making high freqs "long" by using a high speed makes this loss tolerable.
Lower speed does the same as in tape: reduced high frequency response and output. Nothing "bad" happens, it just gets too dull to be called "good sound". (And the best wire recorders were not all that great anyway.)
Well if the high frequency response is the reason for the high speed, why couldn't we use an emphasis of the highs during recording so that the audio response curve is equalized, without the need for high speed? Dolby on tapes does a very similar thing, but back on the wire days there was no dolby probably.
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Old 21st July 2019, 04:57 PM   #9
neazoi is offline neazoi  Greece
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Originally Posted by lcsaszar View Post
Probably they could not produce a recording head with narrow gap width, therefore high speed was necessary to maintaing good HF (3 to 4 kHz? it was used as a dictaphone).
I suppose the head wore out quickly.
So suppose I experiment with a tape head that writes on a wire, this could improve the high frequency response due to the narrower gap, without the need for high speed?
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Old 21st July 2019, 06:56 PM   #10
lcsaszar is offline lcsaszar  Hungary
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I would not modify that historical piece of equipment, provided it is in good working condition functionally and aesthetically. It must have a collector's value as is.
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