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Publication numberUS3744803 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 10, 1973
Filing dateDec 7, 1971
Priority dateDec 7, 1971
Publication numberUS 3744803 A, US 3744803A, US-A-3744803, US3744803 A, US3744803A
InventorsBazzy L
Original AssigneeMake A Tape Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of and apparatus for tape cartridge duplication
US 3744803 A
Abstract
A method of and apparatus for measuring the length of magnetic tape contained in tape cartridges, cueing the magnetic tape in reference to the tape splice, and rapidly duplicating the magnetic signals from one cartridge on to another.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 .Bazzy 1 1 July 10, 1973 METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR TAPE 3,359,007 12/1967 Perreau 274/4 F CARTRIDGE LI I N 3,534,178 /1970 welgel 179/1002 E 3,381,910 5/1968 274 4 F [75] Inventor: Lattlf Allan Bazzy,Ster1mg 3,431,367 3/1969 274/4 F Heights, Mich. 1 3,556,535 1/1971 274/4 F 4 6 4 4 F 1 1 Asslgnee: Make-A-Tape, 2:?5253 211330 Gabe, 33414 F 221 Filed: Dec. 7, 1971 i Primary ExaminerLou1s B. Prince PP N03 205,625 Assistant ExaminerDennis A. Dcaring Att0rneyBurt0n & Parker [52] US. Cl. 274/3, 274/4 D, 179/1002 E,

179/1002 Z 57 ABSTRACT [51] Int. Cl. Gllb /24, G1 1b 15/29 [58] Field of Search 274/4 F, 3; 242/180, A f and P E measuPng lePgth 242/181, 179/1002 226/34 magnenc tape contained 1n tape cartridges, cuemg the magnetic tape in reference to the tape splice, and rapidl du licatin the magnetic signals from one cartridge [56] References Cited y P h 3 UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,560,234 7/1951 Mastersonum 179/1002 E 14 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures 3,494,528 2/1970 Suzuki 226/90 3,481,607 2/ 1969 Jenkins 274/4 B 4/047'0/6 /72 ("HZ/6164705 22*: '46 Z4 46L/[ 1 \{m J Jd mm J 50-4111 J v ,3 p E1' '1:1' "EJ I 2G Z 7 E 20 GOA/7Z0 [if 014 734 PATENTEDJUL 1 0191s slmsnr INVENTOR (4777/ AZZ/J/V BAZZ) ATTORNEYS METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR TAPE CARTRIDGE DUPLICATION FIELD OF INVENTION This invention relates to methods and apparatus for high speed duplication of magnetic signals from one tape to another while the tape is contained in magnetic tape cartridges.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the consumer entertainment field, cartridge recorders using prerecorded tape cartridges have achieved wide popularity, and are available for car, boat, home and portable uses. However, up to now prerecorded cartridges, except so-called pirated tape cartridges, have been costly for the consumer to purchase. This expensiveness has several causes. First, it has not been possible using unsophisticated methods to produce a high quality recording on tape already contained within a conventional cartridge. Consequently, the recording must be made on the tape before insertion into the cartridge. Second, prior methods of manufacture require a high degree of centralization of manufacturing and consequent expensive investment in distribution and inventory stocks. In the highly volatile world of popular music, where only a small fraction of recordings become popular enough to pay for their overhead costs, those few recordings that do achieve popularity must recoup the losses incurred by the remaining recordings. This requires a much higher price to the consumer than would be required if no large inventories or complicated systems were required.

The local record shop, according to present methods of manufacture and distribution, is required to maintain a substantial inventory of prerecorded cartridges of each new cartridge offered by the recording companies because it is never known for certain which prerecorded cartridge will be a hit, and once a cartridge becomes a hit the record dealer often is confronted by such delays in obtaining delivery on reorders from the recording company or distributor that the peak demand passes before replacement of his exhausted stock can be made. On the other hand, his inventory of new cartridges which do not sell well ties up his available capital and thus reduces his profit-making ability.

Once a tape has been recorded and placed in a cartridge it is uneconomic to reopen the cartridge, remove the tape, re-record on it and then repackage the tape in the cartridge. If reasonably priced equipment were available for quickly re-recording the tape in a cartridge with a high measure of fidelity, such equipment could be utilized to advantage in salvaging stagnant inventories of both recording companies and local record dealers.

One consequence of the current high price for the prerecorded cartridges has been the appearance of the tape pirate who purchases popular prerecorded cartridges and duplicates the hit songs therefrom, packages the duplicates in cartridges, and offers the duplicates at wholesale prices to the record stores far below the wholesale price of the original prerecorded tapes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention overcomes these drawbacks by providing a high quality, high speed duplicating system for recording a master cartridge onto a cartridge containing blank tape and a method utilizing this system to eliminate large inventories and expensive distributor systems.

As disclosed herein the apparatus includes means for measuring the tape length of either unknown length master or blank cartridges so that proper length blanks can be matched with the masters, and means for cueing, when necessary, the cartridges to their tape splices so that the duplication from a master and onto a blank may start at the splices of each. The apparatus also includes means for rapidly effecting the duplication so that a cartridge which might normally require 45 minutes to play back can be duplicated in 2 to 3 minutes. The various functions mentioned, viz., tape measurement, cueing and duplication are performed automatically by simply inserting the cartridges in suitably provided cartridge receiving slots in the apparatus.

According to the method aspects of the invention, duplicating apparatus of the hereindescribed character may be geographically located at numerous points, such as record dealer stores or other places frequented by the public, and with a library of masters and a suitable quantity of blank cartridges of a length to accommodate the masters, either the record dealer or the customer may duplicate the master cartridges desired. Substantial savings in inventory costs and handling charges would thereby be realized with consequent possible lowering of both wholesale and retail prices, amounting annually in total savings to many millions of dollars if the method was widely adopted, and neither the recording companies nor record dealers would be caught in short supply when a particular cartridge became suddenly very popular. One consequence of the lower prices possible to the ultimate consumer would be to seriously hinder, if not eliminate, the tape piracy business.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front view showing the major components of the system;

FIG. 2 is a top view of the calibrator unit along the line II-II in FIG. 3;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the calibrator unit with the front wall of the motor compartment removed for clary;

FIG. 4 is a'bottom view of the calibrator unit along the line IVIV in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a master cartridge having a strip of sensing foil attached so that the same will render the duplicating apparatus inoperative to erase its tape;

FIG. 6 is a top detail of a cartridge in the duplicator unit along the line VIVI in FIG. 10;

FIG. 7 is a partial perspective view of a tape head assembly in the duplicator unit;

FIG. 8 is a side view showing the initiating switches in the duplicator unit;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view through the duplicator unit taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 10;

FIG. 10 is a front detail of the duplicator unit;

FIG. 11 is a schematic diagram of a suitable logic control circuit for the calibrator unit; and

FIG. 12 is a schematic diagram of a suitable logic control circuit for automatic operation of the duplicator.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 shows all of the components of the cartridge duplication system conveniently arranged. The main component units are a controller 20 which contains the logic circuits, amplifiers and power supplies for the duplicator 22 and calibrator 24; the duplicator 22 in which a prerecorded master tape cartridge is recorded onto a slave cartridge containing a length of blank tape equal to or greater than the length of the master tape; the calibrator 24 on which the tape contained in a cartridge can be measured for length and cued to a known point on the tape for further use; and, for convenient compliance with the copyright laws or other data recording purposes, a data accumulation unit 26 may be provided in the system where a code number for each master cartridge copied can be recorded. The aforementioned units may be conveniently housed in an enclosure 27 or may be independently free standing as desired.

The controller 20 can be supplied with volume meters 30 to show the user that the amplifiers are operating properly. It has been found convenient to provide the controller with a mother circuit board into which the logic, bias oscillator, power supply and amplifier boards can be plugged. Multi-pin connectors are used to connect the controller to the duplicator and calibrator units. Conventional amplifier, bias oscillator and power supply circuits are used. However, in choosing the amplifier frequency response range and bias oscillator frequency, the high speed operation of the system must be kept in mind so that the full range of frequencies on the master is reproduced on the duplicated cartridges.

Turning more specifically to the calibrator unit 24, FIG. 2 shows a top view into the cartridge compartment 32 and FIG. 4 shows a bottom view into the motor compartment 34. These two compartments are separated by a plate 38 made of a substantial structural material, such as aluminum. The plate 38 serves as a mounting base for the elements in both compartments as shown in FIG. 3. Plate 38 may be mounted in turn in a rectangular casing 40 by screws 42. This unit may be either free standing as in FIG. 3, or incorporated without casing 40 into an integrated unit as in FIG. 1. The motor compartment 34 in FIG. 3 is shown with the casing 40 cut away while the cartridge compartment 34 is not shown with its cover 35 cut away. In the cartridge compartment 32, two upright members 44 and 46 are formed from machined aluminum to form two channels in each upright. Corresponding channels in opposite members form slots 48 and 50 for accurately holding and positioning tape cartridges. These slots open outwardly toward the front of the machine enabling them to receive a tape cartridge. Machine screws 52 securely bolt the uprights 44 and 46 to the plate 38 as well as to a top plate 54. Top plate 54 is made in similarly solid manner to provide a rigid box-like compartment whose side walls 44 and 46 will securely hold and position tape cartridges. Into side wall 44 at the non-open back end of each of the slots 48 and 50 are fastened tape splice sensing means in the form of contacts 56 and 58 by screws 60 and spacers 62. The contacts are insulated from each other by insulators 57 and 59. The function of these sensors will be discussed below during the discussion of the machine function.

A roller 66 on a movable arm 68 is tensioned by spring 70 which is held by flange 67 on the arm 68 and protrudes through an aperture 64 in the other side wall 46. The movable arm 68 is pivoted on a bracket 76 which is attached to the side wall 46 by screw 78. There is an aperture 64 and roller 66 located in the lower half of each of the slots 48 and 50 to detent a standard cartridge in each slot. When no cartridge is inserted in a slot a stop 72 engages the outside of the side wall 46. When a cartridge is inserted the roller 66 is pushed back until a detent receiving edge notch 204 (see FIG.

6) in the cartridge is reached. The roller 66 then exactly positions the cartridge with a tension force of three to five pounds into a desired preset position. The tension force is provided by spring 70 and is adjustable by means of set screw 74. Set screw 74 is mounted in an upright support which also supports a retraction solenoid 82 for each slot. Support 80 runs from the separation plate 38 to the top plate 54 and is secured similarly to the slot-forming members 44 and 46 by machine screws 52. However, support 80 is at a slight angle to members 44 and 46 to provide for the angular pivoting of the arm 68.

Each retraction solenoid 82 is mounted in support 80 so that its moving arm 84 is engaged by pin 86 to a closed slot 88 formed in flange 90 of the arm 68.

Thus in operation roller 66 and arm 68 can freely retract from the detent notch when inserting or withdrawing a tape cartridge and automatic retraction is accomplished through flange 90 when the solenoid 82 is actuated in response to a logic signal.

A fourth upright member in the cartridge compartment is the capstan housing 92. This member is likewise made of heavy structural material and is secured to the top and bottom plates 38 and 54 by screws 52. It is positioned near the channel-forming member 46 in such a position as to provide a firm pressure to the pinch roller of a tape cartridge when the cartridge detent notch is gripped by roller 66. The capstan housing has two recesses 104 cut into its front edge to provide exposure for the capstan 98 to the tape cartridge pinch roller. Oil impregnated bushings 102 provide a low friction mounting for the capstan. The capstan 98 protrudes through top plate 54 and ends in a knob which can be hand-turned to unwrap any tape that may have become accidentally wound around the capstan. Likewise the capstan extends through the bottom plate 38 through aperture 106 for connection to the driving motor. The capstan 98 may have different diameter portions exposed to the tape cartridge pinch rollers, as at 94 and 96, to drive the tape at any desired speed as described below.

Also attached to the capstan housing 92 are switching means such as microswitches 108 and 108a whose triggers sense the physical presence of a tape cartridge within a slot whether or not gripped by the detent roller 66.

In the motor compartment 34 the capstan 98 is connected by a flexible coupling 11 to the drive shaft 110 of an electric motor 112. Motor 112 is mounted by screws 114 onto a plate 116 which is suspended by shock mounts 118 from plate 38. A rubber wheel 120 runs against the capstan 98. The shaft of the wheel 120 in turn drives a pulley 124 having a belt 122 driving a conventional mechanical counter 126. The counter 126 can count in any arbitrary units; it has been found convenient to have the counter calibrated in half feet.

The wheel 120 and pulley 124 are mounted on a bracket 128 pivoted at 130 and attached by the pivot to the plate 38. The bracket 128 has a stud 132 over which a spring 134 is held to tension the wheel 120 against the capstan 98. On the opposite side of the pivot 130 from the center 136 of the wheel 120, a tongue 138 is attached to the bracket 128. This tongue is connected to a solenoid 140 which is connected to plate 38 such that when the solenoid is actuated in response to a command from the logic system, the wheel 120 will be pulled away from the capstan 98 thus causing the counter 126 to cease registering. Knob 142 is provided for convenient resetting of the counter. Adjustable screw 144 provides a stop so that wheel 120 will not be pushed too forcefully against the capstan 98 causing the wheel to develop a deformity during periods of non-use. Both the screw 144 and the spring 134 are attached to a frame 146 which is suspended from plate 38. The frame 146 contains a terminal strip and all the components necessary for the simple logic required in the calibrator (See FIG. 11).

Like the calibrator unit, the duplicator unit includes a cartridge compartment and a motor compartment. Both units are very similar in construction and primed reference numbers designate similar parts. The motor is the only element in the motor compartment of the duplicator; there is no counting assembly or logic component included in the motor compartment. However, the motor is mounted in the same fashion as the calibrator unit motor.

The cartridge compartment of the duplicator unit has the same slot-forming uprights 44 and 46', the same solenoid detent assembly and the same capstan arrangement 92' as the calibrator. However, the sensing contacts 56 and 58 of the calibrator are replaced by a tape recording and playback assembly as shown in FIGS. 6 through 11.

In FIG. 9, the left upright member 44' may have a pair of insulated contacts 150 embedded in the upper channel 48 to sense the presence of a marked master cartridge in the recording channel as described below. In the duplicator unit the left upright member 44' and the capstan housing 92 have horizontal slots milled out to accept a flat plate 156 and 156a cemented therein and on which are mounted the recording or playback heads 158 and 158a, 159 and 159a, and tape guides 160, 160a, 162 and 162a. The plate 156 is positioned so that the recording and playback heads and guides are at the proper height to accurately playback and record the cartridges. Accurate positioning of the heads is achieved by cementing each head to a brass pad 164 and 164a and then machining the pad bottom to ensure that the head tracks are accurately aligned with respect to the bottom of the pad and are at a specified distance. This can be done accurately to within 0.0005 inch which is well within the tolerances permissible for accurate recording. The brass pads are then securely bolted to the flat aluminum plate as shown in FIG. 7. Recording and playback heads 158 and 159 are set at different heights as are heads 158a and 159a, whereby the transducers in the paired heads are in effect interleaved. Since each head records or plays back four tracks, all eight tracks can thus be recorded with one cycle of the cartridge. The tape from each cartridge is oriented by means of a guide which is positioned to accurately guide the recording tape past the head. The guides are securely attached by screws to the plate 156.

' Guides 162 and 162a are insulated from the plate and acts as a tape splice sensing means to trigger the logic means as hereinafter described.

Also contained in the cartridge compartment of the duplicator unit are multi-pin connectors 163 mounted on a bracket 165 to provide connection between the recording and playback heads and the amplifiers contained in the controller unit as well as the logic signals and commands from the controller.

The casing 35 of the cartridge compartment may for convenience include lights 170 to indicate when each cartridge has reached its splice and light 172 to indicate to the consumer when the duplication is completed.

The positioning of the cartridge sensing means microswitches 108 and 108a are shown in FIG. 8 in contact with cartridges 200. FIG. 5 shows a typical master cartridge having a triggering means in the form of a piece of conductive foil 202 to protect the master against accidental erasure as described below. Except for the foil 202, master and blank cartridges are of identical construction.

FIG. 6 shows a close-up of a cartridge 200 engaged in the master slot. The detent receiving edge notch 204 is securely gripped by the roller 66 to hold the cartridge pinch roller 206 securely against the capstan diameter pinching the tape 208 and driving the tape. The resilient pressure pad means 210 contained within the cartridge, firmly presses the tape 208 against the playback heads through the two open windows 212 and 213 of the cartridge. Guides a and 162a accurately position the tape so that the tape is properly aligned when it passes over the recording or playback heads. When the cartridge 200 is first inserted into the slot, switching means 108a is switched after the front edge 205 of the detent receiving edge notch 204 is beyond the centerline 220 of the roller 66' and arm 68' so that when the consumer releases the cartridge, the machine will automatically position the cartridge in proper position.

It is of course possible to provide for making more than one copy of a master tape at any time by simply using the top plate 54' of the duplicator as the bottom plate 38 for another cartridge compartment having a pair of slots and heads and extending the common capstan 98' to the length needed. Even more duplicates can be made by further stacking of cartridge compartments as desired.

The operation of the schematic diagrams of the logic shown in FIGS. 11 and 12 can be best understood with reference to the normal operation of the machine.

Electrical power to all machine functions is controlled by means of on-off switch 300. When this switch is turned on the logic systems only are energized and this controls the operation of the machine from this point on in response to certain operator actions.

If the master cartridge to be duplicated has not previously had its length determined, this is first done by using the calibrator. It is of course to be understood that the tape contained in the cartridges handled by this equipment is in the form of an endless loop, with the meeting ends spliced together to form the loop. If the tape splice is not visible in the window of the cartridge teh cartridge is inserted in the cue slot 50 in the calibrator unit. As the cartridge is inserted, sensing means, such as microswitch 108a in FIGS. 3 and 11, is closed as the detent receiving notch 204 of the cartridge is gripped by the roller 66, as in FIG. 6. When switch 108 in the calibrator unit is closed, relay 302 closes supplying the logic voltage to the calibrator logic unit at the same time supplying power to the capstan driving motor 112. The tape contained within the cartridge is then driven at high speed until the tape splice makes contact with the sensing means 56a and 58a. Since the tape splice utilizes a piece of conducting foil, the sensing means comprising a pair of contacts 56a and 58a are momentarily contacted as the conductive foil passes over them. This triggers a silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) 304 which applies a voltage across the detent retracting solenoid 82a causing the detent to pull back and releasing pressure between the capstan diameter 96 and the cartridge pinch roller 206 causing the tape to stop moving. The cartridge now has its tape end splice visible in either window 212 or 213 and can now be measured. Because cueing is only desired to locate the tape splice in the cartridge, the faster cueing is accomplished the more desirable. Consequently it is desirable to have the capstan 98 present a large diameter to the pinch roller, as at 96 in FIG. 3. A driving speed of about 30 inches per second will conveniently and quickly cue a cartridge.

After a tape cartridge has been cued so that its tape splice appears in the window, it is then measured to determine its length so that a blank cartridge of comparable length may be used for duplicating the master. To measure the length of any cartridge, the cartridge with the splice showing in the window, but beyond the splice sensing means, is inserted in the calibration slot 48 after the counter 126 has been reset to zero by knob 142. When the cartridge is inserted, the cartridge sensing switch 108 for that slot starts the motor 112 which drives the tape through a complete cycle until the tape splice sensing means 56 and 58 for that slot triggers another SCR 308 which activates both the detent retracting solenoid 82 and the counter stopping solenoid 140. The length of the tape in the cartridge then corresponds to the number on the counter. A blank tape of the proper length can then be selected to ensure that the entire master can be recored onto the blank without losing part of the recording. Similarly, if the blank cartridge is of unknown length, it can be cued and measured the same as the master.

The speed of calibration should be slower than cueing so that a more accurate measurement can be made. The capstan 98 must have a diameter as at 94 in FIG. 3 so that the wheel 120 running against the capstan will proportionately drive the counter in proportion to the circumferential distance travelled by the capstan. Measurement of cartridge lengths to within a half foot has been found practical and convenient.

in the logic system of the calibrator unit in FIG. 11, the resistors 314 act as a voltage divider to provide the proper triggering voltage to the SCRs 304 and 308. Diodes 316 prevent surges in voltages from unexpectedly actuating solenoids 82a, 82 and 140.

After the master cartridge has been cued and calibrated and a blank cartridge of comparable length selected, the duplicator unit is then used to transfer the master recording onto the blank. As used in this invention, "master means any prerecorded tape cartridge which it is desired to duplicate onto one or more other cartridges while blank means any cartridge, whether or not it has a previous recording on it, upon which it is desired to reproduce the recording contained in the master cartridge.

The master is inserted into the master slot 50 in the duplicator unit. if the master were to be put into the wrong slot, the desired recording would be erased if another cartridge were put into the other slot. To prevent this occurrence, each master may be encoded by having a strip of conducting foil 202 placed on the side of the cartridge so that if it is inserted into the wrong slot, contacts will be closed actuating relay 320 which will remove power from the logic circuit thus preventing any operation of the duplicator as long as the master is in the wrong slot. Forxeach relay in the logic of FIG. 12 the primed reference numerals indicate that that switch is controlled by the numbered relay.

Before any cartridge is used in the duplicator unit, the tape splice must be positioned over the pinch roller 206. If the calibrator unit has been used, it may be necessary to move the tape by hand to position it over the pinch roller. This is due to the fact that the tape splice sensing means on the calibrator unit is located at the edge of the opening where the tape emerges since it is necessary to account for the coasting of the tape after the detent has retracted since the tape has been moving at high speed. The tape splice sensing means in the duplicator, however, is between the last head 159 or 159a and its guide 162 or 162a, which is nearer the pinch roller end of the cartridge. If the momentum of the tape as it is cued or calibrated does not carry the splice beyond the position of the sensing means in the duplicator, it is necessary to do this manually.

After the master has been inserted in the correct slot, the master slot cartridge sensing switch 108a closes when the detent roller 66a engages the detent receiving edge notch 204 on the master cartridge. When the blank cartridge is inserted in its slot, switch 108' closes to ground one side of the logic. This causes relay 322 to close starting the drive motor 112 and turning on the amplifiers and bias oscillator 113, and applying the logic voltage directly to the SCRs 324 and 326 controlling the detent retraction solenoids 82' and 82a which are thereby actuated to withdraw the detent rollers 66' and 66a out of the cartridge notches, and thus prevent the pinch roller from tightly engaging the capstan to drive the tapes. At the same time the start delay transistor 332 starts its timed delay and after three to five seconds, during which time the driving motor comes up to speed, actuates the starting relay 334 which disconnects the logic power from the detent retraction solenoids 82' and 82a and enables the shutoff of transistor 336. With deenergization of the solenoids, the detents 66 and 66a shift back into firm engagement with the cartridge notches 204 to shift the cartridges back toward the capstan bringing the pinch rollers of the cartridges into tape driving relation with the capstan, and thus simultaneously starting both the master and the blank cartridge tapes. Thus both cartridges are started together, and if the capstan 98' has the same diameter 95 exposed to both cartridges, the blank will be recorded at the same speed as the master is played, ensuring an accurate copy.

When the first cartridge, either the blank or the master, returns its tape splice to the window, it triggers its SCR 324 or 326 by making contact across the conducting foil of the tape splice between guide post 162 or 162a and the tape head 159 or 159a. This causes the detent retraction solenoid 82 or 82a to be actuated along with its notification light or 170a thus disengaging the pinch roller from the capstan. When the other cartridge tape splice triggers its SCR and detent solenoid, it also triggers transistor 333 which in turn switches transistor 336 to supply power actuating relay 338 which shuts off the driving motor 122, the amplifiers 113 and the indicator lamp 172. When the formerly blank cartridge is removed, the switch 108' opens and discharges capacitor 340 through a standard electrical pulse counter 342 registering each duplicate made on the machine. Then the logic returns to its quiescent floating state to await the next duplication, provided either the momentum of the master cartridge has carried the tape splice off the splice sensing contacts or the master has been removed.

While it is possible to duplicate a master onto a blank by the method at any speed which the structure of the tape and cartridges will withstand, consideration of the frequency range of the system become of considerable importance as the duplicating speed is raised. For example, if a master cartridge is duplicated at the normal playback speed of approximately 3-% inches per second, a 45-minute cartridge will take 45 minutes to record, then the amplifier, playback and record heads need only accommodate the normal frequency range, 50 to 1 1,000 hertz, and the bias oscillator can be set for 23 kilohertz. But if the cartridge is duplicated at sixteen times normal speed, viz. inches per second, which is the preferred speed, although a 45-minute cartridge will only take three minutes to duplicate, the amplifier, playback and record heads will have to accommodate a frequency range of from 800 to 177,000 hertz to I make a duplicate which will fully reproduce the fre-' quency range of the master, and the bias oscillator will have to be set at least to 355 kilohertz. Thus high speed duplication as herein contemplated requires professional quality recording and playback heads as well as high quality amplifiers.

Since this method contemplates recording every track of the master onto the blank with only one cycle of the tape, it is necessary that more than one playback head read the master and more than one record head transduce the amplified signal from the master onto the blank tape. Four-track playback and record heads are available, thus two heads are necessary to record all eight tracks of the standard cartridge. Record and playback heads are paired, 158 and 158a, 159 and 159a to ensure that corresponding points on the master tape will have the same relative positioning on the blank tape. The guides 160, 162, 160a and 162a perform the function of preventing the tape from oscillating vertically across the recording and playback heads. The cartridge pressure pads 210 provide sufficient pressure to hold the tape against the record and playback heads when the detents are engaged in the cartridge notches as shown in FIG. 6. The pressure pads also serve to thrust the cartridges outwardly away from the capstan to disengage the tapes from driving engagement therewith during start-up of the capstan motor as hereinbefore described.

Once a master cartridge has been calibrated to determine its length, it is only necessary to use a blank cartridge having at least that long a length of tape in it to duplicate the master. in the duplication process the master is inserted in the slot 50', the blank in slot 48' and as both switches 108' and 108a are thereupon closed, the duplicator will commence operation as above described and the entire duplication will be carried out automatically. Upon energization of the notification light, the operator removes the finished duplicate and master cartridges from the machine.

The simplicity and ease of producing high quality du plicate recordings by this equipment lends itself to novel use. It is now possible for a consumer to do the duplication himself. For example, since some music stores maintain a library of master cartridge recordings, it is now possible for the customer to buy a blank cartridge and utilize this machine to duplicate a master onto the blank tape. Other retail stores may have exchange plans where a customer can exchange cartridges based upon popularity ratings of the new and returned selections.

Now if a library of master recordings were available in the store, the consumer could rent a master cartridge from the library, buy the right length blank cartridge and duplicate the master himself. Coin-operated duplication is also possible, thus unattended machines could be available for duplication at any time, anywhere, such as gas stations, drug stores and shopping centers.

Recording companies could locate these machines at numerous distribution points throughout the country, stock a master copy of their recordings at each location and numerous blank tapes, and fill orders from retail stores without the necessity of maintaining a large inventory of every recording. Because of the simplicity of operation, only unskilled labor is necessary at these locations to rapidly produce numerous duplicates, thus reducing the high cost to consumers of prerecorded tape cartridges.

What is claimed is:

1. In a machine for duplicating from a master tape cartridge the sounds onto a blank tape cartridge, a plurality of cartridge receiving slots opening outwardly of the machine at one end for insertion of cartridges, a motor driven capstan common to the slots and extending alongside each for driving engagement of the tapes in cartridges in the slots, magnetic signal duplicating means including a pickup head associated with one slot and a recording head associated with each other slot for duplicating the magnetic signals from a tape cartridge received in said one slot to each tape cartridge received in each other slot, means associated with each slot for simultaneously establishing driving engagement between the capstan and all cartridges in the slots and releasably holding the individual cartridges in the aforesaid tape driving engagement with the capstan, and means responsive to the full cycling of the tape in individual cartridges for causing the cartridge holding means to release a full cycled cartridge from driving'engagement with the capstan while an incompletely cycled tape cartridge remains in driving engagement with the capstan.

2. The invention defined in claim 1 characterized by the provision of means for discontinuing operation of the motor driven capstan upon completion of a full cycle by the last cartridge in tape driven engagement with the capstan.

3. The invention defined by claim 1 characterized in that one of said slots is provided with a magnetic pickup head responsive to magnetic signals on a prerecorded tape cartridge inserted in the slot, amplifier means connected to said head and including a magnetic transcribing head for each other slot disposed to impress magnetic signals on tape in a cartridge received therein, and means responsive to the presence of tape cartridges in all the slots for simultaneously actuating the cartridge holding means associated with each slot to simultaneously hold the cartridge in tape driven engagement with the capstan.

4. The invention defined by claim 1 characterized by the provision of control means connected to said motor driven capstan and to said cartridge holding means and responsive to the introduction of cartridges into the slots to initiate operation of the capstan and withhold the cartridges from driving engagement between the capstan and magnetic tape in the cartridges while the capstan attains operating speed and thereafter cause said holding means to establish driving engagement between the capstan and magnetic tape in all of the cartridges simultaneously.

5. The invention defined by claim 4 characterized in that said cartridge holding means includes a spring biased part for engaging a cartridge upon introduction into a slot and urging the cartridge into tape driven relation with the capstan, and said control means includes cartridge sensing means in each slot responsive to the initial introduction of a cartridge into the slot for momentarily actuating said cartridge holding means to cause release of the cartridge by said spring biased part from tape driving engagement with the capstan while the capstan attains operating speed and thereafter cause said spring biased part to shift the cartridge to reengage the cartridge tape with the capstan.

6. The invention defined by claim 4 characterized in that said control means includes serially connected cartridge sensing means for the slots with the control means responsive only to the presence of cartridges in all the slots to initiate operation of the motor driven capstan.

7. in an automatic tape cartridge duplicating machine:

a master tape cartridge receiving slot and a blank tape cartridge receiving slot, motor driven capstan means having a capstan common to and extending alongside the slots for driving the tapes of cartridges received therein at a common speed in excess of normal tape playback speed, cartridge engaging means associated with each slot to engage a cartridge in the slot and shift it into or releaae it from driving engagement with the capstan,

magnetic signal transcribing means including playback and transcribing heads adjacent respectively the master and blank tape cartridge receiving slots for duplicating the magnetic signals of the master tape onto the blank tape,

and a control system connected to the motor driven capstan means and the cartridge engaging means for controlling the sme through a cycle of operation comprising initiating operation of the motor driven capstan means and thereafter initiating the cartridge engaging means to simultaneously shift the cartridge into driving engagement with the capstan for duplication of the magnetic signals from the master to the blank cartridge tape and initiating the cartridge engaging means to release driven engagement of each cartridge with the capstan upon completion of one full cycle of its tape and initiating the motor driven capstan means to stop the capstan upon the release of all cartridges from driven engagement with the capstan.

8. The invention defined in claim 7 characterized in that said control system includes cartridge sensing means associated with each slot and responsive to the presence of cartridges in each slot for initiating said cycle of operation. 5

9. The invention defined in claim 8 characterized in that said means to engage a cartridge in each slot includes a spring loaded part yieldable to the insertion of a cartridge in the slot and cooperable with a recess in the cartridge to bias the cartridge into tape driven relation with the capstan, and said control system is operable to shift momentarily said spring loaded detent to release the cartridge from driven engagement with the capstan during starting of the motor driven capstan while the capstan attains operating speed.

10. The invention defined by claim 7 characterized in that said cycle of operation of the control system includes momentary actuation of the cartridge engaging means to release each cartridge from driven relation with the capstan during starting of the motor driven capstan while the same attains operating speed.

11. [n a machine for automatically and rapidly duplicating multitrack magnetic tape cartridges each of which has window means at one end exposing a length of the tape:

at least two cartridge receiving slots, one for a master cartridge and another for a blank cartridge, with each slot arranged to receive a cartridge thereinto window-end-first,

a motor driven capstan common to and extending across the inner ends of the slots for driving engagement with tape in cartridges received in the slots, and operable to drive the tapes at a common speed substantially in excess of normal playback speed,

magnetic signal duplicating system including pickup head means at the inner end of said one slot for engagement with precorded tape through the master cartridge window means and recording head means at the inner end of the other slot for engagement with tape through the blank cartridge window means,

said pickup and said recording head means each having a magnetic signal transducer for each magnetic track of the tape such that upon a single passage of the tape all tracks of the tape will be presented in signal transfer relation with the head means and the signals of all tracks on the master duplicated on corresponding tracks of the blank,

cartridge holding means for releasably holding the cartridges in tape driven engagement with the cap stan,

a starting circuit for the motor driven capstan including means responsive to the presence of a cartridge in each of the slots for enabling starting of the capstan motor,

and tape splice sensing means at the inner end of each slot connected to the respective cartridge holding means of such slot and responsive to the passage of a tape splice at the window means of a cartridge inserted in the slot for causing the holding means to release such cartridge from driving engagement with the capstan.

12. In a machine for duplicating from a master tape cartridge the sounds onto a blank tape cartridge, a plurality of cartridge receiving slots opening outwardly of the machine at one end for insertion of cartridges, motor driven capstan means for the slots for driving engagement of the tapes in cartridges in the slots, mag- 13 netic signal duplicating means including a pickup head associated with one slot and a recording head associated with each other slot for duplicating the magnetic signals from a tape cartridge received in said one slot to each tape cartridge received in each other slot, means for initiating operation of the capstan means, means associated with each slot for releasably holding the individual cartridges in the aforesaid tape driving engagement with the capstan means and operable upon initiation of the capstan means to withhold tape driving engagement between the cartridges and capstan means until the capstan means has attained operating speed and thereafter establish tape driving engagement of all cartridges simultaneously, and means responsive to the full cycling of the tape in individual cartridges for causing the cartridge holding means to release a full cycled cartridge from driving engagement with the capstan means while an incompletely cycled tape cartridge remains in driving engagement with the capstan means until it has been fully cycled.

13. A high speed cartridge-to-cartridge duplicating machine for multitrack magnetic tape cartridges:

a master cartridge receiving slot and a blank cartridge receiving slot, capstan means for each slot for driving engagement with the tape contained in a cartridge in the slot, motor means connected to the capstan means for driving the same at identical rates sufiicient to cause driving of tape engaged with the capstan means substantially faster than normal tape playing speed, magnetic signal duplicating means for duplicating in a single pass all magnetic track signals from a master tape cartridge to a blank tape cartridge, said duplicating means including a pair of fixed pickup heads for the master cartridge slot and a pair of recording heads for the blank cartridge slot with each head having a plurality of magnetic track signal transducers spaced apart across the width of the tape to receive signals from alternate tracks with each pair of heads arranged in offset spaced relation along the tape presented by each cartridge to'interleave the signal transducers such that each track of the tape mates with a transducer, cartridge holding means for each slot for holding a cartridge therein in driving'engagement with the capstan means and releasing the cartridge from driving engagement with the capstan means,

and control means connected to said motor means and to said cartridge holding means and including serially connected cartridge sensing means in the slots for enabling operation of the motor means only when there is a cartridge in each slot in a ready to duplicate position, with said control means operable to actuate the cartridge holding means upon full cycling of the magnetic tape in a cartridge to release such cartridge from driving engagement with the capstan means while the other cartridge remains in driving engagement with the capstan means until it is fully cycled.

14. In a machine for duplicating from a master tape cartridge the sounds onto a blank tape cartridge,

a plurality of cartridge receiving slots opening outwardly of the machine at one end for insertion of cartridges,

motor driven capstan means for the slots for driving engagement of the tapes in cartridges in the slots,

magnetic signal duplicating means including a pickup head associated with one slot and a recording head associated with each other slot for duplicating the magnetic signals from a tape cartridge received in one slot to each tape cartridge received in each other slot,

cartridge holding means associated with each slot for releasably holding the cartridges in the aforesaid tape driving engagement with the capstan,

and means connected to the motor driven capstan means and to the cartridge holding means for controlling the same through a cycle of operation comprising initiating operation of the motor driven capstan means while simultaneously with-holding driving engagement between the cartridge tapes and capstan means by said cartridge holding means until the capstan means has attained operating speed and thereupon initiating operation of the cartridge holding means to establish tape driving engagement between the capstan means and all the tape cartridges simultaneously and thereafter initiate operation of the cartridge holding means to selectively release the cartridges from tape driving engagement with the capstan means as each is fully cycled.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4240120 *Jan 18, 1979Dec 16, 1980Padwa Murray NCassette-to-cassette duplicator
US4447836 *Sep 27, 1982May 8, 1984Telex Communications, Inc.Recording apparatus for cassette copying
US5819297 *Sep 27, 1995Oct 6, 1998Emc CorporationMethod and apparatus for creating reliably duplicatable tape volumes without copying any padding
Classifications
U.S. Classification360/15, G9B/27.22, G9B/5.308, G9B/15.8
International ClassificationG11B27/13, G11B15/06, G11B15/05, G11B5/86, G11B27/11
Cooperative ClassificationG11B15/06, G11B27/13, G11B5/86
European ClassificationG11B5/86, G11B27/13, G11B15/06