Thursday, 25 May 2006

Eight Tracking in the UK

Eight tracking in the UK
I am currently in the process of repairing an Eight-Track cartridge player from the 1970’s
and have been currently building up a collection of tapes to complement my original collection from the on-line auction site ebay uk.
The picture at the top of this article is of a US eight track cartridge that shows the shape and packaging such tapes came in.
The eight-track was invented in 1965 and was being manufactured in the US until 1989 where it was extremely popular.
It features a continuous loop of tape with four programs spread across 8 tracks (each stereo pair taking up 2 tracks) which are changed automatically by a metal sensing foil or by manually selecting using a button on the player.
Program 1
What’s so good about them? The sound – better high frequencies than pre-recorded cassettes. Also easy to use push in to start, pull out to stop.
Program 2
Who can repair my broken tape?
Kates Track Shack - see your Internet search engine for current link.

They sell replacement pressure pads if the original has crumbled away.
Also see Eight Track Heaven Internet site for details.
Program 3
Where can I get tapes from?
Second hand music shops. Many sellers on E-bay and places like Kates Eight Shack.. On Ebay US here are three great shops - 8 Track Shack
Also Janeen's Music, Sport and History (Great communications) and Olivia's 8 Tracks, Books and Other stuff. Don't forget to work out the postal charges. On Ebay US many retailers have a World-Wide postal charge calculator - do use it. Customs: The UK sharks ignore mail whose value including Post and handling is under £18 for Duty, Customs and the dreaded VAT (See Inland Revenues site for more).
Program 4
At boot fairs and on E-bay you’ll find car and home players being sold.

Update: Firstly it came as shock to me to find my much loved copy of Chicago X (10) which had the smash hit 'If You Leave Me Now' had in the intervening years jammed up (the lubricant in the tape must have dried out). I recently got it repaired by Kates Track Shack - it now plays smoothly -although I'm looking for the US edition to replace it with.
I won the American Eight Track of Supertramp's 'Breakfast in America' which has 'The Logical Song' on it and a copy of Wing's 'London Town' which featured the top ten hit 'With A Little Love' from '78 (own the original UK LP too).

The drive belt had snapped on the auto player and I fixed it by using a thick rubber band - the sort you use for mail.
I won a Akia CR 81D 8 track recorder on Ebay Uk and given it some TLC. The sound is excellent - clear high frequencies and next to no wow and flutter.Now to make my very own!
Was it worth it? Yes because I'm having fun re-discovering my favorites as I heard them back in the day. I've learned all about auction bidding - I'm getting near on 90% of what I bid for and the my feedback from the sellers is marvellous.

I've also discovered some people have no sense of what things are worth, placing bids way, way over the going rate.

Thursday, 11 May 2006

Spring memories

This time of year always reminds me of my time in Junior School where often we'd go off for part of the morning for a walk doing nature study where we had to find  and identity different 
species of tree, flower, plant or birds.
As part of the lesson we were taught outdoors, we would draw what we'd seen and make notes, feeling things too before returning to our school building.
Just wondering around like we did back then is really helping me recover right now.

Thursday, 4 May 2006

Chobits, Islands and Interests

I liked this anime for a long time dealing as it does with technology and that age old question if you could fall in love with a robot in this case a persocom (personal computer in an human looking form) called Chi.
Unfortunately the first dvd set of it got from Ebay I discovered was a fake. It had been made on a computer from a official dvd issue but they had radically reduced the picture quality in an attempt to squeeze 12 episodes on a single sided one layer disc! The discs had inkjet printed labels and no case.
In total the used just three discs for the whole set!!!
Normally a PAL disc can take upt to 6 episodes on a dual layers.
Recently I have replaced it with the UK official 6 dvd PAL set from MVM issued in 2005 which looks much better.

Visitors to certain Forums will have noticed the top left ‘Avatar’ has accompanied my entries of late. It is the front cover of the Kajagoogoo album ‘Islands’ which was released in May 1984 and is the home to the hit singles ‘Big Apple’, ‘The Lion’s Mouth’ and Turn Your Back On Me’. I bought the album having caught the Kajagoogoo bug in the winter of 1983 with the worldwide smash ‘Too Shy’ and the ‘White Feathers’ album. This was the first album following the split with Limahl and marked a period of considerable musical and lyrical maturity on the part of the group. The image is of the UK LP edition. I am still enjoying listening to it and it was re-released on CD in 2004
The Catalogue number is 7243 4 73654 2 3.
Visit the official website at
Winnie The Pooh stickarounds
GBP £10.99
UK stockist: Children's Rooms
Other products available include linen, photo frames and Twin Bell Alarm Clock.

Winnie The Pooh Stikarounds at Children's Rooms
21 May 2006 11:02
Freddie and the Dreamers singer dies
LONDON (Reuters) - Freddie Garrity, the lead singer of the 1960s pop band Freddie and the Dreamers, has died in hospital at the age of 69, his spokesman said on Saturday.
Garrity, originally from Manchester died in hospital in north Wales on Friday with his wife by his side.
The band topped the U.S. charts with "I’m Telling You Now" in 1965 and had further success with "You Were Made For Me".
Garrity had been suffering from emphysema for several years. He was married three times and leaves four children.