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AtariLeaf

Starpath Supercharger Cassettes - Failure Rate?

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I've been contemplating getting a game or two for the Supercharger but was wondering from those who own these games how they're holding up over the years. I generally don't collect tapes or disks for computers for the very reason that they don't seem to hold up well over time.

 

I know there are alternatives to play these games but being a purist, I wanted the original media if possible but am concerned about buying cassettes, especially from ebay.

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I can't speak for Starpath media specifically, but I've had pretty good luck with magnetic media in general. I'd say over 90% of the disks and 95% of the tapes I've owned or acquired through the years still work just fine, over 30 years later. It's the disks of the 90s and onwards that started to show premature failure. Most of the 1980s and earlier media that I have? They failed in the 80s if they were gonna.

 

That being said, I do have have several Starpath tapes because I'm a completist, but I've never won an Ebay auction for a Supercharger. People pay way too much for these things IMHO, and as they seem to be almost non-existent in Canada, when you add in the ridiculous shipping people charge these days (really? $40 for a half pound box?), just ain't worth it. So I've never actually been able to test by Starpath cassettes specifically.

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Agree Tape media is very durable. If you have a lot of trouble getting SuperCharger games (or any tape game) to load even after adjusting the volume, you probably need to align your tape recorder to spec. I find that newer tape recorders tend to run fast while the 80's players are usually right on the spec :)

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I've never had a problem with any of my Supercharger tapes, or the tapes I have for other computer systems (except maybe one).

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I've witnessed more CD-R's, DVD-R's and 3-1/2" floppies go bad then cassettes. In fact, I'm having a tough time even thinking of a single cassette that wouldn't load after a bit of tinkering with the volume or tone controls. Keep your cassettes stored in a good environment, standing vertically on their ends, keep them away from strong magnetism and they should last indefinitely.

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I can't speak for Starpath media specifically, but I've had pretty good luck with magnetic media in general. I'd say over 90% of the disks and 95% of the tapes I've owned or acquired through the years still work just fine, over 30 years later. It's the disks of the 90s and onwards that started to show premature failure. Most of the 1980s and earlier media that I have? They failed in the 80s if they were gonna.

 

That being said, I do have have several Starpath tapes because I'm a completist, but I've never won an Ebay auction for a Supercharger. People pay way too much for these things IMHO, and as they seem to be almost non-existent in Canada, when you add in the ridiculous shipping people charge these days (really? $40 for a half pound box?), just ain't worth it. So I've never actually been able to test by Starpath cassettes specifically.

 

Good to know, thanks everyone. As for the shipping thing, I don't know what changed with Canada Post but I had to ship a single 2600 cart, wrapped in bubble wrap and placed in a very small box big enough to keep it safe but small enough to not break the bank - or so I thought. Regular, bare bones shipping was $4 and change but if I wanted tracking, which every ebay seller knows they need to protect themselves, bumped the price up to $17. Who'd pay that much for a game like Private Eye?

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Holy crap! It's been a few years since I've sold anything on Ebay, and you're not kidding. $17 to track any parcel, regardless of size.

 

Mind you, it's always been stupid expensive to ship a small item to the US. By comparison, a 2kg shoebox is only $25. 5kg in the same size is $34, and that's a lot of games. So you get a lot more bang for your buck by shipping in quantity. This is probably some new "anti-terror" or "anti-smuggling" bureaucratic nonsense as it seems both countries are involved (of course Ebay sellers tend to always choose the most expensive shipping method to Canada, I wonder why).

 

Cross-border shipping is a big reason why I just hit up every thrift/game store I can when I travel. Plus prices tend to be a lot lower in the US - at least for me anyway. Calgary retail in retro stuff is ridiculous. You can't buy a bare 2600 console for under $100 in this city. I bet a Supercharger would be $250 easily due to their rarity on this side of the border.

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I guess I got lucky with the supercharger. Local collector sold me one for $10 about 4 or 5 years ago. You're right, I think if I sell I'll have to sell in bulk. One of the reasons it's hard to sell on AA is most collectors are looking for specific items and not big lots.

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i got a couple superchargers and no tapes but i can tell you commodore64 tapes last forever unless you leave them on a speaker or a tv/monitor that has auto degauss

 

its likely the label will fall off well before the tape goes bad but depending on the player if it destroys the tape or jams its not too good but if you can straighten out the tape and play it a few times it comes back

 

i got all the games on a cd(and use a diskman) mp3s or wavs on a digital player are a way too

 

i got like 300 games converted for use mostly thankful for nukey shay he fixed many to avoid its problems

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My experiece with cassette tape preservation is limited to audio recordings: my Parents inherited a huge volume of audio cassette tapes from my Grandfather after his death in 1983. These were mainly dupped copies copies of vinyl records, etc.; not professional recordings. They mostly dated from the early-1970s to the early-1980s.

 

Those tapes that were stored indoors, at room temperature, remain (for the most part) viable. The tapes that were stored in an unheated stoarge space had badly deteriorated, to the point of being unusable, within about 10-15 years of creation.

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