The Humble Tape CounterIt turns out that Sony's F-Series of video recorders (such as the SL-F25, SL-F30, SL-F60, SL-F90), do in effect have a real-time tape counter. At first sight, you might think it is just a simple counter, but with a little help it turns out to be more accurate than it looks.
Like a modern video recorder (of any format), the tape counter is sourced not from the takeup spool pulses, but from off-tape synch pulses. As a result, the counter will not increment / decrement when running past sections of tape with no recording on them.
This does mean, that when using a fully recorded tape, you can accurately locate your present location from the zero position. This can be very handy when recording to DVD and needing to know the length of a recording.
To calculate a length, zero the tape counter and rewind or fast forward using the peep search feature until either the end or start of the recording of interest. Then look up the counter number on the table below to see how much time has elapsed. One column is for winding forwards from zero, the other for rewinding from zero.
The counter increments exactly one count per two seconds of recording. Now why on earth, having come so close to making a real-time counter, Sony didn't make it work in minutes and seconds is a mystery! Perhaps they ran out of characters on the display.
The following table explains how it works...
Our thanks go to Colin McCormick for supplying this little gem.