I bought a Fostex R8 at a pawn shop a while back, knowing it needed work, but got it cheap enough to take a chance. As I recall, it FF and rewinds, but won't record- needs "rubber" inside it replaced. I have not opened it up, yet. Then, at a garage sale, I scored ten 1/2" tapes, all 2500 feet long, on big reels, in original packaging. Best I can tell, these are one-pass tapes, and still have whatever was recorded on them by the unknown studio where the originally came from. BTW, the heart breaker there was that all the studio equipment- all analog- had been stored in a church basement, when the owner donated it to the church. While the church was trying to figure out what to do with it (or, more likely forgot it was there) someone broke in to the church and stole it all. Oh, well, it was never mine, to begin with, so I guess I don't miss it...)

Anyway, I know of no way to play 1/2" tape on a 1/4" machine! So, I am thinking of finding someone who could repair (or pay someone to repair) my Fostex R8, in exchange for the 1/2" tapes. Am I likely to find someone interested in this? Or should I forget about the R8, and find a 1/2" machine? In general, if I look for a 1/2" machine, should I look for 8 tracks, or 16?