Why do I have the urge to write LOL when I see this?… Actually, there’s nothing inherently laughable about this Radio Shack Tape Head Demagnetizer. I think it’s just the design, and the size of the word DEMAGNETIZER. Makes me want to hear a fanfare when insert it into the tape machine. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the label has a shiny foil type finish, and also appears to be covered with a thin plastic film.
These were battery operated, electronic demagnetisers, housing a small button cell behind a removable plastic tab on the back of the enclosure. Inside the cassette there’s an electronic circuit which aims to de-gauss the heads. Pressing Play on the tape machine engages the Demagnetizer’s circuit, and the red light on the front of the cassette illuminates. The user is instructed to press the Stop button after one second. This disengages the circuit, hopefully leaving the heads demagnetised. The advice is that activating the Demagnetizer for more than one second risks damaging the machine.
Although it has the Radio Shack branding, this Demagnetizer was bought from a branch of Tandy in the UK. Radio Shack was the Amercian branding for Tandy, and the spelling of the word Demagnetizer clearly shows this cassette was intended for the US market. The WHSmith Demagnetiser featured a couple of days back had the English spelling. That, however, was a completely different concept to this cassette. The Radio Shack product only demagnetises – it doesn’t simultaneously clean.