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Avoid Feltpens on CD's

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  • Avoid Feltpens on CD's

    I just read an interesting little blurb concerning digital archiving from, I believe it was the Rochester Institute of Technology, and there was mention made to avoid marking on CD's with regular felt pens as the solvents etc. in them can attack the CD coating, migrate to the data surface over time and wipe out your data. There was not any data concerning actual testing I could find to support this but, it seems logical that this could happen, although under what circumstances, environmental conditions and time period are unknown, at least to me. Just thought it was interesting.... Tom

  • #2
    The only ones that seem to write on them to stay are the Sharpies. Never gave it a thought. I do know that the actual layer the data is stored on is near the label so damage to the label side is more distructive than the read side. I will keep that in mind Tom but what alternative is there other than sticky labels? Now that I think of it, the CDs themselves are set up to be marked on by something since they give you those lines to put that title etc on.


    • #3
      Certain types of "felt pens" are supposedly OK as the chemicals in them wont interact with the plastics used in CD manufacture. I would assume these are the "washable" variety, or the type which are sold by Light Impressions which are not suppost to damage things by chemical interactions. Like I said, the blurb I read was rather "spotty" with info, but, since there are "safe" type felt pens out there, I figured that using them instead of the regular type might head off potential problems. Tom


      • #4
        I'll have to check into that. Still has to be something that won't wash off so it will be interesting to see what is suggested. Shouldn't the makers of CDs know what is best to use?


        • #5
          I have a "Illustrator Photo-Graphic" permanent marker which I got b/c it's safe for writing on the back of photos. I imagine if it's safe for photos, it's safe for CDs as well. I purchased it at a camera store.

          Now another question I have - I heard that the sticky labels are also a "no-no", but I can't remember where I heard that and I know I've used labels on at least a few of my archive CDs. Has anyone else heard anything about labels on CDs?



          • #6
            I recall reading somewhere that certain types of glue used to affix the labels to the CD's could cause problems by interacting with the CD materials and in some instances the "protective" coatings applied to the non data surface. I cant remember where I read that or if there were a few caveats and quid pro quo's along with the warning. I had always used plain old felt pen, of the cheapest type, to write on CD's with, but am now going to get one like you have, Jeanisa. Better to not push my luck.
            DJ, I would assume that the manufacturers of CD's know alot more than they are willing to freely discuss. It gripes me that the big companies will be fully aware of information concerning their products short comings yet with hold that information even if it causes their customers problems. Having been down that road before, I have a rather narrow minded opinion of the "suits" and their minions which engage in such tactics and feel that a liberal application of hot tar with a side of feathers would not be out of line for them, as well as a ride around town on a rail. Tom
            Last edited by thomasgeorge; 12-22-2001, 08:00 PM.


            • #7
              I've followed this with interest, what are we calling 'felt pens' the soft tip type pens that give a broad line or or the type with the harder point ? I can buy TDK brand pens over here that are marketed as safe for marking burned cdr's and I've also used 'permanent' markers intended for overhead projection film.
              I have a feeling they are both one and the same. CD's first came out here being sold as an indestructible media form but my views on this blurb are sympathetic to the Montana 'tar and feathering' party. I've several audio CD's shop bought full price legal's that are 'bubbling' on the surface despite careful handling. Nowadays If I buy a music CD its immediately copied and the original stored in a safe place. If the music companies can't supply their product on stable media then I'll copy.


              • #8
                The pens I think are being refered to are those with fiber type tips, broad or thin , which use a rather foul smelling mixture of solvents and dyes to " make their mark", as it were. It would be interesting to discover what "witches brew" of caustic chemicals the various types of pens use. At least then one could pick the right one for the right task. Tom


                • #9
                  The OHP pens I use and have not caused any problems on discs up to 5 years old are Staedtler Lumocolor Permanent. Available in different point sizes and colours, they are a German brand but I'm not sure if these are available in the US.


                  • #10
                    CDR's are very fragile...

                    Ok, try this in a NEW UNUSED CDR or CDRW It shouldn't damage it, but just in case...

                    Hold your CD so you can see the shiny side, get it in the light so you can see this, now place your fingernail on the painted side and press into the CD, not too hard, you may need to move the CD around in the light to see it, but you will see the indent made by your fingernail. You can move your finger around and follow the indent it makes. This will not damage the CD.

                    CD's that are commercially burned and printed are this way as well.

                    Just thouhg it might be interesting for people to see this.

                    Paul Rupp


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