Capstan refers to the rotating spindles used to move recording tape through the mechanism of a tape recorder. The tape is threaded between the capstan and a rubber-covered Wheel, called a "pinch roller", which presses against the capstan, thus pulling the tape.
In a tape recorder the capstan is the rotating shaft that drives the tape past the heads. Usually the tape is squeezed between the capstan and a rubber wheel known as the pinch roller. The capstan is what controls the speed of the tape and is usually attached to a "flywheel" so that a smooth and consistent tape speed is maintained.
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Capstans (Capstans refer to rotating spindles used to move ...)