looking for a 7-track reel tape controller

Michael Thompson michael.99.thompson at gmail.com
Wed Aug 7 18:42:52 CDT 2019

> thanks a lot for your hint to the DEC controller. I wasn't aware that the
> TM11, TMA11 and TMB11 controllers can handle 9-track as well as 7-track
> NRZI-encoded tape drives. However, all these controllers seem to be very
> rare in the public out there. Not too surprising considering that DEC TU
> and TS tape drives themselves are rare and that 7-track tape drives were
> soon replaced by 9-track tape technology in the early days.
> With best regards,
> Pierre

The TC58 Magnetic Tape Controller for the PDP-8 and the TC59 for the PDP-9
can be connected to both 7-track and 9-track drives. The TU20 drive on the
PDP-9 at the RICM is a 7-track drive. The only difference between the
7-track and 9-track versions of the TU20 is the tape head. All of the tape
drive electronics is the same for both versions.

Michael Thompson

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