Pertec Tape Drive Interface Musings

Jon Elson elson at
Mon Aug 3 22:48:34 CDT 2015

On 08/03/2015 09:06 PM, Al Kossow wrote:
> do you have anything on the instruction set?
Instruction set?  This was not a computer.  It was an all 
hard-wired-logic key to tape system.  It could be set to 
enter data to tape, verify data by retyping it, and it would 
beep if a record did not match, or allow you to view the 
tape contents on a panel of lights, one bulb per EBCDIC 
character.  The thing had a core memory buffer to hold one 
80-character record, only keeping 6 bits per character.

I ripped out all the key to tape logic, fortunately, it was 
designed with a mag tape sort of interface at a particular 
card slot, so I left the 3 boards or so that managed the 
tape drive, and then supplied the rest of the interface with 
a few one-shots and some 8-bit wide registers, and a bunch 
of timing loops.  I used this mostly to back up my S-100 
hard drive.

OK, I verified it was indeed made by Pertec.  The title 
block of the drawings doesn't have anything real obvious, 
but there is a bunch of legal boilerplate advising the 
restrictions on use of the drawings, and the last words are 
"prior written permission of Pertec".


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