9-Track 1/2" Tape Drive Recommendations?

Jon Elson elson at pico-systems.com
Fri Aug 21 21:22:48 CDT 2015

On 08/21/2015 06:10 PM, Ali wrote:
> Hello All,
> Recently I came across a complete Pertec interface (card, manual, software,
> and, cables) thanks to list-member Shaun. Of course what is the point of
> having an interface if you have nothing to interface it to!
> So I've been looking at, and learning a bit, about 1/2" tape drives.
Enough Pertec drives were made so that manuals should be no 
problem.  Some other makes were made in fairly small numbers 
so manuals may be a problem.

You have to decide, spring-arm, vacuum-column or streaming, 
and then most dual density drives were either 800/1600 or 
1600/6250.  Few would do all three.  (Also there's 3200 BPI, 
identical to 1600 PE mode, just double the clock, but it is 
a fairly rare setup.)

We had a Digi-Data streaming tape drive that was a complete 
disaster.  The read data chips burned out about one a month.

I still have 2 CDC "Keystone" (92185) drives here that 
work.  They are well-built and almost elegant.

Oh, with "Pertec interface" there are TWO FLAVORS!  The old 
system was Pertec unformatted, with 3 cables.
Write, Read and Control.  Later was Pertec formatted, with 
two cables.  They are totally incompatible, so make sure you 
get drives compatible with your interface.


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