9-Track 1/2" Tape Drive Recommendations?

Ali cctalk at fahimi.net
Sat Aug 22 00:20:40 CDT 2015

> The other big difference in later drives is if they were 'streaming' or
> not. What that means is the tape is expected to roll continously
> (stream) as opposed to being able to quickly stop between records.


Most of the units out there, short of the floor standing ones and the
original IBM drives, are streamers, correct? 

> The motors also don't have much torque compared to the servo
> motors of the old drives, which can be an issue if there is much shed
> coming off the tape. 

Does this mainly apply to older tape? If I was using new tape would this be
something of a concern? 

> HP 88780s are nice front loading drives that can be found with
> 800/1600/6250 and Pertec or SCSI interfaces. Another one I've used is
> the Kennedy 9610, the M4/Storagetek 9614, and the later model
> Qualstars. 

I've seen the 88780s in action and they are nicely built units. The Kennedy
9610 also seems very nice but the two on eBay are priced way out of my
reach/hobbyist range. 

>Each has their quirks especially when dealing with poor
> condition tape. I have a couple of Fuji 24xx series, but never made any
> use of them since I don't normally use anything that just has a
> formatted Pertec interface.

This answers my question indirectly. 

> It all depends on how much use you are really going to make of it, and
> the condition of your media. A low-end Qualstar would be OK for light
> duty use.

Thanks for the recs and the info. As I said originally this would be more
for me to play with than to do any mission critical work. I would be using
it on a PC system as a demonstration for the kids and maybe even for routine
backup just because I can. Having said that I would like a solid unit that
would last and req. minimal maintenance. I am okay with a rack system or a
tabletop. The rack obviously would have the more retro feel but the
tabletops are easier to manage. Ultimately I think it will come down to what
I can find and at what price point.


More information about the cctech mailing list