TK50/TK70 Info

Kyle Owen kylevowen at
Thu Aug 27 23:43:30 CDT 2015

On Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 11:13 PM, Jay Jaeger <cube1 at> wrote:
> Looking at for P4000 I found a manual that
> seems to relate t the tapes you have.  Those tapes are for an Emulex
> terminal server called the Performance 4000-T.  If you don't have such a
> unit, then those tapes won't be of much value, but I'd suggest you not
> throw them away, but instead send them to someone who can image them, or
> image them yourself.
> Regardless, those tapes won't help you much with your stated goals.

Definitely wouldn't throw anything like that away. I'll see about imaging
them sometime, or if someone has an immediate need, feel free to contact

A TK70 can read a TK50 tape, but it can only write on a tape that has
> not been written on by a TK50, and the TK50 media would not be
> appropriate to use in a TK70 even if it were completely erased:
> (Though the first paragraph switches the TZ30 (SCSI) and the TK50.)

Thanks for the link. That's unfortunate to hear, but I suppose the TK50s
wouldn't do me much good anyways. Imagine how many it'd take to back up my
two 1.2 GB Seagate Sabre drives!

IIRC, the way I did my VAXen backups was to use the standalone BACKUP
> utility and wrote TK70 tapes, then transferred an image of those tapes
> to my PC via Ethernet.
> TK50's and TK70's don't have pinch rollers.  Instead, a microprocessor
> controls tape speed and tensioning.
> There is a technical manual on the TK50 on bitsavers, but not one for
> the TK70 (but their are drawings for a TK70).   But I did find a TK70
> owner's manual here:
> (Only the Owner's manual - a quick search did not find a technical manual).
> Gooooooooooooooogle is your friend.....  ;)

Yup, I'm aware of the owner's manual, but my question was more aimed at
"What are the common failure modes of this drive?" rather than how to
operate it. I'll see what it'll take to get my VAX connected via Ethernet.
Looks like I've got the hardware, but not sure about the software just yet.

Sounds like they're reliable enough, so I may see about reading some tapes
in sometime. A friend says I can take some of his TK70s, and another one
said I can take as many 8mm tapes I can carry. Not sure if the latter is
worth it... :)


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