DEC 9 Track Tapes (was Re: Applikon Workstation?)

Jay Jaeger cube1 at
Fri Aug 28 11:25:30 CDT 2015

On 8/28/2015 2:59 AM, Operon Lac wrote:

> What takes, today, present time, to read 1/2-inch reel-to-reel tape?
> Years ago, I've found literally HUNDREDS of half inch reel-to-reel tape,
> stacked outside a telco switching building. I managed to scavenge one
> hundred and ninety of them. Ended up throwing (because of lack of storing
> space... and no prospect to be able to do anything with it...) 176. I kept
> 14 reels. Anyway... are there still people throwing/giving hardware able to
> read that?
> Hugs.
> Л.//

Well, obviously, it takes a 9 Track tape drive.  I doubt you are likely
to find a give-away at this point.  (I got one for nearly that, via
local university surplus, with a Pertec interface.)  I purchased a SCSI
tape drive off of eBay for around $200.  Currently I am using the SCSI
interface from the latter on the former drive.

They do show up on eBay from time to time (Search 9 Track Tape drive),
typically anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars on up.  If you want
to hook one up to a PC, I suggest a SCSI interface as being easier to
manage - however the SCSI interface does seem to make error detection a
bit trickier.

Many/most 9 Track tapes (those from the early to mid-eighties until 1995
or so - what matters is the date of manufacture, not when they were
written) have to be "baked" before reading, owing to "sticky shed
syndrome".  My experience with tapes earlier than that is that I can
read them without baking them first.


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