RL02K Pack Reliability/Characteristics

Lyle Bickley lbickley at bickleywest.com
Mon Mar 30 10:43:07 CDT 2015

On Mon, 30 Mar 2015 05:47:26 +0000
Christopher Parish <christopher.parish at parishcomputers.com> wrote:

> I've gotten my RL-02 -> USB Mass Storage controller mostly working
> with a few residual gremlins.  Specifically, I've noticed from my
> testing that I have good packs, ones that read out almost the same
> every time, and bad packs, ones where half the bits seem to be in
> different states every time I read them.  I've left write support
> untested until I can solve this problem.
> Right now, my working theory is that different controllers had
> slightly different timing characteristics, and I may need to adjust
> more of my DPLL parameters dynamically to deal with that (something
> I'd rather avoid).  Of course, most of these packs haven't been put
> into a drive since the mid-80s, and there could be some bit rot going
> on.
> As many of you have much more experience dealing with these drives
> than I do, my questions are:
> - What type of long term reliability have people noticed from their
> RL02K packs?1

I've found the reliability of RL01s and RL02s to be excellent. I have
(3) RL02's drives I use regularly with about (30) different cartridges.
Over the years I have rarely had problems reading/writing packs between

> - Is garbage data sometimes normal for certain packs until they are
> rewritten with “fresh” data?

I have had packs on rare occasions which when I first obtained them had
a few records which were unreadable - and a clean reformat made them
100% error free. After doing so, the packs will run reliably for years.

> - Has anyone noticed pack compatibility problems between various
> computers/RL-02 controllers?


Bickley Consulting West Inc.

"Black holes are where God is dividing by zero"

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