Symbolics MCD-405 tape drive / Georgens Industries

Al Kossow aek at
Thu Oct 8 13:15:22 CDT 2015

Does anyone have a loose 3M/Georgens MCD-405 tape drive they could take board pictures
and firmware dumps from, or any of the other MCD-40 series tape drives? I'm trying to
figure out how similar it is to the one in the Apple 40mb tape drive.

I was asked about recovering some tapes from a Supermac 40mb tape/disk scsi box, and I
am trying to figure out what tape drive I might need to do it. It appears it is Gammamat
format, which would work with the Apple drives, and I wanted to compare the firmware from
a non-Apple, so I started looking around for SCSI Gammamat drives. I also thought this
would be useful knowledge for anyone trying to dump Symbolics XL-Series DC2040 tapes.

One interesting thing mentioned in the Amiga BTNTape tape handler was they mention it was
possible on some MCD series drives to format a blank DC2000 tape. They mention formatting
with 2:1 interleave.

Sadly, there were also people who said there was a tech manual available from Georgens on
the series, but they didn't want to spend $50 for it. Georgens Industries was in San Diego
and there still a few traces of them, but they are long gone at their last adr. I see that
Chuck mentioned they were into the maintenance biz, Georgens was involved with DEI down there
looking at his patents, and bought 3M's streamer tape line.

Places like Weird Stuff have piles of the DC2000 floppy tape drives, need to do more digging
to see if there are any SCSI ones around.

Then, I have to redo the pinch roller. All the Apple tape drives have been dead for over ten
years with rollers turned to orange goo.

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