Symbolics MCD-405 tape drive / Georgens Industries

Josh Dersch derschjo at
Thu Oct 8 17:53:13 CDT 2015

On Thu, Oct 8, 2015 at 11:15 AM, Al Kossow <aek at> wrote:

> 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 believe I have one in my XL1200, I will check tonight.

- Josh

> 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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