Mounting HP7970e 9-Trk 1/2" Tape Drive

Jack Harper harper at
Tue Feb 5 14:19:51 CST 2019

Greetings to the List -

My very sincere THANKS for the enlightening responses from Chuck 
Guzis, Brent Hilpert and Jay West on mounting the HP 7970 tape drive Beasts.

I am out of town on business for a couple days and will inspect 
things when I return.

Chuck is, of course, 100% correct on the Tipping Factor.

I learned that very quickly - If you open the front of the Drive and 
swing out the door with the electronics, drive motors etc, it is 
definitely heavy enough to tip a rack.

I bolted the destination 19" rack down to the concrete floor with 
3/8" bolts.  It will not, I hope, soon go anywhere.

Jay makes a very valid point - these things are heavy at 130-pounds 
each and are real Beasts to deal with especially by yourself.

I got both drives into the rack this past weekend and I am an old guy 
(67) - I carefully stared at the thing before I started and finally 
figured out that I could, in fact, lift the drive from a waist high 
cart for a few seconds, but definitely could not lift it or lower it 
vertically with my arms - no way - and I would have one shot at 
getting the drives into the rack on the rails.

I used heavy and very wide aluminum angle stock for the rails and 
very carefully measured everything so that I got the rails installed 
correctly at the right height inside the rack so the screw holes on 
the front of the drives would mate to the rack and the drives would 
not overlap or gap and so as to be level.

In addition, I slathered a bit of Orange Oil onto the rails to reduce 
friction when sliding in as there is a lot of friction - 130-pounds 
of steel on aluminum.

Anyway, I finally figured out after staring at it for a few minutes 
that I should be able to step up carrying the Beast onto a step that 
I built out of scrap wood - I needed about eight inches in additional 
height after picking up the thing - so, I took a deep gulp and did 
that - picked up the drive Beast and stepped up on the step with my 
left foot - got my left knee under the front of the Beast to raise it 
a bit and was able to slide the rear of the Beast onto the rails - 
once I had support on the back of the drive, I was able to then lift 
the front and slide the thing in.

The #2 drive Beast went into the lower part of the rack similarly 
except that I had the exact opposite problem - I could not possibly 
pick up the drive and lower it vertically with my arms to align it 
with the bottom bay - I finally figured out to use a wooden 
ammunition box (strong with dove tail joints) of the correct matching 
height on end - I was able to lower the Beast to sit on that in front 
of the rack - and then slide the thing in.

That worked!


I actually got the things in without hurting myself - DOUBLE HOORAY!

I celebrated with a shot of nice Cognac :)

Jay is also 100% correct - these things are real bears to deal with - 
do NOT try it on your own - I was lucky!

Anyway, I somehow managed to get everything aligned correctly to 
within 1/32" or so - the drives look great! :)

Remaining tasks:  Figure out how to get the mounting screws into the 
left sides of the drives (the right screws are in); mount a fan on 
the bottom rear of the rack - I think that should blow in through a 
filter for positive pressure - is that correct? - and make the rack 
at least almost air tight to keep the dust out.

See   for a couple of snapshots.

I thought about a photo of me partially soused with my celebratory 
shot of Cognac, but decided otherwise :)


Jack (Hello from the Rockies - we have two-feet of snow forecast overnight :)

t 11:25 PM 2/4/2019, you wrote:
>On 2/4/19 3:40 PM, Jack Harper via cctalk wrote:
> >
> >
> > Greetings to the List -
> >
> > I am mounting a couple of heavy (130-pounds each) HP7970e tape drives to
> > a 19" rack.
> >
> > The screw holes that mate to the standard spaced holes on the right side
> > of the drive after you open the case are visible and obvious.
> >
> > However, the holes on the left are hidden under the heavy die-cast(?)
> > frame of the drive.
> >
> > Anyone know how to get to those three screw holes with a horrible
> > disassembly.
> >
> > There has to be a trick to this that I don't see (so what else is new? :)
> >
>There's a mounting kit for this as described here;
>Page 2-1, section 2-8, installation.
>Whatever you do, be sure that your rack has an "anti-tip" foot (most
>full-size 19" HP racks do.  When you open the drive, the entire assembly
>but for the card cages and the power supply swing out.  It's more than
>enough to tip a rack over.

Jack Harper, President
Secure Outcomes Inc
2942 Evergreen Parkway, Suite 300
Evergreen, Colorado 80439 USA

303.670.3750 (fax) for Product Info. 

More information about the cctalk mailing list