Mounting HP7970e 9-Trk 1/2" Tape Drive

Jack Harper harper at
Mon Feb 11 10:42:33 CST 2019

At 11:39 AM 2/7/2019, Chuck Guzis via cctalk wrote:
>On 2/7/19 9:16 AM, Jack Harper via cctalk wrote:
> > I mounted the two HP7970 Drives in a non-HP rack - just a standard
> > six-foot 19" rack that I found a few years ago.
> >
> > I installed two heavy aluminum rails (1/8" thick and perhaps 2" on the
> > two sides - angle stock) for each Drive to support the 130-pound weight
> > of each.
>That makes a lot of sense and doesn't look too difficult to fab up from
>stock.  Or if you're not handy with metalworking, these would do the
>same job:
>That way, the right-side bolts serve to keep the thing in the rack.
>The Fujitsu drive that I use weighs more than the HP and doesn't even
>have "ears" to mount to the rack rails--it uses a sliding arrangement
>like many large disk drives.  Fasten one part of the slides to the rack
>and the other to the drive and just slide the drive in--there are bolts
>to secure the slide position once the drive is in place.

Hello Chuck -

I like the idea of those sliding rails - and they appear by the link 
to be good to 200-pounds.

However, with the HP7970 Drives, I would worry about the moment 
pressure exerted on the rack with the unit slid all the way out.

In addition, the HP7970 front is hinged and opens completely to 
expose all of the electronics, drive motors etc.

The 19" rack that I have is actually fairly flimsy and I worried 
about the thing flexing with the stop/start (15ms stop) of the two Tape Drives.

Last thing I want is for the tape rack to start wandering about the 
room with tape action like some of the early disk drives (I remember 
reading that the original "large" UNIVAC Fastrand drum units laying 
horizontal would turn circles by gyroscopic action as the Earth rotated :)

However, I do not expect that to be a problem as I think/hope that 
the two drives mounted in the rack will stiffen it sufficiently - we shall see.

I plan to put sheet metal on the back of the rack ground to top to 
protect from dust and with a fan to create positive pressure - sort 
of a monocoque structure like old airplanes, which are quite strong.

Best to the List -

Jack in the Rocky Mountains

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

303.670.3750 (fax) for Product Info. 

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