Anyone out there that can read 7 track / 556 BPI tapes?

ED SHARPE couryhouse at
Mon Jul 20 05:26:33 CDT 2020

there was a  7970b hp tape drive that  was  7  track drive  at one  tine  I  had  the  fortune  to get one that  came  from a 2000 system that  wrote telemetry  from crash dummies and found  a  good$$$$  customer   for it.   all  that  aside...   it would interface   with  an hp 2100  or  21mx  if  you  can  find  one  it  will probably  work  and  work  well as all the  7970  series  tape  drives served us  wonderfully. Now....wish  I  has  saved it... the  tie   the money  paid  for  that  parts  2000 system We got  plus  a number of  months  rent  for the business  ca. 1981 and  most important  that  2000  donor  system gave  us  an XYD   board  for the  core array  that  a month  later we needed when one of ours  croaked Ed#   SMECC Museum Project  In a message dated 7/20/2020 1:10:59 AM US Mountain Standard Time, cctalk at writes: 
Hi, I bumped into an old friend of mine today.  We both talked about a pair ofmachines we worked on that no longer exist as far as we cant tell.  Theywere both Adage machines and had the same base digital architecture.  Theirnames are Ambilog 200 and AGT-30.  The Ambilog was the predecessor to theAGT line.  The AGT came in 3 flavors, AGT-10, AGT-30 and AGT-50.  The 30seems to have been the most prevalent. They were 30 bit, one's complement machines.  The Ambilog had a beautifulconsole that used an IO Selectric.  It was designed as a 2D vector graphicsmachine. Here's an image of the Ambilog 200: Ambilog 200<> The AGT/30 was a very advanced 3D vector machine.  The XYZ signals for thedisplay came from a 4 x 3 "hybrid" matrix multiplier which allowed for 3Dimaging with Z axis depth cueing.  The matrix multiplier was a 19 in rackof a dozen discrete 15 bit multiplying D to A converters.  About once ayear it had to be re-calibrated due to long term drift. Here's a link to an image of an AGT-30: Adage AGT-30<> And here is it's 1.5 seconds of fame from the SciFi classic "Dark Star": AGT-30das Blinkenlights <> Anyway, it turns out he has quite a few of the source and backup tapes.Unfortunately they are 7 track 556 BPI.  So the question is: is thereanyone out there that can assist with either reading these tapes or (betteryet) has a 7 track tape head we could buy? Our goal is to preserve this forgotten machine designed at the start of thecomputer graphics era.  Writing a full emulator is our goal. I live in the Bay Area.  Maybe those of you with connections to CHM couldsee if we could read the tapes on the 1401.  Or maybe one of you has a 7track driver in your junk file.  All we really would need is the head andwe could put it on an existing drive.  As a last option, a commercial taperecovery vendor although that is probably too pricey. Thanks, Marc Howard

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