54 TK50 tapes on eBay

Robert Jarratt robert.jarratt at ntlworld.com
Sun May 17 14:41:35 CDT 2015

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org] On Behalf Of Mark J.
> Blair
> Sent: 17 May 2015 20:29
> To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
> Subject: Re: 54 TK50 tapes on eBay
> > On May 17, 2015, at 12:17, Henk Gooijen <henk.gooijen at hotmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > ----- I am not going to look, I might be tempted ...
> > If it sells for less than $50, I'd say "go for it".  The TUK-50 is not
> > that often on sale. With this module you can connect the TK50 to any
> > UNIBUS system.
> > You need some flat cable from the module to the TK50, but it is a
> > "straight" cable IIRC.  If needed, I can check.
> > My 11/44 has a TK50 (thus a TUK-50 module installed).
> Well, $55 with free shipping is close enough! I bought the card, which I
> always use in my 11/44 project, too.
> Now I'm trying to learn about the drives. I understand the TUK50 board has
> 26ish-pin header for the drive cable. I see an ugly-looking TK50D external
> on eBay, but it appears to have a 50-pin D connector. There are also some
> TK50Z SCSI (?) external drives listed, which I presume are not applicable.
> Maybe I'd need to get an internal drive and cobble together a power
> > On May 17, 2015, at 12:24, Henk Gooijen <henk.gooijen at hotmail.com>
> wrote:
> > I could not resist ... a quick search did not find a TUK-50 ...
> > Note that the M7546 is for QBUS.  Saw a few of those, ranging from
> > some $25 (acceptable) to $799.99 (way insane crazy!)
> >
> That's because I just bought the only M7547 listed! ;)

Glad you got the board and I hope you get a decent drive to read the tapes
with. You could always put together a Qbus system just to read the tapes
(which could then be the much better TK70, or even some of the later
drives), but if you have a 730 and can read it there that would be great. I
used to use a 730 many years ago, would be great to see one again.

Don't forget, if you get those tapes, to let us know what old DEC software
is on there. I would like to find the DECnet kit for MicroVMS (although I
have a way to get DECnet working on MicroVMS anyway, it would still be nice
to have the proper kit).

I am sure you are aware, but just in case, be careful with these tapes as I
suspect they are now at the point of being ROMs (Read Once at Most), and
they can gum up the drive quite badly, make sure you clean the heads after
running each tape through, for anything really critical.



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