ID help, Ampex tape drive and other things.

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Mon May 18 10:04:39 CDT 2015

> On May 18, 2015, at 9:31 AM, Jon Elson <elson at> wrote:
> On 05/18/2015 03:48 AM, Dave G4UGM wrote:
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Pontus
>>> Pihlgren
>>> What system would the the Ampex Series 800B have been used with?
>> They don't look like computer tape drives. They have notes on the side that
>> talk about tracks 8-14 which is odd if they were computer drives as that's
>> normally 9-track tape. Possibly some kind of audio recorder?
> Right, the connector labels show 14 tracks, so while they use standard 1/2" computer tape, they seem to be analog data recorders. They also appear to have no system to start and stop quickly, as needed for computer drives.  I've seen analog recording drives that looked a lot like these before.

There are 14 track computer tape drives (CDC made them) but those used 1 inch tape.

Does analog recording require tape that is designed to record more than just ones and zeroes?  Perhaps not; if FM modulation is used, that wouldn’t be such an issue.

That drive certainly doesn’t look like a computer peripheral.  The connectors look more like lab instrument cabling, or perhaps military equipment cables.


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