Source for TK50 Compactapes?

Mr Ian Primus ian_primus at
Wed Aug 15 07:45:48 CDT 2007

--- Josh Dersch <derschjo at> wrote:

> Can anyone recommend a good source for Compactapes
> for a TK50?  With all 
> this talk of TK50s & DLT tapes I'm reminded that I
> have a PDP 11/83 and 
> a MicroVAX 2000 that I'd like to write some OS tapes
> for, but lack 
> media...  I see a few for sale here and there on
> eBay but I'm not sure I 
> want to go that route yet...

Yeah, me too :). I have two TK50 cartridges, one of
which isn't in great shape (found jammed in a drive).

I have done some testing, and guess what - DLTIII
cartridges DON'T work in TK50 drives. Of course, the
media is different by a factor of three or more in
terms of coercivity, but, just in case anyone was

One thing I was wondering - open reel 9 track tape
seems to be pretty close in terms of orsted rating to
the TK50 cartridges. I have contemplated taking this
one half-reel of magtape I have (got eaten in the
TU81. Bad drive.) and spooling some into a dud DLTIV
cartridge shell (modifying it to fit in the TK50, of
course). Anyone tried this?


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