Tape Drive Capstans

Glen Slick glen.slick at gmail.com
Thu Jan 29 16:51:57 CST 2015

On Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 12:18 PM, Al  Kossow <aek at bitsavers.org> wrote:
> On 1/29/15 10:55 AM, Ali wrote:
>> is it that all
>> tape drives (including ones manufactured now are ticking time bombs?
> Tape is the bane of my existence.
> All of the rubber parts will eventually soften or crack. I've mostly
> seen softening on QIC drives, and roller cracking on helical DAT or Exabyte
> drives. If you look on the audio tape deck forums, they claim a pinch roller
> is only good for maybe five years of life. The youngest drives I use
> regularly
> are 25+ years old. A TU58, for example, came out in the late 70's.

The only rubber I can remember being used in the tape path of an M4
Data 9914 is on the tach roller. I had a nice working 9914
(800/1600/6250) until the thin rubber coating around the metal tach
roller lost the necessary friction properties against the moving tape
to correctly sense its speed. Quite a shame to loose a nice drive to
such a simple rubber failure. Maybe I could have found some way to fix
the problem, but I no longer have that drive.

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