Real tape drive densities [was RE: Oregon Pascal tape found]

Rich Alderson RichA at
Wed Feb 10 17:37:33 CST 2016

From: Curious Marc
Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 12:05 PM


>> On Feb 10, 2016, at 11:40 AM, Rich Alderson <RichA at>
>> wrote:

>> From: Christian Corti
>> Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 2:28 AM

>>> I actually *do* have a 9 track tape drive (HP 7970) that has 200/556/800 
>>> bpi densities:


>>> And it is a *9* track tape, I know for sure.

>> Actually, what you have is a *dual-density* tape drive, an HP7970E.  It
>> will write 9-track tapes at 800bpi, or 7-track tapes at 200, 556, or 800.

> Nice unit! Drool. Looks like this is a NRZI triple density tape, so
> 7970A or B. The later 7970E would have a 1600 PE density switch too. I
> have an E, but not with the multiple density or 7 track options
> unfortunately. Thanks for the link to the series overview manual Rich.

Note that Christian Corti stated that his drive is capable of 9-track
operation.  That's an E.  (Apparently that will also write 9-track PE at
1600bpi, but it will write 9-track NRZI at 800bpi).


Rich Alderson
Vintage Computing Sr. Systems Engineer
Living Computer Museum
2245 1st Avenue S
Seattle, WA 98134

mailto:RichA at

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