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

CuriousMarc curiousmarc3 at
Wed Feb 10 23:55:14 CST 2016

>> Nice unit! Drool. Looks like this is a NRZI triple density tape, so 
>> 7970A or B. 
>> Marc
> 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

Interesting. So what model do you think he has? For example, from the manual
you listed, I see only two E models that can do dual 7/9 track with all the
lower speeds he has, the 7970E -164 and the -165 (a master and a slave). But
both of them are Read Only (because of the dual 7/9 track read head needed,
I suspect they did not have the space to put a double write head too). This
conflicts with his tape lacking a 1600 density button, and having a Write
Enable light. The latter strongly suggests it is a Read after Write tape,
not a Read Only one. 
That's why I thought he had a 7970A or a 7970B (-136), that can read and
write 200, 556 and 800 NRZI. This would match all the front panel buttons we
see. However it looks like the 200/500/800 NRZI were only made in 7-track
guise. This conflicts with Christian  saying his tape is a 9 track. 
So I cannot find a model match for both what I see and what is said about
it. Christian, it would be nice to have a picture with the door closed and
confirm the model letter. If such a model exists (dual 7/9 track dual
read/write and dual NRZI/PE), I'd like to know which one it is (and get one
;-) ).

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