Value of 7-track TU10

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Mon Sep 19 18:42:34 CDT 2016

> On Sep 19, 2016, at 12:34 PM, Noel Chiappa <jnc at> wrote:
> So what do people think the (monetary) value of a 7-track TU10 master drive
> is? I have no idea what these older vacuum-column drives are worth - don't
> recall ever seeing on for sale. This one is in good condition, and has all its
> Flip Chips.  The 7-track is a plus in some ways (rarer), and negative in
> others (can't read old 9-track tapes, which are probably more common than
> 7-track).

I don't know either, but I can say this much:

7 track tape drives are quite rare.  7 track data is not all that common either, but it shows up from time to time.  There are plenty of 9 track tapes out there; the ability to reach 9 track media is not at risk.  But for 7 tracks, it might well be.  In other words, it would be a very good idea to see this drive preserved.

Along those lines, a project I'm working on has turned up a number of 7 track tapes, possibly 556 bpi though that is not entirely clear.  They are in Europe, where searches for working 7 track setups have come up empty.  Can anyone offer pointers?  Will it take shipping the media to another continent to get the data preserved?


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