Kennedy 9000 Tape Drives, Terminals and Packs

Rick Bensene rickb at
Mon Apr 17 15:11:04 CDT 2017

> I was helping out someone here locally to dig thru a pile of electronics that he had obtained in helping out a woman clean out her house.

> Her husband passed away and she wanted the space back.  Apparently the husband "somehow" dealt in HW repair.
> A good number of the items were known broken spares, Shugart 1004 drives (about 36) and a couple tandem floppies.
> Those he found a new home for.

With that many 1004 drives, surely quite a few can be made to work again.  They are weird drives, though...very strange interface, and very few interface cards to hook 'em up to computers.

> There were a few items that I told him I'd help circulate info on since they are a bit more specialized  (I'm just trying to help him liquidate the items, he is surprising the woman who he got it from with a cash gift when this > is done)

> 1) 2 NOS Kennedy 9000 series tape drives.   I checked, they look pristine.
> There was an invoice that says they're Kennedy 9000-3, 4s models.

Wow!  One of those would be very cool to get.   I can't find any information on the "4S" model, though.  I am wondering if it has a SCSI interface.  If it does, even better.  
It's kind of a limited drive, only doing 800 or 1600BPI (no 6250), and only runs at 45 inches per second, so it's not very fast.  But, still, if it is SCSI, it could definitely be interesting.
Do you know if there are any docs there with them?  Any way to tell what interface they use?   I would actually be interested in laying hands one of them.
In reading stuff online, it does appear that these drives were frequently configured with SCSI interfaces.
Is there any way that this can be checked.  The "4S" model number seems encouraging.

2) 9 drive packs. marked ATHANA, which may be RK05 packs (I couldn't find any markings on them to indicate what size, etc.)
ATHANA was a magnetic media manufacturer.  They made floppy disks and cartridge hard disk drives that were compatible with many vendors' hard disk system.
If they look like RK05 packs, they are probably compatible with DEC RK05 or RK07 drives for PDP 8 or PDP 11 systems.  The difference between the packs is the number of index slits in the index hub on the bottom of the pack.   12 index slits (not counting the one "home" reference slit which is at an "odd" location) indicates that it's for a 16-bit system, like PDP 11.  If 16 index slits, then it's for a 12-bit system, like PDP 8.
If they are 16-slit packs, and look very RK05-ish, I might be interested in 'em because I don't have many disk packs for my PDP 8/e system.     

3) Lastly he has two Visual 50 terminals.

I think I've got enough terminals.   Now, if they were Ann Arbor Ambassador terminals, I would be interested .

Can some photos be taken of the disk cartridges, and perhaps the back of the Kennedy drives to see what the interface connector(s) look like?
Is this person  wanting money for the stuff, or just to get rid of it?

Shipping the Kennedy drive would be expensive, and I'd worry about damage, so it'd probably have to be custom crated.   That could get pretty expensive.   But, to me it is worth checking into if the drive looks like it has a SCSI interface.

Thanks, Earl, good stuff!

Hope all is going well for you.


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