IBM 3480 DEC TKZ60 inquiry

Jon Elson elson at
Sun Dec 17 23:52:15 CST 2017

On 12/17/2017 10:04 PM, Chuck Guzis via cctalk wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> We've got a Canadian customer with what appears to be an IBM 3480
> cartridge that he'd like to get the data from.   We don't get nearly
> enough request for these IBM carts to make owning a unit a viable
> proposition.
> I understand that the 3480 format was supported by a wide range of
> vendors, including DEC with the TKZ60/TKZ61.
> Anyone having one of these drive want to make some easy money?
> FWIW, the customer thinks that it's a lot older than it really is--he
> thinks this dates to the 1970s and the S/360, so some gentle advice may
> also be required.
There were several DIFFERENT formats used with these 
standard tape cartridges.  I have some old CDC Patriot tape 
drives that did a serpentine single track at a time format 
on a 3480-compatible tape. I don't think any DEC drive 
supported the 18-tracks-wide IBM 3480 format.  I think DEC's 
drives were also serpentine.  If they are really from an IBM 
compatible system (really too late for 360, most likely 370 
systems) then I think only an IBM-compatible drive would 
read them.  Wikipedia says the 3480 was introduced in 1984.


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