TS05AA drives?

Al Kossow aek at bitsavers.org
Wed Jan 18 14:09:40 CST 2017

I have a fair bit of experience with these.


is a Cipher 880

I would get pictures of the unit. 9610's don't look like this, they have
a card cage in the back and a completely different control panel. Docs/pics
are on bitsavers for the 961x which is your best reference. From memory, 9610
vs 12 was 800bpi support (I need to check the manual to be sure).

Now, as far as the 961x goes, there were lots of different versions. The basic
drive is Pertec interface, with an optional SCSI board. The SCSI can have
varying amounts of buffering.

They have strong servo motors, and they run fast. Not good for sticky tapes.
Their 800bpi recovery is pretty good, and the available documentation is
excellent. I wish the M4 Data or HP 88780 docs were half as good (you know,
like including SCHEMATICS in the service manual).

The 961x has a rubber wheel, and the go gooey, but so do the M4 and 88780

Of the three drives, the M4 has the softest servo, the HP, then the Kennedy.
Softer servos can let the tape go slack and swing the tensioner farther, esp
if the tape hasn't been condtioned (packed on a tape cleaner).

On 1/18/17 10:32 AM, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> I've been offered a DEC TS05AA drive at a pretty good price.   Before I
> agree to the deal, I have a few questions that the DEC people can answer.
> 1.  I understand that this drive is a rebadged Kennedy 9610.  Corect?
> 2.  The interface is supposed to be SCSI, but what kind of SCSI?
> 3.  Do all 9610s have 800 NRZI support
> 4.  What's your opinion of these drives in general?
> Thanks,
> Chuck

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