HP2648A tape drive capstans

Christian Corti cc at corti-net.de
Sun Feb 5 04:40:40 CST 2006

On Fri, 3 Feb 2006, Joe R. wrote:
>   Don't bother with the old HP tapes. I've never seen a one that worked
> more than a couple of days, even NOS ones. And I've tried dozens of them. I

My old ones (over 20 years old) work flawlessly. And my NOS ones (3M) work 
nicely, too. I use them regularly to load some simple programs into a 
HP1000 system or to transfer files between HP1000 and UNIX.

> even got a hold of a SEALED case of 100 new sealed tapes and even those
> were useless.  The old DECassette tapes hold up pretty good and some of the
> old 40Mb  DC 2 something,something,something tapes used in the early PC
> tape drives will also work in the HPs and about half of them that you find
> are good.  Again this has been covered extensively on this list and should
> be in the archives.

The 40MB cartridges (DC-2000) and up do *not* work in those HP drives 
because they are too big. The tape's 0.25" in these cartridges (QIC), the 
tape used with the HP drives is called DC-100 and its tape is much 
smaller (about half the height). A DC-2000 or so called QIC-80 cartridge 
won't even fit mechanically into a HP drive.
On the other hand I would be very happy if someone gave me 100 new or used 
DC-100 tapes; they are *very* rare, at least where I am. The only thing 
you have to do with tapes that haven't been used for a long time is to 
unstick the belt from the spools by heating the cassette. After that they 
work just fine.


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