WTB /WTT DEC TZ30 and/or 1/2" open reel SCSI magtape drives

Mark J. Blair nf6x at nf6x.net
Tue Jun 9 17:59:58 CDT 2015

> On Jun 9, 2015, at 15:44 , Glen Slick <glen.slick at gmail.com> wrote:
> An alternative would be to look for a cheap Fujitsu M2444AC tape drive
> (often seen with Sun badges). They have Pertec interfaces, but it is
> probably easier and cheaper most of the time to find a Pertec tape
> drive interface for a DEC system than a SCSI interface, and they can
> be interfaced to ISA bus PCs. They are built like tanks and weigh
> around 200 pounds, which is why they can sometimes be had for cheap if
> you find one within driving distance because no one would want to pay
> to ship one.

I'm looking for a SCSI interfaced drive so I can hook it up to my Sun Ultra 60, running Solaris 8. I don't run any ISA bus machines other than a 5155 Portable PC and a very crappy old 386 box dedicated to running ImageDisk, and my Sun would be much easier to use for this purpose, I think. It's also just new enough that it's not hard to get it talking to my current machines over the network, so it makes a nice bridge machine.

I already have a magtape drive on my VAX, and was pleased to see it pass the diagnostic tests this weekend. It's a TU80. It hooks up to my VAX with a couple of 50-pin connectors... Hmm, maybe it has a Pertec interface, so another option might be to find a Pertec to SCSI adapter and use the same drive on multiple systems?

I also already have a front-loading Kennedy drive with a Pertec interface which is earmarked for use on my future PDP-11/44 project. It needs some work, as it lost hub drive in one direction shortly after I got it. Once I repair it, using it with a SCSI to Pertec adapter would also eliminate the need to shipping yet another magtape drive around.

So based on your comments, let me amend my request to say that I would also consider some sort of SCSI to Pertec interface. Thanks!

P.S.: For those of you who don't mind clicking on a Twitter link, here's a picture of my VAX system as I was working on it this weekend, shortly before I took a break to let the room cool back down:


The MacBook on top of the VAX is running tu58em. The Ultra 60 is sitting on the floor in front of the TU80 after a previous dead-end attempt to get tu58em running on it, before I figured out how to fix the issue I was having running it on my Mac. The two VAX cabinets are bracketed by my PDP-11/03 on the left, and my Nova 3 on the right. The DECwriter III is working nicely as the VAX console terminal. Oh, and my PDP-8M is sitting on top of the PDP-11/03 rack waiting for its next turn on the workbench. Photobombing the picture from the right is my IBM Mag Card II typewriter, also waiting for restoration.

Mark J. Blair, NF6X <nf6x at nf6x.net>

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