Reading MT/ST Tapes

dave.g4ugm at dave.g4ugm at
Thu Jul 29 03:58:29 CDT 2021


Its only recorded at around 25BPI so I don't thing it would be too hard to decode.
Given its a character at a time, I suspect some iron filings or similar would reveal the codes and track spacing and with a bit of luck you could find a head that would read the data...
I am sure we used to have some when we had real tapes.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk <cctalk-bounces at> On Behalf Of Cory
> Heisterkamp via cctalk
> Sent: 29 July 2021 00:37
> To: General Discussion: On-Topic Posts <cctech at>
> Subject: Reading MT/ST Tapes
> This is a bit of a long shot, but is anyone aware of a successful method to read
> IBM Selectric MT/ST tapes? A museum in Australia has a box of them and are
> interested in the contents.
> I'm fairly involved in the global Selectric community and while 1 or 2 MT/ST’s
> exist, they’re non-functional. I know IBM offered a 2495 Tape Reader for the
> IBM 360, which could be a starting point with modification, but I suspect
> those are even scarcer than the MT/ST itself.
> Even the encoding format appears to be a bit of a secret. Recording is
> character-by-character, tape spacing controlled by sprocket holes along one
> edge.
> <
> mtst/?fbclid=IwAR28c5ej69AlF0os1PcykpHCh0Q_yz5BXbnUSi9UID-
> 4pY6GU3wLxZXFhDI>
> Thanks- Cory

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