TK50 Tape Not Loading - DEC

This is a discussion on TK50 Tape Not Loading - DEC ; I have just acquired a TK50 and I am having a problem loading my tape. From what I can see the leaders in the drive and on the cartridge look to be as described in the manual http://bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/magtape...-002_Jul86.pdf on pages ...

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  1. TK50 Tape Not Loading

    I have just acquired a TK50 and I am having a problem loading my tape. From
    what I can see the leaders in the drive and on the cartridge look to be as
    described in the manual
    http://bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/magtape...-002_Jul86.pdf on pages
    3-4 and 3-7. What else might cause the tape to fail to load?

    Thanks

    Rob



  2. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    On 4 Dec, 23:33, "Robert Jarratt" wrote:
    > I have just acquired a TK50 and I am having a problem loading my tape. From
    > what I can see the leaders in the drive and on the cartridge look to be as
    > described in the manualhttp://bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/magtape/tk50/EK-0TK50-TM-002_Jul86.pdfon pages
    > 3-4 and 3-7. What else might cause the tape to fail to load?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > Rob


    What are the exact symptoms of the problem? Is it failing to pick up
    at all, giving errors, ...?

    How crisp is the end of the ==D on the leader in the drive? This can
    get quite beat-up over time.

    Chris

  3. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    I press the load button and I hear the drive whirr for a bit. After a while
    it stops and the red light flashes fast.. I try a few more times and I get
    the same thing. Eventually I have to switch it off and when it powers on
    (with the red button in the out position) it releases the tape lock and lets
    me take the tape out.

    The end of the leader in the drive does look quite crisp to me, although I
    have nothing to compare it with of course.

    Is there anyone with any leaders they can spare?

    Regards

    Rob

    The red light flashes fast
    wrote in message
    news:b47672de-79ce-4588-80ad-9ceac780c8f5@w56g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
    > On 4 Dec, 23:33, "Robert Jarratt" wrote:
    >> I have just acquired a TK50 and I am having a problem loading my tape.
    >> From
    >> what I can see the leaders in the drive and on the cartridge look to be
    >> as
    >> described in the
    >> manualhttp://bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/magtape/tk50/EK-0TK50-TM-002_Jul86.pdfon
    >> pages
    >> 3-4 and 3-7. What else might cause the tape to fail to load?
    >>
    >> Thanks
    >>
    >> Rob

    >
    > What are the exact symptoms of the problem? Is it failing to pick up
    > at all, giving errors, ...?
    >
    > How crisp is the end of the ==D on the leader in the drive? This can
    > get quite beat-up over time.
    >
    > Chris




  4. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    Clean the head.

    Johnny

    Robert Jarratt skrev:
    > I press the load button and I hear the drive whirr for a bit. After a while
    > it stops and the red light flashes fast.. I try a few more times and I get
    > the same thing. Eventually I have to switch it off and when it powers on
    > (with the red button in the out position) it releases the tape lock and lets
    > me take the tape out.
    >
    > The end of the leader in the drive does look quite crisp to me, although I
    > have nothing to compare it with of course.
    >
    > Is there anyone with any leaders they can spare?
    >
    > Regards
    >
    > Rob
    >
    > The red light flashes fast
    > wrote in message
    > news:b47672de-79ce-4588-80ad-9ceac780c8f5@w56g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
    >> On 4 Dec, 23:33, "Robert Jarratt" wrote:
    >>> I have just acquired a TK50 and I am having a problem loading my tape.
    >>> From
    >>> what I can see the leaders in the drive and on the cartridge look to be
    >>> as
    >>> described in the
    >>> manualhttp://bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/magtape/tk50/EK-0TK50-TM-002_Jul86.pdfon
    >>> pages
    >>> 3-4 and 3-7. What else might cause the tape to fail to load?
    >>>
    >>> Thanks
    >>>
    >>> Rob

    >> What are the exact symptoms of the problem? Is it failing to pick up
    >> at all, giving errors, ...?
    >>
    >> How crisp is the end of the ==D on the leader in the drive? This can
    >> get quite beat-up over time.
    >>
    >> Chris

    >
    >



    --
    Johnny Billquist || "I'm on a bus
    || on a psychedelic trip
    email: bqt@softjar.se || Reading murder books
    pdp is alive! || tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

  5. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    OK, I will try that, but I am not sure I understand why as it seems the tape
    won't load at all. How will cleaning the head help?

    Regards

    Rob

    "Johnny Billquist" wrote in message
    news:fj4pok$ok2$1@Tempo.Update.UU.SE...
    > Clean the head.
    >
    > Johnny
    >
    > Robert Jarratt skrev:
    >> I press the load button and I hear the drive whirr for a bit. After a
    >> while it stops and the red light flashes fast.. I try a few more times
    >> and I get the same thing. Eventually I have to switch it off and when it
    >> powers on (with the red button in the out position) it releases the tape
    >> lock and lets me take the tape out.
    >>
    >> The end of the leader in the drive does look quite crisp to me, although
    >> I have nothing to compare it with of course.
    >>
    >> Is there anyone with any leaders they can spare?
    >>
    >> Regards
    >>
    >> Rob
    >>
    >> The red light flashes fast
    >> wrote in message
    >> news:b47672de-79ce-4588-80ad-9ceac780c8f5@w56g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
    >>> On 4 Dec, 23:33, "Robert Jarratt" wrote:
    >>>> I have just acquired a TK50 and I am having a problem loading my tape.
    >>>> From
    >>>> what I can see the leaders in the drive and on the cartridge look to be
    >>>> as
    >>>> described in the
    >>>> manualhttp://bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/magtape/tk50/EK-0TK50-TM-002_Jul86.pdfon
    >>>> pages
    >>>> 3-4 and 3-7. What else might cause the tape to fail to load?
    >>>>
    >>>> Thanks
    >>>>
    >>>> Rob
    >>> What are the exact symptoms of the problem? Is it failing to pick up
    >>> at all, giving errors, ...?
    >>>
    >>> How crisp is the end of the ==D on the leader in the drive? This can
    >>> get quite beat-up over time.
    >>>
    >>> Chris

    >>
    >>

    >
    >
    > --
    > Johnny Billquist || "I'm on a bus
    > || on a psychedelic trip
    > email: bqt@softjar.se || Reading murder books
    > pdp is alive! || tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol




  6. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading


    Cleaning the head _might_ help. The tape drive is apparently having
    problems loading the tape, which is why the LED is flashing.

    Maybe it is having problems loading the tape because it can't locate
    BOT (Beginning Of Tape) due to the head being dirty, or maybe it's
    because the drive is shot.

    During the course of rehabilitating my MicroVAX 3/GPX and PDP-11/53+
    last year, I actually acquired and subsequently threw out at least a
    half-dozen TK50 and TK70 drives because I couldn't get them to work.
    And this was after trying to swap out the leader and cleaning the head
    with the last of my TK50 cleaning kits.

    Best of luck!

    Chris

  7. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    On Dec 5, 8:32 am, ChrisKalisiak wrote:
    > Cleaning the head _might_ help. The tape drive is apparently having
    > problems loading the tape, which is why the LED is flashing.
    >
    > Maybe it is having problems loading the tape because it can't locate
    > BOT (Beginning Of Tape) due to the head being dirty, or maybe it's
    > because the drive is shot.
    >
    > During the course of rehabilitating my MicroVAX 3/GPX and PDP-11/53+
    > last year, I actually acquired and subsequently threw out at least a
    > half-dozen TK50 and TK70 drives because I couldn't get them to work.
    > And this was after trying to swap out the leader and cleaning the head
    > with the last of my TK50 cleaning kits.
    >
    > Best of luck!
    >
    > Chris


    Try manually loading the tape around the spool and
    power on the drive and see what happens. It's been a
    number of years but IIRC I would spool out some tape
    from the cartridge, thread it thru the tape path and wrap
    it around the drum and then power on. I believe there
    were some cartridge and spool interlocks I had to
    by pass, I think.
    I just moved to a new location and have a box
    full of TK50's I intend to repair so for now just
    can't remember how I did it. But if tape loads
    manually one can isolate the load failure easily.

  8. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    On Dec 4, 6:23 pm, "Robert Jarratt" wrote:
    > I press the load button and I hear the drive whirr for a bit. After a while
    > it stops and the red light flashes fast.. I try a few more times and I get
    > the same thing. Eventually I have to switch it off and when it powers on
    > (with the red button in the out position) it releases the tape lock and lets
    > me take the tape out.
    >
    > The end of the leader in the drive does look quite crisp to me, although I
    > have nothing to compare it with of course.
    >
    > Is there anyone with any leaders they can spare?
    >
    > Regards
    >
    > Rob
    >
    > The red light flashes fast wrote in message
    >
    > news:b47672de-79ce-4588-80ad-9ceac780c8f5@w56g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
    >
    >
    >
    > > On 4 Dec, 23:33, "Robert Jarratt" wrote:
    > >> I have just acquired a TK50 and I am having a problem loading my tape.
    > >> From
    > >> what I can see the leaders in the drive and on the cartridge look to be
    > >> as
    > >> described in the
    > >> manualhttp://bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/magtape/tk50/EK-0TK50-TM-002_Jul86.pdfon
    > >> pages
    > >> 3-4 and 3-7. What else might cause the tape to fail to load?

    >
    > >> Thanks

    >
    > >> Rob

    >
    > > What are the exact symptoms of the problem? Is it failing to pick up
    > > at all, giving errors, ...?

    >
    > > How crisp is the end of the ==D on the leader in the drive? This can
    > > get quite beat-up over time.

    >
    > > Chris- Hide quoted text -

    >
    > - Show quoted text -


    I've just been through this same TK50 ordeal. Your tape is
    apparently spooling, but corrupted or can't be read.. thus the fast
    flash. What I did in this case was 1) clean the head, or 2) bulk
    erase the tape.

    One of those two should do it.

    These old TK50 tapes *can* have huge amounts of oxide shedding.. about
    half the tapes I've bought recently have been completely unuseable due
    to scooging up my heads within a few seconds. Keep your drive
    apart... cleaning will be frequent.

    ~J

  9. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading


    wrote in message
    news:c3c689a7-34c3-4878-84ec-b51e964ac6f9@i29g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
    > On Dec 5, 8:32 am, ChrisKalisiak wrote:
    >> Cleaning the head _might_ help. The tape drive is apparently having
    >> problems loading the tape, which is why the LED is flashing.
    >>
    >> Maybe it is having problems loading the tape because it can't locate
    >> BOT (Beginning Of Tape) due to the head being dirty, or maybe it's
    >> because the drive is shot.
    >>
    >> During the course of rehabilitating my MicroVAX 3/GPX and PDP-11/53+
    >> last year, I actually acquired and subsequently threw out at least a
    >> half-dozen TK50 and TK70 drives because I couldn't get them to work.
    >> And this was after trying to swap out the leader and cleaning the head
    >> with the last of my TK50 cleaning kits.
    >>
    >> Best of luck!
    >>
    >> Chris

    >
    > Try manually loading the tape around the spool and
    > power on the drive and see what happens. It's been a
    > number of years but IIRC I would spool out some tape
    > from the cartridge, thread it thru the tape path and wrap
    > it around the drum and then power on. I believe there
    > were some cartridge and spool interlocks I had to
    > by pass, I think.
    > I just moved to a new location and have a box
    > full of TK50's I intend to repair so for now just
    > can't remember how I did it. But if tape loads
    > manually one can isolate the load failure easily.


    What I am going to do is dismantle the drive and watch it attempt to load
    the tape. That will tell me if the problem is mechanical or a head hygiene
    problem. In the case of the latter, does anyone have any recommendations on
    what to use to clean it? Anything I should be careful about?

    Thanks

    Rob



  10. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    On Dec 5, 4:10 pm, "Robert Jarratt" wrote:
    > wrote in message
    >
    > news:c3c689a7-34c3-4878-84ec-b51e964ac6f9@i29g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > > On Dec 5, 8:32 am, ChrisKalisiak wrote:
    > >> Cleaning the head _might_ help. The tape drive is apparently having
    > >> problems loading the tape, which is why the LED is flashing.

    >
    > >> Maybe it is having problems loading the tape because it can't locate
    > >> BOT (Beginning Of Tape) due to the head being dirty, or maybe it's
    > >> because the drive is shot.

    >
    > >> During the course of rehabilitating my MicroVAX 3/GPX and PDP-11/53+
    > >> last year, I actually acquired and subsequently threw out at least a
    > >> half-dozen TK50 and TK70 drives because I couldn't get them to work.
    > >> And this was after trying to swap out the leader and cleaning the head
    > >> with the last of my TK50 cleaning kits.

    >
    > >> Best of luck!

    >
    > >> Chris

    >
    > > Try manually loading the tape around the spool and
    > > power on the drive and see what happens. It's been a
    > > number of years but IIRC I would spool out some tape
    > > from the cartridge, thread it thru the tape path and wrap
    > > it around the drum and then power on. I believe there
    > > were some cartridge and spool interlocks I had to
    > > by pass, I think.
    > > I just moved to a new location and have a box
    > > full of TK50's I intend to repair so for now just
    > > can't remember how I did it. But if tape loads
    > > manually one can isolate the load failure easily.

    >
    > What I am going to do is dismantle the drive and watch it attempt to load
    > the tape. That will tell me if the problem is mechanical or a head hygiene
    > problem. In the case of the latter, does anyone have any recommendations on
    > what to use to clean it? Anything I should be careful about?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > Rob- Hide quoted text -
    >
    > - Show quoted text -


    I'd use use q-tip, 91% isopropyl alcohol for the heads
    and if you can, take a close look see if they are
    scratched, worn down, pitted, etc.

    Use q-tip, distilled water on tape path and rollers

  11. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading


    wrote in message
    news:d3be2912-8b43-41b8-82ee-7dcf7880c74b@y5g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
    > On Dec 5, 4:10 pm, "Robert Jarratt" wrote:
    >> wrote in message
    >>
    >> news:c3c689a7-34c3-4878-84ec-b51e964ac6f9@i29g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> > On Dec 5, 8:32 am, ChrisKalisiak wrote:
    >> >> Cleaning the head _might_ help. The tape drive is apparently having
    >> >> problems loading the tape, which is why the LED is flashing.

    >>
    >> >> Maybe it is having problems loading the tape because it can't locate
    >> >> BOT (Beginning Of Tape) due to the head being dirty, or maybe it's
    >> >> because the drive is shot.

    >>
    >> >> During the course of rehabilitating my MicroVAX 3/GPX and PDP-11/53+
    >> >> last year, I actually acquired and subsequently threw out at least a
    >> >> half-dozen TK50 and TK70 drives because I couldn't get them to work.
    >> >> And this was after trying to swap out the leader and cleaning the head
    >> >> with the last of my TK50 cleaning kits.

    >>
    >> >> Best of luck!

    >>
    >> >> Chris

    >>
    >> > Try manually loading the tape around the spool and
    >> > power on the drive and see what happens. It's been a
    >> > number of years but IIRC I would spool out some tape
    >> > from the cartridge, thread it thru the tape path and wrap
    >> > it around the drum and then power on. I believe there
    >> > were some cartridge and spool interlocks I had to
    >> > by pass, I think.
    >> > I just moved to a new location and have a box
    >> > full of TK50's I intend to repair so for now just
    >> > can't remember how I did it. But if tape loads
    >> > manually one can isolate the load failure easily.

    >>
    >> What I am going to do is dismantle the drive and watch it attempt to load
    >> the tape. That will tell me if the problem is mechanical or a head
    >> hygiene
    >> problem. In the case of the latter, does anyone have any recommendations
    >> on
    >> what to use to clean it? Anything I should be careful about?
    >>
    >> Thanks
    >>
    >> Rob- Hide quoted text -
    >>
    >> - Show quoted text -

    >
    > I'd use use q-tip, 91% isopropyl alcohol for the heads
    > and if you can, take a close look see if they are
    > scratched, worn down, pitted, etc.
    >
    > Use q-tip, distilled water on tape path and rollers


    I have now taken the drive apart and the tape is indeed being caught by the
    leader and wound onto the spool. I can see the head go up and down, perhaps
    trying to locate the BOT, so it is clearly a head or tape cleanliness
    problem. I can use a cotton bud (seems to be the British term for a q-tip)
    but I am concerned about the narrowness of the gap the tape runs through,
    could I do some damage if the bud is too thick and applies pressure to the
    head?

    Thanks

    Rob



  12. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    The problem description you gave told it all.
    When the light flashes, you hear whirrs, and after a while the red LED flashes
    quickly, the drive can't locate BOT.

    It's rather common. I can't remember how many drives I've cleaned the head on
    over the years...

    And no, you don't clean it by pushing something in from the front.
    You remove the top cover, and the plasic bit in front of the head, and then you
    have good access to clean it. Use a q-tip (or whatever) soaked in isopropyl alcohol.
    Clean the heads, and also swab the path the tape runs. Let it dry, reassemble
    and try again. If that don't help, then the drive is probably beyond hope.

    Johnny

    Robert Jarratt skrev:
    > wrote in message
    > news:d3be2912-8b43-41b8-82ee-7dcf7880c74b@y5g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
    >> On Dec 5, 4:10 pm, "Robert Jarratt" wrote:
    >>> wrote in message
    >>>
    >>> news:c3c689a7-34c3-4878-84ec-b51e964ac6f9@i29g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>> On Dec 5, 8:32 am, ChrisKalisiak wrote:
    >>>>> Cleaning the head _might_ help. The tape drive is apparently having
    >>>>> problems loading the tape, which is why the LED is flashing.
    >>>>> Maybe it is having problems loading the tape because it can't locate
    >>>>> BOT (Beginning Of Tape) due to the head being dirty, or maybe it's
    >>>>> because the drive is shot.
    >>>>> During the course of rehabilitating my MicroVAX 3/GPX and PDP-11/53+
    >>>>> last year, I actually acquired and subsequently threw out at least a
    >>>>> half-dozen TK50 and TK70 drives because I couldn't get them to work.
    >>>>> And this was after trying to swap out the leader and cleaning the head
    >>>>> with the last of my TK50 cleaning kits.
    >>>>> Best of luck!
    >>>>> Chris
    >>>> Try manually loading the tape around the spool and
    >>>> power on the drive and see what happens. It's been a
    >>>> number of years but IIRC I would spool out some tape
    >>>> from the cartridge, thread it thru the tape path and wrap
    >>>> it around the drum and then power on. I believe there
    >>>> were some cartridge and spool interlocks I had to
    >>>> by pass, I think.
    >>>> I just moved to a new location and have a box
    >>>> full of TK50's I intend to repair so for now just
    >>>> can't remember how I did it. But if tape loads
    >>>> manually one can isolate the load failure easily.
    >>> What I am going to do is dismantle the drive and watch it attempt to load
    >>> the tape. That will tell me if the problem is mechanical or a head
    >>> hygiene
    >>> problem. In the case of the latter, does anyone have any recommendations
    >>> on
    >>> what to use to clean it? Anything I should be careful about?
    >>>
    >>> Thanks
    >>>
    >>> Rob- Hide quoted text -
    >>>
    >>> - Show quoted text -

    >> I'd use use q-tip, 91% isopropyl alcohol for the heads
    >> and if you can, take a close look see if they are
    >> scratched, worn down, pitted, etc.
    >>
    >> Use q-tip, distilled water on tape path and rollers

    >
    > I have now taken the drive apart and the tape is indeed being caught by the
    > leader and wound onto the spool. I can see the head go up and down, perhaps
    > trying to locate the BOT, so it is clearly a head or tape cleanliness
    > problem. I can use a cotton bud (seems to be the British term for a q-tip)
    > but I am concerned about the narrowness of the gap the tape runs through,
    > could I do some damage if the bud is too thick and applies pressure to the
    > head?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > Rob
    >
    >



    --
    Johnny Billquist || "I'm on a bus
    || on a psychedelic trip
    email: bqt@softjar.se || Reading murder books
    pdp is alive! || tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

  13. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    Johnny Billquist skrev:
    > The problem description you gave told it all.
    > When the light flashes, you hear whirrs, and after a while the red LED
    > flashes quickly, the drive can't locate BOT.
    >
    > It's rather common. I can't remember how many drives I've cleaned the
    > head on over the years...
    >
    > And no, you don't clean it by pushing something in from the front.
    > You remove the top cover, and the plasic bit in front of the head, and
    > then you have good access to clean it. Use a q-tip (or whatever) soaked
    > in isopropyl alcohol.
    > Clean the heads, and also swab the path the tape runs. Let it dry,
    > reassemble and try again. If that don't help, then the drive is probably
    > beyond hope.


    Um, sorry. Wrote that a bit too fast. Obviously, the next thing to check is a
    few different cardridges. And if none of them works, then the drive is bad.
    But tapes are an obvious source of this problem...

    Johnny
    >
    > Johnny
    >
    > Robert Jarratt skrev:
    >> wrote in message
    >> news:d3be2912-8b43-41b8-82ee-7dcf7880c74b@y5g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
    >>> On Dec 5, 4:10 pm, "Robert Jarratt" wrote:
    >>>> wrote in message
    >>>>
    >>>> news:c3c689a7-34c3-4878-84ec-b51e964ac6f9@i29g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>> On Dec 5, 8:32 am, ChrisKalisiak wrote:
    >>>>>> Cleaning the head _might_ help. The tape drive is apparently having
    >>>>>> problems loading the tape, which is why the LED is flashing.
    >>>>>> Maybe it is having problems loading the tape because it can't locate
    >>>>>> BOT (Beginning Of Tape) due to the head being dirty, or maybe it's
    >>>>>> because the drive is shot.
    >>>>>> During the course of rehabilitating my MicroVAX 3/GPX and PDP-11/53+
    >>>>>> last year, I actually acquired and subsequently threw out at least a
    >>>>>> half-dozen TK50 and TK70 drives because I couldn't get them to work.
    >>>>>> And this was after trying to swap out the leader and cleaning the
    >>>>>> head
    >>>>>> with the last of my TK50 cleaning kits.
    >>>>>> Best of luck!
    >>>>>> Chris
    >>>>> Try manually loading the tape around the spool and
    >>>>> power on the drive and see what happens. It's been a
    >>>>> number of years but IIRC I would spool out some tape
    >>>>> from the cartridge, thread it thru the tape path and wrap
    >>>>> it around the drum and then power on. I believe there
    >>>>> were some cartridge and spool interlocks I had to
    >>>>> by pass, I think.
    >>>>> I just moved to a new location and have a box
    >>>>> full of TK50's I intend to repair so for now just
    >>>>> can't remember how I did it. But if tape loads
    >>>>> manually one can isolate the load failure easily.
    >>>> What I am going to do is dismantle the drive and watch it attempt to
    >>>> load
    >>>> the tape. That will tell me if the problem is mechanical or a head
    >>>> hygiene
    >>>> problem. In the case of the latter, does anyone have any
    >>>> recommendations on
    >>>> what to use to clean it? Anything I should be careful about?
    >>>>
    >>>> Thanks
    >>>>
    >>>> Rob- Hide quoted text -
    >>>>
    >>>> - Show quoted text -
    >>> I'd use use q-tip, 91% isopropyl alcohol for the heads
    >>> and if you can, take a close look see if they are
    >>> scratched, worn down, pitted, etc.
    >>>
    >>> Use q-tip, distilled water on tape path and rollers

    >>
    >> I have now taken the drive apart and the tape is indeed being caught
    >> by the leader and wound onto the spool. I can see the head go up and
    >> down, perhaps trying to locate the BOT, so it is clearly a head or
    >> tape cleanliness problem. I can use a cotton bud (seems to be the
    >> British term for a q-tip) but I am concerned about the narrowness of
    >> the gap the tape runs through, could I do some damage if the bud is
    >> too thick and applies pressure to the head?
    >>
    >> Thanks
    >>
    >> Rob
    >>

    >
    >



    --
    Johnny Billquist || "I'm on a bus
    || on a psychedelic trip
    email: bqt@softjar.se || Reading murder books
    pdp is alive! || tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

  14. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    Rob,

    Sorry to hear that the drive isn't currently working
    Mind, it is certainly a learning experience

    I can confirm that I did read one tape successfully with the drive -
    it was the only tape I had that I knew the contents of, because it was
    the only one I had written with my other TK50. Oh, and it was the only
    one I tried - a limited 100% success ratio.

    So, I don't think everything is lost...

    For the group: is there any way to determine the state of TK50 tapes
    by visual or manual inspection (for example by rubbing the tape on a
    cloth and examining 'deposits'?), or is it really a case of 'suck it
    and see'?

    Mark.

  15. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    Another question I'd like to ask is if it is possible to use any of
    the newer (higher density) media in a TK50 drive, possibly by
    degaussing first, or whether TK50s are only compatible with Compaq
    Tape I cartridges.

    I would be nice to be able to buy a compatible cartridge new and know
    it has some guaranteed life (and that it wasn't going to gunk up the
    heads at some indeterminate point).

    Cheers, Mark.

  16. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    If you can get a SCSI interface, the TZ87 (not TZ87N) drive can read
    TK50's and read/write DLT-3. I have 6 of them to do data recovery for
    clients.

    And there's a place in Nashua, NH that can rebuild them to factory
    specs, including new heads and leaders, for $150. I bought several
    TZ87's on eBay, and got them rebuilt. For a total of $200 per drive,
    it can't be beat.

    The other advantage of the TZ87 is that you can rewind the tape using
    a Phillips screwdriver. I've found that most TK50 tapes are sticky
    enough that they get caught once in a while. You can't do that on the
    smaller drives that have the left-right lever. The tape path is very
    easy to clean, too.

    If you buy a copy of CHARON-VAX [Shameless Plug Alert (tm) -- I am a
    CHARON-VAX reseller], you could replace this beast and read your tapes
    with a TZ87 one time, and be done. [I don't sell TZ87's, just use
    them]

  17. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    > And no, you don't clean it by pushing something in from the front.

    Actually, as a matter of fact, that's exactly how you clean a TK50
    with a TK50/TK70 cleaning kit.

    But few of them exist now, so it's probably not particularly relevant.
    Just figured I'd follow up on that.

    Regarding bulk erasing a TK70 to make it work in a TK50... It's
    actually a bad idea with a DLT tape, because it nukes the servo track,
    and then the drive is left to write its own, for better or for worse.
    I don't know if there's a servo track on TK50/TK70 tapes. With that
    said, TK/DLT tapes have never been backward compatible (e.g. DLT-IV
    tapes cannot be used in a DLT2000), so it doesn't sound feasible.

    I do have a small quantity of spare TK50 tapes that may or may not
    work. Send me an email and we'll go from there.

    Chris

  18. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    >
    > I do have a small quantity of spare TK50 tapes that may or may not
    > work. Send me an email and we'll go from there.


    Thanks for the offer Chris, but I'm good at the moment - I like to
    backup my home directory on the VAX 4000/90 to TK50 and just wondered
    whether there was any way to make this more reliable. Just nostagia
    really, as I can backup to any number of PCs or Alpha boxes, DAT tape,
    CDROM, DVD the usual. Just doesn't quite have the same effect as the
    whirl of a TK50!

    Think 'Model M' keyboard compared to 'generic plastic rubbish'

    Happy hacking

    Mark

  19. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    On Dec 6, 8:44 am, ChrisKalisiak wrote:
    > > And no, you don't clean it by pushing something in from the front.

    >
    > Actually, as a matter of fact, that's exactly how you clean a TK50
    > with a TK50/TK70 cleaning kit.
    >
    > But few of them exist now, so it's probably not particularly relevant.
    > Just figured I'd follow up on that.
    >
    > Regarding bulk erasing a TK70 to make it work in a TK50... It's
    > actually a bad idea with a DLT tape, because it nukes the servo track,
    > and then the drive is left to write its own, for better or for worse.
    > I don't know if there's a servo track on TK50/TK70 tapes.


    No servo tracks on the TK50, 24 serpentine tracks written/read
    one at a time forward to EOT than reverse ans stepping the head
    down. The SDLT has an optical servo track at end of tape.


    With that
    > said, TK/DLT tapes have never been backward compatible (e.g. DLT-IV
    > tapes cannot be used in a DLT2000), so it doesn't sound feasible.
    >
    > I do have a small quantity of spare TK50 tapes that may or may not
    > work. Send me an email and we'll go from there.
    >
    > Chris



  20. Re: TK50 Tape Not Loading

    In article <50d8eaa0-a872-4350-ad66-380d01754e66@s19g2000prg.googlegroups.com>, urbancamo writes:
    >
    > Thanks for the offer Chris, but I'm good at the moment - I like to
    > backup my home directory on the VAX 4000/90 to TK50 and just wondered
    > whether there was any way to make this more reliable. Just nostagia
    > really, as I can backup to any number of PCs or Alpha boxes, DAT tape,
    > CDROM, DVD the usual. Just doesn't quite have the same effect as the
    > whirl of a TK50!


    The whirl of a TK50 is nothing like the wheeze of a TKZ30 (SCSI bus
    TK50 imitation we put in a VAXStation once).


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